The Ballad of Othello Clemence

Original Text: 
Whylah Falls (Vancouver: Polestar Book Publishers, 1990): 108.
2There's a mad rain hammerin' the flowers;
4There's a killer chucklin' to himself;
5There's a mother keenin' her posied son;
6There's a joker amblin' over his bones.
8"Othello Clemence is dead and his murderer's free!"
9O sang from Whylah Falls and lived by sweat,
10Walked that dark road between desire and regret.
11He pitched lumber, crushed rock, calloused his hands:
12He wasn't a saint but he was a man.
13Scratch Seville shot him and emptied his skull,
14Tore a hole in his gut only Death could fill.
15Now his martyr-mother witnesses in cries
16Over his corpse cankered white by lilies.
17There's a black wind snakin' by Whylah Falls;
18There's a river of blood in Jarvis County;
19There's a government that don't know how to weep;
20There's a mother who can't get no sleep.
21Go down to the Sixhiboux, hear it moan
22Like a childless mother far, far, from home,
23"There's a change that's gonna have to come,
24I said, a change that's gonna have to come."


1] Whylah Falls: pseudonym for Weymouth Falls, Nova Scotia. Back to Line
3] There's a shotgunned man moulderin' in petals: Historically, Graham Cromwell. Back to Line
7] Sixhiboux River: Sissiboo River. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

<b>This poem cannot be published anywhere without the written consent of George Elliott Clarke or the Polestar Book permissions department.</b>