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ONLY HALF A LIFETIME – The Song

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half life 2

The soul-shaking sound of metal crashing, blood dripping and tears flowing…

The answer to whom has been the greatest songwriting influence for me was savagely swept from this earth, violently and tragically 39 years ago.

Harry Chapin… 39 years old…. writer of musical stories like TAXI, CATS IN THE CRADLE, COREY’S COMING, BETTER PLACE TO BE, I WANNA LEARN A LOVE SONG and dozens of other amazingly emotional and vivid tales.

On the afternoon of July 16, 1981, Chapin was killed in a freeway collision with a truck while on his way to perform at a free concert in East Meadow, New York.

Almost half of Harry’s concerts were benefits to raise money for social and environmental causes… Harry wasn’t interested in saving money. He always said, “Money is for people”, so he gave it away.

I was fortunate to have sat and listened to an Ontario Place (Toronto) under-the-stars concert of Harry’s, way back in about 1976 or ’77. He was enthusiastic and ebullient, mesmerizing and spellbinding.

Today when I sit to begin a songwriting session, I almost always ask myself… “how would Harry look at this – how would he inject this story with warmth and life and love.” Of course, it’s a rarity that I ever come remotely close to achieving any of what he was able to accomplish before he turned 40.

But that doesn’t deter me from trying, and as it really should, it inspires me.

Of course, writing songs about artists that have come to tragic ends is not new at all. Don McLean captured the premature deaths of a number of musicians in his song American Pie.

Following here is my ode to the too-short life and personal impact of Harry Chapin…

Harry Chapin.jpg

ONLY HALF A LIFETIME

by Larry Green

Alarm rang one summer’s morn
Thirty years ago erstwhile
The radio sang your voice again
gentle words that draw my smile
but this early candle’s flame gone numb
with breath caught short
when I heard them say
you’d played your final strum

The early clubs and roads on buses
your musical best friends
Your east coast Beach Boys
played concert halls and sang the gems
songs of cats and taxis rose the charts
guitar and cello sweet breezes
mixed falsettos filled the heavens
in starry summer parks

CHORUS

Your mischief smile has left me full
lit stages and the showtimes
like a jealous lover I glance your way
still learning from your stories now
though it took you only half a lifetime

*********************

Years slid by, I heard more tales
Sagas of a mail-order bride unfold
Wistful railyard yarns and a man who
sang bass while cleaning clothes
this magic muse you held inside
where lives emerged
from inner eddies
dark shadows on the road

Wet snow weighed heavy
burden on my windshield
you sang those first few strains
chalky road blurred with truth revealed
my eyes welled up, my gut cried out
your voice deepset with father’s pain
broken lives you wrote so dear
as if it was my private shame

BRIDGE
Seconds too short
metal screams too loud
tales saturate sanguine into the ground

CHORUS

Your mischief smile has left me full
lit stages and the showtimes
like a jealous lover I glance your way
still yearning for your stories now
though it took you only half a lifetime

*****************

POST-CHORUS

The stage gone black, Taxi meter expired
shadow embers smoulder dim
“Oh if a man tried
To take his time on Earth
And prove before he died
What one man’s life could be worth
I wonder what would happen
to this world…”

Harry Chapin2.jpg

THE BLESSING AND THE CURSE – The Song

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blessing curse

INTO Week Six of isolation here and now we’re disinfecting our outer AND … by gonzo suggestion from the top… inner… surfaces.

It’s like a Shakespearean tragi-comedy, except we can’t spit out our words like dramatic stage actors for fear of an impending manslaughter charge. No aerosols please!

Last week I mused about our collective situation of isolation and suggested some ideas that might help deal with our fresh new world. I quoted singer Garth Brooks who noted that everything we want comes with both a blessing and a curse.

The words stuck in my head like a *yum* peanut butter and banana sandwich does to the roof of my mouth.

