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Dec 20 – YGTV Poetry Corner: “Struggle” by Mark Montegriffo

Every Tuesday, YGTV will share the work of local poets. We’ll post poems submitted to us in order to help writers get more exposure, feedback and criticism. If you write poems, please send them to us for consideration and include a profile pic: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This week’s piece is by Mark Montegriffo. ‘Struggle’ is dedicated to Phil Ochs, an American protest singer/songwriter who killed himself aged 35 in 1976. Mark’s work develops some of the dream-like imagery of folk protest songs of the era.



Maria she speaks of the rainbow

And the ship of Ulysses

Her triumph is her denial

Since she began to breathe


And the poet dreams of a moment

A turning point in time

To lead comrades into the battle

To win the hearts and minds


The jester sings of longing

The peddler listens close

Nothing has been left for him

Just mischief and morose


But Maria will be gone for the summer

She's eager for spring to end

The frightfulness of seeking love

While losing your closest friend


Still she'll soldier on in the blooming

As she builds a strong facade

She moves just like the weather

But her silence feels like mud


The poet can't stay quiet

For he knows what lies beneath

His respect for her is sturdy

But he has wisdom to bequeath


Does he bother with trivial matters

When the stakes are set so high

Wasting air on a young girl's promise

The revolution it passes by


The jester he grows restless

I'm lost out here he moans

But the peddler taps his shoulder

Says you need not cry alone


Maria whispers to the window

Is there a heart for sale or rent

The night it takes no prisoners

The day is discontent


It's a war of attrition

The poet assures the kid

You'll find your answer girl

To all the problems that you hid


And all the while we wait for wonder

We wait for the first rainbow

To lift us from our slumber

And make our lives to grow


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