3 Al Purdys

3 Al Purdys, from Bruce Cockburn’s 2017 album Bone On Bone, has been running through my head since I first heard it last week.

It may have inspired in me a newfound love for poetry, especially the poetry of Al Purdy, from which much of the lyrics of the song are drawn:

Stand in the swaying boxcar doorway
moving east away from the sunset and
after a while the eyes digest a country and
the belly perceives a mapmaker’s vision
in dust and dirt on the face and hands here
its smell drawn deep thru the nostrils down
to the lungs and spurts thru blood stream
campaigns in the lower intestine
and chants love songs to the kidneys

(Excerpt from Transient, by Al Purdy, from Rooms for Rent in the Outer Planets: Selected Poems 1962-1996).