#Blogtoberfest Day 14: Crossing the Rainbow Bridge (#poem)

My heart is in tatters like a kitten loved robe
Offered up so generously out of deepest love
Those mornings sipping coffee I held you on my chest
You cling to me so tightly snoring during your morning rest

How can you be gone after 17 years
My eyes are dry now with frozen tears
But what is really unfathomable is losing even more
The love of your life and my 18-year-old little boy

Two weeks later I had to say goodbye
To the man who was my father – was I the apple of his eye?
We’d had so little time together and others had kept us apart
I think I know what he meant when he said “The Dodgers will break your heart”

And so I dedicate this poem to those I have loved
To those who have gone before me in Heaven above
I like to picture you glamping in a trailer with a well-stocked fridge
Surrounded by your favorite things, crossing that rainbow bridge

#Blogtoberfest Day 13: In My Dream (#poem)

In my dream I saw you smiling
You hadn’t smiled in so long
In my dream I heard you laughing
And then I knew I’d been so wrong

The years had passed and I barely knew who exactly you were
The pain inside, the nights you cried were hidden so well
Then he came along and touched your face and I was so mad for taking his place
From the window of your little beach house I saw everything in the mirror

The troubles we’d had around the fake dad were no more
Could it be I could now see they started when I was just a baby
Writing that letter to my father might have been harder than I knew
You hated yourself more than ever and we took the fall instead of you

In my dream I saw you smiling
You hadn’t smiled in so long
In my dream I heard you laughing
And then I knew I’d been so wrong

#Blogtoberfest Day 11: Poetry-Inspired Lyrics

The Flame, Leonard Cohen’s last book of poetry (and more), arrives on Friday. I can’t wait to read it, especially after reading some of the poems in the sample. I got the hard cover because some books should be read in print.

I love that his songs started out as poems. My first song submitted for professional feedback to a NY Broadway composer started out as a poem and he led me down the path to making it a song.

In Nashville, “writing to title” co-write sessions are scheduled – they have nothing to do with poetry but the good news is everybody in the room gets songwriter credit. (Two NSAI mentors loved one of my “hooks” but somehow my story wasn’t the usual Nashville story and it didn’t go anywhere).

In Confessions of a Serial Songwriter by Shelly Peiken, she laments today’s songwriter in L.A. being relegated to “topliner” – the person who is called in to write the melody or lyric or maybe just a hook or phrase. The “producer” provides the “backing track” and gets 50% of writing credit and the rest is divvied up according to some sort of formula.

But you know what? This is what you get when a society decides that humans can be created the same way – sperm donor meets egg donor meets surrogate and somehow the couple who purchases all of this genetic material becomes the “parents” and a “family” is created.

I don’t see much difference in creating a human and in creating a song today. Very sad with many consequences with this type of thinking. But that’s the world people have shouted into being. At least for now. I pray that people will come to their senses some day.

Who Am I? (#poem) National Poetry Day

I read on Twitter that today is National Poetry Day so I decided to finish this poem I started last month.

Who Am I?

Who am I supposed to be in this land of make believe play?
Wearing a mask I did not make but just another’s overlay
Searching for truth amidst the lies
Sifting through sand and my favorite disguise

Holding on for dear life with fears I can’t shake
Holding back in safety keeping the distance of arm’s length
What we want, what we need, and what we fear most
Reflections in the mirror of a lost soul’s ghost

Assignations with people who do not exist
Adventures not taken are what I have missed
Poems are friends where I come alive
Seeking connection with those with like minds

Circling the Past (#poem)

I’m circling the past tonight
Trying it on for good size
When is it time to go home
And when does it feel all wrong?

Comparing one place that used to fit
To another place I once lived
Who is more like me I think I can see
I must stick to what I truly believe

I left for a reason but is it still true?
Or am I longing for, am I chasing my youth?
I’ve taken turns changing becoming who I need to be
Will it squeeze me, twist me, steal my need to be free?

