Tag Archives: Poetry

Dedicated To Harris Curtis

Harris Curtis was my grandfather. He passed away in November, and I still think about him. Anyway, I was thinking earlier today about how weird it is that Grammie-and-Papa has been just Grammie for several months now, so I wrote a poem about it.

We See Things In Our Sleep

Life is not a sitcom.
It was weird
when Grammie and Papa’s
phone number became Grammies’
phone number.
It was weirder still
when Grammie and Papa
became Grammie.

After the fall
things just fell apart,
And he had to leave home.

I remember reading somewhere
that life comes and goes
full circle.
We are born small and
speechless, and he died
small and speechless.

I wasn’t there
for the two-day vigil,
when my father dreamed,
and his father breathed
his last breath.

I was there for the funeral,
to play a song and send him off
wherever he was going.

We see things in our sleep.
My father and grandfather
walked amongst the trees
and strange creatures, until
they came upon the lantern man.

I walked with Death, who smiled
and said it would be fine.
Another night I heard angels sing.

Grammie saw her husband
kiss her son goodbye.

I saw him smile in a perfect photograph.

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Good In Things

I’ve been trying to write this song for weeks and for some reason it wasn’t working. It will probably need a few changes in the future, but this is what I’ve come up with. At the moment I like it as it is.

Remember when we built castle walls
With colored bricks to the ceiling of our sky?
Our friends and brothers came and knocked them down
But we built something better from the wreckage somehow
And we made peace as we made a bigger mess
And that was how we learned to forgive and forget
I believe that we are all forgiven
And I believe that we are all redeemed

I will sing Hallelujah
‘Cause there is good in things
And I believe it
I can see that it’s true
And it’s beautiful

I’ve heard you say that we’ve seen better days
And you’re just waiting for the right time and place
You’re seeing shadows dance before your eyes
And what you’re looking for is passing you by
So let it go if you want something to hold
And you will have a treasure that can’t be bought or sold
It won’t go away like a taste in your mouth
It’ll go to your head and erase your fear and doubt

Chorus

Count to six and start again
And slow down time ’till you hear the refrain
Memory and hope will be a harmony
Yo might be surprised at the things you will see
‘Cause there is beauty in black and blue
Walk far enough and you’ll wear down your shoes
You’ll find good in the places you go
God made the world and he said it should be so

Chorus X2

Email Miracle

Just because I’m in school again does not mean that music is getting left in the dust. Something amazing happened 3 days ago. I had sent an email blast towards the end of my vacation to all the places that would potentially let me make noise in their venue for a night. On August 30th, I heard back from my favorite; the Gulu Gulu Cafe in Salem Massachusetts. I was told that I had 4 hours to work with from 8:00 to midnight and that if I didn’t want to play that long I needed to find openers. Just a few minutes ago I heard back from my friend Nate. He and a girl I met at an open mic named Amanda have both agreed to open for me.

We’ll each get to play for about an hour and 20 minutes, which is super cool. Now all I need to do is come up with a set list that’s long enough and awesome enough to get the audience to like me for that long. I’ll be playing most of my originals, including the ones that won’t be going on my first album and a few covers including some from my friend Ken’s old band since he’ll be accompanying me on lead guitar. You can check them out on iTunes; just look up Meet The Day.

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to get this gig. I’ve been either rejected or ignored so many times that I was just scratching my head and wondering what to do next or instead. Getting this gig and getting opening acts was so easy that I really do think this some kind of gift or push in the right direction; maybe even just assurance that this is what I should be doing. Sometimes I come across opportunities like this seemingly by accident, and I’m sure that the Lord has something to do with it. It doesn’t always have to do with music either; I think he probably had something to do with finding the right school or getting runner up in a state wide poetry contest that I submitted song lyrics to.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Music Inspired Love Poem

I had to write a Cento for my Poetry class. In case you don’t know, a Cento is a poem writen entirely with names or titles. Since I love music I decided to use song titles. This is what I came up with…

Love Song
Little light, I will follow you into the dark.
Knocking on heaven’s door; we can work it out.
In the summer’s when you really know
We are nowhere and it’s now.
At the bottom of everything, across the universe,
Behind blue eyes you are digging for your dreams.
Days of wonder on and on; I’m slowly turning into you.
Marry me; let it be time; be my escape.

Breathe in the air after the storm.
Up again, amongst the waves;
It’s the end of the world as we know it,
And I feel fine.
Long before freedom; resolution; a smile like yours…
Eclipse everywhere the ghosts of me and you.
Imagine the soundtrack of my life.
By your side for the first time again;
Wonderful road of trials,
Perfecting loneliness…
You’re the one I want.

Here are the actual song titles I used…

Little Light: Jets To Brazil
I Will Follow You into the Dark: Death Cab For Cutie
Knocking on Heaven’s Door: Bob Dylan
We Can Work It Out: The Beatles
In The Summer’s When You Really Know: Jets To Brazil
We Are Nowhere And It’s Now: Bright Eyes
At The Bottom of Everything: Bright Eyes
Across the Universe: The Beatles
Behind Blue Eyes: The Who
You Are: Tenth Avenue North
Digging For Your Dreams: The Indigo Girls
Days of Wonder: The Wallflowers
On and On: Tenth Avenue North
I’m Slowly Turning Into You: The White Stripes
Marry Me: Train
Let It Be: The Beatles
Time: Pink Floyd
Be My Escape: Reliant K
Breathe In The Air: Pink Floyd
After The Storm: Pink Floyd
Up Again: Meet The Day
Amongst The Waves: Pearl Jam
It’s The End of the World As We Know It And I Feel Fine: R.E.M
Long Before: Lucy Wainwright Roche
Freedom: Melissa Ferrick
Resolution: Andy Timons
A Smile Like Yours: Meet The Day
Eclipse: Pink Floyd
Everywhere: Lucy Wainwright Roche
The Ghosts of Me and You: Less Than Jake
Imagine: John Lennon
The Soundtrack Of My Life: Less Than Jake
By Your Side: Tenth Avenue North
For The First Time Again: Jason Gray
Wonderful: Everclear
Road of Trials: Austin Wintory (Journey Soundtrack)
Perfecting Loneliness: Jets To Brazil
You’re The One I Want: Jets To Brazil

