December 4, 2022

Manah Manah (or Life in 6 Parts)


Unrequited

Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a partner

How I wish, how I wish you were here

Cause I’m in a field of dandelions wishing on every one that you’ll be mine, mine

I’m never alone, I’m alone all the time

It’s better to feel pain, than nothing at all,

            the opposite of love’s indifference so pay attention now,

            I’m standing on your porch screaming out

            and I won’t leave until you come downstairs

Don’t tell me I lost a step, criss-crossed in the wrong direction,      

            found myself in a conversation from a missed connection

Been wondering for days how you felt me slip your mind

            leave behind your wanton ways I want to learn to love in kind

Your very first kiss was your first kiss good bye

The silence of a falling star lights up a purple sky

Angry

Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me

Even if I stuttered I would still sh-sh-shit on you

Made a beat and murdered it, Casey Anthony

I’m my brother’s keeper, every chance I can,

            I pay my taxes like any working man,

and I feel I’ve earned my right to choose

            you don’t get to play god man, I do

That’s a fine looking high horse

Buy you a bag of Fritos?
I wouldn’t let you eat the fucking chip on my shoulder

Joke, what a joke you made me

            What’s a queen to a joker tell me?

Life is emotionally abusive

One day I’ll face the hell inside me

Growing

I knew that topless lady had something up her sleeve

I’m a little bit off today, cannot put my finger on it

Another sun sets behind me, another day comes crashing in

Me and my friends are like the drums on Lust for Life

String from your tether unwinds

‘Cause I’m not worried about your state of mind

            ‘Cause you’re not the revolutionary kind

I wish I had a river I could skate away on

It isn’t hard to leave knowing I’ll be getting life on track never looking back

And I don’t want a never-ending life, I just want to be alive while I’m here

You are so beautiful to me

Lessons

The past is beautiful like the darkness between fireflies

Every line on your face tells a story somebody knows

And scars are souvenirs you never lose, the past is never far

Oh but the wonders I have seen, I will see a second time from inside the ages through your eyes

Dick Gregory told me a couple secrets before he laid down in his grave,

            all of us serve the same masters, all of us nothin’ but slaves,

            never forget the story of Jesus, the hero was killed by the state

You’re not the boss of me now

Bitches love me because they know I can rock

I know I’m young, but if I had to choose her or the sun I’d be one nocturnal son of a gun

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans

Advice

All ya can do is do what you must

Oh Take your time don’t live too fast

You belong among the wildflowers

You’ve got to learn to leave the table, when love is no longer being served

Don’t shake the tree when the fruit ain’t ripe

Now Cinderella don’t you go to sleep, it’s such a bitter form of refuge,

            Ah don’t you know the kingdom’s under siege, and everybody needs you?

Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel like you’re nothing, you’re fuckin’ perfect to me

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds

End

When life has ended and my time has run out,

            my friends and my loved ones I’ll leave there’s no doubt,

            but there’s one thing for certain when it comes my time,

            I’ll leave this old world with a satisfied mind.

I’d trade all my tomorrows for one single yesterday

Close my eyes and I slip away

Goin’ up to the spirit in the sky


The Play List

Link to the Play List on You Tube

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Title Song

Manah Manah – The Muppet Show (written by Piero Umiliani)

Unrequited

Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Wish you were here – Pink Floyd (written by Roger Waters)