Blessing AND Curse.

garth

Neither you nor I know what our world will look like in a year, there are too many moving and interactive parts for any rational assessment. This is the scientist in me speaking. My inner Bill Gates. We need rational thinkers like Bill and Melinda.

But with all of these unknowns… the artist, the creative me … holds onto a desire to think also in loftier terms, more emotional terms. It’s our artists – the musicians, the writers, the painters – that give us hope and joy in difficult times. We need artists as much as we need scientists.

And so I’m finding a bit more time in my days to write more prose, more song.

Yes, we’re on a ride folks.

And since the peanut butter phrase Blessing and Curse stuck with me I’m using it once again this week, this time in poetry and song form.

I hate cliches, but I’ll stoop now.

Be Humble. Be Kind. Stay Safe.

69465831 - young man composing the song with guitar on table with tea cup

 

THE BLESSING AND THE CURSE

by Larry Green

Little ones chase that coin
the one rolling down the street
towards the gutter or the drain
your two hands reach to grab and save
both mamas pull the chain

Last month I sipped sweet coffee from your cup
stopped in narrow grocery aisles and chatted
you pass me by at distance now
wild-eyed like something rabid
can we resurrect the sacred cow

CHORUS
Flip the hands, see the change
litter scattered in the desert whirling
shrink from shadows watch the afterbirths
there’s beauty and there’s hurting
Fill me up don’t leave me empty
The blessing and the curse

Stash your voice inside your house
Strike x’s through your plans
Bake bread to soothe your troubled soul
Muse about the coulds and shoulda-haves
Search blind and madly fill the holes

Alone now but are you lonely
put the Tanqueray away
this fog confines but stars abound in space
bright neon light will shine again
we’ll leave our separate places

Next year I hope we meet once more
unlock the chains and hug the children
I’ll touch your shoulder when you’re shaking
Wipe the tears with ungloved hands
we’ll walk the road untaken

CHORUS
Flip the hands, see the change
litter scattered in the desert whirling
shrink from shadows watch the afterbirths
there’s beauty and there’s hurting
Fill me up don’t leave me empty
The blessing and the curse

stars on beach

 

THESE SONGS I LIVE – The Song

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Songs in Head

Quick!

What song is playing in your head right now?

It might be a commercial ditty… it might be the last thing you heard before you woke from a warm and fuzzy dream… it might be the anthem of your existence.

I don’t know. Only you do.

I have to guess that nearly every one of us on this planet has a musical score that runs through our head on a daily basis.

If you list for me the 10 most frequent songs you hear inside yourself over time, I’d bet that I can give a pretty fair description of who you are and what is important to you in your life.

Think about this. What songs do you hear within regularly? Does it tell you something about yourself?

Here are just a few of my inner life repeats: In My Room (Beach Boys), Your Song and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John), Music and Fire and Rain (James Taylor), Hello It’s Me (Todd Rundgren), First Day in August (Carole King), If You Could Read My Mind (Gordon Lightfoot), Bartender (Lady Antebellum), Hotel California (Eagles), Canon in D (Pachelbel), Smile (Charlie Chaplin).

One of my greater goals in life is to write a unique and memorable song that stands alongside the ones that rest in others’ heads because it carries a meaning that is universal and heartfelt.

A song that describes me, but also describes you in a way that has a visceral way of showing that we all have a connection.

Sure, it’s an ego thing, but it’s also a “meaning of life” thing.

Once I desired writing a novel that would survive my last breath and be readable beyond the vanity press. Ha!

book writing

Nice try Larry. I’ve had the vision of harsh truthful reality (even without hallucinogens) tell me that this isn’t where I can leave a mark that lingers.

But I still have a minuscule hope in hell of making something musically that meets the test. Or at least I’ll keep trying.

Sorry Yoda, but I’ll just keep trying.

