Thursday, August 20, 2009


The loon’s lilt is my Halloween ghost.
Its icy broken fingers caress my inner ear at night,
just as it did when I fit
into that basement box
with the stuffed animals and plastic
propaganda warriors.

Though I’ve grown and left boy-toys
in mouldy asbestos boxes,
though I’ve married and moved to city soundscapes:
the yowling ups & downs of feline passion;
the dotingly shattered bottles of downtown drunks
stumbling home arm-in-arm;
the new day confessions of the broken-hearted,
I can still hear the lake loon twitters of childhood.

And though my wife sleeps snoring beside me,
though my baby cries for milk and entertainment,
I can still feel the loneliness in that loon’s solitary song,
sung only for its echo.

It is as loud and empty in my mind’s ear
as it was when I shrank tiny in the bottom corner
of that little basement on a midnight lake
under an open window,
shivering damp and sunburnt in the autumn sun’s
breezy shadow.

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I loved this benji! Thanks so very much for posting it! Several things really struck me about this-tho as I say I enjoyed the whole poem enormously. In regards to loons and the lonely noise they make-I had just written the other day in this journal I keep about how it is almost the second decade of the 21st century-and I still love to hear the lonely/melancholy sound of a train in the early am-it made me feel somewhat old-fashioned-and I loved the bit about "propaganda warriors" beautiful poem-best to you and your family as always!!
Nice poem my friend, I have to confess it took me a long time to read it, too much english dictionary was needed for my doubts about words meanings and context where they where placed, that is great for me, good training, txs.
You know that it hit me hard the part where you said you can still fill the loneliness, I felt anguish, cause you made me thought that even with a wife and kid you can feel that, but then I thought that we are always alone anyway, now one can ever get in our own selves, and also sometimes lonelines feel ok.
Take care
Good memories are like fine wine dad.
It is better in the making of them than the recalling.
Hi folks, I've just edited this slightly, FYI...

Devin: glad you enjoyed it. Perhaps the loon is the Canadian equivalent of the train.

MS: Thanks for sticking with it, I admire your persistence. Maybe it's just the night, because that's when I most feel alone despite being surrounded by loved ones. It's not really a bad feeling though.

TWM: But what about the drinking of them/it? Surely that is the best part.

I think Leonard Cohen was less sentimental, less "Puff the Magic Dragon."

He wrote, in Beautiful Losers,
"A loon went insane in the middle of the lake." :)
puff the magic dragon? ouch.
thanks for the comments back Benji and I enjoyed reading the other comments also. I do disagree with Ivan (altho like most i know in "wwwland" I am sure he is more educated than yours truly and things like that:) actually the more I read this the more I like it!-best as always!!
Thanks Devin, glad it has born further fruit on second reading.
The chills are alive with the sound of music. Nothing like the sound of the unhinged to bang against the back doors of your mind.
you alone took the double entendre opportunity, and thus you alone have flown the coop.
You remember that old Hank Williams chestnut, ♪that lonesome whippoorwill… sounds too blue to fly♪? “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”. One of my old time favourites, great little tune, but it makes unfair assumptions of the whippoorwill. The purposes of bird calls range from mating to warning to echolocation, to a simple ‘what’s up, duck?’, and given how difficult it can be to pin a particular meaning to a particular call from a particular species (and given that birds hear in a range of frequencies that, en masse,, far exceeds our own) it’s a special vanity to assign human “loneliness” to a sound not even intended for our feeble monkey ears and brains. ♪Sounds too blue to fly♪ to you Hank? Not to another whippoorwill, I’m thinking. Probably sounds more like ♪what a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man♪to her.

Note to Hank: quit personifying, limited monkey.

Also, did you know that in the UK they have ‘divers’ rather than ‘loons’, and that in Scotland there is one particular species of ‘diver’ actually called a ‘loon’, and that our ‘loon’ word is potentially a loan word from the Ski’n’doers? Kewl, eh? (I picture somehow a placid lake with a couple of loons swimming angrily about, replete with kilts, Tam o’Shanters and golf clubs, cursing to each other “Och, thess here course es no guid! All of et’s ae water trap, laddie, all of et!” Note to self: quit personifying, limited monkey.)

Reflecting on what I’ve written above, I am in closing leaving you with my own little poem regarding ‘loonsong’. Hope you like it:

On the bonnie waters of Barrett Loch
Swims a simple loon named MacClintock
In the lonely dulcet tones
Of Old Scots Loonspeak, he moans
“I’m so randy that I could fock a dock!”

Note to self: see previous note to self.

FB: mm hm.
"Mm hm."

Wow. At over 300 words in my comment, to, um, technically zero, I think, in your reply, that's got to set some kind of weird record for comment to reply word ratio. I shall make the call to the people at Guinness.

you left me wordless.

but now:

in defense of ole hank, he was practicing the first commandment of writing. he was writing what he knew. his own experience. in fact that's what i love about that song. his own feeling in that moment was so strong he blanketed the whole world around him with it, making his experience seem that much more profound for the listerner. his voice helped.
Holy Moses, writing's got commandments! This is epiphanic news indeed. What other religious shibboleths do you writers embrace? Is their a writing papacy? Bodhisattvas of writing? Are there writing Imams?

There are of course loads of people who blanket the whole world around them with their own feelings; 'writers' is a term that implies a greater level of affection than any of the words that leap to my mind for most of them.

Hey, I like the song too. Just observing some particular points of people's peculiar, patterned predilection for projecting. As I am wont.

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