Dandelions – Ruth B

Glycerine – Bush

Stubborn Love – The Lumineers

Missed Connection – The Head and the Heart

The Wolf – Mumford & Sons

You Give Love a Bad Name – Bon Jovi

I’m so lonesome I could cry – Hank Williams

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Angry

Killing in the Name – Rage Against the Machine

John Blaze- Fat Joe

Bonfire – Childish Gambino

Play God – Ani DeFranco

Take me to Church – Hozier

That’s All She Wrote – TI featuring Eminem

You So Done – Noga Erez

Snow on the Beach – Taylor Swift

I Apologize – Five Finger Death Punch

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Growing

Spanish Pipedream – John Prine

A Little Bit Off – Five Finger Death Punch

Darkness Settles In – Five Finger Death Punch

Constructive Summer – The Hold Steady

Sweetness – Jimmy Eat World

Revolutionary Kind – Gomez

River – Joni Mitchell

Destination – Nickel Creek

Spirits – The Strumbellas

You are So Beautiful – Joe Cocker

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Lessons

Darkness Between the Fireflies – Mason Jennings

People Get Old – Lori McKenna

Name – Goo Goo Dolls

The Mother – Brandi Carlile

Walking in the Snow – Run the Jewels

Boss of Me – They Might Be Giants

Bitches – Mindless Self Indulgence

Cupid’s Chokehold/Breakfast in America – Gym Class Heroes

Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) – John Lennon

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Advice

Buckets of Rain – Bob Dylan

Simple Man – Lynrd Skynyrd

Wildflowers – Tom Petty

You’ve Got to Learn – Nina Simone

Loose Lucy – Grateful Dead

A Dustland Fairytale – The Killers

Fuckin Perfect – P!nk

Redemption Song – Bob Marley

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End

Satisfied Mind – Porter Wagoner

Me & Bobby McGee – Kris Kristofferson

More than a Feeling – Boston

Spirit in the Sky – Norman Greenbaum


About this Poem and the Process

Music has always been an important part of my life. Our family grew up with music playing on the record player and some of my earliest memories are dancing on my dad’s feet to the crooning of a classic country song from the 50s or 60s.

My dad also read poetry with me, and my mom wrote poems and I have been doing both since I could read and write.

Combining the two was only a matter of time.

This poem is based on the Cento poetry form where lines from the poems of various poets are taken directly from the poem and assembled to create a new poem. The poem created from the lines was meant as an homage to the work of the others. The same is true in this case but I have used the lines from songs.

The song lines were crowd-sourced from family and friends. I simply asked people to share their favorite line from a song with me and most did not know I was writing a poem with them.

I did not listen to the songs before putting the poem together, choosing to incorporate them into the poem without the context of the music or the rest of the lyrics, only with the context of the other lines provided to me.

I loved the process of creating this. I learned so much about my family and friends. For some of them this was a tough assignment because they do not really listen to the words, just the music; while others this was a difficult task because it was hard to pick just one line. I learned about new music and was really surprised by some of the choices. I ended up with 50 songs and 50 new insights into my friends and family.

January 24, 2021

Light and Shade


One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores, peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies.

When day comes we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never ending shade?

In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

But seek no honor in my shadow. I will give you no hiding place down here.

Lift up your eyes upon this day breaking for you.


A Cento Poem created from lines of past Inaugural addresses. After listening and watching Amanda Gorman’s poem recitation at the recent Inauguration I became curious about past Inauguration poems. I found them and started looking for common themes between them.

The lines above are from the following poems:

Angelou, M. (1993). On the pulse of morning (Bill Clinton’s Inauguration 1993)

Alexander, E. (2009). Praise song for the day (Barak Obama’s Inauguration 2009)

Blanco, R. (2013) One Today. (President Barak Obama’s Inauguration 2013)

Gorman, A. (2021), The Hill We Climb. (President Joe Biden’s Inauguration 2021)

December 21

IMG_0746

Winter

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Whose woods these are I think I know

One must have a mind of winter to regard the frost and the boughs of the pine-trees crusted with snow

On a clear winter’s evening the crescent moon and the round squirrels nest in the bare oak all equal planets

Thus having prepared their buds against a sure winter the wise trees stand sleeping in the cold

Suddenly, in every tree, an unseen nest where a mountain would be

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A Cento Poem

Lines from the following poems about winter:

Winter Trees – William Carlos Williams

Choices – Tess Gallagher

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening – Robert Frost

The Snow Man – Wallace Stevens

Winter Twilight – Anne Porter

 

January 17

Some People Just Don’t Get It

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Overnight the flakes have descended, and left a carpet of pure white.

Silent, soft and slow descends the snow.

No cloud above

No earth below

A universe of sky and snow

Snow is what it does. It falls and it stays and it goes.

The snow is deep on the ground. The snow is beautiful on the ground.

How is it that the snow amplifies the silence?

A cheer for the snow! the drifting snow!

This is the true religion, the religion of snow.

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(A cento poem featuring lines from each of the following poems:

Shoveling snow with Buddha by Billy Collins

Patterns in the Snow by Ernestine Northover

How is it that the snow by Robert Haight

Snow-flakes by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Snow by Eliza Cook

Snow by Frederick Seidel

Snow-Bound: A winter idyl by John Greenleaf Whittier

The snow is deep on the ground by Kenneth Patchen)