While this incomplete song still needs another verse or two, this week’s musical journey captures a tiny bit of what I’m talking about above:

THESE SONGS I LIVE

by Larry Green

The songs I live in darkness
play at night on slow repeat
distant days I smelled the diesel
saw the smokestack belch the heat
til the morning sunrise
vagrant winds come set me to my feet

Bitter chill bites the basement window
words come from a separate shelf
sweet winsome faces at my door
something different I had those days to sell
selfish tunes that struck a minor chord
mirror image indelibly dark but ignored

CHORUS

These songs I live again
if every person has a book or two
if every bench holds a spot for you
every camera has a pic you knew
and hopeful bedtime stories replay
the songs that tell me who
I am

To be the greatest dancer
scribble lines that never fly
I’m just a raindrop in a pail
a lonely star up in the sky
sometimes an empty house
grasping words in ink that slowly hides

If you could hear my life in song
while you sat inside my head and listened
Those steady words of Paul, Carole and James
like bible quotes on signs positioned
at hockey games
Would you see the world any different?

BRIDGE

One day I’ll reconcile and smile
I can’t outrun the train

CHORUS

These songs I live again
if every person has a book or two
if every bench holds a spot for you
every camera has a pic you knew
hopeful bedtime stories replay
the songs that tell me who
I am

king me

Above The Water Line – The Song

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sheeran sings

When I feel worried or overwhelmed, I sing.

When I feel dejected or hurt, I sing.

Hell, when I feel ecstatic and want to jump out of my skin, I sing.

The simple bottom line of what I’m saying here is… after this globally tumultuous week, I’ve written some song lyrics for this week’s blog post. Go figure.

Stay above the water line…

When a week or two comes along like we’ve seen recently – when infectious disease and financial dis-ease rear their ugly heads – it’s easy to fret … to worry about the future, as individuals, as members of the world community… to worry about the havoc that ensues as we stumble along a road that appears dark and uncertain.

Of course, it is worrisome… it’s normal to be concerned about the direction of the days and years to come. Few of us like uncertainty, similar to how we generally don’t like change.

Think about it… our world has passed through two World Wars where millions perished from weaponry and disease, an earlier pandemic that took countless lives, an economic depression that lasted a decade. Huge, terrible cataclysmic events.

And still, here we are…

Obviously, I don’t know the outcome of the coronavirus situation, or where the moneyed world will lie in the short term…

… but given humankind’s past history of slogging through it’s biggest, ugliest problems, I am optimistic that this too shall pass and we will claw our way back onto the brighter path drawing us forward, working to carry on…

And so… I sing…

water line

ABOVE THE WATER LINE

by Larry Green

CHORUS

Stay above the water line
Stay above the water line
we’ve done it all a hundred times
when snows up high begin to melt
from unannounced March thaws
when eclipse creeps up like night
push darkness back to light

Verse 1

My mom felt the helpless shudder
of naked empty cupboards,
years when money shed all worth
blue days of milk and honey lost
jobs as rare as virgin birth, and worried long
if the world misplaced its feast of Pentecost?

Verse 2

I’ve passed some seasons, been unnerved
found sweat is best served,
by running fast and free
you anticipate such a heavy stone
whisper what will be will be
and wonder where’s the chaperone, just…

CHORUS

Stay above the water line
Stay above the water line
we’ve done it all a hundred times
when snows up high begin to melt
from unannounced March thaws
when eclipse creeps up like night
push darkness back to light

Verse 3

Kids, all check your Twitterverse
fill vacuums that you curse,
murky shares of hopeless ghosts
I wish you fresh angels from ether
tomorrow’s ones’ still cloaked
stay strong don’t be beleaguered

BRIDGE

Where the rubber ball will stop who knows
you try to catch with eyes shut closed so…

CHORUS

Stay above the water line
Stay above the water line
we’ve done it all a hundred times
when snows up high begin to melt
from unannounced March thaws
when eclipse creeps up like night
push darkness back to light

Lunar eclipse

Mischief Eyes – The Song

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boy with moon

To once more see the world…

… the beauty of the moon and stars … the unexplainable draw of planes and trucks… through toddler eyes is a reawakening.

