Working on a bit of art that’s definitely my style but a different subject matter. Lately, the image of the ‘gun’ has been in the forefront of my consciousness. My views on guns are a lot more complicated than one might expect, and the symbolism of guns is something that I find endlessly interesting to explore and use to illustrate ideas that have nothing whatsoever to do with guns.
being the hare, searching the savannah
i see the giraffe standing at the watering hole
perhaps a lion is out there, perhaps hungry
perhaps seeing the giraffe as well
being the hare, there on the savannah
i say nothing as I watch for the lion
i say nothing as I watch the giraffe
later, I am thirsty, I leap a thousand times
across the dry grass until I am there
with the giraffe
‘giraffe, do you worry that you are spotted
by a lion at the watering hole?”
perhaps the giraffe is scared, perhaps hungry
perhaps seeing the lion as well
being the hare, there on the savannah
i wait as the giraffe says nothing
I wait as the giraffe watches for lions
now, I am sated, i say, “giraffe,
you will always be spotted
and you will always be tall enough to see
off into the distance and run”
perhaps the giraffe is laughing, perhaps angry
perhaps knowing I’m a fool as well
being the hare, there on the savannah
i smile as the giraffe leaves me wondering
about the beauty of the one that runs
without claws or teeth.
i see them hungry, the cavemen
hunting mammoth near the mountains.
the cavewoman at home,
hungrier – wondering
not of protein, but of soul –
this diet of hers, it is cold
for the heart – a gathering of berries
of nuts, of bones
the cavemen come home
not today, not tomorrow
but soon – with fat and ivory
with fur and meat
the cavewoman does not smile
she tends the fire
a hide must be tanned
i hear echoes in the paint
on the walls of caves in France
i smell loss in the distance
between now and then
I see the caveman singing
his story into the embers
as they flail upward toward the stars
– the cavewoman does not sing along
she is hungry
for more than this
Malala, it is dark here
but for one light –
your voice, like a song
reminds me how it feels to know
yes, i have a soul.
A star has cried out
from behind the cloud,
“Malala, I hear you
let me sing with you!”
Another, then another,
then another, a thousand thousand stars
shout, “Malala, we sing with you!”
Malala, it was so dark here
but for this single light
and your voice, “I will answer him with peace
The moon, she is o-mouthed and amazed
by you Malala, by you and your song.
She joins in.
We all join your choir.
None of us are free so long as one woman is shackled
by the chains ignorance.
We all celebrate your choice.
We all rejoice in the victory of your every smile.
We all join your choir!
I whisper to you, Malala, “Yes,
Now I understand,
None of us win this war with a raised hand
only with a raised voice.”
All of us together, Malala,
“We will answer him with peace.”
If you believe this young lady’s message is worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize for which she has been nominated – share this poem and video.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging lyrics or style or genre. I’m not judging at all. I’m talking about what brings a person to life. I’m talking about watching notes explode in their eyes and words make them cry and have them say things like, “When I die, you have to play this at my funeral.” I’m talking about laugher so raucous their toes curl and their belly muscles are pulled. I’m talking about the kind of connection to songs that forces them to learn to sing them, and play them, and share them with everyone they know because it is so meaningful and uplifting to them.
So, the “C is for Cookie” is just as beautiful in this regard as Metallica’s “One”, and classic tunes like “Eine Nacht Muzik.” This isn’t some endorsement or judgment of any style of music or song, it’s really a call to search out that poetry of life that lifts you up and makes you feel too deeply to explain in just one lifetime. And it’s also a call to admire and respect that poem, that lyrics, that tune in every one you meet. Everyone. Every stranger. Every son. Every daughter, wife, mother, aunt, uncle, grandfather, friend of a friend, salesperson, and cashier. All of them live to some tune, some poem you need to read. Dont’ forget that. Just – don’t. You need that in your heart, whether it is happiness or ache, suffering or salvation. I’m not telling you what music to listen to, I’m telling you what music to look for.
