“The Coal Road” – by Christopher Goudreau


Some of Christopher’s poems sound to me like they could have been written hundreds of years ago. Others sound like his take on Bob Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks” or “Desire” phase. This one seems to have both – and I think it’s very rich. The image is of Sunset at Ivry by Armand Guillaumin, 1869 (from www.princeton.edu).


Laughing owls flutter in condemned hotels

Silencing nomadic wanderers on their path of atonement

Soaring through courts and tottering down wells

Whispering ciphers that stream through the coal road


Shading the hermits in a warped expression

Becoming spellbound to the setting eclipse

The desert widens out and clamps them in

Dying of thirst they reach out for the dust of the land


A shepherd rests on a summit’s top lazing by hedgerows 

Where all the while the sheep escape his flock

Emptying out into the basin of a nebulous morass

Foregoing the valley and saluting the owls in a serrated luster


Eyes look onwards through the shadows

Viewing the streetlamps with a beaming magnitude

Ever watchful of the condemned in their prison walls

Looking out through the stockade towards the dawn


Walking out through the terrace and beyond the horizon

The clouds begin to burst through the coal road

Rain pours through the cracks of the twilight in an endless song

Washing away the torrid landscape becoming rich with thunder



2 thoughts on ““The Coal Road” – by Christopher Goudreau

  1. This is an old poem of mine that I wrote last summer. Basically with this one I was looking to created imagery that was similar yet contrasting with each stanza. All together it has a common theme, that of The Coal Road. That in itself is analogy for the past and present. I connected the two to show that human experience hardly changes even though time passes.

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