To the child it’s all fascinating and new and calling out to be understood … to be held, twisted, tasted, and savoured. Danger can be a stranger while the senses tingle and excite… and sometimes they perceive fright where no danger exists.

As a young parent you miss so much. But why?

Simple. It’s because you’re just way too busy hanging on by the fingertips of sanity – the minutes and days are seen through hazy glasses of responsibility and exhaustion and the monetary stretch of daycare and diapers and clothes that grow too small each week (hopefully the child’s and not the parents’!).

But, as a grandparent… my young eyes have seen years slip by, and now these same eyes and hands that have lived through the world of weariness and depletion, find new vivacity and energy in this short-term cocoon of toddlerdom.

This is the world that my wife and I find ourselves in these days within this realm of relatively new grandparenthood.

It’s become our delight and wonder relived through Mischief’s Eyes.

So, today I write down some lyrics to capture a fleeting moment… a moment almost like a still photo, a snapshot in time, of a little boy in his own expanding world of wonder. (See if you can spot the Shakespeare!)

boy with stars

MISCHIEF EYES

by Larry Green

The boy inside this balloon that’s blue
and shifts black at night
ceiling stars dance and sing
everything is truck and moons
fingers float those
little boats
young maestro of wind and sound
with music scores that never kiss the ground

Rolling with the climb and spin
oaty ripples cross your chin
rightside up or upsidedown
a tiny joker with a tiny grin
toss and throw
help calls in slippy snow
is this sock left or right
and is this shoe red or white

CHORUS

Our tattered eyes ask
How did we miss eternity’s hole
your disguise fooled us all
when your arms surround
your finger’s got us twisted round
those mischief eyes that slowly drown
sail away little rogue

Big brown bears on pages
Wild things escaping cages
books whirlwind strewn
some quiet words, some filled with tunes
scramble and clamber
shimmy and scamper
with Sparkle climbing hills
up and up till clock ticks noon

BRIDGE:

This body contains a soul
a kingdom is too small to hold

CHORUS

Our tattered eyes ask
How did we miss eternity’s hole
your disguise fooled us all
when your arms surround
your finger’s got us twisted round
those mischief eyes that slowly drown
sail away little rogue

sail away

GoodDay GoodNight

Comments Off on GoodDay GoodNight

There’s nothing lovely or sentimental about a car crash (or a helicopter crash). They’re crushing and painful.

But in music, the bittersweet can be fabulous.

Most of us are drawn into sad songs as a way of dealing with our own sadnesses and knowing that others have experienced and felt the same…

I’m not a religious guy (surprise!), but I’m currently in love with a song… a set of lyrics playing on the country charts these days. It’s called Jersey On The Wall (I’m Just Askin’), written by a talented young Canadian singer/songwriter Tenille Townes.

If I ever get to Heaven
You know I got a long list of questions
Like how do You make a snowflake?
Are You angry when the Earth quakes?
How does the sky change in a minute?
How do You keep this big rock spinnin’?
And why couldn’t You stop that car from crashin’?
Forgive me, I’m just askin'”

There are big questions we all have… monster-sized questions we’ll never truly know the answers to… I won’t be so arrogant as to tell you that your religious beliefs are wrong or swear that my lack of belief is right … I won’t boldly declare there is no heaven … nor hell…

But I will share my words that mark the final seconds of a life and wherever those moments take one…

Note the simple rhyme scheme… a new one for me in lyric writing.

day to night.

GOODDAY GOODNIGHT

by Larry Green

when your last breath sighs
sense the closing of your eyes
once you’ve murmured your last goodbye
heard your final baby’s cries
had all the high 5’s
lived enough years to say you’re wise
passed the tests stripped the disguise
lost the game sometimes but won the prize
Paradise

been to weddings, worn the bow ties
dipped in water been baptized
thought long and hard about euthanize
camped in forests bit by horseflies
watched the dipsy-doodle magpies
topped the CN Tower high rise
cooked some meals ate tons of fries
tasted apples Ambrosia and Sunrise
Paradise

college days spent learning blood types
years before I knew differences between bytes and disk drives
drawn in by girlish wares and fantasize
wore out jeans both Lee’s and Levi’s
drank too much beer so so unwise
scanned the northern lights in inky skies
strummed guitars and lyricized
met the girl and crooned the lullabies
Paradise

it’s chilly now on my glassy eyes
sailing back to days of mud-pies
swinging bats and catching pop-flies
street hockey games choosing sides
Heinz poured thick on Mom’s chicken potpies
steamy days steamy nights in Julys
evening breezes float cicadas and dragonflies
newspapers tossed for daily exercise
Paradise

CHORUS

GoodDay GoodNight
final frame unfrozen
running into the sun
GoodDay GoodNight

lantern

Summer Boys’ Prayer – The Song

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Beach Boys.jpg

Well east coast girls are hip
I really dig those styles they wear…

.

January in the Great White North… This is a time of year (in Canada at least, no crazed Aussie wildfires here) where bone-chilling temperatures and piled up banks of snow make many of us so-called Brave Northerners actually pine for warm tropical beaches and … as we kick the snow off our boots …

… musically… a slingshot release to the warm halcyon days of summer, short-sleeves and bikini-on-the-beach kinda songs … the idealistic Beach Boys kind of music.

Light, breezy, romantic, carefree, fun … and in my mind at least, filled with incredible harmonies, lots of reverb, and Fender Rickenbacker and Stratocaster electric guitars.

And the Northern girls with the way they kiss
They keep their boyfriends warm at night

This week’s set of lyrics is my ode to what we might think of as simpler and arousing formative times … the awakening of puberty …

… simpler times when one of the joys of this young boy’s summer was lingering with a couple of friends at the school playground across the field from my house where we could hear the nearby crack of baseball bats hitting balls and the smell of newly cut grass filled our noses.

Not yet old enough to drive, we’d head to the park after supper around 6:30 or 7 at night and hang out at the swings and monkey bars, anxiously waiting for a pair or threesome of our favourite sweet lasses to arrive at the “meeting place”.

boy and girl on swings.jpg

Sometimes they’d show and sometimes not, but either way, the childhood, child-like anticipation of the great titillating flirt-to-come was deliciously exciting and naughty.

I wish they all could be California girls
I wish they all could be California
I wish they all could be California girls

So let’s get to the childhood fun while the gettin’s hot!

SUMMER BOYS’ PRAYER

by Larry Green

Better hurry now
cuz the sun is getting low
and the girls we know have to be home
before the streetlights start to show

My two pals and me
grab the patch by the swings
make sure we have our fav spots laid out
get our best chance for a summertime fling

Racy game of anticipating
swearing out stories while we’re waiting
they know we’re here baying at the moon
they know we’re preying and hope they’ll be here soon

Just Summer boys
Wishin’ and dreamin’
in the church of passionate hopes
where pipe dreams are playin’
that’s our summer boys’ prayer
the summer boys’ prayer

There’s a flowery scent in their hair
at this sticky air time of the year
with rumours that drive us lads crazy
we’re workin’ real hard to get past maybe

Renato loves Adele’s brunette bob
I dream of how Cathy’s long blonde falls
And Frank well he just doesn’t care
cuz if they’re cute he digs them all

Bridge

Blood heads to new places
inside there’s a heat to this stirring…

Just Summer boys
Wishin’ and dreamin’
in the church of passionate hopes
where pipe dreams are playin’
that’s our summer boys’ prayer
the summer boys’ prayer

boy girl flirt

Sensuous Solstice

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NEW YEAR … old RUTS! Begone!!

rut stuck.jpg

I get stuck in the “rut” of trying to always write song lyrics that recite a story of some sort… what I think of as Harry Chapin songwriting… a narrative that has a beginning, a middle and an end.

It’s not a bad thing at all, but I think an assortment of approaches is good too…. would you agree?

