Poetry Day- America: The Long Dream

 

usa night

So, this poem arrived in a dream, intact, and I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote it down, just like this. There’s music too, but since I can’t write music, its just in my head. I wrote this in 1998 but I think about it every 9/11.

America: The Long Dream

America,

as we awaken from this long dream

we look around to see what’s happening

and wipe the sleep out of our weary eyes.

 

Long ago,

we came from every nation on the earth

our skin is shaded like the mother lands

our eyes reflect the places of our birth.

 

We’ve lived for years a nation under God

but never dared to say which one that was

now deep from sleep a restless voice is heard.

 

Until we see,

we came together here to start anew

and find the likenesses in me and you

we’ll never reach the point where love is true.

 

The purpose of our lives has always been

to learn to love regardless of our skin

 

The God we call out to is all the same.

The only difference is the man made name.

We bow our heads and ask

direction for

our lives again.

 

And in the middle of the darkest night

we hear the whispered voice and see the light

that fills our hearts and somehow makes it right.

 

This is the dawning of a brand new day.

Our turmoil leads us to another way-

to handle change with grace.

 

America,

as we awaken from this long dream

and look around to see what’s happeneing

we see the truth within our open eyes.

We’re standing truly at each other’s side.

Our learning hearts are finally open wide

to let the new day in.

POETRY~ Hand Resume

hand

Hand Resume

These same hands

that climbed the tree

turned the pages

swam the distance

wrote the poems

played the music

drove the roads

held the lover

rocked the babies

cooked the food

touched the gravestones

cheered the team

brushed the hair

made the deal

wrapped the presents

held the hands

raised the fists

gave the directions

typed the words

these same hands that got me here

will get me to where I’m going.

Only what matters should touch these hands.

Me and my hands chose wisely now.

Wild Hope

I’m nearing the final pages of my manuscript and there’s a small war going on inside me. Where is this one going to land and what happens if it ends up some place that wasn’t my first choice? Pouring my morning coffee into what I affectionately call “the bucket”, an oversize mug I made for my son that he left here “to use when he’s home”, I was running through scenarios of editors with machetes. That, naturally, made me envision scathing reviews on Amazon balanced precariously with a reader base that comes to your aide with pens flaming and me standing, like a mother, pleading with both sides to just get along.

Before I needed a case of Tums to face my laptop, I stopped and did what my friend, Nancy, tells us all to do when we forget that stress is a choice; just breathe. Books, like the children we bear and raise, reach a point when they naturally move out into the wide world and cut their own path, whatever that might look like. Stories, books, music, poetry, art; anything we give creative birth to is going to come out of us kicking and screaming and when it hits the air outside of us, it then belongs to the world. It will be treasured or abused. It will be scrutinized or ignored all together. It will touch some people deeply and it will bore others who were looking for something bloodier, sexier, harder, softer, shorter or longer or slightly more beige.

While we are pushing our creations out of the tiny orifice that only artists can locate, we can hold onto the wild hope that it emerges with all fingers and toes. We can hope that it becomes the fully formed, three dimensional, memorable, moving vision that was planted in our mind by a passing horny muse that put its mouth to our ear and in a deep voice, whispered it to us one night as we were falling asleep.

Wild Hope. The phrase reminded me of the album that former pop princess, Mandy Moore, birthed into the world back in 2007. Prior to that, I only knew of her from the snips of music I caught on car radios or from an adolescent’s playlists pre-9/11. One day though, I heard a piece of her music that made me follow it to its source and bring it home with me so I could hear it again. The words were luscious, the orchestration and production nearly flawless. Her voice on that independent album embodied that moment, somewhere in your late 20’s, when shit gets real. The curtain falls down exposing the powerless little wizard you assumed had control over your emotional life and you found out it was just you, making some stupid choices and some surprisingly good ones as well. Beauty.

The title song is perfect and there were many other gems on the collection. I found a YouTube video an hour ago; Mandy Moore-Wild Hope-In The Studio; a diary of the making of the album. At the 5:20 mark, she says, “There is nothing like the freedom of having the absolute control to make the record that I want to make.” She had won a hard fight to break free from her recording contract that was forcing her to barf up mainstream elevator music and this would be her solo flight.

Inspired to hear it start to finish, I went searching my CD stacks. No luck. Someone “borrowed it” (read: stole it and it’s never coming back). Fine, this is the age of instant gratification. I’ve got Spotify. I’ve got iTunes. I’ve got those other weird programs on my Windows laptop that I’ve never used before. I’ll find it, download it and be listening before my bucket of coffee gets cold. Guess what? It’s not on any of those sites. In fact, I had to order a new copy of the CD, from the U.S. outlets though, because the European version is usd$51.oo. Seriously.

Well, that sent me into panic number two this morning and I still haven’t opened my manuscript file to begin my climb to the last pages of the book. Why have they taken the downloadable files away from us? Has someone kidnapped Mandy and the ransom is forcing her to return to a candy filled Willy Wonka factory to turn out teeth and ear rotting junk food music? Is there a telethon for this where I can send a donation? Am I avoiding ending my book by obsessing over the missing Mandy Moore Music? Hell, yes.

Fine. My coffee is cold anyway. My book will go out and some people will love it and some will use it to line their guinea pig cage; though if you’re going to trash it, I would prefer it be kindling for a beach bonfire. So much more romantic, you know?

So, here’s the song. At least you can hear this one. I’ll just have to wait for delivery of the CD that I found online at a record place in Chicago. I’ll get back to writing and while I wrap this manuscript up, I’ll hold onto my own Wild Hope that everything will be all right.