Climbing city streets

Wednesday December 4

I read this Joy Harjo poem early yesterday, before word came out about Judge Stephen Rhodes’  Detroit bankruptcy ruling.  Hard news full of uncertainty, hard edges, and  promise.  We’ll learn how Detroit plays out in the local news these next months.

“Climbing the Streets of Worcester Mass”  is a new Joy Harjo poem to me,  Perhaps it caught my eye this morning because Worcester is another tough industrial town with roots back into the 1800’s, not a stranger to loss and to rebirth.   Joy’s words are tough and surprising.  And full of hope.

john st sj

p.s.       Yesterday two people asked me to take some breaks from poetry and try some prose.   I’ll look around.


Climbing the Streets of

Worcester, Mass.

Houses lean forward with their hands

on thin hips.

I walk past their eyes

of pigeon gray, hear someone

playing horn, and there’s the wind

trying to teach some trees

to fly.

It could happen.

LA is tempted by the ocean.

And sleeping storms erupt the weakest hearts.

I scan the street.  Know up one hill.

groans a sacred fire

and down the next

could be a crazy trick:

three crows laugh

kick up the neighbor’s trash.

Telling jokes

they re-create the world.

All night

while I was making other plans

the wind drew circles around this town;

scraped clean the dead skin

of its soul

but left three crows, a horn

some trees

to talk it back again.

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