The Nacreous Oughts

10 April 2004

"Song of Tinbum Kelly

The eagles in the middle air
Have built their strident nest,
But Old Jack Kelly's heart nowhere
Has found a moment's rest.

The fecund knowledge of the night
Dies again in day's light.

My first wife was a harlot,
We loved but could not agree.
My second wife is a Protestant,
We live in felo de se.

Between the sheets all flesh is news,
A goose's neck is a barnacle goose.

These hands have helped many a mare
To drop her long-legged foal;
Flanagan's too, before he died
Like a ferret in a hole.

It is my job to understand
The bar room clock that has no hands.

But holy love and hell's disgrace
Blaze from the bent sky
A man's face and woman's face
In the twinkling of an eye.

All the wisdom I have gained
I had more when I was weaned.

The mercy of God is a dum-dum bullet
With Old Jack Kelly's name upon it.

--James K. Baxter

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?