Wind torn
dusky warm evenings
the sticky heat, oppressive

the old Negro, sits whiskered,
holds a scuffed, dog-bitten stick,
I have listened to his stories
deep resonant tones
almost sung,
His rain fast laughter
river slow eyes
he smiles,

“We were wild then
we lived, burned
like prairie fires,
Have you seen a prairie fire?
Have you touched its sky-full flames?”

He holds my eyes
a moment,
head tips back and laughs
– the wind

“Ha, boy

Holds out his closed hand
to give me something
opens an empty palm,

Life is here
and gone,



Filed under Poems 1983-1991

6 responses to “Jericho

  1. Anonymous

    😀 true and true. Love love love this.

  2. siphilbrook

    Thank you, anonymous person, I love love love that response!


  3. Nice one Si…..full of warmth and soul

  4. siphilbrook

    Thanks Carly

  5. Anonymous

    Excellent message in an excellent poem!!! (tho’ the caps & puctuation threw me off)

  6. siphilbrook

    Yes the caps & punctuation do look odd today. When I wrote this twenty years ago they looked less odd. I dither about how much to edit stuff from back then, does it change the peom too much? Thanks you for your generous response.


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