Songs of An Old Man

© Charles E. Corry 1962, 1999


 

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I — Winter Gale

T'would be a foul night to be adrift,

Yet I find in me that yearning

As the wind whistles through my hair,

Here, near Market and the Emabarcadero.

I dream of those at sea, and long

To fight again the brawny battle

With the Ancient Man, the Sea.

To remark, when once again

On shore's rock I tread, "T'was a fair blow,"

Say no more, yet say so much.

II — Blizzard

Of those on high sierras side

Whose only choice to die.

Even those I yearn to join,

And know once more the knotted

Stomach of starvation as the Reaper

Holds out his warm hand

To the small band hidden there

Beneath the snow.

III — Meditations

As chill wind stirs my hair

Little can I tell of a night so long ago;

When once before I walked on a night so cold.

Of the ice drawing near, or of those who froze,

Afraid to stay, too crazed to run.

IV — Sourdough

I long for those on far flung missions

Of greed and misery

Whose hardships are as yet untold.

Yet little would I ask of them,

Except their names that they might be

Unforgotten as we perish in the wastes.

V — Search

Of those whose broken hearts shed bitter tears

Which fall, uncounted snowflakes, round me.

Whose wailing and lametations are echoed

In the eery wind.

Those too are buried in my longing,

And help sharpen the knife I'll need

To cut these bonds that bind me.

VI — Mountain Cabin

Of those I read in daily paper

Having emerged unscathed from bleak, cold wilderness.

Yes, and of those who stayed, so stiff and cold.

All those I welcome as time old friends.

Having stood beside them through that wilderness

Brings a kinship known but too few.

VII — Deathbed

Yes, t'would be a foul night to be adrift.

Yet adrift once more I soon must go,

In search again of fair, cold adventure.

And drift I will, as soon as I find the knife

To cut these bonds of age that bind me.

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| Chapter — Poetry |

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Last modified 3/17/16