The Walkin’ Man
For Pete Seeger (May 3rd 1919 – January 27th 2014)
Serendipity Spangle was a walkin’ man -
of that, there is no doubt,
he walked across great continents
and was seen round here about.
With his low slung jeans and guitar,
he had no need for fancy suits,
he just roamed the great blue yonder
in his worn down cowboy boots .
Those who were there at his birth
cross their hearts and tell no lies -
they say he came into this world singing
and walked straight from his mammas thighs
out into the dustbowl road out there
where he promptly disappeared
into the heart of America
and was folk and country reared.
He walked the fields of Gettysburg,
dried the tears of the crying.
He strolled the trenches of the Somme
and comforted the dying.
He raised the flag at Iwo Jima,
hung his head at Nagasaki,
stirred the spirit in Vietnam -
his heart is red and khaki.
He’s been around a long, long time
and many times he’s died,
but he walks into the valley of the shadow of death
and comes out the other side
with a pale horse trailing behind him,
riderless and out of breath,
always wins the wrestle with Death.
For the poor, the weak, the hopeless -
he will pacify the soul,
the depressed, the hurt, the dispossessed -
chew it up and swallow it whole.
With his raging songs of freedom,
you will hear the old folk talk,
of the time that Serendipity Spangle
stopped by on his long walk.
You hear his footsteps echoing
along these highways of dust
when Bob or Bruce or Pete Seeger
ask you to place your trust
in poetry and a guitar
and a minstrel of the road.
will help you carry your heavy load.
A lonely figure steps out
and walks into the moon
at the top of a country road,
whistling a mournful tune.
When the sun rises tomorrow
his footsteps will have blown away
on a warm and soothing prairie breeze.
Walkin’ into another day.