Thursday, June 16, 2011

Calloway Brown



Calloway Brown is an old salt with a new flavor,
  he sits alone on a summer bluff of the Arkansas River
    watching rafters drop and weave beyond his rock.

A Bronco’s cap crowns his receding gray haired head,
  a burnished brass cross dangles ‘round a reddish weather-beaten neck,
    Calloway Brown is an old salt with a new flavor.

Prayers always leak from his lips between smiles,
  he loves squeals of joy, but squints from screams of fear,
    watching rafters drop and weave beyond his rock.

A Ranger tattoo in bluish ink decorates his right scarred shoulder,
  bitten by a broken beer bottle on the bottom of the brownish bubbling river,
    Calloway Brown is an old salt with a new flavor.

He thought he tasted hell saving that girl with the whitish swim shoes;
  he surely would not have spotted her in the brown swirling depths of the           
    Arkansas River if not for their contrasting brighteness.

He remembers and mumbles, “Amen,”
  flashes of summer when he was lost
    watching rafters drop and weave beyond his rock.
 
As a younger man in creased khaki service pants and brown boots,
  curses hurled at the irritating rafters,
    but a Spirit-led visit to the brimstone bottom of the Arkansas River saved 
      his own life too.

Calloway Brown is an old salt with a new flavor,
Watching rafters drop and weave beyond his rock.


Note:  For Poets United Thursday Think Tank #54

10 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Isn't it strange how certain things and experiences change one individual while leaving another without response of any kind? Good story Henry and your character comes clear and vivid.

Elizabeth

Lynette Killam said...

Your page is visually stunning, Henry...I could not tear my eyes away from that beautiful header! And your art work is wonderful...I love the self-portrait with the instrument's scroll showing how music informs your view of life.

And I very much enjoyed this poetic character study, woven as it is with details that fully round out the old salt. I'm very glad you stopped by my page....

Lynette
Imagination Lane

Mary said...

I enjoyed this poem, Henry. I like the words "an old salt with new flavor" and would also like to say that this poem was peppered with wonderful images of Calloway!

Andy said...

Hello Henry.
I really enjoyed this...the vivid images of Calloway Brown, especially "an old salt with a new flavor"...nice!
I can feel the musical flow too.

Kim Nelson said...

Henry,
Thank you for introducing me to Calloway Brown. I have a soft spot for old salts of a different flavor. He and I could belong to the same tribe. You did him great justice!

cat said...

I hopped on here to read your Friday Poetically entry and instead was drawn to this like a magnet, a malleable rhythm, and the bedrock of repetition (which I am always a fan of)lays the foundation for a wonderful story, a wonderful poem

catieeliza said...

I would very much like to hang out with him for an afternoon. :] xx

Eclipse said...

I like the rhythm and flowing of the poem...great write Henry, as usual :)

Anonymous said...

Your song is great. You should put more on.Looking forward to them.


Daitura Lily

Ella said...

Powerful words, to describe amazing art of an old Salt~! I loved it, such great imagery! I think I saw him on my town wharf~ Great Job!

I'm Just a Man (Recording Experiment ... I can't sing)

I am in the mood to change my tree to a cubic version.