May 22, 2011

I’ve been working on this song for a while, and I think I’ve finally gotten the lyrics out of their awkward phase.  That being said, they read like song lyrics, not like a poem (in my opinion), so keep that in mind.  I would highly suggest just making up your own tune so that you can sing them, actually, and hopefully I’ll make a video in the near future so that I can share the music as well as the lyrics.

Dirt roads

I am a gardener,
my calloused hands are never clean.
My knees are always green with grass stains;
my ways are not fit for your fast lanes,
but come on, come see me.

Why don’t you take a ride in your fast car
and amble on down to the countryside?
I’ll give you seeds for your window box;
come see me, I’ll open up all the locks
for you, just gotta come here, dear, to me.

Hey there, my city dweller,
climb up out of your urban cellar.
I’ll be your sunshine,
and I’ll be your April rains.
I’ll be all of your springtime flowers;
I’ll liven your life for all of your hours
if you would just come see me.

Come on, take a ride in your fast car,
just take your sweet time
cause I’m really not that far
away, today, you’ll see me.

I’ll give you blueberries, apples, and kisses.
I promise this country will grant
all of your wishes.
I’ll be your summer shade,
and I’ll be your backyard creek
if you’d just come see me this week.

I’ll be your sunshine,
and I’ll be your August storms.
I’ll be every one of your summer flowers;
I’ll liven your life for all of your hours
if you would just come see me.


becoming musical…
May 8, 2011

Occasionally, I write poems with music in mind.  This often happens when the poetry is metered and/or rhymed, as most song lyrics are, but as I was writing my last free verse poem, “Enough,” I found that by singing the lines as I worked on it, the poem was easier to write.  And so here is the song that evolved out of my poetry writing.   Enjoy listening!

free verse
April 16, 2011


Tell me I’m a windmill.
Tell me that you know my design
and how nature was meant to move me.
Tell me you know the words to say
so that I will turn exactly the way I’m supposed to.
Tell me that you can move me in the wind of your breath,
then prove it.
Speak the words that have been welling up inside your lungs
like storm clouds.
I am not afraid of your bad weather,
and that’s saying something,
because they could name hurricanes after you.
But instead I am calling every flower by your name
and kissing every petal that opened after your rains.
I am licking every rain drop off my skin
and I can taste you in all of them.

Tell me I’m a library.
Tell me that my soul is lined with Shakespeare.
Tell me that you want to check out all of my volumes
and read them in the dark under a sheet with a flashlight.
Tell me that when I breathe in my sleep
you hear pages rustling.
Tell me that you have walked between my bookshelves
and have found the back corner where I hide all the stories
that no one is allowed to read,
then read them.
Read me and speak my own words to me so that
I know that you know who I am.

Tell me who I am,
because some days I forget that I have memorized my own lines,
and I feel like a foreign country to myself,
and my fingerprints look like street maps
to cities that I have never visited.
But you have left footprints on all of my sidewalks,
so walk down my main street with me
and hold my hand and remind me of my self.
And when I remember the feeling of my own skin,
I’ll take you down my alleyways and past my city limits
and show you the creek in my backyard,
and we’ll catch minnows in plastic buckets with yellow handles
and whistle at barn swallows.

I’ll tell you I’m a cello.
I’ll tell you that you are making
every part of my being resonate
in swimming startime springlight music,
and I’ll tell you that if you bring a bow
and if your hands know what to do,
you can tune me by ear
and play me by heart.