Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Protection Song


for my father

O birth of many babies
clarinet playing
and the blackfaced river
how I love you

the trees are Jews
in autumn under water

the sky in the river
in the river under water
beside clouds that flow in the river
under the pine or beside the oak

a crowd of friends marvelling at ships
a fear of death
a fear of death beside you
parents, wife, children, friends

those whom you wish had no death
that they sail on the river
on the sky sailing in the river
those that sail endlessly and without fear

O endless clarinet-faced death
sky-faced ligature of water
O blackfaced Jew and Jewfaced black
black, Jewish, and under water

O 19th 20ieth O all centuries
the music of Al Jolson will protect you
the birds swimming
the banjos soft and low

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