Jon Allen

Song of Frodo.

(Freely inspired by Frodo’s passage to the lands of the West, in the company of Gandalf, toward the end of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.  Circa 1978.)

Don’t look for me

On hillside green,

In country fair,

Or pleasant town;

For I’ll be gone and going

             further down.

Gray-green branches,

Stooped and old,

Bent and broken,

Pale with cold;

Tangled river barely reaches

Little fingers through 

            to bush-choked beaches.

The road will twist and wind, and get  

Narrower yet, but I will find

A place of refuge in the west;

And on the shore lit dark with red,

Beneath the stars, I’ll make my bed, 

And in the rushes find my rest. 

(Describing a summer in my home town; also c. 1978.)

Eying the shimmering haze of the gasoline street, 

Through the dry-dirt clouds of the off-white summer heat;

Flesh freshly coddled in stinking steam,

I count the gleaming pools of misspent oil

And watch the dusty sons of slate,

Earmarks seeping migratory trails of watery blood

           to their fore-ordained boot camps;

And I hear the dark gray whisper of a nicotine withdrawal

Into the morbid arms of another numberless morning.

Mt. St. Helens.

(Written shortly after the event, 1980.)

The earth beat her hot-shivering 

         breast in sweat-tortured self-mad refusal to

Release her stillborn fire child;

As the inside gases pressed against the grinding bowels,

And the sunken ashes finally rose, and howled.