PROMPT #116 – I’VE HEARD THAT SONG BEFORE

For many of us, songs carry associations, moods, emotions, memories. Some may be good; some may be bad; some may be ambiguous. The old Jule Styne – Sammy Cahn song, I’ve Heard That Song Before, suggests a pleasurable association that nonetheless is sufficiently faded in memory that the listener asks to “have them play it again.” Write a poem based on a song. You might want to write new words to fit existing lyrics, or write an entirely different set of lines that nonetheless have some connection with the song, or what the song means to you.

MARIE ELENA’S OLDIE (Hey!  No snickering out there!)

IF YOU WISH YOU WERE A STAR

To the lovely classic “When You Wish Upon a Star” by Leigh Harline [melody] and Ned Washington [lyrics]:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQTzO2eRwwE

(To be sung softly, dreamily, wistfully; with your hands clasped together near your heart, for effect… )

If you wish you were a star
First consider how bizarre;
Paparazzi all around
Would stalk,
and hound.

Would you be a Meryl Streep?
Jacqueline Bisset of “The Deep?”
Ravishing Miss Leigh of “Streetcar?”
Rose – anne – Barr?

(Bridge)
Fate is kind
She left me disinclined
To live like actresses
Before the mass – es.

So, consider my advice
Stardom is not paradise.
When you look at me, foresee
Ob – scur – i – ty!

© Copyright Marie Elena Good, 2009

WILLIAM PRESTON’S EXAMPLE

 ON HEARING HARBOR LIGHTS

One song,
oft repeated,
limns and encapsulates
two hearts; a few days; many years;
one love.
 
© Copyright William Preston, 2013

Note: Harbor Lights, written by Jimmy Kennedy and Hugh Williams.

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS – PROMPT # 86

Say it with music. This week we explored music as our muse, finding a “Sound of the Season,” and using that inspiration to pen our poems. The varying results are astounding. The choices are as always, difficult. But we carry on. Here are this week’s BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS.

MARIE ELENA’S BLOOM:

To my own discredit, there are times (probably far too many) when I do not take the time to slowly draw in and savor the work of the extraordinary poets easily accessible to me.   All I can say is that I’m thankful I took the time this morning to slowly breathe in and relish Jane Shlensky’sAdoration.”  The poetic beauty and multiple layers of this piece are simply remarkable.  Oh, to pen such eloquence …

ADORATION by Jane Shlensky

We shook our heads when she returned
from walking woods, as often she did,
each time carrying some treasure of burl
or mistletoe, Indian Pipe or sassafras root.

This time she dragged a young maple
dry and stripped of leaves, killed
in its spring, torn from the ground,
its slender trunk splintered like bone.

She stood it in the greenhouse, a skeleton
surrounded by greening seedlings, its bark
slowly curling away in ribbons from white
smoothness beneath. At advent, she built

for it a stand and hung from its naked limbs
fluffs of Spanish moss. Each spray of twigs
stretching like fingers of an empty hand
outstretched, she filled with a bird’s nest,

song birds of wood and clay perched
among the branches, a single dove lighting
on the highest limb, its wings lifted as if
it carried in its claws the hope of the world.

The holy family assembled at the foot of the tree
around an empty manger, poised to adore the newborn,
kneeling, bearing gifts, nudging the animals aside
for a glimpse of his light. But where was he?

The child, already in flight, nested aloft, hardly
bigger than the blue eggs that surrounded him.
He was risen among wild things that offered him
the gift of themselves, their ode to joy a chorus

of birdsong cradling his dreams. Each year
we dreamed of receiving, of fir trees smelling
of evergreen, our visions flightless. She saw
the broken and dead and dreamed of resurrection.

Her tree, no more than a memory now, returns to me
each Christmas, each Easter, each walk through woods,
each flutter and tweet of birds at my feeder, and
I am brought to my knees in humility, in adoration.

WALT’S SELECTION:

In the past week there has been much talk of “Angels” – a common description of the innocent souls who were taken from us so young. And it seemed to be a shared inspiration for our poets this week. I chose this poem from all the great entries because it is a wonderful expression of the season, and well… because it was the first one to present angels as a theme. At that, I present this BEAUTIFUL BLOOM to Salvatore Buttaci. Congratulations Salvatore, and Merry Christmas!

ANGELS FROM THE REALMS OF GLORY by Salvatore Buttaci

Those who remained behind
Gathered about the throne of God
Glorifying His gift
to the world of humanity
While angels sang praises
On Earth to the newborn infant,
His Son, the Word made flesh
To dwell among us for a time

Angels from the realms of glory,
All the saints who had died
Loving and living God’s commands,
Watched from heavenly heights
A child wrapped in swaddling clothes,
His mother sweet Mary,
His foster father good Joseph,
The donkeys braying.

A promise God had vowed
Long before time and space began
He kept at Bethlehem
In a stable, beneath a star
He sent twinkling above
The shepherds, the wise men, the world
That was changed forever
When the Infant drew his first breath

CELEBRATIONS IN SONG – PROMPT # 86

The Memoir Project has moved into the editing stage and we will be revisiting your compilations through the course of 2013. If you wish to complete the challenge, we encourage you to do so. The prompts will be accessible throughout. Thank you to all who have participated and shared their thoughts. Thank you also to those who for whatever reason refrained from the project all together. We respect your honesty and commitment as well.

