Villa Song

Villa Song

A Poem by Thomas A. Morgan

I’ll go where the rent horses lumber past and
the night softness returns anciently:

a place of old California built by hands that have
faded through wars and hopeless returns, through

radio waves, earthquakes, firelight; voices cracked
and straining through human sweat, voices uprising;

I haven’t seen much of that where I am now.
To touch the stony stillness, to smell the cut sweet

harvest of the late summer vineyard nearby
and wave simply to the walkers on the road

to Big Sur; I am romanced by what I think
this place once was. This town of California

has cooled down; the dry mud roads over which
my Tevas trod "on the once-dusty bridal path

between mists and arroyos; yes, to this place
goes my old-tune heart, for an often told

story of a Mexican gal with a gut-string guitar
is chanted in passing by a leathery type that knows

Southlanders like me wonder at their mystery.  He says
that she will sing to me of wine and midnight, softly,

lavenderly a villa song of a broken lover return’d.
Yes, and the melody is more than remembered:

She sighs in the dry gulch
She pauses in the desert bloom
She is Morongo, a California variation;
She is Donner Pass
She is a siesta, she is beechwood
She is Zuma glass
But now many arroyos are concrete
That even the eagles can’t see rodent tracks
Along the scorpion-coloured wash.
Dust and heat; Duarte’s brand on
The mountainside; the Mexican rose with
Her elder guitar, heralding the lostness
Of old California with a gaze conquered
And far, beyond this or any lens.

I’ll go where the rent horses lumber past and
The night softness returns anciently:

A villa of old California, well-worn and wined,
Sounding of desert, silver, and mesquite.

© 2012 Thomas A. Morgan

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To me. there's an acute sadness in and to this poem, a place where past walks with you. Maybe it's because of the lyrics, maybe because the villa is well-worn, life saddened .. tho that final line, 'Sounding of desert, silver, and mesquite' really does lure the reader into another time and place.

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Added on May 1, 2008
Last Updated on September 12, 2012


Thomas A. Morgan
Thomas A. Morgan

L.A., CA

Working on an epic poem called "California Variations". It'll be divided into at least six parts and will be totally free form. I'm pretty excited about it. But the writing--that's where I find mys.. more..


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