Friday, 14 February 2014

The Walkin’ Man

Serendipity Spangle was a walkin’ man -of that, there is no doubt,
he walked across great continents and was seen round here about.
With his low slung jeans and guitar, he had no need for fancy suits,
he just roamed the great blue yonder in his worm down cowboy boots .

Those who were there at his birth cross their hearts and tell no lies -
they say he came into this world singing and walked straight from his mammas thighs
out into the dustbowl road out there where he promptly disappeared
into the heart of America and was folk and country reared.

He walked the fields of Gettysburg, dried the tears of the crying.
He strolled the trenches of the Somme and comforted the dying.
He raised the flag at Iwo Jima, hung his head at Nagasaki,
stirred the spirit in Vietnam - his heart is red and khaki.

He’s been around a long, long time and many times he’s died,
but he walks into the valley of the shadow of death and comes out the other side
with a pale horse trailing behind him, riderless and out of breath,
Serendipity Spangle always wins the wrestle with Death.

For the poor, the weak, the hopeless - he will pacify the soul,
the depressed, the hurt, the dispossessed - chew it up and swallow it whole.
With his raging songs of freedom, you will hear the old folk talk,
of the time that Serendipity Spangle stopped by on his long walk.

You hear his footsteps echoing along these highways of dust
when Bob or Bruce or Pete Seeger ask you to place your trust
in poetry and a guitar and a minstrel of the road.
Serendipity Spangle will help you carry your heavy load.

A lonely figure steps out and walks into the moon
at the top of a country road, whistling a mournful tune.
When the sun rises tomorrow his footsteps will have blown away
on a warm and soothing prairie breeze. Walkin’ into another day.

For Pete Seeger (May 3rd 1919 – January 27th 2014)
Pete Seeger's Death
©Ian Whiteley

Ian Whiteley was born in Wakefield but lives in Wigan.
He is a performance poet with a poetry collection ‘A Step Towards Winter’ published recently and a CD of music & poetry ‘Poetic License’ released under the music project name THE CROWS OF ALBION.

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