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A REFUGE FOR POETS WHO WRITE IN THE LYRIC TRADITION,

WITH RHYME AND METER, WITH OR WITHOUT MUSIC




ON THE MISSOURI

The trains still run through here
At all times of the year,
Hauling freight in box cars
From places far and near.
I hear their whistles blow
As they approach their destination,
But I know there are no passengers
Arriving at the station.
In a busy modern world
People want to travel faster;
Are they really saving time,
Or has time become their master?
I look at them and I wonder:
Whatís the hurry?
Iím going to watch the moonrise
On the Missouri.

The river it is muddy,
Not as deep as it is wide.
I hear the leaves a-rustling
High above the eastern side.
I hear the river flowing;
Its current never fails.
And I can hear the beavers
Slap the water with their tails.
So few people hear these things,
Itís a shame and itís a pity,
Because theyíre too distracted
By the noises of the city.
Iíd rather be with creatures
Soft and furry.
Iím going to watch the beavers
On the Missouri.

The night is hot and muggy.
The woods are dark and deep.
The mosquitoes they are biting;
They will not let me sleep.
The moon is shining brightly
Even when I close my eyes,
So I shall lie awake all night
Beneath the starlit skies.
Reflected in the water
Are a thousand city lights,
And the city people have to
Work all day and sleep all night.
I can sleep tomorrow.
Not to worry.
Iím going to watch the sunrise
On the Missouri.

Leavenworth, Kansas, 1982



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