Wednesday, July 22, 2015

the ballad of willy and nora and old doc


by horace p sternwall

illustrated by konrad kraus




willy white and nora green
were connoisseurs of the unseen
willy wanted love and cash
nora pined for jewels and flash

what they wanted they wanted now
they didn't need it just anyhow
they were sick of being hurt
treated like some kind of dirt

ever since the world was new
people told them what to do
passed them by in cadillacs
with hard rain pounding on their backs

as they passed from town to town
the locals tried to wear them down
threw them in the county hoosegow
with hardly even an excuse, now

when a guy can't make a buck
and a dame's down on her luck
and can't take it any more
what can they do but try to score?

humans have been around too long
seen every dance, heard every song
though suckers are born every day
it's harder to find new tricks to play

when willy and nora hit parkerville
the night was cold and very still
old number 9 sped down the track
they knew there was no turning back

even the general store was closed
willy sighed and rubbed his nose
nora blinked and suppressed a yawn
said "no use standing here, come on"

should they try to peddle their wares
down among the squares
hiding behind their shades so drawn
and their perfectly barbered cubes of lawn?

over time the world had changed
human mores had been rearranged
people hardly walked the streets
but had become much more discreet

all the streets were now main
there was one big central brain
almost nothing left residual
of a standup individual

the time had passed for talk
willy sat down on the sidewalk
nora squinted with her weak sight
and said "i think i see a light"

they had been down this road before
from shore to shining shore
from malibu to plymouth rock
it was time to see old doc

every town has an old doc
don't act shocked
every tribe in the bush has one
ever since the world begun

but although they are all brothers
some old docs are worse than others
some have just the thing you need
others only have their greed

some are worth their humble pay
and send you happily on your way
others, fortunately not so often
will drive the last nail in your coffin

the town in which our tale commences
was hidden behind white picket fences
willy and nora passed whole streets by
without attracting a single eye

where was old doc?
a distant steeple clock
mocked their desperate hopes
they were on the ropes

the whole world was asleep
time on its serpent skin did creep
it was different from times past
they had come to the end at last

the old laws no longer applied
they were being taken for a ride
the light that nora thought she saw
was brushed aside by midnight’s paw

yes, old doc was there for sure
but no longer dispensing cure
his withered carcass could be found
six feet under the ground

on his stone was this inscription -
he has written his last prescription
for fifty years he filled the scores
but they don’t write them like this any more



No comments: