Archives for posts with tag: Jack Delano

by Robert  Bly

There is so much sweetness in children’s voices,
And so much discontent at the end of day,
And so much satisfaction when a train goes by.
I don’t know why the rooster keeps crying,
Nor why elephants keep raising their trunks,
Nor why Hawthorne kept hearing trains at night.
A handsome child is a gift from God,
And a friend is a vein in the back of the hand,
And a wound is an inheritance from the wind.
Some say we are living at the end of time,
But I believe a thousand pagan ministers
Will arrive tomorrow to baptize the wind.
There’s nothing we need to do about John. The Baptist
Has been laying his hands on earth for so long
That the well water is sweet for a hundred miles.
It’s all right if we don’t know what the rooster
Is saying in the middle of the night, nor why we feel
So much satisfaction when a train goes by.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Robert Bly (born December 23, 1926) is an American poet and author of Iron John: A Book About Men (1990), a key text of the mythopoetic men’s movement, which spent 62 weeks on the The New York Times Best Seller list. He won the 1968 National Book Award for Poetry for his book The Light Around the Body. (Read more at

PHOTO: “Train at Sunset, New Mexico” (1941) by Jack Delano.



Poem by Stuart Dybek

The garments worn in flying dreams

were fashioned there—

overcoats that swooped like kites,

scarves streaming like vapor trails,

gowns ballooning into spinnakers.


In a city like that one might sail

through life led by a runaway hat.

The young scattered in whatever directions

their wild hair pointed, and gusting

into one another, fell in love.


At night, wind rippled saxophones

that hung like windchimes in pawnshop

windows, hooting through each horn

so that the streets seemed haunted   

not by nighthawks, but by doves.   


Pinwheels whirled from steeples

in place of crosses. At the pinnacles

of public buildings, snagged underclothes—

the only flag—flapped majestically.

And when it came time to disappear


one simply chose a thoroughfare

devoid of memories, raised a collar,

and turned his back on the wind.

I closed my eyes and stepped

into a swirl of scuttling leaves.

Photo: “Chicago Union Station,” by Jack Delano, 1943


“A rumor of neon flowers bleeding all night long, along those tracks where endless locals pass…” NELSON ALGREN, Chicago: City on the Make

Photo: “Pabst Blue Ribbon beer sign lights up Illinois Central Railroad freight cars parked in Chicago’s South Water Street freight terminal” by Jack Delano, 1943

Wishing a very happy 176th birthday to the Windy City!