Tuesday, December 02, 2003

the lovers, the dreamers, and death

John M. Ford (Mike to his friends) has a wayward sort of mind. He once turned a typo in an invitation to my Guy Fawkes party into a one act play, and turned the next year's party invitation into a song.

He also wrote the finest poem about the fall of the World Trade Centre. It's called 110 Stories, and you can read it here.

In a rather different mood, this arrived, in response to my maundering yesterday about hearse-songs. ("With apologies to Jim Henson," as Mike said in his letter.) I wrote back and asked if he minded my posting it here, and he doesn't...


Why are there so many songs about hearses?
The way to the uttermost side,
Hearses go fast, and traffic parts for them,
But who's in a hurry to ride?
Wagons and roads are an eloquent metaphor,
Gentling and straightening the way,
Everyone takes that last exit to Brooklyn,
Home at the end of the day

Remember the start of Magnificent Seven?
Steve and Yul drove to Boot Hill,
Just a small fable of folks being equal,
And going to sleep where you will.
Tickets and transfers and waiting for answers
At something so common yet strange,
Someday you'll ride it, the last train to Clarksville,
All classes, all stations . . . all change.

Look out the window and wave to the strangers
What do they see in the glass?
Up ahead, can you see, we've stopped for Emily,
There will be more as we pass.
Savor the journey, however you're going,
It's been your whole life to get there,
Someday I'll travel, without reservations,
I hope I've two coins for my fare.