Goodbye July or “What I Did While Trying to Make Disneyland Dining Reservations”

This is the story of how I wrote yesterday’s poem and turned it into a song early this morning while trying to make Disneyland dining reservations.

The night before last I was awake during the night looking at the calendar on my iPhone trying to make Disneyland dining reservations (which is such a crapshoot these days), realizing I couldn’t make September ressies for at least one more day, if I was lucky. Staring at the month of July, I was thinking about how July may be my least favorite month – certainly living in the hotter states I’ve lived in like Southern Nevada and Central Florida. Will July ever end?

I then jotted down those lyrics.

Last night I was awake during the night doing the same staring at the calendar thing, trying again to snag Disneyland dining reservations, and I thought, “I must write the music for those lyrics.” I did snag some ressies, so then I got up at around 4 am and recorded this song, trying not to sing too loudly so I wouldn’t awaken my husband and cats – lol!

It was a lot of fun and came out better than I thought it would. Hope you enjoy!

July (#Lyric #Poem)

And July goes on and on and on
Hot days, long days
Never been a fan
Except for

Birthday parties, frilly pink ribbons
Angel food cake and pink frosting
Ice cream on a fancy plate
Pink candles lit on the cake

And July goes on and on and on
Hot days, long days
Never been a fan
Except for

Playing catch in the street
Disneyland fireworks in the sky
Roy Orbison on the hifi
Ice clinking in the glass
After Shirtless dads mowing the grass

And July goes on and on and on
Hot days, long days
Never been a fan
Except for

Koolaid, popcorn and Beatles 45s
Never heard the F word or “Not gonna lie”
Motown, Photoplay, days at the beach
Coppertone, skates and surfboards,
all within my reach

And July goes on and on and on
Never been a fan
Hot days, long days…

White Wine (#lyric #poem)

White wine in the evening
Is not good for sleeping
Eyes snap open every hour on the hour
Brain is whirling with Samson-like power

Thumbing through Kindle for temporary distraction
Writing poems for lyrics and 50/90 reaction
Using the time given, borrowing from daytime
Vocals too tired to steady the night”s rhymes

Making big plans in the dark of the night
Counting the minutes til earth’s morning light
Struggling to function for long in the morning
Reminding me of truth that comes as a warning

White wine in the evening
Is not good for sleeping

“One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop (#poetry)

I’ve been reading How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry by Edward Hirsch and when I read “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop, I fell in love, to quote my dad. (It’s copyrighted so I can only provide a link to it on poetryfoundation.org.)

And then that very day, Austin Kleon just happened to mention an article in the NY Times where they dissected it. What???

I so related to the message of the poem itself, but what then intrigued me was the form of this particular poem—villanelle—nineteen lines divided into six stanzas—five tercets and one quatrain—turning on two rhymes and built around two refrains. The first and third lines rhyme throughout, as do the middle lines of each stanza. The first and third lines become the refrain of alternate stanzas and the final two lines of the poem.

I don’t usually go for tightly-formed poems, only if my instincts guide me into those same forms. Or maybe Mr. Clukas’ poetry class sunk in deeper than I’d thought – lol!

But I must write one of these. The concept is just so lyrical. And because it is a strict form, I probably won’t do it in the middle of the night on my iPhone, but will, indeed, have to sit at my computer and think it through.

The Mystery of My Heart (#lyric #poem)

What is the meaning behind the mystery of my heart
That tugs so hard no matter how near or how far
I need to know
I really need to know

Feelings of rapture keep me tied up in thought
Is it hindering my future or
Is it the light shining on where I ought
I need to know
I really need to know

Years of security were a blessing indeed
Was it worth the price of choosing not to leave
I need to know
I really need to know

Did the lies I believed underneath the grief
Kill the truth of the story of the resident thief
I need to know
I really need to know

Memories of home and childhood innocence
Destroyed any chance of building fences
Which would I choose if I’d had all the facts
Who would I be, how would I act
This is the mystery of a life without answers
To questions I have for happily ever after
I need to know
I really need to know

A Lifetime (#lyric #poem)

A lifetime is a long time to never have known you
A decision was made without your consent
Birthdays and Christmas and favorite Sunday dinners
Counting the measures of unceasing torment

Photos displayed on a beachy white dresser
The cross prays for family unknown to the pastors
Strumming the coasts in search of heart’s answers
Mothers in hiding and cruel puppet masters

