poem: wordle, lyric: lightfoot

across battered dare guardian lean mellow pose rusty search shore shout survive table tangled tarnished tilting tips trace windmills woodland

SANCHO PANZA GREETS THE DAWN

The patio furniture has gotten all tangled, with the table tilting
into the unprepared flower bed
and the charcoal grill on the verge of tipping over.
The striped umbrella– that blew away,
across the street and beyond.
Why did no old man dare the storm to search in the dark for it?

Two battered toy windmills,
and a flock of whirligig mallards, keen:
Where is our old man with the oil?
Where’s our guardian?
We’re getting a trace rusty,
you know?

Oak leaves and woodland creatures
have been blown into a drift against tarnished Snow White.
From an unaccustomed leaning pose, she shouts:
Old man! Old man! Come shore me up.

In the kitchen window the fluorescent tube flickers on, gray.
The mellow orange porch light blinks off.
The tap fills a plastic glass with water
for an old woman, survivor,
to take her morning pills.

Prompt #44 Make Your Own Wordle
Use the lyrics to the Gordon Lightfoot song, Don Quixote.

Randomly choose twenty words from those lyrics, more if you wish. Then use those words, at least ten of them, to create a poem, just as you would do with a wordle list. You might wish to site the song and songwriter somewhere in your post. This song was chosen because it is rich in imagery, tells a myth-like story, and has a variety of words to choose from.

Don Quixote, ©1972 by Gordon Lightfoot

Through the woodland, through the valley
Comes a horseman wild and free
Tilting at the windmills passing
Who can the brave young horseman be

He is wild but he is mellow
He is strong but he is weak
He is cruel but he is gentle
He is wise but he is meek

Reaching for his saddlebag
He takes a battered book into his hand
Standing like a prophet bold
He shouts across the ocean to the shore
‘Til he can shout no more

I have come o’er moor and mountain
Like the hawk upon the wing
I was once a shining knight
Who was the guardian of a king

I have searched the whole world over
Looking for a place to sleep
I have seen the strong survive
And I have seen the lean grow weak

See the children of the earth
Who wake to find the table bare
See the gentry in the country
Riding off to take the air

Reaching for his saddlebag
He takes a rusty sword into his hand
Then striking up a knightly pose
He shouts across the ocean to the shore
‘Til he can shout no more

See the jailer with his key
Who locks away all trace of sin
See the judge upon the bench
Who tries the case as best he can

See the wise and wicked ones
Who feed upon life’s sacred fire
See the soldier with his gun
Who must be dead to be admired

See the man who tips the needle
See the man who buys and sells
See the man who puts the collar
On the ones who dare not tell

See the drunkard in the tavern
Stemming gold to make ends meet
See the youth in ghetto black
Condemned to life upon the street

Reaching for his saddlebag
He takes a tarnished cross into his hand
Then standing like a preacher now
He shouts across the ocean to the shore
Then in a blaze of tangled hooves
He gallops off across the dusty plain
In vain to search again
Where no one will hear

Through the woodland, through the valley
Comes a horseman wild and free
Tilting at the windmills passing
Who can the brave young horseman be

He is wild but he is mellow
He is strong but he is weak
He is cruel but he is gentle
He is wise but he is meek

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8 comments

  1. Well, that’s what I get for leaving a comment with thoughts on the Wordle on the other blog first, before reading what you had already. 🙂 But I quite like this. That old man is letting everything down, and that old woman just keeps trundling on.

  2. There is a 50s suburban brick I’ve been passing now and then for 30 years or so, the yard full of painted concrete kitsch. Recently most of it had disappeared. I figured one of the residents probably the old lady, had kicked the bucket.

    We were having a little wind around here. It seemed appropriate to imagine a little of their story.

  3. Barb, this piece is rich with imagery.
    It seems surreal and yet real. After
    reading your response to Joseph, I see
    that some of it comes from a real life
    experience. Very nicely done.

  4. I agree with Pamela – you’ve created a slice of life that full of imagery to ponder. It’s even more fascinating that it’s based in the stuff of real life.


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