Lament Of The Ninety Nine Percent
In honor of singer songwriter Joni Mitchell whose song, Big Yellow Taxi, inspired this write.
Shortly after returning from a UK trip home I pulled into my rural bank’s parking lot to find it crammed, wing to wing, with black birds. They’d apparently ‘touched down’ to rest during their late winter/early spring migration back to their nesting grounds. In my wildly imaginative head with its ever oddly firing neurons I saw their occupation of the bank grounds as a parallel to the Occupy Wall Street movement! And since I’d recently visited an old centrally situated cemetery in my home village – also occupied by thousands and thousands of black birds – and have this thing for trees and concerns about what we are doing to the environment … well the following botched haibun is a result..
(Haibun (俳文? , literally, haikai writings) is a prosimetric literary form originating in Japan, combining prose and haiku).
dawn barely breaks
cemetery gate creaks
startled, rooks burst skyward
heads cocked, cutting
rooks assess our intent
Bundled against the early morning cold, a schoolboy is passing by. Ears plugged, iPhone in hand, he is texting a friend: got dek cu@ nu scate bord park do in wuds 2nite?
rooks a fury overhead
his schoolyard is occupied, in protest
*best read while listening to/watching the video of: Big Yellow Taxi sung by the Counting Crows….