Like I said, every part of this poem was from a song title. I wasn’t allowed to add little words like “and” or “because.” Those words had to be included in a title. It was fairly difficult and took me a while, but I’m actually happy with the result. I’d love to know what you guys think.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

Conversations.

As with most of my poetry, I didn’t plan this out. Enjoy. 🙂

 

Conversations:

I love you.

Yes, but that was yesterday.

Don’t you remember?

Ah, yes. Your Bluetooth broke.

Make a bucket list. You’ll need it.

Copy. Switch windows. Paste. File, save. Switch windows.

Vacationing takes too long; how about an ice cream?

The cat went missing again. She’ll turn up sooner or later.

Remember the old city?

Why do you ask?

Spring is in the air.

Temperature’s rising. Better be careful.

We used to sleep in the afternoon.

Everyone has their battle scars.

Do you think it’s serious?

I want to live with you.

There’s something wrong in the equation.

You forgot the tomatoes

Too much thinking will do that.

Have a sweet.

I love you.

“Marching Bands of Manhattan”

I just bought a Death Cab for Cutie album on iTunes. I’ve heard a few of their songs on Pandora and liked them so I figured, “What the heck, I’ll just snag the whole album.” They’re a little more “emo” than I’m normally into, but I just really like their lyrics.

One song that I think has particularly good lyrics is:

Also, I promise I’ll actually talk about stuff soon. I just don’t really have time for the next two weeks or so.

“The Waking”

I don’t have time for a long post now. I don’t think I’m going to get much sleep this week. I have an essay due every single day. Long ones at that. Anyway, I thought I’d share a poem because like music, poetry is AWESOME for spiritual peace and balance.

The Waking
by Theodore Roethke
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

 

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

 

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

 

Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

 

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

 

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

Enjoy! ❤

Come, My Hat

Come my hat;
We shall dance;
And sing the praises
Of erroneous phrases

She has dreams in her hair
As the saying goes.
Let us render this black
In remembering sleep.

Paraphrase and paradox
Are screaming in my ears.
How long has it been?
He says, “Please come again.”

Sickness is sticky
And I smell it.
It comes in darkness
And lingers in the cold, gray air.

It is no normal sickness.
Either I kill him or he kills me,
But winter never truly dies.
So I will ignore him and drink my coffee.

Poetic Newbery

Well you guys (whoever the heck “you” are) just a few hours ago I plucked up enough courage to submit a poem to a Christian literary magazine called “Relief.” I had never heard of it before, but I just did a Google search of literary magazines that accept submissions from “newbs,” and this one came up. So I gave them my name and contact information and submitted the thing, but I may have done something very “newb-ish.” They wanted a “cover letter” to go with the submission. They provided a little text box that I was supposed to write the thing in; the trouble is that I don’t even know what a cover letter is. I wrote in the text box something to the effect of, “This is my first time submitting anything to a literary magazine. To be honest, I don’t even know what a cover letter is. I am Christian and I have a passion for writing, and this was the first place I thought I’d try to get published. Thank you for your consideration.”

Ok, so that’s all well and good, except I have a feeling that with a “cover letter” like that they’re not going to consider my poem. I guess I’ll find out soon what the verdict is. I didn’t have to pay any money to submit the thing, so all that can happen is I get rejected. It was really just a shot in the dark. If I get rejected I’ll look into what in the world a cover letter is and try again. I might try something other than poetry as well. They said on their website that they accept poetry, but it seemed that they were sort of geared more towards short stories and articles. Poetry is just sort of my fall-back.

I would publish the poem here because I actually thought I did a pretty good job with it, but I’m not sure I should do that if I do happen to get published. I just kind of feel like there’s some kind of rule against that. Once I know if my newbery cost me a publication I’ll let “you” all know and if it did, I’ll post the poem.

Wish me luck!

On The Way Out

For about two hours now I’ve been trying to write something interesting and meaningful. I’ve been wracking my brains and frankly, I can’t come up with anything. I just looked at Facebook a minute ago out of boredom and frustration and reread something I posted when I got out of school this evening; “On my way out of school, I heard someone (I couldn’t see them) playing some of the most beautiful piano music I’ve ever heard!” And really, it was beautiful, but in the space of two and a half hours I had forgotten about it, all because I was frustrated about not being able to write a smarty-pants blog post. So instead of writing a smarty-pants blog post, I’m going to write a poem and call it good!

Sunshine fades in the hallway
A Mournful joy reaches my ears
And I cannot bring forth the tears
Sings the song beyond the door

Peace will mourn the end of war
And count the cost of all the lost
And celebrate in joy and grief
But there is something in the sound

Like the calm before the storm
Like the clearing of the sky
Like a broken heart set free
Tender and beautiful like a child’s belief

The music reminded me of something that is sad and happy at the same time like the end of war or a loved one dying and going to Heaven or getting out of school for the summer and having to say goodbye to your college friends.