Listen to some music from an earlier period in your life. Write a poem about the memories they evoke or how they make you feel.




Shane Gibson Shane Brother Shane

A cowboy rides
into town; a new sheriff
to spread the peace and keep it.
A voice thick and drawn, a spellbinder
weaving words with an eclectic style,
a smile that charms the masses.
In a class by himself, this music man
stands ready to draw, “guns”
loaded with wit and wisdom.
A cosmic sort, ethereal and as real
as none before him. Riding the airwaves,
up and down the eastern seaboard,
a hoard of believers hanging on every
word and absurd quip, a quick lip
across the Buffalo radio dial.
And me a young-blood, hearing the
endearing worded wizardry of a sage
at an age when one was lacking.
Packing as much sincerity
in the clarity he offered.
Brother of another mother,
Shane Brother Shane. The memories remain,
“Love is but a song we sing”,
opening the “Box” releasing the gifts
lifted high. Peace and love in
a nightly “Get Together” tethered
by heartstrings and leather fringe.
The trappings of cool, nobody’s fool;
he ruled the sunset. Ride on cowboy!
Shane. Brother Shane.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik, 2014


And if you get the chance, wish our Marie Elena a Happy Birthday today. Send her a thought or a greeting in whatever way suits you, here or across the web.

Happy Birthday, Pardner!


74 thoughts on “PROMPT #172 – “MUSICAL MEMORIES”


    When they play Harbor Lights,
    my heart goes flying to the islands;
    I still see all the sights,
    and they still fill my dreams.

    I hear from starry heights
    the tunes of Crosby and Sinatra;
    their voices still send flights
    of songs in silver streams.

    Some tunes are soft and slow
    and some are bright and gay;
    some send my soul to tears,
    and some turn night to day.

    I know no lonely nights
    for all the while my heart is brimming
    with tunes like Harbor Lights
    that stream on soft moonbeams.

    copyright 2014, William Preston


    Well begorrah! Today is the day
    you were born and were sped on your way
    to spread joy and a smile
    all around, all the while
    giving grace to our poor mortal clay.

    Happy birthday, Marie.

  3. RIP IT UP

    A quick trot to the record shop
    got me the last ‘45
    of Little Richard’s “Rip It Up”
    which I played ad nauseam
    (according to my parents)
    memorizing the lyrics
    and missing my sister Anna
    who married and moved away
    (my dance instructor who taught
    me the Lindy and the Montclair)

    So I winged it alone
    blasting every beat into my feet
    Inventing new moves and grooves
    until finally my father
    said Enough already
    Give it rest (this from the man
    who believed only Crosby
    could sing and rock would roll away
    before the ‘50s were done)
    [Long about ten I’ll be flyin’ high
    Walk right out on to the sky]

    I ran my pencil through math
    read in class when called on
    but all the while in my head
    Little Richard sang his heart out
    [Well, it’s Saturday night and I just got paid,
    Fool about my money, don’t try to save.]
    I was sixteen. Going to college?
    Study to be somebody?
    [I’m gonna rock it up, I’m gonna rip it up,
    I’m gonna shake it up, gonna ball it up,
    I’m gonna rock it up, and ball tonight.]

    Over sixty years later
    I still can’t stand still
    when I hear that song.
    I still want to dance
    Forget about bad knees and the wheeze
    and my wife begging Please
    I want to [rip it up and ball tonight]


  4. Happy Birthday Marie. Hope you are enjoying the special music that birthdays bring—

    Memories echo across the globe for me- I couldn’t write just about a specific one–

    Evergreen Tracks
    A timeless, happy birthday song
    A silly, laughing, rhyme along
    Pure Sufi notes, sink deep in blue
    Some runes gild, black and whitened hues
    Moon dreams, that soar with quivering tones
    Love churns, that tingle in my bones
    A pacing heart, a lilting drum
    They balm the flow of blood, with hums
    Like background music, in my head
    It weaves, rich silver ocean threads
    These evergreens that held my sway
    Have moulded me, in many ways—-

  5. “Goodnight Irene” Summer of 1950

    Five years of Peace – Say Goodnight, Goodnight

    In the basement canteen of the local
    Veterans group
    Men who served in world war I and II
    Realize that five years of peace is all
    The world will remember.
    New battles erupting in a far off Asian land
    Called “Police action” at first, but the men
    Who served know better.
    “Good night Irene, good night Irene,
    I’ll see you in my dreams.”

    A peace that lasts…A world that resolves
    Its problems by discussion and compromise

    Once again, a dream postponed…

  6. The Whale Song

    I listen again to the woman wail
    and my tired eyes
    take a moment to adjust to the
    adolescent tunnel vision,
    to the darkness that comes with being
    the centre of the universe,
    cranking the telescope open
    to look into the mirror.

    I listen again to the woman wail
    and am reminded of a time when
    music was not accompanied by a screen
    and we were able to
    see ourselves dancing
    on invisible wires;

    we all walked on water then.

    I listen again to the woman wail
    and suddenly find myself
    sitting in my father’s old car—
    the boxy blue Bonneville—
    my grandmother and him in the front seat,
    me alone in the back,
    my cassette in the cassette player,
    knowing the f-bomb was about to drop
    and there was nothing I could do to stop it
    and so I just looked out at the ocean
    only to see a huge fin emerge.