One of my great joys as a father is to see my children revealed in their passions and loves – their music – because I see that I didn’t raise a boy and a girl, I raised a man and a woman who are unafraid to fail, who are courageous enough to love, and who are as kind as they are brilliant, as strong as they are tender, and as loyal as they are beautiful.
One of my great joys as a husband is to see my wife revealed in her passions and loves, because in her I see that I didn’t marry just a pretty face, I married a beautiful woman who is stronger than me, more fearless than me, more courageous than me, more brilliant than me, more kind and more decent. When I put on her music, and listen to the songs she loves most, that’s what I hear.
I wish every husband could see his wife the way I see mine. I wish every father could see his children the same way. People wonder how an artist sees the world so differently from them, and I suppose it depends on the artist, but for me, I see it through the music and the lyrics. I see life through the unfiltered lens of poetry.
So, yes, I believe music is even more than a reflection of the musician or the listener. The music each of us choose to play, to sing, listen to – the music we choose to love – also affects who we are. So, I suppose, that explains why I am always searching for new songs, and connecting with new people. I am on an endless search for those songs that make might make me who i want to be.
I keep saying songs, and of course, I do mean songs, but i also mean poems. I find it completely un-confusing, but others might disagree. I do not differentiate between the two in this sense.
I’m a very simple man.
A man writes a poem, or a woman does, those are the only two ways a poem gets written.
You can argue with me about the nature of poetry and whether a sweet maple tree, red leafed and dancing on an october wind, is a poem, but if it is, it will remain unwritten until a man or a woman write it.
Personally, I believe that usually the question of a poem’s creation is far less interesting than the question of its reason. Why does that poem exist? Was it considered and crafted? Was it spewed unbidden and irrational from the gut? Was it for someone or against someone? What was the purpose intended by the poet?
Not all poetry has a purpose. Not all poets know what the purpose of their poem is when they write it. Not all poems mean anything, and that isn’t necessarily good or bad. But I do try to have a purpose when I write. I try to mean something. I try to say something. I try to craft something.
It’s not the only way. It’s not the only good way. It’s not the only reason to write poetry.
But it is my way.
At this very moment, right now as I write this, thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of people are writing their own poems. They are sitting down with paper and pen, or at a keyboard and tapping out their thoughts to record them. Of all of those thousands of words, thousands of ideas, millions of ideas, millions of words, only a comparative few will be shared with a wide audience. Most will be read by a few people, then lost. Some will be read only by the writer, and others will just hang in the ether to be occasionally gawked at by those smart enough to recognize what they mean.
That’s the nature of writing – and poetry especially – it is always highly unlikely that anyone will actually see it, and if they do, it’s just as unlikely they’ll care about what they’ve read. The saddest part of this is that ultimately the point of writing is to be read and understood and have the thoughts shared cared about. A writer writes to inflict his (or her) ego upon the reader. It is the minor fascism of ideas shared that drives us, one and all, to communicate with the people around us.
So, this is the why behind my poetry. The why, it seems to me, is more important than the how of it. Anyone can write a poem. Anyone can share the poem. It is a very cheap activity, so the question becomes not can I, but why should I?
Oh, you sweet hypocrisy,
I watch you dance with those kind souls
who know best there is no good,
no god and satan is a joke. I watch
you sing, dear hypocrisy, like the morning
wren unable to fly above the bitter cold
Rectitude is the uncracked egg, my darling
hypocrite. The unclouded sky that hides
the stars and moon, the everything
else we might see.
Fear not, my beloved hypocrisy,
I will hold you close and be so blind
for you. And I will embrace each hypocrite
as if they, in their murderous self-delusions,
become my kin with every desolate breath.
Oh how I love you, hypocrisy,
the pale flesh of certainty ready for my tongue
the moaned lies of eternity, where we are
always only mortal. Yes, I love you,
and dare to make you mine.