Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Truth on a Subway Wall

The very first paragraph of the very first post in this blog made reference to Simon & Garfunkel’s song, Sound of Silence:

It's been said that no one has cornered the market on truth. That's probably accurate, but it doesn't rule out the possibility of this being a little corner of truth, tucked away in the huge City of Life, where, according to Paul Simon, the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls.

That idea of where the words of the prophets are sometimes written is preserved on the Truth is... Facebook page (which you are invited to go to and “Like”) and has led me to share another Paul Simon lyric; this one even more focused on the theme.


The last train is nearly due
The underground is closing soon
And in the dark deserted station
Restless in anticipation
A man waits in the shadows

His restless eyes leap and scratch
At all that they can touch or catch
And hidden deep within his pocket
Safe within his silent socket
He holds a colored crayon

Now from the tunnel’s stony womb
The carriage rides to meet the groom
And opens wide and welcome doors
But he hesitates, then withdraws
Deeper in the shadows

And the train is gone suddenly
On wheels clicking silently
Like a gently tapping litany
And he holds his crayon rosary
Tighter in his hand

Now from his pocket quick he flashes
The crayon on the wall he slashes
Deep upon the advertising
A single-worded poem comprised
Of four letters

And his heart is laughing, screaming, pounding
The poem across the tracks rebounding
Shadowed by the exit light
His legs take their ascending flight
To seek the breast of darkness and be suckled by the night
*  *  *  *  *  *  *
When looking up this lyric, I read several different opinions about what this song means and what the four-letter poem is. Many assumed something profane, others opted for “Hope” or “Love.”

Truth is…in every city, every village, everywhere you look, there are hurting people who are crying out, each in their own way. What kind of people, then, should we be?

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