Thursday, September 20, 2007

#9 Brooklyn Country Music Festival: Sestina for Merle Haggard

Merle in the Hole

A single, solitary Merle
spent some hours
in the legendary
San Quentin hole.
I like to think
he emerged haggard.

Haggard beard, haggard
as a tired smoky bear, Merle
had to think
for a few hours
or days in the hole.
More than a living legend,

there are no legends
surrounding Haggard.
He was really in that hole.
Oh thoughtful Merle,
alone for hours
what do you think?

There must've been some thinking
about God, and girls, and legendary
gin, and for hours
about his haggard
mother; it was a different Merle
came out of that hole.

That is the way with holes,
I was thinking
this morning. Merle
is a good man, a legendary
man; haggard
time is hours

in solitary. Hours
make days, and holes
make a Haggard.
I keep thinking
about his legendary
mom. Merle

Haggard, thinking
for hours in the hole,
you are a legendary Merle.


Carrie said...

I really like this poem Shafer. I just looked up some Merle quotes to see if I could find something appropriate to post as a comment. This is a pretty good one:

"They bought refrigerator cars and converted them into living quarters."

Matthew Thorburn said...

That is one awesome sestina!