strangeness we need

Whitman stuffed his canary when it died
why would you do that
why would you sing the body electric
( there was a time I thought I knew)
Whitman sent his stuffed canary
to a bunch of guys in Oldham
in Lancashire in England
why would you do that

yesterday I saw a crushed candy poet
dressed in purple
her firm jazz beat words evoking ghosts
of immigrants
her shamanic movements made me think
of all the survivors (not many)

outside the dirty river Calder splashed
and I wondered
did Dave Cunliffe know about the stuffed canary
I thought about Trump and all his poison tweets
I don’t need no dead yellow bird
what I need is a living crow

but please don’t send one why would you
why would you do that






Illustration Nick Victor

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2 Responses to strangeness we need

  1. jeff cloves says:

    bravo GND
    and such
    a surprise
    and so good
    you mention
    good old Dave Cunliffe
    why would you that
    do that
    do that?

    • George Deans says:

      Hi Jeff, thanks for the comment.The poem came about after a New Departures gig at the Hepworth Wakefield where I got talking to Kirsten Harris a bit of a Whitman expert, who told me about the canary and the group of guys in Bolton that Whitman corresponded with and I thought Bolton isn’t that far from Mr Cunliffe’s Global Tapestry stomping ground, I could imagine that if he had been around back in the day he might have been one of the guys in Bolton. Once again thanks for the feedback

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