So, my Dad calls me this morning about wanting to share some sort of poem. Like an eager child exacting his parent's attention before showing them how he can jump off the diving board, he says, "Brown, listen to this:"
I used to rule the world,
Seas would rise when I gave the word.
Now in the morning I sleep alone,
sweep the streets that I used to own.
Apparently, after the disastrous week in the stock market and the fall of a few Wall Street behemoths, he had some epiphanous moment of poetic justice, and couldn't wait to tell me more. As if climbing back out of the pool with excitement and again approaching the diving board with unwavering focus, he continued on . . . . .
I used to roll the dice,
see the fear in my enemy's eyes.
Listen as the crowd would sing,
"Now the old king is dead! Long live the King!"
Now, being that I am a poet and have many memorized, I immediately started scanning through the sheaf of files in my mind's library, much the way a reporter would flip through streaming sheets of old articles stored on micro-fiche. As he continued talking, I easily began eliminating poets. Cummings, Dickinson, Frost, Blake, Browning . . . . .definitely not Chaucer. . . . .
One minute I held the key,
the next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand,
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand.
Dammit, I know this, I kept thinking to myself. It sounds so familiar. Hughes, Poe, Wilde . . . . could definitely be Whitman . . . . or even Yeats. Yeah, I'm definitely leaning towards Yeats, but the title eludes me. . . . . .
I hear Jerusalem's bells a ringing,
Roman Calvary choirs are singing.
Be my mirror, my sword, my shield,
My missionaries in a foreign field.
Wait a second . . . . . is this even a . . . . "Brown, have you ever heard of Viva La Vida?" he interjects. "Uh, no" . . . came my defeated reply. "It's a song from these people named Cold Play", he says. "They're very good". "Ah, of course it is", I say, the realization striking me like an anvil being dropped from an overhead window. Being almost 3,000 miles away, he doesn't have the advantage of hearing them on the radio like we do, so on some things he can be a few weeks behind. He finishes his lyrical rhetoric illuminating the connection with the government's current events and topping things off with an insightful thought of irony, about how both McCain and Bush were initially against government regulations that my have circumvented these very financial travesties.
Having once been a teacher, my Dad is exceptionally computer savvy for a scholar his age. He continues telling me how he downloaded the song and even watched the video on You Tube. I never thought in a million years, that I would ever be discussing You Tube with my Father. Which actually, is kind of cool when you think about it. Although he comes from a very different generation, (you know, the one that had to walk miles in the snow to get to school) he's remarkably perceptive when it comes to today's generational paradigm. I love having these conversation with him now that he's retired and has the time. As long as he doesn't call me later to share Lil Wayne's, "I got Money", or tell me that he pimped his ride, I couldn't be happier.