Imperfect Harmony

Imperfect Harmony

There’s a darkness on the edge of town,
and it’s creeping ever closer.
I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.

Hatred and mistrust are in the wind,
looming ever larger, and we can’t deny
there’s a darkness on the edge of town.

As foreign-born are turned away,
and all who disagree are targeted with scorn,
I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.

When a nation born of foreign roots
would build a wall to keep out foreign blood,
there’s a darkness on the edge of town.

Twisted minds in fear of change see approaching darkness,
while casting clouds of darkness over those with open minds.
I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.

If all could see the wealth we’ve built with open arms,
this land of ours could be even richer, but
there’s a darkness on the edge of town.
I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.

This poem is very loosely based on the villanelle format.  After many attempts (over time) I’ve given up on writing a villanelle. However, I’ve taken the Day 5 prompt for a villanelle – except this definitely is not a villanelle – while using “opposing” lines from other sources, to meet the NaPoWriMo Day 6 prompt for a poem that emphasizes the power of “if.”
Those opposing lines would be “there’s a darkness on the edge of town” (from Bruce Springsteen) and “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony” (from The Hillside Singers/Coca Cola).

If this were a villanelle, it would have five tercets followed by a quatrain (it does!), with the first and third lines of the first tercet becoming refrains, used alternately as the third lines of the following four tercets and as the third and fourth lines of the quatrain. (It does!) And, it would have a rhyme scheme of:

A11b abA1 abA2 abA1 abA2 abA1A2 – (uppercase indicating repeated lines)
(But there is no rhyme!)

I repeat, this definitely is not a villanelle. Yes, I’m too much a fan of free verse.

It would seem that darkness had been on my mind lately. There certainly is enough to go around.

Image source: thehill.com / Getty Images
 

10 thoughts on “Imperfect Harmony

  1. Ken, this is an outstanding poem and a sickness in several countries.
    It is so difficult -‘or impossible to understand the reasoning.
    ” Ther’s a darkness at the end of town ..” , indeed.
    and please teach them to sing again.

    miriam

    Liked by 1 person

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