Farewell to America

words ©George Jacobi 2018
music “Farewell to Tarwathie”

Farewell to those hoboes                       a riding the rails
And to the lone cowboy,                         his hot dusty trail.                          
So long, it’s been good                             to know you so well                      
The depth of affection                            no tongue can tell.

Goodbye old Miami,                                 sweet Nantucket, Mass                 
New York and New Orleans,                all things must pass.                      
Adieu Turtle Island,                                  like eagles we fly.                           
The tide has been turning,                    the moment is nigh.

Adios, mes amigos,                                   Alamo, Amazon                               
To Midway and Gettysburg,                  Martin and John.                            
One small step for mankind,                 Challenger crew                              
Vaya con Dios,                                              Sandy Hook, too.        

Farewell to America,                                land of the free                               
Your sons and your daughters            now gone to the sea.                 
To capture the past is                              too much for a song                      
Farewell to America,                                 we sail at dawn.                                                                                                                  

Every Spring

© George Jacobi  2011

 Every April staring out the window,
Anticipating trout-lily time.
Never comes too soon for the rhythm,
Always comes with melody and rhyme,                   

It comes in on a storm across the Sound,
Comes in with a wild warbler wind,
Just wait out all the thunder and the lightning,
You can be there when it all begins,
                 It goes:

                         Witchy Witchy Witchy, Sweet Sweet,
                        Teacher Teacher Teacher, Drink Your Tea,
                        Birdy Birdy Birdy, Konk-la-ree,  
                        Zoo-Zee, Zoo-Zee, Zoo-Zee, Zoo-Zoo Zee.

Have you ever been to planet Earth?
Well, no, but I’d really like to go.
Sit down by some river in New England,
On a morning in May and catch the show,
                   It goes:

 We ride on a spinning solar cell.
Each of us a living solar cell,
You can hear the music in the air,
Every spring,    Everywhere-                                                                                                     
                   It goes:

Not a Poem

Painting and drawing
feel like making love.

Writing feels like shoveling a path
through the snow to the mailbox.
Maybe there will be a check in it;
probably not.

The Ballad of Betsy Shaw

‘Tis in the dark November, of Seventeen forty four
A crime most foul and evil, passes into Windham lore.
With luck ones able children, can help you with your chores
But life is seldom perfect, and so with Betsy Shaw.
They call her slow and tease her, she cannot tie her shoes
The Shaws are much embarrassed, the work is never through.
Finally Father teaches her to work the barn, I guess,
As she grows into a figure that looks fetching in a dress.
Heaven knows, that’s how it goes.

Continue reading “The Ballad of Betsy Shaw”

Time to Dream

I wish I could fish the Neversink, in 1891
Use silken line and cat-gut, Royal Coachman and Blue Dun
With cane and tweed and pipe smoke, beside a tall elm tree
We’d talk of quills and wood duck wings,
Theodore Gordon and me.

I wish I could fish the Battenkill, in 1942
Learn from Wesley Jordan the art of split bamboo
I’d argue with Jack Atherton, about abstract art and such
And those brookies in the Gunsmith Pool?
–  we’d never get a touch.

I wish I could fish Spring Creek just once, in May of ‘53
Down in that misty valley, where it flows melodiously
The sky is all Green Drakes tonight, as Brown and I go back
To a time before the poison.
Yeah, I wish we had the knack.

I wish I could fish the Hous again, about 1985
With Pete and Jay and all those boys, when they were all alive
Those golden April afternoons pass by in memory
We didn’t know back then it was
as good as it would be.

I get to play the Old Man now, pretend to know it all
I’ve seen the glory that is spring, I’ve watched the last leaf fall.
An old man has to pick and choose the times to go astream
It was always time for fishing, now it’s time to dream.

I wish I could fish in Lobsterville, just one more night in June
Where skunks patrol and stripers roll, under the Vineyard moon
Or Firehole, or Grand Lake Stream, down in the Evening Pool
Do land-locked salmon jump for joy,
or is life just cruel?

 

©George Jacobi 2013