Fearing to lose all that I gained
To go back now would I feel ashamed?
The lure is powerful, opportunities abound
To where I was once lost but then I was found

Do I dare risk it all for one last hurrah?
Can I stick to my path, resist the siren call?
So many questions in the dark of the night
All will be answered in the broad daylight

The House in the Desert (#poem)

The house in the desert calls to me tonight
We were all together and everything was right
Skipper and Buddy and Lovey, those three I will never forget
Now sit in the closet in a house in the tropics run by the newest pets

Nine years it was a place of comfort and memories
The last of the sun dipping below the mountain of treasures
Its time had passed but looking back I see the truth
The longing of middle-age holding onto its youth

What is next I wonder by night and by day
Will we return or stay away
But fear not little children of my heart
Nothing will ever keep us apart

Emotions (#poem)

Emotions packed like mud on a desert ground
Keep me from expressing how I feel when you’re around
The pain in my chest from long forgotten cries
Squeezes my heart like an attack begging to stay alive

What about me what about me swirls in my mind
Too afraid to say the words of resistance of any kind
One day some day I will speak like a daughter of the revolution
Consequences be damned even if it means execution

Emotions unspoken from a long ago repressed past
Keep me company like daughters of a narcissist
Escape was worth the payment on the road paved in gold
It’s never too late and you’re never too old

Tropes and Other Annoyances (#poem)

Where do you fit in as the years go by
Creating the person you are meant to be
In a world that oppresses you like a swatted fly
Pretending to encourage you with eyes that cannot see

They make up categories, genres, brands, and props
Changing them chasing the thrill of what’s dope
It’s not up, it’s down, it’s not release, it’s drop
And the worse one of all is your favorite trope

They call you out if you resist the latest trend
If you stand up for beliefs, you’re suddenly a hater
And the trends of trends are never your friend
Individuals are suspects, social media is the meter

Everything has changed, your music is dated
When pursuing the arts after a lifetime of work
The stories you write are ignored or hated
When all you have loved has suddenly gone berzerk

When you’re young you feel like you’ve got the world by the tail
Opportunities approach you, tease you, and tempt you
With all that’s ahead of you and with fears you will fail
It’s not youth or age but the boxes that squeeze the shoe

Each age has its challenge whether numbers or years
I’ve seen it come before me, I’m living it now
Those coming after will see it in a mirror so clear
Don’t judge the past by the present values somehow

Social media will be replaced by what’s shiny and new
Those annoying words like trope will be long forgotten
People will adjust and come to their senses, I believe is true
We are the reflection of our Creator and the one who is Begotten

Blogging the Grief (#poem)

Tropical air breathing
Lifts me when I’m grieving
The death certificate arriving
Reminds me I’m alive and thriving

Those around me ignoring
Dismissing me like that floors me
I was here before them
Who I am is without shame

Their secrets they hide
Until the day they died
They dumped on me
Instead of taking responsibility

Emotions overcome my brain
Their reactions are so lame
Where do I take this grief inside
Do what I always do, blog it online

Attack, deny like mixing a song
Delay, if need be, anything to not be wrong
Like the phoenix rising from the dust
I stand tall and in God I trust

Missing Skipper (#poem)

Oh Skipper, I miss you so much
Your face on my computer screen, I want to reach out and touch
Sitting across from your favorite chair
We grew so close together, moving from here, there, and everywhere

You were so good-natured, your desire a wake-up kiss
Oh and, yeah, your favorite food in your favorite dish
How do I go on without you after 18 years?
How do I go on with a heart full of tears?

We’re on the brink of change with everything exploding
You, my dad, the country and the church, how do we keep from imploding?
Waking up at midnight, my head full of fear
How do I move forward, get past what I see in the mirror?

Gratitude and forgiveness are the secrets they say
Anything less will just get in your way
Thanks for the memories, I hear my heart whisper
Taking one step at a time while missing my Skipper