Flying Shoes (a sonnet for Townes Van Zandt)
“Days full of rain, sky’s comin’ down again
I get so tired of these same old blues, same old song
baby, it won’t be long ‘fore I be tyin’ on
my flyin’ shoes, flyin’ shoes
till I be tyin’ on my flyin’ shoes”
–Townes Van Zandt
The leaves of autumn linger in my mind,
disturbing the returning of the sun.
I thought my time of shedding skin was done.
Instead I crumble, fragile, in the wind
that blocks the way before I can begin.
The threads I gathered turn away unspun–
the landscape ebbs, and with it shelter—one
by one the seasons falter, fall behind.
If only I could tie myself to stars
and rise, my surface shining like the moon,
my sails like wings that shimmer in the sky–
I’d find a motherland in my guitar,
that I could voice with harmony and song–
a refuge where my dreams could wake and fly.
I was listening to Lyle Lovett’s 2-CD salute to Texas songwriters, “Step Inside This House”, which includes so much wonderful music including four songs from Townes Van Zandt. There is a mystery and a melancholy to all of his music, and “Flyin’ Shoes” has always been a favorite of mine. Townes died in 1997 at age 52 after years of substance abuse and mental health problems. I hope he’s got those shoes tied on tight.
I wanted to try another sonnet for the dVerse challenge this month. This one uses the Petrarchan form, which has a very different rhythm from the Shakespearean. I’m still reading my way through everyone’s sonnets, but I want to thank dVerse for providing such a good forum to explore this poetic form. I’ve learned a lot from not only my own attempts at writing, but from seeing the variety of responses.
I also used the Secret Keeper’s prompt words,
LEAF | HOME | ALTER | LIGHT | FRONT
And here’s Lyle.