Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Was a Teenage Folksinger

C                                                            F
I was once a human scarecrow upon a cherry farm
G7                                              C     
On a tower with a shotgun didn't mean to do no harm
C                                             F                      G7
How that cow got in the air eludes me to this day
G7                        F                                   G                     CG
So many things I would have done but cows got in the way
C                                 F                             G                                 C
I was a teenage folksinger with a wretched poetry coat
C                         F                                      G                  C
It was tie-dye bleached and contained the lousy stuff I wrote
Em                                        Am                Em                 G
With poems inscribed in the lining I'd often bare my soul
G7              F      G7                                   Am  F  G      C
O is it any wonder — my early work was shot full of holes

I was once a world-class clown doing stand-up in canoes
Now my days of building castles in quicksand all are through
Being forced to play ice hockey I was quite a lousy skater
But did some ground breaking "work" as a jackhammer operator

I was a teenage folksinger with a wretched poetry coat…

I sat atop an upright grand beating chords out with my feet
My version of "Cold Turkey" could be heard way down the street
At school the glee club's sponsor — she said I sang "off key"
In numerous humorous doomsday ditties all devoid of glee

         When men first landed on the moon, I was working as an armed human scarecrow at a cherry farm. My alleged duty was to sit on top of a rickety tower and scare the birds with a shotgun. To look the part I would often wear my poetry coat.

         My poetry coat was created at a time when I was tye-dying or tie die bleaching almost every article of my clothing I owned. The  Navy blue trench coat looked drab and wretched when it was done, so i inscribed my poetry in the faded blotches to make it interesting. The poems were kept on the inside — it being a time when I still had some modesty and occasionally opened up to bare my soul.

         Sometimes I would employ the poetry coat as a phantom surrogate. Using the shotgun and water jug as props I was able to create a human scarecrow by placing my straw hat on the jug. By removing the human element I was able to come down to earth and do nefarious things, such as sneak up on my friend Michael in his nearby tower.

          During the evening when flocks of starlings flew high overhead some of the young charges would blast their way through high heaven. Of course we were supposed to just scare the birds and not kill them. Nothing in the job description, however, specifically stated that we shouldn't perforate our fellow workers.

         So it was with quiet abandon that I made my usual climb up Michael's tower. The towers had a tendency to sway when mounted, so it was difficult to ascend in a stealthy manner. Approaching the last few rungs I heard a volley of shots. Michael just said, “The boss is not happy with you.”

         Upon returning to my tower I was shocked to see what had happened in my absence. My beloved poetry coat had been shot full of holes. I opened the walking anthology, and came to the sad realization that there were indeeds words missing from some of my poems . And that was the first time it occurred to me that I should edit my work.  

© 1997 Stefan des Lauriers

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