Ol’ Black Bird (poem)

Another poem this week. Probably more to come through the summer. I had thought about recording it. Dabbled with it a few times Tuesday, but no time tonight.  Anyway, I wrote “Ol’ Black Bird” back in 1987, May 28th if I can believe the faded dot matrix.

Ol’ Black Bird

Long ago when I was young,
I remember walking through
A golden field of grain,
Just whistling loud and clear
With a song in my heart
Of youthful joviality.
Soon I heard an answering
To my song,
And set out to find the caller.
I followed the tune across
The field and found
Perched up in an ancient
Towering tree
An ol’ black bird
Just whistling away
Into the wind.
Peaceful did he sit
As he hummed the blues of the land.
There I stood watching
Feeling the peace of his tune
Tranquilize my heart.
Then from the field
A sudden boom,
And I saw a running boy
Laughing into the wind.
Now at the base of the tree
Laid the ol’ black bird
Bleeding red.
A rage filled my passive heart
Because someone had not
Understood the ol’ black bird’s song.

I’m not sure why at the time I did the line breaks as I did, and reading through it again all these years the last 3 lines seem abrupt and presumptive. There some nice turns, but let me know what you think.

2 Replies to “Ol’ Black Bird (poem)”

  1. This was so peaceful all the way through, but then the abrupt cruelty of a feckless and vain act really twisted the mood abruptly. The thing is, that is how life is. One minute you’re walking along on top of the world, and the next thing you know something unexpected throws you off balance. Sometimes it’s very dark and disturbing to have such an awakening, so while you think that the last three lines are kind of abrupt, I think they are a unique personal response to a tragic event that disrupted the speaker’s peaceful frame of mind.

  2. This was so peaceful all the way through, but then the abrupt cruelty of a feckless and vain act really twisted the mood abruptly. The thing is, that is how life is. One minute you’re walking along on top of the world, and the next thing you know something unexpected throws you off balance. Sometimes it’s very dark and disturbing to have such an awakening, so while you think that the last three lines are kind of abrupt, I think they are a unique personal response to a tragic event that disrupted the speaker’s peaceful frame of mind.

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