Grassroots

At least there’s a window in the kitchen.
Chrome and cupboards are fine and functional, but I need to see some trees and grass.
Plus, staring out windows is a hobby of mine, from childhood road trips.

There’s no leeway in my life these days for road trips.
I’m anchored by mortgage payments and dirty dishes to this kitchen;
Over the rising tide of soap water, I watch the waves of wandering wind whip through the grass.

I pity these plants. Yeah, I actually feel sorry for my grass:
Found anywhere, but fixed in one place. Fresh, but not unfurled. No sightseeing, no road trips.
Allotted my lawn, bordered by the bush barrier beneath the window of my kitchen.

Here in my kitchen, I too am planted grass, wilting for a road trip.


Tritina words supplied by S. Kible. Thanks for not making me stick with “KitchenAid”.


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Remember November

The following is a song I wrote last week for an online songwriting course. Because this is a song, some of the pacing is intended to be sung in a certain way, so it may make less sense just reading the lyrics. Maybe I’ll see if I can find a way to record and upload a sound clip. Oh look: here’s a link. (Sorry about the squeaky high notes.)

I would love feedback on this song, especially because I wrote it in a half an hour in the shower*. And that meant I was repeating the few lines I had ideas for over and over so I wouldn’t forget them by the time I could write them down. I’ve done some revising since, but sometimes the original ideas – especially when they’re tied to a melody in my head – are hard to expel from my mind in order to evaluate whether they’re really the best ideas. Thanks!

*I just feel the need to point out that the water was not running for that whole time. K thanks.


It was cold, oh so cold, she’d forgotten how cold it could be
To sit under her tree
In her parents’ backyard where she hadn’t played in a decade
Too far away, but how could she forget

That when winter comes, it comes early and does not forgive
If you’ve forgotten how to live,
If you’ve forgotten what winter is.

But how are you s’posed to remember November
when you’ve been away somewhere warm?

Her Mom came out back with a scarf and two mugs of hot Swiss Miss
More things from the list
Of the things she had missed
When she moved to the tropics, she’d only counted the benefits
Not the things she’d kiss goodbye

How are you s’posed to remember November
when you’ve been away and now nothing’s the same as before?

And her Mama said:
Seasons still change.
People change too.
But you still have a place,
I’ll always make up a bed for you.

The leaves will turn red,
But the sky will stay blue.
There’s pie in the kitchen
And a seat at the table for you.

How are you s’posed to remember November
when you’ve been away and now you’re not the same as before?

Seasons still change.
We all change too.
And when it seems strange,
I’ll stand beside you to remind you

The leaves will turn red,
But the sky will stay blue.
And never forget,
There’s a home here for you.


The instructions for this assignment were to write an ‘unstable’ verse that led into a ‘stable’ chorus. The stable/unstable concept is part of the course teaching on prosody – making sure everything about the structure of your piece fits the purpose/message of the piece – and that week we were learning how to create stability and instability by using number of lines (even number is more stable, odd number is more unstable) and line lengths (matching line lengths are stable, and unmatched line lengths are more unstable or create spotlights). The sections that are stable and those that are unstable should be so in order to further the overall message of the piece (that’s the prosody bit). How well do you think they did so?

Waning

No, I don’t admire, wonder
at the silver shaven sliver

flung out among the stars
like a freshly-trimmed fingernail.

I stare into the dark, straining,
my eyes etching the empty edge.

 


This poem is in the form of a traditional Korean sijo – again! Cuz it’s so much fun! You can read more about sijo here.

Location, relation

Distances are relatives. Harvey – or Harold? – was a social media blip. (Texas is too far from Michigan.)

But Irma is a leviathan lunging for my own, and St. Kitts is only a Whatsapp call away. If their internet holds.


This post welcomes constructive criticism (but doesn’t want to post the oddly-sized icon.)

Thanks so much for the encouraging feedback!

The Voice of Prejudice’s Friends

The following was a poem/song I wrote sometime earlier in 2017, probably shortly after EO 13769 (‘Muslim Ban’). It seems even more relevant after Charlottesville last week, not because it speaks to that specific event, but because Charlottesville and the reaction to it by the President show that the voices of prejudice, hatred, mistrust, pride, and fear are growing louder and more powerful.


Dig your grave a little deeper now,
We don’t want to trip over
the bones, the bones, the bones.

Cower further into the shadows
So we don’t shudder
from our homes, our homes, our homes.

Don’t raise your voice for justice now,
We just want you quiet
behind bars, bars, bars.

Don’t bring your huddled mass to my step,
You don’t look so safe
with all those scars, scars, scars.

So what, you came from so far
just to be turned back; ain’t you heard?
This door’s no longer ajar.


Swabbing Decks

I currently live and work on a ship, and I regularly have to help wash the floor of the galley as part of my job. The other day, I realized what this means: I swab decks.

No, really, this realization was a big morale boost during my work day. Swabbin’ the decks is one of those things I would have found awesome but never thought possible back when I was obsessed with Pirates of the Caribbean and regularly read ship-related adventure stories (middle school). And now it has become a reality. And since it’s reality, it’s so much more amazing than day dreaming about 18th century sailing ships. Sometimes I just have to laugh at how much I love life, my God-authored adventure.