Winds in the East — Oracular Poetry

This is the sky over Brooklyn last night.  It made me think of a song from Mary Poppins.  It’s before she shows up.  We see her chimney sweep friend see the sky and feel the breeze and sing, “Winds in the East.  There’s a mist coming in.  Like something’s a’stirring, about to begin.”  When I was a kid I loved this line and whispered it under my breath when I saw a good sky or when the trees whipped their leaves as if they were over-worried aunts in an Episcopalian poem.  (I have explained elsewhere that Paul Muldoon wrote that he is tempted to call Elizabeth Bishop items not Bishopian, but Episcopalian as that is what that means.  I now can’t help but do it, despite it requiring this extensive explanation.)

Then later in my youth I saw the Romeo and Juliet spoof, West Side Story, (I kid), and I was very moved by many opals of wiseness that scuffed from their dance shoes, but ah, “Something’s – com – min – I – dont know – what it is – but it is – gunna be grey ate!”

I’ve included the two poems, um, lyrics, below.  Anyone know any poems that pronounce such expectation for the unknown change or for the unpredictable repetition of something upturning?  Let me know!

Anyway, most great surprises are not like this, they in fact tumble out of our efforts discrete or obscene.

 

Tony had to go to the dance to meet her, for one thing. Confirms again what I say in my The Happiness Myth, which is that “It is not enough to come out of the closet, you also have to leave the house.” As for Bert, well, it is a little known breeze of my imagination that Mary came back because she was finally moved by the number if not the grace of the brooms he had been mailing her, each with a terrible poem etched into the handle with a soldering iron. Love may not be love when it alters when alteration finds, but it can be moved by piles of largely useless gifts.

Winds in the east, there’s a mist comin’ in
Like somethin’ is brewin’ and ’bout to begin.
Can’t put me finger on what lies in store,
But I feel what’s to happen all happened before.
A father, a mother, a daughter a son –
The threads of their lives unraveling undone –
Somethin’ is needed to twist ’em as tight,
Like string you might use when you’re flyin’ a kite –
Chim chimeny chim chim, cheree chim cheroo!

Could be!
Who knows?
There’s something due any day;
I will know right away,
Soon as it shows.
It may come cannonballing down through the sky,
Gleam in its eye,
Bright as a rose!

Who knows?
It’s only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Under a tree.
I got a feeling there’s a miracle due,
Gonna come true,
Coming to me!

Could it be? Yes, it could.
Something’s coming, something good,
If I can wait!
Something’s coming, I don’t know what it is,
But it is
Gonna be great!

With a click, with a shock,
Phone’ll jingle, door’ll knock,
Open the latch!
Something’s coming, don’t know when, but it’s soon;
Catch the moon,
One-handed catch!

Around the corner,
Or whistling down the river,
Come on, deliver
To me!
Will it be? Yes, it will.
Maybe just by holding still,
It’ll be there!

Come on, something, come on in, don’t be shy,
Meet a guy,
Pull up a chair!
The air is humming,
And something great is coming!
Who knows?
It’s only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Maybe tonight . . .

 

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About jennifermichaelhecht

I'm a poet with a PhD in the History of Science from Columbia University and I've written five books, two poetry, two popular philosophy, one intellectual history. I live in Brooklyn with my husband and our two little kids. I teach seminars in poetry in the MFA programs at The New School and at Columbia.
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