The child pays the price for adults who are wounded
The cycle must end in choices not taken
Letting go of love for what can never happen
Walking day to day with a soul deeply shaken

Triumph is yours when light faces dark
Staring the truth down a long lonely barrel
Companions who appear like angels of laughter
Are gifts you ignore to your everlasting peril

A lifetime is a long time to never have known you
Decisions made with or without our consent
Offer moments in hours of restless slumber
Awake counting treasures of unceasing relent

Questions (#Lyric #Poem)

If I asked mere questions, it wasn’t to gossip
But to fill in the air that poetry leaves
Like whispering trees or a dripping faucet
Rushing Hardy Falls where I once grieved

How can you know the buttons and the brass
Internally observed when cutting teeth
Sitting in Mr. Clukas’ poetry class
Deprived of your presence like the air that I breathe

If I seemed to you rude when I inquired within
It wasn’t to make a judgment of some mortal sin
I came to you with nothing but a clean, blank slate
Looking for you to fill it like your favorite plate

Round Goes the Night (#poem)

The spinning of the fan in the ceiling goes round
Fills the room with cinema and sound
The cat tree in the corner spirals in place
The whirling of the dancing cone cools my face

Thoughts in my head twist and turn
Lessons in Push will I ever learn
Poems and lyrics, simple that I write
Bring peace and rest until daylight

The cat is sleeping, quiet as a mouse
Do I risk breaking the stillness of the house
Will he awaken demanding his time
Warming up his vocals in rhythm and rhyme

Four hours til dawn too early to tell
Snoozing on my lap or sounding a yell
Too soon for coffee way before first light
Sleeping with one eye open round goes the night

The Power of Home (#poem)

This feeling of home owns a power I cannot control
It exacts a price I don’t always know
It binds me to its side in a prison of my own
Of isolation, loneliness, of being alone

It calls to me in memories of long ago
It whispers in wimpers of four walls and a floor
Awakening to music, knocking door to door
I hear the one missing, hidden before I was four

The desert is stunning when the sun begins to rise
The tropics tempt me to live fully alive
To live without one for any length of time
Sends me packing for a new state of mind

How is it possible to love two at a time
Pulling me in circles to walk a straight line
Round and round and round I go
Where I stop only God knows

Fight for Me (#poem #conversationswithmyself #wip)

This is version 1, a work in progress

Give me honor, not pity
Give me justice, not excuses
Fight for me, don’t feel sorry for me
Stand up for me, don’t watch me fall
Assuming I won’t get up, that I can’t fight for myself
That I won’t claim the victory
And know this
That everything I’ve done has been out of strength, not weakness
Don’t assume
That I can’t stand tall
Or respect myself, most of all

I Wish I’d Had the Courage (#poetry)

When I see single moms
I wish I’d had the courage
But life was different when I was young
I wish I’d had the courage
I wish I’d had the courage

To just say yes
Grab some happiness
Turn my back on those
Who would judge what I chose
Stand up, be strong
Not feel that I was wrong
I wish I’d had the courage

I look at whole families
And see what I couldn’t give you
What I couldn’t have for myself
I question all the questions
And answer all the answers
With doubt and fear and loneliness
Not knowing how to ask for help

When I see single moms
I wish I’d had the courage
But life was different when I was young
I wish I’d had the courage
I wish I’d had the courage

It’s 12:44 (#poem #songwriting #lyrics #howto #amwriting)

You know those moments when you can’t sleep? Well, that’s when I grab my phone and start writing down words, some rhymes, allowing the rhymes and the ideas to flow and see where the song goes. And the next thing I know I have some material for the beginning of a song. It may need a lot of work but at least I have something to work with later on.

Here’s what came to me the other night – starting with the time – 12:44. I hear a melody and need to sit down and work it out on on my keyboard.

