Sunday, May 7, 2017

With heartfelt apologies to H. W. Longfellow

Excelsior, a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1841, has long been the subject of parody and reinterpretation. Submitted for your perusal, my pinholish take:


The sun was dipping in the West,
Gazing upwards, the light to test,
A man, a tripod in his hand,
Seeking vantage, as shadows fanned,
In his grasp, a brass and wood box;
The halves, now one, and interlocks.
Inside, the film, the ISO
One hundred, neither fast nor slow.
A satchel hung around his neck,
Swinging, thumping, impeding trek.
Bicycles, buses, cars rolled past,
The crosswalk clear, he moved at last.
“Spare change,” a grimy vagrant said,
Standing, blocking, eyes ringed with red.
A shrug and laugh, “I wish I could.
I must press on; the light's still good!”
“What is that thing?” a child cried,
buckled fast in her stroller ride.
“Photos it makes, with film. You know?”
The blank look clearly answered, “No.”
Emboidered badge: “The park is closed!”
The photog's thought: I think I'm hosed.
“I'll be real quick. Only one shot!”
I hope this works, the photog thought.
Unfolds the tripod; meters sky.
Composes landscape; aiming high.
A furtive glance eastward when he
Opens shutter; minutes twenty
Bearing down, diff'rent rent-a-cop
“What is that box? You need to stop!
You have to leave.” “I need more time!”
Defiant: “Pinhole is not a crime!”
Taking time, putting on a show,
He packs his kit, painfully slow,
A tapping shoe, the guard's arms crossed,
The shutter snaps, the shot's not lost!

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Thanks for the input!