Thanksgiving Memories of Martins Ferry

1960s poem, Martins Ferry Poems

So much, maybe everything, is lost in translation–
those tiny steps we take between heartbeats
Like the steps I’ve taken backward and forward on holidays
in those worn out shoes I wear on special occasions only–
trying to remember myself, and Martins Ferry–
that place this life remembers as its beginning, and
that place I loath and love like some hopelessly confused clown
dancing in the headlights of strangers’ cars–
cars running over my dreams
which know no way to die on their own

We forget it’s all an illusion–
every last blink of experience
flowing into and out of us
like some forgotten river–
maybe the Ohio, and
then again maybe not

Martins Ferry clings to me–
some terribly worn, out of style suit of clothes–
in synch with my special shoes, but painfully dull and empty
like the now abandoned house on Indiana Street
where my winter dreams began in the warm family room
where a short-needled Christmas tree stood every year–
the same corner where I cried in quiet desperation
hoping a dream would some day carry me far away

Now I want to go back–
this time by choice to wear those shoes and that suit
Something tugs at my heart on Thanksgiving and Christmas
Making even the sadness and loneliness look good
Just one more time to sit on the family room floor
and play with my toys
while Mom and Dad argue in the kitchen about money, relatives
and so many other empty things filling life–
things that are also part of love

Still Livin’ Just for You

1960s poem

Don’t much care
No one to talk to
Left it all behind
Seems like yesterday
Tryin’ my best to move on

Too much heartache
Sorrow, broken promises
No gettin’ used to
Life without you
Barely livin’ day to day

Oh baby, tryin’ to forget you
Our happy times together
Even the moments in between
Testin’ us, me and you
Just barely livin’ day to day

I kept your last letter
Read it often, so sad and blue
How you walked in the rain
Cried away all memories
Why I’m livin’ just day to day

Now all I have–this song
Lingering memories, how we were together
Spinning out of control
No idea it would ever stop
Oh baby, still livin’ just for you

Note: Written on July 15, 1969 in Tucson, Arizona

Looking Back in Time

1960s poem, Don Iannone, tucson poem

Eighteen in ’69
Just a young man. deliriously free
Eager as a spinnaker sail
On a wild racing sailboat
Cutting through time
So many years after
Still chasing the translucent wind

Eighteen, a ghost in Tucson
Land of sunlight, magical sunsets
Each moment, virgin
As the first time
An ancient lost star reappears
Driving Speedway, Abbey Road blarin’
Strange visions, smokin’ Panama Red

Creamsicle-orange sunset, Gates Pass
Beyond where last songs linger
Ladies of the Canyon
Nights of White Satin
Something in the way she moves
Purple Haze, guitars on fire
Lit mescaline dreams, May wind-swept clouds

Saguaro cactus arms out-stretched
Holding on to what’s left
What began, never ended
Now fifty-seven, moon-struck memories
Wispy clouds, awaiting sunset
Red-green tie-dyed tee shirts
Just one wish…do it all over again