Voices of the Brook

How has Doan Brook and its parklands influenced you? View the stories, poems, photos, artwork, video and other things contributed from our community. To add your own voice to our online brook, see the "Join Our Efforts" section.

cicada song

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

as the evening wanes and night looms ever darker
across the striated steel of cleveland's skyline,

you can hear the long, sweet song
of late summer cicada,

ohio crickets,

and the fat frogs that linger along the hidden banks
of doan brook,

as it races from the shaker lakes,

then plunges headlong beneath the street,

tumbles unnoticed
past coventry, little italy and the college,

to rise victorious at martin king,

then switch back,

and back
again,

bubbling joyfully toward the lake.

the 1:00 am freight train,
rumbling across the mayfield bridge
past the co-op and the free clinic,
was once the one to take.

free passage
to erie, buffalo and niagra,

if out of the country cured your present,
provided your stake.

or, folks switched east
to syracuse, ithaca,
newark,
and new york,

lured by romance, adventure,
and work,

poetry and possibility,

rising like shimmering industrial light

reflected in pete seeger’s, hank williams’,
and woody guthrie’s eyes

jack kerouac’s, william burrows’,
and bob dylan’s cries

nelson riddle’s strings and willie nelson’s sighs…

hobo camps and bo jangles' dance.

these days,

the box cars are all
chinese containers
locked tight,

and the homeless
line up

night after night
after night

on public square,

and the only songs
are insect wings

and the whispered
whistle
of a freight train

on the late
night
cleveland
air.

jeffrey bowen