I fled the moose, I stalked the bear,
With insulated outerwear
I walked the streets, I spotted trains,
I flew above the fruited plains,
I sang of home, I sang of mist,
I watched the spot where couples kissed,
Where mallards bent their heads and found
The weeds upon the sedgy ground.
Oh luminous, oh holy sphere,
I watched your faces disappear,
I rose to stars, I sank below,
I saw the flaming river flow.
Oh peanut shell, don’t disappoint,
Oh whiskey in this shabby joint,
Oh brilliant barman, set them up
Until I raise this loving cup.
Yet still and all, and all and still,
I have not paid my hotel bill,
And still I fail and still I wail,
And still I fear the lonesome jail.
And still I groan, bewail my fate,
I’m grizzled, gargoyled, toothless, late,
And still I goad the mice to flee
And leave me cleanly, wanly be.
Yaacov David Shulman