Monday, October 19, 2009

Poetry Corner

So I was inspired by the recent challenge to post a blog, and I sat and tried to think of what is interesting enough to post. Then, while I was playing with my girls I had some music playing in the background and I thought I could share some lyrics and or poems that I really like. I have a huge appreciation for modern day poetry and lyrics. Here are a couple that have recently touched me. I hope you enjoy as much as I do and I would love to hear some from all of you of your favorites.

The first is from an artist that I was introduced to probably about a year ago. This song has always been special to me.

Brett Dennen – Ain’t No Reason

There ain’t no reason things are this way
It's how they always been and they intend to stay
I can't explain why we live this way,
We do it everyday.

Preachers on the podium speaking of saints
Paupers on the sidewalk begging for change
Old ladies laughing from the fire escape, cursing my name
I got a basket full of lemons and they all taste the same
A window and a pigeon with a broken wing
You can spend you whole life working for something,
Just to have it taken away
People walk around pushing back their debts
Wearing pay checks like necklaces and bracelets
Talking 'bout nothing, not thinking 'bout death
Every little heartbeat, every little breath
People walk a tight rope on a razor’s edge
Carrying their hurt and hatred and weapons
It could be a bomb, or a bullet, or a pen
Or a thought, or a word, or a sentence

There ain't no reason things are this way
It's how they always been and they intend to stay
I don’t know why I say the things that I say,
But I say them anyway

But love will come set me free
Love will come set me free, I do believe
Love will come set me free, I know it will
Love will come set my free, yes.

Prison walls still standing tall
Some things never change at all
Keep on building prisons, gonna fill them all
Keep building bombs, gonna drop them all
Working your fingers bare to the bone
Breaking your back, make you sell your soul
Like a lung, it's filled with coal, sufficating slow
The wind blows wild and I may move
But politicians lie and I am not fooled
You don't need no reason or a three piece suit, to argue the truth
The air on my skin and the world under my toes
Slavery is stitched into the fabric of my clothes
Chaos and commotion wherever I go
Love, I try to follow

Love will come set me free
Love will come set me free, I do believe
Love will come set me free, I know it will
Love will come set my free, yes.

There ain't no reason things are this way
It's how they always been and they intend to stay
I can't explain why we live this way,
We do it everyday.

The second one I wanted to share I also came upon while I was playing with my girls. I was reading out of the book "A Light in the Attic" by Shel Silverstein and I came across this one. I grew up reading these books but I guess I never really appreciated this poem until I became and adult.

How Many, How Much

How many slams in an old screen door?
Depends how loud you shut it.

How many slices in a bread?
Depends how thin you cut it.

How much good inside a day?
Depends how good you live 'em.

How much love inside a friend?
Depends how much you give 'em.

The last one is from the book "Place of Birth" by David Kherdian. It also speaks a lot to me, with moving away from home and trying to get back. I think it sums it up perfectly. Things will never be the same again.

The Place of Birth

The street grown dark with inhabitants and time
I walk in hesitation down that block
I ran in my youth for home,
or to the empty lot to play-
that I have reached now walking the other way.

For home has vanished, gone-
the one behind me and the one before
that I can never reach again,
and I wonder why I have come,
though my feet move me on.

When they let me in, the Mexican couple
with scattering of children-
so warm and open all of them
that I hide my hesitation and sadness,
my confusion in having come to this shrunken place.

That I can walk now in minutes, that took my life
and the lives of others
so long to live and endure.
Their faces wonder what my heart asks:
for none of our eyes can answer questions beyond the mind

I walk outside and they follow,
I turn toward the backyard and they trail behind,
and stop when I bend to pick up a shard
from the plum tree that is earth returned
but was once my sister's secret home.

And I stick it in my pocket and smile,
and for the first time
refuse to give any explanations
while I watch their mouths moving to answers
they cannot find.

And I leave.

Pretending I have found why I have come.


kkdither said...

This is exactly why I LOVE coming to JTI. You never know what you will find. One time, you spit out your coffee with an unexpected laugh, the next click you are taken deep into thought. Thanks so much for posting.

I never really heard of Shel Silverstein until my kids brought his books home from school. He is a master with words.

There is a series of books you might want to look for to read to the girls. I don't even know if they are still in print. My kids brought them home from the school library. They are my favorite. The characters are George and Martha, hippos, if memory serves me right. One of the books is titled, "George and Martha, One Fine Day." They are totally about life and friendship and love and all things truly important.

Why Not? said...

Thanks KK, I will have to look them up.. I love reading with my daughters, I find some very simple truths in children's books that many don't really think about.

Bill said...

Shel Silverstein also wrote some great lyrics for folk and other songs. Steve Goodman and Jimmy Buffett often credit(ed) Shel for their words.

OrbsCorbs said...

Mr. Silverstein's work used to appear regularly in Playboy magazine back in the days when I was "reading it for the articles."

I really liked the Brett Dennen song, Why Not, and I agree with every word except "Love will come set me free."

I also liked David Kherdian's poem. I know the area he speaks of, off of State St. Some friends lived in the neighborhood decades ago. The buildings aren't even there now.

OrbsCorbs said...

Oh, you asked us to share something we like:


After a week the Christmas roses
lost their blush and were clearly dead.

I heard again the story of her piano lessons,
how she wished
she could have continued them,

and of being taken by her mother
to an old Hawaiian woman in Waimea
to learn the hula.

After a week it was too sad
to keep the roses or to throw them out.

- Jim Chapson

Why Not? said...

I like reading David Kherdian because you can recognize so much of it.. He writes a lot of Island Park and the Root River and with those things in my backyard growing up you recognize everything..

Shel Silverstein as I said was a favorite of mine since I was a kid.. I would always run to the section of the library where his books were. I was aware of the Playboy thing, my dad was well aware of that (for whatever reason, that I dont actually want to think of), but I was not aware that artists took his lyrics.

I agree with you whole heartedly Orbs about "Love will come set me free" That has always bothered me.. Never really understood how that fit in, like it was just there to fill out the song.. Sounds nicely but hardly fits with the rest of the song.
I can understand you taking care of your mother that poem means a lot to you. It was beautiful and sad, but yet with the glimmer of life in there with the old stories a happy poem as well. Beautiful thanks for sharing. I love reading new stuff.

Why Not? said...

KK I was just made aware that we have a George and Martha book here in Sweden in Swedish.. So we will be making a trip over to Chris' family's house and find it..

kkdither said...

Cool! I had no idea it was translated into other languages.

The author is James Marshall, in case anyone else is interested. I saw that Amazon had all the stories compiled into one book. I'm tempted to buy it.