    Entranced, I never noticed
    if they felt the earth shake
    when the bomb dropped
    or if they too saw the leviathan
    peek out and wave at me.


    Time has not been kind
    to the rebellious voices of my youth:
    The righteous wails now heard as whines,
    the lyrics, they contain no truths.

    Still, I travelled back to see
    that girl I cringe to say was me
    and I dive back down into the deep
    swimming in tears, unable to weep.

  7. Here is mine, still working on the hexsonnetta form:


    The cowboy whistles happy tunes
    His smile cheer sun-parched souls
    Duh-DUM familiar notes poke holes
    In walls with ears to classics tuned
    To Fur Elise my heart attuned
    What happy times, when I was whole

    Once nimble fingers move like glue
    My arms both right and left have died
    Goodbye to music, with a sigh
    Unwrap a wind-up dog of blue
    Beethoven’s only song he knew
    ‘Til childhood ended and I cried

    But once upon a time I preened
    Because I heard “Fur Mein Darlene”


    Diana Krall can sing just about anything, I think
    But when I heard the strains of this iconic Eagles tune
    I didn’t expect to hear her husky contralto thrumming
    the lines and it took me back to a place and time
    When you still lived here and we saw you almost every day

    And I wondered if you had “come to your senses”
    Yet or if you were still riding hard and not trusting
    the Queen of Hearts – you always were such a loner
    Do you know how much we miss you, especially now
    When we’re on the cusp of winter “when the sky won’t snow
    and the sun won’t shine”…

    How did we go from being so close, know each other
    as intimately as family—you were our kids only real Uncle—
    to barely being in touch? Did you find what you were
    looking for? Or are you still “losin’ all your highs and lows
    – ain’t it funny how the feeling goes away”…

    “Desperado – why don’t you come to your senses
    come down from your fences, open the gate”
    You don’t know how many times I wish I’d said the words
    Not let you just go off on your own, maybe without knowing
    how much you meant to us…

    *the words in quotations are from Desperado –
    the Eagles (Don Henley and Glen Frey, writers)

  9. Laura

    Beautiful dark-eyed Laura. I listen
    to “Eli’s Coming.” Sounds softly
    building, haunting my memories–
    that hot summer day
    in Central Park,
    July, 1978,
    when my friend and I watched
    spellbound, as Laura’s voice
    soared, piano keys rippled,
    and we hoped she would not
    give birth on stage. Eight
    months pregnant, Laura was
    nearly too big to sit
    at her piano. We still listen,
    we still hear,

    “Oh sweet blindness
    a little magic
    a little kindness”

    grateful that we were able to see
    her live, because her magic
    and kindness were gone
    at age forty-nine.

  10. Pingback: Time Marches On | echoes from the silence


    Sounds of fall
    heard through the crisp air;
    each drum beat
    brings to mind
    the days of youth, long past. Cheers
    rise to the heavens.

    Known to most
    as Mr. Baessler,
    and writer
    of our song,
    to me he was Grandpa Keith.
    His cadence lives on.

    P. Wanken

    In memory of Keith Baessler, my grandpa and the Boone Valley High School band instructor, who wrote the “Boone Valley Fight Song” that was played before every football game, at every pep rally, during every parade.

    And…Happy Birthday, Marie…lover of all things football/marching band/music!

  12. To Stay

    I dated my first serious boyfriend
    for four years. Actually I dated him
    one year, and for the next three years,
    we tried to break up, but we kept
    getting back together, while
    “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover”
    played in the background. Eventually,
    we grew apart. He wound up in my wedding,
    but not as the groom. For the next
    thirty-five years I must have thought of
    more than fifty ways to leave my lover,
    but there’s only one way to stay
    and that’s to stay.


    By: Nurit Israeli

    Night after night,
    drifting off to sleep,
    I still hear my mother sing
    her made-for-me version
    of the Brahms Lullaby.

    Her verses coax me,
    as then in times of war,
    to close my eyes –
    like the little bird already
    asleep on the branch of a tree.

    Her verses still promise,
    as then at times of uncertainty,
    a bright and blissful future:
    “and tomorrow, you’ll awaken
    to joy, to life.”

    Tomorrows came, some bright
    some not, and I fed the verses
    of the Brahms Lullaby to my children
    then their children – my English version
    a variation for a New World.

    And on my mother’s last day,
    I rocked a drifting off mother-now-child,
    and with my daughter sang
    the Brahms Lullaby to my mother
    for the last time, freeing her to let go:

    “Good night mama. Go to sleep.
    Close your eyes. The time has come.”
    Faltering at the verses about “tomorrow”,
    I resolved: “and tomorrow, you’ll
    awaken… to life…” – some other life.

    More tomorrows came and went.
    The children became adults,
    the grandchildren almost,
    the future is now, but I am
    holding on to the Brahms Lullaby.

    And as memories take me back,
    I still hear the haunting melody
    that promises a bright and blissful
    future: “and tomorrow,
    you’ll awaken to Joy, to Life.”

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