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But now, we celebrate. ‘Tis the season for all such things and with a song (or song title, or lyric) in our hearts we will exclaim all that there is to celebrate. Be it Christmas, or Chanukah, Kwanzaa or Festivus (the holiday for the rest of us!), celebrate! Heck, even if you just want to celebrate your new “gig kit,” we will join in your elation by way of celebration! We ask that you take a piece of one of the songs of the season to inspire your muse. Use the title or line from the song as your title and craft a new poem. We wish you a merry muse and refuse to let the joy languish!

MARIE ELENA’S MELODY:

SILENT NIGHT

As cattle low and donkeys bray,
A worried man begins to pray.
“She’s weary, Lord, and birth pains loom,
We need an Inn, but none have room.”
A stable with a bed of hay
Affords them with a place to stay.
 
She lies amongst the bleating sheep –
Where there she finds no peace for sleep.
The hour of our Savior’s birth
Sweet angel voices sing His worth,
While Satan howls – himself, enraged
In knowing that a war’s been waged
A war the Babe Himself will win –
To free us from our senseless sin.
 
Beneath the sacred star-lit night,
How silent was that holy night?
 

WALT’S WORDS:

CHRISTMAS IS FOR CHILDREN

We are all someone’s child.
But young children are a special breed.
Their needs and wants are simple.
They need to learn and have fun.
They want to grow in a world
where they are loved and cared for.
They want and need their families around them
and they wish the same for their friends.
They shouldn’t be huddled in a locked closet
amidst gunfire and chaos only wanting one thing.
“I just want Christmas. That’s all. I want Christmas!”

** A heart-wrenching revelation about a young boy in the middle of the senseless massacre of his classmates. His one wish was making it to Christmas. Hug your children often.

BEAUTIFUL BLOOM – WEEK # 16

Week # 16 brought us to find inspiration in music. The efforts were rockin’ to say the least. The “BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS” for this week exemplifies that perfectly. These are the picks of the week:

 

Sophie’s (Nonna’s) Choice:

It was once again oh-so-difficult to choose only one poem. The quality here astounds me. I finally settled in on Linda Swensky’s “I Was Once Like You Are Now.” The unadorned wisdom of this little piece drew me in. Simply superb.

 

By Linda Swenski

I Was Once Like You Are Now
I once knew everything
But I gained knowledge
And experience
And now I know nothing.

Inspired by Father and Son by Cat Stevens

 

Walt’s choice:

The poet as story teller intrigues me to no end. To find such inspiration from the lyric of a song, brings it to life in very unsuspecting ways. And so it is with mike Maher’s work ”…Old Punk Rock clubs” We all battle our ghosts and demons. How that changes us is our concern. Hopefully we learn from it. Or the lessons passed on by others. My Beautiful Bloom for the week teaches something we all may have forgotten. This is mike Maher’s Bloom.

 

“But I still hear your ghost in these old Punk Rock Clubs.” by mike Maher

More than once I have been told
about my ghost,
have heard mike Maher. spoken about in the past tense –
that mike Maher. who got so drunk on Tequila
at that concert at the Croc Rock that he got tangled in the seat belt –
despite being quite alive,
at least I think so.
How great it was to drink Tequila
until you could almost speak Spanish!
No matter how drunk he got,
that version of me never understood the big fuss over Whitman.
That me used to write dark poems
about the beckoning of the unknown
and the relative deepness of rain puddles.
Most definitions of the word ghost will disagree,
but that one in the picture book with Jesus in blue jeans
grilling cheeseburgers and smoking a cigar
would probably tell you it’s possible
to have even more than one ghost without a physical death.
One of his motives was be heard by everyone,
the other was to be seen by no one.

PROMPT #16 – PLAYING FAVORITES #2


There is always a lyric from a song that stays with you. It could be from a favorite song, or a song you hear again after a few years that has you singing along. It might be a church hymn or a commercial jingle; any song really. Choose a line from that song (or the song title) as the title of your poem. Do not interpret the song. Make it new; make it yours. This is a favorite exercise of mine. Let’s see what music is in you that inspires. For our “Playlist”, do identify the song and artist.

Marie Elena’s haiku for Week 16:

Over the rainbow,
We hold hands and click our heels.
There’s no place like home.


This, of course, inspired by “Over the Rainbow,” Judy Garland’s signature song, by Arlen and Harburg. Thankfully, my husband is every bit as much the homebody as I.

 

Walt’s Lyric worth noting:

HOWLING AT THE MOON LIKE A SLACK JAWED FOOL

 

I sing my songs to you.

My words melt like butter in your mouth

and their taste leaves you sweetened and satisfied.

It seems I’ve tried to serenade you in every way

except what would eventually reach your ears.

My aural intrusion bringing thoughts to you

that you never knew possible. An impassible

blockade, battered now to allow my melodies

access to your battle-worn heart. And my words,

dripping, honeyed and spoon-fed, sticking

to your ravaged soul. They have taken their toll

as the maddening moonlight entices my muse.

I bay at its brilliance; my dalliance

brought to bare under the star-filled night.

Only fools fall!

~ from “BEG, STEAL OR BORROW” by Ray LaMontagne