Thursday, February 23, 2017

"Indiana End Times" by Ross Balcom, Frequent Contributor

Indiana End Times
Ross Balcom

there were cannibals
in the cornfields

the rhymes of Riley
and the songs for mother
were lost in a vortex
of blood and madness

the Wabash ran dark;
the face of evil moved
upon its waters

the farmer tore out his eyes
and juggled them like blind suns

the sky went out

the Hoosier folk-soul
was flayed and slain
on infinite smoking altars

and we staggered helpless
down the cow-path
of perdition

Poet's Notes: Apocalypses are popular these days, so I thought I would treat Indiana (my birth state) to one. An apocalypse entails suffering, and Hoosiers certainly deserve that.  The "Riley" referenced in the second stanza is the beloved Indiana poet James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916), who often rendered his verse in Hoosier dialect. Like much of Riley's work, this poem has a rural orientation.

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