Sunday, December 9, 2007

Poetry by Jonathan Hayes (Dylan Thomas)

Swansea Song
by Jonathan Hayes
Sung in the spirit of Dylan Thomas

When the wide-waisted, web-footed cocklewomen come traipsing with their donkeys over skeleton shells smashed in the mud, reeking of estuary death, to collapse the rake’s last grope, all the flatfish & sacks of cockle will not hold the tide from ebbing into that nightmare blindness

The heart holds no more bloody pints of familiar pain

Ragged traveling jackals howl ‘cross wooden cottage ceilings pursuing the final dumb dark passage, with the tide pummeling ‘gainst the passion wall, Sunday morning sick boy hangover, craving hot milk in a bowl with bread, cattle anchored in childhood comfort, tormented with unpaid bills & a relentless, harsh morning cough, tucked in the empty boathouse, bedrooms remember the scathing rows they heard & sheltered

Stumbling jacket with pockets full of whiskey

Two little narrow white hands seemed so useless but said so much

The drinking never stopped, nor the protestation of love, the protestation of love for your wife & the hopeful return home to her unedited soul & sustenance-giving body

With your best suit & bow tie, blaze now into that
American night like no other

In the hour of coughing up the crucifix, where loneliness
betrays you in America

The white owl circle was stoned complete

In the bed at St. Vincents, raining bats & herons, a recessional bliss of morphine & cortisone, breathing the last limerick through an oxygen tank, porridge memories of churchyards, pubs, mysteries, geese & cherry trees

Be true to your father, follow your hiraeth to Ginst Point, where the mist of the unknown migrates & cocklewomen glow, singing oyster songs to Proteus

Author bio:

After several wet salmon seasons in Alaska while working in a cannery, and then hoboing along the Columbia River of Washington, Mr. Hayes joined fruit tramps and migrant workers in a red delicious apple orchard and then drove a John Deere tractor before each sunrise onto the slippery, dewed grass of agrarian reform. Today, however, he is a barnacle-covered hermit crab, scurrying from class to sea lettuce in the tide pool of San Francisco State University by the not-always-peaceful Pacific littoral. Look him up sometime.

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