It’s 12:44 and I’m lying here awake
Mouth is dry from the vodka, the desert, and the feelings I can no longer fake
Why do I do the things that seem are not good for me

That keep me running
Keep me gunning
They keep on coming
Turning me into a wreck

No words comfort me
No fools to love on me
Where does this all lead me
Nothing but a dead end

Keep on praying
Hearts bleed in stating
Silent screams saying

Keep on trying
Keep on crying
Can’t stop hiding
Memories are killing me

There’ll be no healing
The words I’m feeling
Thousands I’ve written down
Until I actually speak of them

Out loud
Out of my mouth
Not on the page
All that rage

It’s time to go for broke
Until I choke
That thing that nudged me until I awoke
at 12:44

New Beginnings (#50/90 #poem #lyrics)

Yes, it’s the 4th of July, Independence Day for the U.S. but also the first day of 50/90 (the write 50 songs in 90 days challenge). And so a poem came to mind during the night, raw, for sure, but, inspired by “The Making of Frozen II” on Disney Plus, I post it as part of the process of 50/90.

New Beginnings

Surrender the old
Trust in the beginning
Embracing the new
In spite of the blues
These words to the wise
My fears not disguised

This time feels different
Body older and fragile
Relying on me no longer
My spirit is stronger
The old self-reliance
Becomes a castle of silence

My heart beats a longing
For what I know not
Showing up and suited
Desire deeply rooted
Stories and sounds on keyboards I write
What the muse whispers to me in the night

Broken (#poem)

Broken into many pieces
My identity is lost
How can I be put back together
Will anybody fight my cause?

The house of cards has many dads
I wander from sea to sea
I place my deck on the table
Searching for someone to believe

Coming home is a dream come true
Has that much time really passed?
The feelings I hold are strong and old
To out play, out wit, and out last

The Chair (#poem #NaPoWriMo)

Tears silently fall on cheeks so small
Memories flow as tales unfold
Satin caresses on aqua robes
Brown padded comfort as warm as hugs

Golden child who squeezes and purrs
Offering gifts of strings of pearls
Far more valued that rarest gold
Holding on to folds of love

Moving on means leaving behind
Tenderly held what once was mine
Never again with love once shared
Rocking in that old brown chair

Deja Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon, the Book, the Poem, the Tour, and Now the Song (#FAWM)

You may recall that I’d just finished a publicity tour for my psychological suspense novel, Deja Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon at the end of 2019 before starting FAWM on February 1st. Well, during the tour, I’d written a poem about the book here.

So, naturally, I turned that into a song for FAWM 2020. Check it out. I hope you like it – the song, poem, the tour, and the book. 🙂

He Threw Away His Life Today (#poem)

I knew I wouldn’t sleep
When buried thoughts are swirling deep
Knowing today that somebody threw their life away

Anger bubbles to the surface
Knots in my neck are certain to worsen
Gifts unused when others suffer abuse

Looks, talent, and charm
Can somehow do more harm
Conniving plans, using others on shifting sands

The loving embrace of a father and mother
Is more than what comes to many others
Betraying the Faith to turn away and become the snake

I searched for the family I never knew
I found love, hate, and ridicule
You and I were kindred spirits, writing songs with endless lyrics

We prayed and offered shelter
Your lies became helter skelter
I’ll cry tomorrow when anger turns to sorrow

Was the rush worth it?
The high of a hit to the lowest of pits
Killing love and all that is Sacred above

You lost so much when so small
The Devil chased you down the hall
I thought you’d outrun him, but the ending of the story is sad and grim

Tonight I won’t be sleeping
Tonight I won’t be weeping
Knowing today that somebody threw their life away

Blogmas, Day 5: Poem for Déjà Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon (#poem #blogmas)

No new stops on the tour today so, for blogmas, I thought I’d write a poem. I’m heartened by all the interest in poetry these days, not only on WordPress but Twitter, too. Come join us in the #WritingCommunity.

Déjà Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon

Everything in Vegas looks better at night
Gazing for miles under the desert starlight
Roaming the streets just before daylight
Clickety clank clank breaks the silence of the morning hush
Tucked away in a casino away from the commuter’s rush

Nikki fled from the Blue Diamond Saloon
Away from her assailant unseen by the moon
Taking refuge in a City she once knew
Friendships and lovers too risky to start over
Memories and fears locked in a heart frozen sober

The past leads you where you swore you’d never go
Lessons unlearned like a missile-seeking foe
Next time be careful by what you do choose
This time around with bigger stakes to lose
Too late to escape Déjà Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon

Please join us on the Déjà Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon publicity tour.

Check out the Book Trailer for a sneak peek.

Buy your copy on Amazon (available for Kindle and Paperback) and other online retailers. Reviews are encouraged.