Poetry by Sidris

Leaflessly Alive

  • He spoke of the binds
  • of sweet, mysterious ties
  • he'd shared with persons unseen
  • and likened his truth to an old oak in autumn
  • finalities of brittle last clinging leaves
  • I mused his declaration for a spell and agreed
  • gazing out a grayed window at a lone locust tree
  • its winter-rough branches shuddering naked and stark
  • but for its moss-blackened danken green bark
  • recalling arcane tree symbology
  • of elegance and love 'yond the grave
  • and memory laid my heart low
  • for those beloved gone souls
  • who'd shaken and fondled my own
  • who'd saved and shaped my life
  • who'd caused me pure laughter
  • who'd helped shoulder my strife
  • who'd donated to who I would be and become
  • and in reminiscence slowly I realized
  • the barren tree branches were yet very alive
  • by a brace of towhees in busy visitation
  • at an audacious mockingbird's open-aired station
  • shared by a matriarch mateless pale robin hen
  • the locust's eldest and quietest denizen
  • thus reminded of life's ceaseless eternal omniscience
  • remembered a lesson long learned though forgotten
  • that these clear cold voids nature brutally impugns
  • had given me the gift of a clear leafless view
  • which spring's cluttered return will again obscure
  • a memory to serve to remind me never to forget
  • the promise of friendship with those yet unmet
  • in a place known as real life
  • on this genuine internet.

  • How It'll Be, Tom Waits and Me

    Sometimes the man's more than I can take,

    Sometimes a little less.

    All those damn fine stories he tells

    in that voice of his

    all scalded from rivers of chains

    of Chesterfield cigarettes,

    soothed with quarts of red Crown and dry sherry.

    I like to believe this is how it'd be,

    him and me

    and an unsealed deck of Bikes.

    Cut-throat spades or,

    even better,

    a serious duel in cribbage

    counting fast, slappin' wood,

    spinnin' round and round and stoppin'

    in a tidy heap.

    Then pegging out

    with a shout,

    the prize another round of shots

    to dowse his flames

    and oh hell yeah mine, too.

    Or even stoke 'em hotter.

    Then he'd likely whip out his comb,

    held at an oddly oblique angle,

    neaten up his duck

    Then ask me unabashedly "hey, darlin', what's good around here to eat?".

    And wink.

    all sweet and wicked.

    What's not to love about a man like Tom Waits?

    Swordfishtrombone by Tom Waits

    Eulogy for the Slinger

    He came on back home after his lungs got gripped

    By a poison that couldn't be shook

    Bad dope, wrongful lovin' striking him over and out

    Like he always struck out over and again

    To ply a rare gift, ones always heaped too hard

    upon the souls of the hurt and the driven

    Still too damn pretty for his own damn good,

    Too sweet, become too frailed to linger

    Too long in regular realms of normality

    But man oh gawddamn, he never lost his rhythm

    His annularius clad in a chromed tube

    Even til the end he still slid that National steel

    When the brass dobro got too heavy to heft

    As his finish drew nearer and his energy left

    Yet there was a time he could play them all

    Anything strung, even when his last E broke

    Like a Segovian god he could fret and strum

    With his left hand while gazing inward

    Maybe catching his wind

    or making his own devilish plan

    To leave another joint burnt slam down

    Or angling to send us all hot and wet

    straight to church

    in a voice warbled rich

    in the key of his truth

    Another slinger called to fly the same route

    one his own chosen heroes had flown

    who know they can't outrun

    the hellhound come snappin'

    but bait that bitch any way,

    tendering naked Achilles all a'quiver

    never tricked by fickle destiny

    small regard for the certainties of fate

    unimpressed by mournful sentiment.

    This is how our brother friend went,

    as he spent his last breath,

    just as he'd lived.

    On his own terms.

    Kick the Stones by Chris Whitley