And I saw the seven angels
which stood before God:
& to them were given
Their necks were nickel-
& they were strung
Heads like almost-perfect moons
had one clear patch, one sea
where the frailer’s fingers hit,
regular as oars.
on the rims of resonators,
those round holds that once
were ocean-going gourds.
A vine climbed the neck:
leaf & tendril to distract
any potential Jonah.
And the seven angels
which had the seven banjos
OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES
- Catskin Banjo (videopoem)
- Medicine Show (videopoem)
- Shackleton’s Banjo (videopoem)
- The Banjo Apocalypse (videopoem)
- The Silent Banjo (videopoem)
- How Jefferson Heard Banjar (videopoem)
- Banjo vs. Guitar and Out of Tune (videopoems)
- Luck (videopoem)
- Banjo Origins (3): Jesusland
- The Fifth String (videopoem)
- Banjo Proverbs (videopoem)
- The Banjo Apocalypse
- Medicine Show (1)
- How Jefferson Heard Banjar
- Catskin Banjo
- The Dueling Banjo
- Medicine Show (2)
- Open-Backed Banjo
- Banjo vs. Guitar
- Banjo Origins (1): The American Instrument
- Medicine Show (3)
- Banjo Proverbs
- Banjo Origins (2): The Fifth String
- Medicine Show (4): A Spell to Ward Off Banjos
- The Silent Banjo
- Sugar Baby
- Banjo Origins (3): Jesusland
- Medicine Show (5): Shackleton’s Banjo
- Where Bluegrass Comes From
- Becoming Banjo
- The Fretless Banjo
- Out of Tune
- Ohio man accused of killing wife with banjos
11 Replies to “The Banjo Apocalypse”
The phrase “banjo apocalypse” woke me out of a sound sleep around 6:00, whence the “dreams” tag here.
Nice one. Just happened to be listening to Bartok’s string quartets when I read this. Apocalypse, indeed.
Hi Ken! I love the Bartok quartets. I should listen to them again, too.
Love this! I can see future generations quoting from “The Book of Dave” to their flocks.
Lord forbid. But I’m glad you liked it. Those who don’t love banjo music as much as I do might not get a whole lot out of this new series.
I like how I never get over the “Their” in the fifth line, so all applies to angels and banjos alike.
Your two middle stanzas are as pretty as pearl inlay. Wow.
I love the references to the sea in the last four stanzas. The sea comes in dreamlike, as it does in Revelation. The seamen’s aversion to Jonahs is fun. “Sound” pulls it together nicely.
Thanks for the positive feedback, Peter. I’m glad you liked it, because I have a feeling you’ve spent way more time with the book of Revelation than I ever have. Good call on that “their” — the KJV’s “themselves,” borrowed in the last stanza, reinforces that identification of angel with instrument.
Amusing… Judging by the next couple of posts, you seem to be going on a banjo kick.
Yes, I just haven’t thought of a title for the series yet. (Maybe later today.)
I’m LOVING your banjo poetry- what a surprise! Seven lucky angels playing not on harps but on banjos. Makes me want to go to heaven, just about.
Keep up the series- and let’s talk 5-string sometime.
Oh hey, glad you’re liking it! I’m hoping the series continues for a while, but we’ll see. I do love clawhammer banjo (and tolerate that new-fangled Scruggs stuff).