Monday, 20 March 2006

A Dead Cowboy

At the moment I am writing a poem that is giving off signals that it aspires to be a 100-drafts poem. It is about my deceased father's continual appearances in my dreams as a ghost or at best an ineffective shadow.

I have finally become annoyed enough at these dreams (after thirty-seven years) to addrress them in a poem - an annoyed poem. Well, it's got an irritated tone at the moment anyway. It may not remain angry. It has the potential I believe to be sad, bitter or wry. I don't want it to be sad. I am tired of writing sad poems about my father. So that leaves bitter or wry.

It's strange to think that I am now older than my father was when he died. All the more reason to address the fact of continuing to dream about him. Oh I know there will be a million other reasons for the dreams, but I have deided to do something with it, if not about it.

For some strange reason, the song 'The Streets of Larado' has elbowed its way into the poem. This may have something to do with me playing an Emmylou Harris cd whilst writing it - although she has never to my knowledge ever sung that song.

I remember having to sing that song at primary school during those boring musical radio broadcasts we used to suffer during the 1960s. Oh dear. That song was like a dirge. It used to give me the shivers to be quite frank. What is it with kids of ten years old having to sing about spying a 'dead cowboy all wrapped up in white linen, wrapped up in white linen and cold as clay'? That and ' Someone's in the Kitchen with Dinah', 'Clementine' and 'Minka, Minka' - all weird, adult-themed songs we were forced to sing inside, while outside the best part of the day slipped away. I can't look at a floating thistledown now without remembering being stuck inside singing those dreadful songs, and gazing out at drifts of thistledown floating beautiful and free past the classroom windows.

In light of those memortes, I can see now why the song has come into my mind. It was only about three years after singing 'The Streets of Larado' that I had to face the fact of my own father's premature death. Not hard to make a connection. Never underestimate the power of the subconscious, I guess.

3 comments:

Belle said...

Good morning, chiefbiscuit.
Quite alot for a young person to have to deal with, losing a parent.
I know that your poem will be good.
My vote would be for wry.

I can identify with having to sing the songs in school. Its something we all probably had. Something at school which seemed to make no sense and being frustrated by it.

I can just see you sitting in school looking out the window wishing you were outside.

Wow, aren't I long winded today!

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Hey there... I vote for wry as well... you've done enough sad and bitter might be better, but not your style... (say that three times fast)

About the songs, those are the old western songs that we used to sing outside. I still know all the words to the "Streets of Laredo." It is one of my favs. LOL

I learned the Aussie song too... Memory is so funny... I now can't remember and it was just there at the back of my brain ... oh well..

But here's a song we used to sing that might cheer you up... it is sung in a round

I went to the animal fair
all the birds and the beasts where there
the old baboon by the light of the moon
was coming his auburn hair

The monkey, he got drunk
and fell on the elephant's trunk
the elephant sneezed
and fell on his knees
and that was the end
of the monk, the monk, the monk, the monk

;-)

chiefbiscuit said...

Thanks Belle - Yes that is along note for you - but I apprciated every word and letter!

Thanks Cynthia - I know that song and it did cheer me up!

Harbour

Harbour
'how this all harbours light'