Silent Nights (#poem)

Silent nights we meet again
You come to me just like a friend
No matter how far I move away
You whisper in my ear with much to say

No trains to keep me company
No late night after hours cacophony
Just you and me after the daylight hours
When construction crews unplug their power

The night is silent with quiet sighs
Even the cats whisper good night
Of all the nights to lie awake
Vespers before dawn I cannot shake

The best laid plans of Mice and Men
“Hello darkness my old friend”
High school books and music sing
Midnight at the Oasis take me back again

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Lyrics vs. Poems

When I submitted my first song for professional feedback, my mentor said the writing was very good but added that it was more poem than lyric. He gave me some suggestions on how to transition it into a song. I took his advice and Does Everybody Lie? became Everybody Lies.

So when I was writing “poems” during the wee hours of the morning trying to cope with our temporary housing, I noticed that they sometimes seemed more lyric than poem. I turned to my Berklee professor Pat Pattison for his words on the difference between a poem and a lyric. Here’s what he had to say on a Writer’s Digest article.

The middle-of-the-night poem/lyric writing was a valuable exercise because I began to think more like a poet/songwriter. I also think I may have now transitioned from novelist to songwriter – that’s certainly where my heart is. I’m also practicing the keys, working on my music production craft, thinking that perhaps 2018 is the year I go “all in” when it comes to music.

 

Home for Christmas

When my literary agent said that my writing had a “poetic, almost lyrical rhythm” to it, I began to wonder what that meant. I didn’t know my father and his family during my childhood, but I’d heard that my paternal grandmother had written poetry and my paternal grandfather and family were all musicians.

So I began writing poems, and my first song release, Everybody Lies, started out as a poem. During the last 50 days of the last 7 months living in temporary housing as our new house was being built, I wrote poems every night. I’ll be sorting through them to see if any have song potential.

We’re still unpacking but once I get a bit settled, I’ll be making plans for 2018 and where I go with my art next year. I’m working on an album, which I’d love to finish next year, and I’m working on a novel, too.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas is the perfect song for me this year and this house is gift enough, although I wouldn’t mind getting a new set of speakers for my studio. 🙂

I wish you all a happy holiday season and a fabulous new year!

Sound of Silence (#poem)

The Sound of Silence rings through my ears
Still Hooked on a Feeling after so many years
It was all ahead of me, this romance called life
Falling in Love, becoming somebody’s wife

That year was amazing, I sat next to Tom
Singing on stage, dreaming of the Prom
Co-rec nights swimming in the pool
Merrill walking me home from school

Cathi and I wearing red dresses
Selling yearbook ads looking so festive
Flirting with firemen in tennis classes
Running from dates making passes at dances

Boys crashing sleepover nights with friends
Like a scene out of Grease wearing my pink nightgown
Not Sandra Dee, but “Hey, Mrs. Robinson!”
Had a crush on Dustin Hoffman or was it Benjamin?

Those Nights in White Satin I dream of tonight
The music remembers, making everything all right
Like the drum beat of the world heard by August Rush
The Sound of Silence is that Kind of Hush

Home Again (#poem)

At Christmas time I miss the past
Will I ever feel at home like that?
That feeling I had wasn’t that long ago
Late December when the desert grows cold

We were all together under one roof
Those days I miss to tell the truth
The kids were young, no worries of health
In my prime, so sure of myself

The air was fresh, the house full of light
Upstairs we’d go when we said goodnight
I knew to leave would be so hard
The memories we’d made in the backyard

Life moves us on urging, pushing, insisting
It does no good that kicking and screaming
No matter how much you long for change
You wonder if you’ll ever feel at home that way again

The Wisest Woman (#poem)

The wisest woman I would ever know
Snuck into my life on a Bay Area back road
Champagne in hand with champagne blond hair
A French attitude and a daring air

“Don’t ever explain” she would say
Those tempting words will always betray
“Turn the page, don’t look back”
Make-up and heels to take out the trash

A case of wine, a listening ear on hand
“The heart has reason, reason can’t understand”
Younger women she took under her wing
Younger men were just a fling

She’d loved and lost along the way
She’d hit the glass ceiling in her day
She never backed down, never let them beat her
When their thirst for power swelled their member

Crusty on the outside like a French baguette
Soft and tender inside, that was Huguette
She lit the path of darkness the day we met
The wisest woman I’ll never forget

#NaNoWriMo, #NaPoWriMo, 50 Day Blog Challenge

Thankfully, today is the last day of NaNoWriMo, something I participated in once and never again. This year I was tempted to do something to feel part of a writing community but nothing quite attracted me. But when 3 things converged: NaNoWriMo, my subsequent discovery of NaPoWriMo (similar to NaNo but for poets), and a writer friend posted her 50 Day Blog Challenge, I decided to do a combo of all three.

Why poems? It started when I started feeling overwhelmed during this time of transition, selling our home in Las Vegas, moving back to Florida but living in temporary housing while waiting for our new house to be built. I was lying in bed, unable to sleep in the middle of the night, so I grabbed my iPhone and started expressing myself through poetry, thinking it could all be fodder for future songwriting.

Then I started getting addicted to expressing myself through poems. I also realized that those who advise you to do object writing as a songwriting exercise have it all wrong. It shouldn’t be about an object – it should be about a feeling. Certainly for me.

I think I ended up writing about 55 poems and so the challenge ends with the ending of NaNoWriMo, which ends today. I’ll probably continue to write poems because I find it quite a satisfying way to express a feeling or an idea or an observation. And it was a wonderful way to discover other poets and bloggers in the WordPress community who stopped by to follow my blog and/or “like” my poems. There are some really talented people out there.

Advent (#poem)

Her belly leaps with joy as he feels a mother’s love
And the presence, a promise of a loyal companion
A long ago story come down from above
And the reason for the season

Advent gives us hope in the midst of sin
The tragic results of a broken world
For we must repent before we can be forgiven
To do any less would negate the yes of a teen-aged girl

When a mother-to-be resists the gift
She inflicts a lifelong wound
When she cries every day, she creates a rift
One felt from within the womb

Whatever happens, we are not alone
Questions unanswered we hold in our hand
God is there and the light is shone
Someday, my child, we shall understand

A Young Girl’s Dreams (#poem)

A young girl dreams at ten or eleven
Of riches and fame, singing on stage
Elvis matinees and Beatlemania she starts writing songs of her own
She can see it now who she wants to be when fully grown

A young girl dreams at sweet sixteen strolling the streets in the city
A storefront window peeks her interest as she catches a glimpse in the mirror
The cradle beckons offering an inkling of what might become her future
Laughter, Love, a handsome man, a happily ever after

Looking back she wonders how she veered off track
Was it a lack of choice, the choices she made, or just circumstance
Whatever it was doesn’t matter now cuz there’s no going back
It wasn’t meant to be anyhow, not the dance she was meant to dance

So she picks up a guitar, a keyboard not far and she starts writing songs
Some dreams disappear and others appear
Revealing which were right and which were wrong
Following her heart all along

I Swore I Would Never Forget (#poem)

I swore I would never forget
What it was like to be young
To stay out late
To play loud music at the guard gate
Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and ‘girls just wanna have fun’

I swore I would never forget
What it was like to be a child
To wake up early
To play with my brother’s cars instead of dolls
Beatles and Elvis and ‘born to be wild’

I swore I would never forget
What it was like to feel desire and love
To risk it all
To be with the one I could not stop thinking of
A look, a touch, a ‘kiss is still a kiss,’ a sigh, a smile, and everything that makes life worthwhile

I swear I will never forget…