Poetry Friday – Musical Musings

Today is Poetry Friday and Tracey is our delightful host who has cooked up a thought-provoking post about inspiration.

My husband is the best playlist creator, and we’ve had a winner for this road trip. Today, as he drove, I pondered some of the sweet tunes I was listening to. I was feeling contemplative about my children, the mistakes I’ve made along the way in this life, and my lifelong commitment to love and hope. I chose lines from two of the songs and wrote this double golden shovel about my thoughts.

I’ll not give up, for I’ll pray and
carry hope for us–Hope of sunny yellow.
You will continue to draw your lines
home whatever that is like, and
tonight may finally be when we all tire.
We will still make our tentative marks.
Are there enough remaining days of sun:
Young– and old-kissed?
So, to be true in our skin
let’s no longer hide ourselves and
set impossible ideals to handle
the pain and fears, the prison bars,
world-wide eternal collisions and
on and on and on where
fire once burned our resolve and I
We came there and firmly stood.
Can there still be hope where fear was?
Burn the clouds to where
Brighter days will surprise us. More I
Than. More you than. Starting was
the culmination of longing, to
sun shining and all of us free to be.

Striking lines:
Lyric from “We Are Young” by Fun: “I’ll carry you home tonight. We are young, so let’s set the world on fire. We can burn brighter than the sun.”
Lyric from “Once Upon Another Time” by Sara Bareilles: “And yellow lines and tire marks, sun-kissed skin and handle bars, and where I stood was where I was to be.”

Now, if you’d like, please  join me for a few moments on this musical road trip. The first song is by Sara Bareilles, “Once Upon Another Time.” I find it so hauntingly beautiful to listen to, and then to watch her sing it at the Kennedy Center, surrounded by all the gentle and mostly quiet musicians is mesmerizing.

The second song was “We are Young” by Fun. (Have you seen this fun scene from the movie Home Team? Harlan and his team mates sing “We are Young” to the girl he likes.)

Spiritual Journey Thursday – Respect

Thank you, Linda, for hosting this Spiritual Journey Thursday today. I saw the word respect on the prompt calendar, and it was on my mind when I saw this recent post by Carlos Whittaker, introducing himself to his new followers:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Carlos Whittaker (@loswhit)

He explains about his Instagram account, that it is a place of hope, yet it’s not a “feel good” account. He gave this advice for his followers when they interact with each other over a hard topic:

“just show up here with this phrase inked on your soul…
Don’t stand on issues…
Walk with people…”

I have been thinking of these words all week because I see some friends and family traveling down paths of conspiracy theories. How can I walk with them respectfully? How can you believe such foolishness? I want to shout. Sometimes the seemingly-crazy ideas are all tied up in religion and God-belief too, so that is troubling and confusing.

I wrote a poem called a double golden shovel, inspired first by Linda and a “clunker line” poem she wrote with one of my lines and this recent post by Kim Johnson. I wrote the following poem as advice to myself. I find it natural to do one of two things when people have ideas I don’t respect:

  1. I become impatient with and disrespectful of the person.
  2. I just walk away and ignore them and their bad ideas.

But as Carlos suggests, there is another way — “with this phrase inked on your soul…Don’t stand on issues…Walk with people…”

Respect Advise to Me

Don’t expect that respect comes easily. With
stand the temptation to blame this
on others who “get tired, keep on tryin'” (to borrow a phrase).
Issues of  r-e-s-p-e-c-t  aren’t solved by getting beliefs inked.
Walk in the footsteps of others. Be fully on
with empathy. Think of all people, not only your
people. Open wide the part that may reach others–your home soul.

Then after I read the two quotes together at the beginning and end of these lines, they seemed backwards. I would have preferred to have them the other way around, so I tried again. It was an interesting exercise, with very different possibilities for where the poem could go. There are also some difficult pairs when doing a double golden shovel, with word couplings like “Don’t this.” However, it was time well-spent getting me thinking about how to respect those I desperately disagree with.

Respect Advise to Me, Take 2

With new urgency I listen. Don’t
this-and-that and what-about to justify your stand.
Phrase of respect emblazoned on
inked chest doesn’t fix hatred issues.
On empathetic legs of grace I will walk
your road of pain and humanity. In peace, with
soul-searing hope, I will touch the hearts of people.