THE BALLAD OF OTHELLO CLEMENCE - Jeremiah Eames Rankin Poems

 
 

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THE BALLAD OF OTHELLO CLEMENCE

There's a black wind howlin' by Whylah Falls;
There's a mad rain hammerin' the flowers;
There's a shotgunned man moulderin' in petals;
There's a killer chucklin' to himself;
There's a mother keenin' her posied son;
There's a joker amblin' over his bones.
Go down to the Sixhiboux River, hear it cry,
"Othello Clemence is dead and his murderer's free!"

O sang from Whylah Falls and lived by sweat,
Walked that dark road between desire and regret.
He pitched lumber, crushed rock, calloused his hands:
He wasn't a saint but he was a man.
Scratch Seville shot him and emptied his skull,
Tore a hole in his gut only Death could fill.
Now his martyr-mother witnesses in cries
Over his corpse cankered white by lilies.

There's a black wind snakin' by Whylah Falls;
There's a river of blood in Jarvis County;
There's a government that don't know how to weep;
There's a mother who can't get no sleep.
Go down to the Sixhiboux, hear it moan
Like a childless mother far, far, from home,
"There's a change that's gonna have to come,
I said, a change that's gonna have to come."