Ruts in any endeavour, any area of our lives, are a monotony danger, and certainly one I rush away from the furrow’s edge in the other direction to avoid.*run away screaming*

Easier said than done though.

Freshness and new approaches help maintain an active and energized mind, an inner enthusiasm, a mini-orgasm of excitement …

This week, in another of my ongoing series of musical lyric blogs, I’m avoiding the “rut”, the story approach, and aiming for a less narrative-directed, more sense-based set of musical poetry.

When I think of airy, sensual music, a couple of examples come to me like Van Morrison’s Into The Mystic, or almost anything by Leonard Cohen.

Or how about a more recent feathery song I’ve been drawn to by a group of talented young musicians called Darlingside and their song, Hold Your Head Up High

How it rambles ’round the moon
A let-go-of balloon
Nothing is forever, everything is soon
And my father as he stands
A perfect cartoon man
Heavy-sighed and open-eyed, I heard him speak
Hold your head up high
Hold your head up high

Rise it up, it’s fine terrain
The time will come again
And misery’s no rest for weary gentlemen
See that humankind is you
Like all the rest, down to
The scratches on the album that you’re singing to
Hold your head up high
Hold your head up high

Through the light and through the shadow
I won’t wait it out, wait it out

So let’s get started here.

A part of our annual cosmic adventure is the ebb and flow of solstices. Solstices are markers of our time, the seasons of our lives. Solstices are important to me.

I feel an acute inner dread as we pass by the summer solstice and set out towards shorter, cooler, autumn and winter days…

… and then finally one day, the magic of winter solstice arrives and the excitement of longer days grabs me affectionately by the shirt collar and tugs me forward … forward to spring and the advent of new birth, new life bursting from the soil.

Enough said … here is my sense-based lyrical ode to the passage of winter solstice.

solstice

SIDES OF SOLSTICE

by Larry Green

smoky hue autumn brew
fizz pop proof of
luge rushing into December’s funnel
grasping winter’s tunnel
this icy pull of magnet pole
slippery tilt and earthly roll

dwarfed days charcoal skies
azure sinew patches carved with penknives
Charlie Brown sugar snowflakes taste
angel arms shivered and braced
smell the eggnog, sip the wine
push hard and harder at sun’s lowly climb

let’s hail this day this morning prize
as tiny ship sails o’er horizon sky
our worldly home comes creaking back
slow on slow escape this astral sandtrap

red hue yellow blue
emerald leafy proof of
running shoes by crocus bloom
discarded fleece Beach Boy tunes
light eons remain to harvest moon
sweet naked arms and torso too

weary, turns refreshed by days
robins and cicadas take flight and chase
bright shadows no longer freezing
perfume-infused dandelion breezing
the time that comes again again
forever comes again

let’s hail this day this morning prize
as tiny ship sails o’er horizon sky
our worldly home comes creaking back
slow on slow escape this astral sandtrap

dandelion.jpg

Take A Breath – The Song

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Harry Chapin2

A child arrived just the other day…”

.

Many years ago I heard the music and writing magic of Harry Chapin… musician, songwriter, storyteller superb.

Harry transformed me.

The beauty in his storytelling had an incredible way of capturing the depth within a life’s soul with few words.

Perhaps no song of his is more gut-wrenching… more heartbreaking… than Cats In The Cradle, a song of father and son.

It’s a song of longing-to-be-loved in the moment, but both the dad and the son in their own time are unable to give the other what he needs.

In the end, the father sees and laments where those seeds of unintentional neglect that he sowed so early on have left him in his later years.

There seems to be many songs of fathers and their overlooked sons.

But what about mothers and their children?

Perhaps a bit unusual, I have seen some examples out there of strained mother-child relationships and pondered…

So, this week in my lyric writing, I’ve taken Harry’s wondrous inspiration and my own observations… but with a turn of the gender tables (yes, idea sex at work).

This song tells of a woman who truly wants to meet society’s expectation of what a mother could and can be, but sadly, is unable to unearth the ability to give, to step back from her own needs.

