The Green Man – after Wallace Stevens

Doing a bit of a tidy up recently I found a folder with some old poems of mine inside. I think some of them should have a life outside the folder.

Here’s the first. Originally an attempt to sound a little like Wallace Stevens.

The Green Man

If the Green Man woke again, what then?
Would the lie of the New World die in the dirt,
A wretched slice of history?
Or would he kick the can and break his foot?

This potent, rotten man disturbs us,
Dipping into garbage pails, his weathered hands
Sift trash amongst the crumpled scraps
A search for poetry or poetry in search of him?

He sits in bars with broken boys,
Eyeing empty-headed women, nodding
At the jukebox, whisky heroes weep
And green man slithers out

On the sage flats of Somewhere America,
Raucous cowboy songs drift and snag
On locust trees, whistling softly in the wind
Their owners look on blankly

Emerging treeless in Window City
The green ghost disturbs a childish game
With a shock of recognition
When wicker visions lick their minds
And invoke the myth of empty pages

Hard acorn eyes think hard on this –
Cowboy songs and children’s games
Are these the drunkenness of Spring?
And what is he: this dreamy pagan relic?
A scarecrow awakened in the mist?

Ten phrases carved in stone?
The way a beggar bangs a pot?
A universe in seven days?
The way a ploughman pulls the plough?
An endless empty vessel?

But Green Man ceases in the woods,
Something stonelike in stiffness
He stands amazed, as fingers wiggle loose,
His very essence tumbling on the breeze
The bone-wood creaks and crumbles
As Green Man fails and falls

4 thoughts on “The Green Man – after Wallace Stevens

  1. Wonderful words woven together.. 🙂

    May I please invite you to join us for Thursday Poets Rally week 38, where all of your entries are to be fully represented after the collection is over. Link one of your poems via the link below and enjoy encouragements from fellow poets.

    Sending you loads of wishes-
    from officials at Thursday Poets Rally community


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