John MacRitchie: ‘Oscar’s Song’ and ‘Oscar’s Other Song’

Oscar’s Song

The Apartment has a hallway lined with photos
Where a West Side Story slowly is revealed—
How he once drank with Lawrence of Arabia
How she kissed Tom Jones (like a school-girl, squealed).
Their wedding day—he called her “My Fair Lady”,
And The Sound of Music echoed their delight,
Not A Man for All Seasons but a constant,
He thrilled her In the Heat of the Night.
She took his hand and softly whispered “Oliver!
My Midnight Cowboy, rustle me away!”
He took command, like Eisenhower or Patton,
They made The French Connection till the day.
The Godfather of their first-born was the rabbi.
The Sting of unemployment was a test.
The Godfather (Part Two) a few years later,
Before One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
They had their Rocky moments in the marriage—
He had a stupid fling with Annie Hall,
And she would think of The Deer Hunter
She danced with at a long-forgotten ball.
But Kramer vs Kramer didn’t happen.
Forgiven, he resolved to love her more.
All in the past, the hallway now lies empty
With only faded memories to explore.

John MacRitchie

Oscar’s Other Song

What do Ordinary People understand
Who have never flown in Chariots of Fire?
Self-denying like a Gandhi or a Buddha
Till their Terms of Endearment expire?
Amadeus or Vivaldi, or Bob Marley
With a rhythm Out of Africa may please
The motiveless Platoon of dumb commuters
Who act as The Last Emperor decrees,
But you, my friend, are dancing in the Rain, Man
And Driving Miss Daisy deathly-pale.
Your Dances with Wolves are wild and feral—
The Silence of the Lambs tells its own tale.
You’re Unforgiven, unrepentant and exultant,
On Schindler’s List at Schindler’s Bar and Grill,
Where Forrest Gump and Donald Trump don’t party
But your Braveheart is loudly beating still.
And like the English, Patient and enduring
Your own Titanic struggles will prevail—
Like the shining stars above,
Like Shakespeare in Love
You will catch American Beauty by the tail!

John MacRitchie


Leave a Reply