Thursday, March 05, 2009

Gertrude, I remember

'Neath the sparkle on the water were the shades of stones a-tumbling;
You could glimpse their soft disaster in the space beyond your vision;
And although you tried to tame it, all your eulogies were bumbling;
And you feared the ancient willow, who might greet grief with derision;
But the chatter of the river soon dispelled youth's gentle humbling;
And the stones endowed your being with the rumor of their passing
And the river kept on flowing;

But you swear you'll take it with you;
'Til your Judgment Day is nigh;
That is when you'll heed the praises
Of the people who will love you as you die;

On the rocky shores of Corinth, strode the captain of the Argo;
And he climbed the cliffs to greatness without taxing much his powers;
Though his arms were round and rippled, you'd have sworn he had no ego,
As his blush dispelled suspicion in King Creon's mighty towers;
But even had they known him, they would not deny his credo:
A chanting so familiar that Achaeans joined the chorus
Though they knew the story's ending;

But they swore they'd take it with them
'Til their Judgment Day was nigh;
That was when they'd heed the praises
Of the people who would love them as they died;

But Gertrude came to Salem; it was there she raised her fam'ly,
From her humble start in China where she learned much of compassion;
She would kiss her grandson's fingers when he feared the piercing darkness,
And through sober, soft reflection she would puzzle out the answers;
And the wind sang in the fir trees, like a gentle sighing ocean;
And in springtime came the blossoms as she passed beyond the orchard
Leaving those of us who loved her;

But I swear I'll take her with me;
'Til my Judgment Day is nigh;
That is when I'll heed the praises
Of the people who might love me as I die;

Thanks and apologies to the great Leonard Cohen for the inspiration.

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