Poetry by Philip M. Williams

Poison Ivy Blues


I itch and scratch, oh mother dear.
What is this rash on me?
A gift from Falmouth, my dear child,
A gift from Falmouth.

What is this gift, oh mother dear?
What is this gift?
They love their plant of poison,
My dear child. Their plant of poison.

It spreads and scabs, oh mother dear.
How long shall this pain stay?
For fourteen days and fourteen nights,
My dear child.  For fourteen days.

Are their other towns where we may stay,
Oh mother dear. Are their other towns?
Oh yes there are,  my dear child.
Other towns are near.

From my feet may we shake the dust, oh mother dear?
Shake the dust from this town?
We shall shake this gift from thy feet,  my dear child,
And shake the dust from this town.


The mantra of the Falmouth Conservation Commission is
"Save our Poison Ivy
For our dear birds, dear birds.
Fie! on the children that tread near it"

  List of Poems:

Songs of war

1. Song, on reading Hitchens' Good Time for War
2. Alexander

3. Acela Express
Birthday Songs
1. Birthday Girl
2. Travel

Stairs in and around Harvard College
1. Stadium Sonnet
2. Gund Hall Stairs
3. Harvard Coop Stairs (Tree of Knowledge)

Odd Songs
1. Piss Tish
2. Poison Ivy Blues
3. The Boston Room

Peace and Love
1. Sea of Love
2. Distant Moon
3. Anti Faustian Pact
4. It is an Honor

5. My Tin House
Old Age
1. To Jack
1. In Memoriam
2. The Judge


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