Thursday, January 5, 2012

Raintown #1

Raintown #1

watercolor gray white sky the
aerial tram swings into its 45 degree
descent towards the Willamette’s yellow barges—

a wheelchair the fogged glass a green
oxygen tank a cell phone—a child grasping
his mother’s shoulder—cyan blue

streetcar’s reflection in mirrored
plate glass windows, & mosses’ awkward
hand against a weeping birch’s trunk be-

low the streetcar’s electric wire—
green coffee cup half-filled on the
train perched by an empty purple seat—

the Willamette River viewed from the
Steel Bridge—impasto ripple
in oils running slate gray under the

Broadway Bridge— on the bus someone’s words
overheard, half understood—the
bare tree on the lawn surrounded by

slick brown leaves & hung with un-
gainly gold-blue-red holiday decorations:
you are not alone

Jack Hayes
© 2012


  1. What a lovely start to my day. Thanks John!

  2. Sorry; I'm tone-deaf when it comes to poetry, so I can't tell if this is a good poem or not (which is the reason why you see me noticeably absent on poetry days on your blog). But that's a fantastic photo! B&W was really the only way to go with that shot.

  3. John, that is a first class piece of work : both the image and the words work together in tandem. The word "robust" comes to mind. A Happy New Year to you my friend, I look forward to reading many more of your poems and listening to many more of your songs.

  4. It is a fantastic photograph, and such a contrast to the colour fest of the poem itself. Your previous photograph of the bridge from the bridge adds to the context, but the poem itself is so graphic, the reader so present in the landscape of the piece, that no photograph could compete. I love the way those Christmas baubles end the poem with a little fireworks finale of colour.

  5. In the photo, I love the juxtaposition of those old street-lamps against the industry of the town with its wires and cold buildings.
    In the poem, I love the image of "mosses'awkward hand ..."

    The tandem-piece (as Alan mentioned) reminds me of those photos that have been drained of colour, but for a few elements which pop with primaries in total contrast.

    Oh, I love the green cup by the purple seat too!

    This is only the beginning.

  6. John!! Great to see you poetry-ing again. I love this. I love it when the ending of a thing kind of bonks it out of its orbit into a completely different and unexpected direction. Nice photo, too. More please.

  7. Hi Mar, Roy, Alan, Mairi, Kat & L.E.!

    Mar: Thanks so much!

    Roy: No worries on the poem front. I do like the pic in b&w. It was of course color originally, & has been Photoshopped. Glad you liked it!

    Alan: Thanks so much! I hope to continue to bring both to you! Really appreciate the support, & a Happy New Year to you & yours.

    Mairi: Thanks so much--you were a great help in composing this; you are as good a reader of poems as you are a writer of them! Very much appreciate what you say about the poem.

    Kat: I'm hoping it's only the beginning! Hope springs eternal. I have mixed feelings about mixing my poems with photos, truth be told, but I'm trying it as an experiment. Glad to know that people enjoy the juxtaposition. Thanks so much.

    L.E.: Thanks! Yes, writing songs, writing poems--what shall become of me ;-) Hope you're doing well in your new locale--talk soon?

  8. lovely. a nice slice of life. it has a sort of Simon & Garfunkel feel to it, though i'm not sure why. :)

  9. Thanks, Barbie! I consider that high praise--appreciate you stopping by & leaving a comment :)

  10. definitely meant as high praise john. :)

  11. Hi Barbie: & I definitely knew that, but thanks! :)

  12. Beautiful, especially this:
    mosses’ awkward
    hand against a weeping birch’s trunk

    I like how the moments of color (cyan blue, the green cup, purple seat, green oxygen tank) seem to swim out of a gray background. Maybe because you set the tone in the first line of gray-white, so the colors seems more strong and sharp in contrast.

    And the last line surprised and moved me.

  13. A double treat, John. Love the shot and the poem.

  14. fantastic pairing of words and image! both are moving.....

  15. Hi Martin & Mouse!

    Martin: Thanks so much! Glad you liked them both!

    Mouse: Glad you liked them both! As I mentioned earlier, I have mixed feelings about posting a photo w/my poems, but sounds like folks liked it--thanks!

  16. Love it, love it!

    -- Just went back, and checked your response comment on the 'Stranger in this Town' post, and when you said you had a new series of poems labeled 'Raintown', I pursued it, only to realize I had, only minutes before, read and commented on the latest post in that series!

    So yes. Catching up now. Gonna read 'em all.

    I love this series so far...

    As said before: it's very colorful! In this odd, gray sort of a watercolor painting left out in the rain.

    Love the holiday decorations part.

    Love the thought of you living in Portland!

    I used to want to move there...but probably couldn't afford it. (No, I'm sure I couldn't afford it!) Plus I think I would collapse not living in the dirt and heat down here.

  17. Hi Ginger: Thanks so much--I like the idea that they are like a watercolor left in the rain very much! Yes, I've liked Portland for a long time, & it is nice to live here, tho obviously a rather big change in my life. It gets a little bit hot here like for a day or two in August, but that probably wouldn't quite be enough, huh? ;-)


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