Postcards of hangings

They’re selling postcards of the hanging
of the old ladies knitting and the soldiers kissing
shadowed under an ageless sun and relentless rain.
Who said laughter is never befriended with pain?

Iron-shod his chariot is whippin’ up the dust
as miners lungs are filling up with soot and rust,
and in the old oak trees bodies are swaying.
His carrion birds are better fed than us, just saying.

A tearless wind is blowing; lidless eyes are staring.
Armed you’d rather be shot than caught to be caring.
and under your boots the voices of flowers are crushed.
You’re hurt, you’re hurting, passive being hushed.

Kerry want us to write a poem using a line from Bob Dylan’s poetry at toads. My choice is to use the first line of Desolation Row. They’re selling postcards of the hanging.

October 21, 2016

6 responses to “Postcards of hangings

  1. Phew! Such a powerful portrait of society.. very 21st century but also quite timeless in the images which follow in quick succession.
    These are the kind of lyrics that should be sung today, but few have the vision of Dylan, or you, for that matter.

  2. Wow! This is brilliant! Bottomless, layers of depth. The juxtapositions are stunning … chilling realities pinned against jejune (I think that’s the right word for it) images. My mind went in the direction of world wide atrocities delivered in ho-hum news sound bites, viewed over munched down TV dinners. From that perspective, it is an incredible analogy.

  3. Well done Bjorn — this is a deck of those postcards, dealt fro the troubadour’s career, leaving us to contend with the unquiet spirits they loose upon us. Nice wrap of rhyme. The last line didn’t quite sum or door the poem for me. (I re-write mine endlessly.)

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