The song has no formal chorus like we come across in most current songwriting. Instead, I’ve set in a small 2-line bridge between each verse to show a transition of forward movement in time.

(NB: An inside scoop? Writing song lyrics requires deft rhythmic ability. I know from experience that when I write lyrics, the rhythm and pacing in my writing won’t run smoothly when I begin setting a melody to the words. So if you notice an unsettling unevenness to the lines, don’t be surprised. I’m not. This jarring arrhythmia gets worked out as I settle down to my guitar or piano and “fine-tune” in much the same way I edit a blog post, over and over.)

dandelion blow.jpg

Take A Breath

by Larry Green

Take a breath
it’s over soon
Take a breath
it’s over soon

They told her she’d be maternal
perhaps she’d live the dream
and when the searing scorch she felt
below as the infant came
was the burning birth of
shackled days in chains.

Take a breath
it’s over soon

Sleepless nights made hollow eyes
thank god she had her man
supermarket smiles a constant drag
with every aisle she slogged
expectation’s lure too great
smeared cheerless laughs across her face

Take a breath
it’s over soon

Her man he made the meals
most times he cleaned the house
normality like a pancake flipped
absorbed by her mother’s doubts?
but her kids still feel the sunshine so
she poured another glass of wine

Take a breath
it’s over soon

The job she chose meant pretty clothes
a steady stream of evenings out
the kids in bed when she came home
the bedroom lights turned dim
she swore she’d dance them to the moon
one day in her world of might-have-been

Take a breath
it’s over soon

Each year’s gift passed in turn
pencil lines marked the growth
kids blown afar with deeper scars
lamented choices too early sown
guilt’s voices sing their songs
the voices sing their songs

Take a breath
It’s over now.

The Christmas Twins

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xmas twins

It’s the most …..?….. time of the year.

I’ll leave you to fill in the blank because each of us has our own different word that lies in our head and our heart.

I’ve been struck… haunted actually… for a long time, by the juxtaposition of Christianity’s drive towards joy at a time when I see and encounter so many that are bereft and lonely, depressed and distant from the concept of “joy”.

I’m talking Christmas here.

It’s a snowflake dream and a teary conundrum.

…………………..

It’s the hap-happiest season of all
With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings
When friends come to call
It’s the hap-happiest season of all
(Best LGBTQ verse ever!)
…………………..
.

Who doesn’t love the idyllic dream of warmth, good food, and comfort in a time of family, friends, and sharing. Filled with iconic trees and sleighbells and characters, pious and secular.

But internally for me, there just isn’t enough money or time that I can give to others to square or compensate for the abutment of seasonal bliss vs sorrow.

The visions and sounds of Christmas fluff up intense exhilaration in some, while at the same time casting others into hell.

All of these opposing thoughts bring me to the music lyrics I’ve written this week.

The lines below are a troubled expression of the mixed emotions I feel and experience each year as December rolls around. Maybe I’m just emoting and puking out this internal dialogue of guilt in knowing that I have so much daylight in my world even as days grow short.

Christmas Echoes

Christmas Echoes

by Larry Green

Two echoes in the mirror
twins tied by ribbon and twine
Two troupes can’t quite see the other
one story yet never aligned
fa-la-las and white christmas
Gemini visions blur the same line.

Like Wolf and the Hawk
when night melts in decline
seek a god of hope and elation
or a god of life flat-lined
my season’s ecstasy meets foul
my smile spins to grime

The crescendo of hymns
the peal of the bells
cinnamon and clove scents
waged battles ‘tween heaven and hell
blazing fire in the hearth with
cozy stories of stables foretell

On the streets in the alleys
Grendel and Cain’s curse in hot flames
but this day isn’t their story
why should angels be ashamed?
my questions prickled thorns
my answers dark stained

CHORUS

I smile for the joyous
I cry for the pained
dissonance of a single note
free hope where it’s enchained
Cuz my eyes have looked round
both sides of this mirror
ofttimes the same day

hope twins.jpg

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