Sunday, June 26, 2022

when the night seems long

Rommy at Poets and Storytellers United invite us to write a piece inspired by a song lyric, and to include the song title.

"Live alone in a paradise, that makes me think of two" from Neil Young's song "Old Man". 😧

image by CDD20 at pixabay

when the night seems long

when the night seems long
and uncomfortable
and the questions
have no answers
is it supposed to be like this?
how do you deal with death?
tell it to wait, take a break?
tell it not to take her away?
old man,
he wakes up in the early dawn
for ghosts under the bed.
he hears her songs
drifting with the wind
he looks for
her old cassettes
her favourite songs
just to hold in his hands
his eyesight is failing
his hands are shaking
he is the tossed coin
rolling into a gutter
he looks into the mirror
and sees another man.
an older man
he does not know.

and gently
dawn's light puts its hands
on his shoulders
and tousles his hair.


Neil Young - Old Man

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2022

Labels: , , , , ,


Blogger colleen said...

I especially like the tossed coin rolling in the gutter and him looking through her tapes.

26 June, 2022 00:27  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

I think these are quite strong imagery.
In Neil Young's song there's also mention of a rolling coin. :)

26 June, 2022 00:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful observations, D.S. I haven't reached looking under the bed yet but I must be close to that point. I like Young's "Old Man" song but haven't heard it much lately.

26 June, 2022 01:56  
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Oh, make me cry why don't you?! You write of grief and loss so tenderly and with such nice restraint, it's almost unbearably poignant. I love the beautiful last verse best of all.

26 June, 2022 06:07  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


Thank you!
Young has other great songs too, even during his time with Crosby Stills Nash & Young. :)


I read Rommy's prompt, and I said, why not? It didn't take me long to write it, partly because it's semi-autobiographical. The last verse is to mitigate some of the bleakness in front. :)

26 June, 2022 10:32  
Anonymous Rajani said...

he is the tossed coin
rolling into a gutter... love the imagery of this...lovely poem.

26 June, 2022 11:44  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Rajani! :)

26 June, 2022 12:36  
Blogger Debi Swim said...

Emotions. troubles, loneliness, illness... everything takes on exaggerated proportions at night. I think because there are fewer distractions more than the darkness being the cause, but it plays a part, too. Your poem is so relatable, the images sharp and stirring. I love the way you ended the poem. It doesn't change anything but there is a feeling of not being alone, of another's strength coming alongside. Outstanding work here. I love it.

26 June, 2022 19:21  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Debi!

It's true that everything takes on exaggerated proportions at night, in the dark. More so with loneliness, illnesses. This poem is about grief and i want the ending to show that despite all this darkness, there will still be light. :)

26 June, 2022 20:07  
Blogger said...

This is a stunner! Neil Young is one of my favorite artists, and how true it all becomes. I love that lift at the end.

28 June, 2022 09:01  
Blogger said...

Can't seem to comment here.

28 June, 2022 09:03  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Sara.

I discovered Neil Young when he was with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. He is still as good as a solo songwriter and performer.

I have comment moderation on (those pesky spam), so one won't see their comments published immediately. I think there should be a prompt showing "This blog has comment moderation turned on..." or something like that. :)

28 June, 2022 13:45  
Blogger Rommy said...

The line about the tossed coin just hit so hard. The whole piece is a powerful description of grief, but that line especially captured the idea of feeling so inconsequential when grief sinks its teeth into you, as well as the feeling of being a left over random thing in an unfeeling world.

29 June, 2022 10:15  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Rommy!

I am glad the poem works! In fact, in Neil Young's song, there is also a mention of a coin, but it has a happy ending. :)

29 June, 2022 15:19  

Post a Comment

<< Home