“Climate Change” — a poem by John Stupp

July 20th, 2019

 

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Climate Change

If the sea keeps rising
it will reach Pittsburgh tomorrow
and I will put on new clothes
and forget Myrtle Beach
and Charleston
and the Outer Banks
and I will pray with the fish over rusty mills
and trade places with ore cars and cranes
roses are red
violets are blue
the jazzmen will sing underwater now
before a new sunrise
before I go to work
before I pay taxes

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by John Stupp

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(This poem appeared in the June 30, 2019 edition of the .Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

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“Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting.”

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John Stupp’s third poetry collection.Pawleys Island was published in 2017 by Finishing Line Press. His manuscript Summer Job won the 2017 Cathy Smith Bowers Poetry Prize and will be published in 2018 by Main Street Rag. He lives near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From 1975-1985 he worked professionally as a mediocre jazz guitarist.

 

 

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Erroll Garner plays “Stormy Weather

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3 comments on ““Climate Change” — a poem by John Stupp”

  1. John: I liked this, which I would take as purposeful ambiguity (ie Pittsburgh). Who knows what to believe. In Missouri, we had the coldest winter in 50 years. An 18 inch wet snow, pushed on my roof, just above my upright bass. It’s either a new climate proof roof, or restringing my old bass, which I have had for 55 years. For choices, I am swinging toward the bass work, to outlast me, Ha!

  2. My uncle told me when I was growing up – “If you play bass and sing, you’ll never be out of work.” He was right. I played guitar and didn’t sing, and I was often out of work haha….you got the right instrument! Cheers. Here’s one I wrote a long time ago with an upright bass in it:

    New Rhumba

    He said
    a sideman looks for love
    anywhere he can find it
    like
    a cottonmouth
    looks for turtles and frogs
    in a swamp
    it seemed
    an odd analogy
    we were in Ambridge
    rehearsing
    New Rhumba
    the Gil Evans arrangement
    from Miles Ahead
    he played upright bass
    and was much older
    a big man
    he leaned over
    fingers working strings
    like a sailor climbing ropes
    assured
    at ease
    like a cottonmouth
    his diet included mammals
    birds fish turtles
    alligators
    he grinned
    this is nothing
    I could be in the woods somewhere
    in a pile of leaves
    and you wouldn’t see me

    1. From: Alan Yount: John. Wow! how exciting, because you have captured the bass feeling. I especially liked “fingers working strings, like a sailor climbing ropes.” That is going to stay in my mind. There are a lot of things going on with guitar just like the bass. At 72, I have been lucky enough to kind of figure more about just touching the strings and getting the harmonics. Best!

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