Saturday, July 03, 2010

Two Hundred Summers

A poem that my dad wrote some years ago in honor of our nation's Bicentennial in 1976...

The gates are open
somber, still;
the blade-grass quivers
on the hill.
A single robin
claims the crest;
the flowers in summer hues
are dressed.

The weathered columns
all look down
on marble slabs
that kiss the ground.
The names and dates
are graven deep,
two hundred summers
lie asleep.

The crowd is silent
standing there;
a priest intones
a solemn prayer.
The speaker dwells
on death and life,
and speaks of distant
drum and fife.

The chapel bell
in memory rings;
the choir, stirring
anthem sings.
The benediction's
slowly read;
the crowd departs,
the amen's said.

The hallowed ground
seeks love and rest,
for those it seals
within its breast;
July's green hills
their echoes keep;
two hundred summers lie asleep.

Jack Mahoney (C)1981

I'm workin' all day today because, well...someone has to drunk up the denizens of Bagwine, Ohio so they can beat their wives and lose a finger to a firecracker.



Dana said...

I am always taken aback when reading your Dad's poetry - the imagery is so vivid - the sentiment is so strong - the words are so powerful.

Thank you for sharing this!

MysteryChick said...

Wonderful!I love when you post your Dad's poetry.

Have a great day at the Beer Mine today.

Matt-Man said...

Dana: The man loved words and history. He was when at his best, quite the good poet. Cheers Dana!!

Chick: Thanks. It is one of my faves by him. Have a great weekend hot stuff. Cheers Chick!!

Micky-T said...

Interesting! I read the first couple of lines and said to myself, "I have that one!" When I looked up 200 Summers in the index of , it wasn't there.

In my copy of Credo, it's titled Bicentennial, July 4th, 1976

What's up with that, Matt?
(cool...that rhymed)

Mike said...

There's nothing more patriotic than blowing a finger off.

Micky-T said...

I found my answer on the back cover!

~Isobel~DingoDoll said...

I love your Dad's poems, they're really evocative. Happy 4th, Matty. Here's to another year of having all ten toes left to count with! :)

Charlene said...

That poem reminds me of Blake's Jerusalem.

Happy 4th. Don't blow anything off with explosives!

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Love the poem. Truly moving and inspiring!

Scott Oglesby said...

This was poignant, beautiful and sad Matt! I loved it, your dad was brilliant!