To Bill Shakestick Indebted: A Challenge

Shakespeare.jpg
Public Domain

Thee(s) and thou(s) no longer a thing

They have for most an archaic ring

As teachers imbue knowledge

Of some Danish prince

The unfamiliar phrases

Make our brains wince

We sit in class – quite subdued

“To be or not” leaves us confused

And yet for some – the enlightened few

The rhythms sink-in and spark something new

Rhymes fill your imagination and there they stew

You start writing poetry – what else can you do?

If something like this has happened to you

Then share a verse on how it is true

Now with no more gilding the lily

No further ado 

I leave the next verse – up to you

 

Padre


 

 

Please do give it a try and share.

 

 

Harmonica In It

 

Jim Adams‘ challenge this week is to “find a song with a harmonica in it.” I considered writing about the Beatles’ Rocky Raccoon (which I hope someone does), but being a word-person rather than a musician, I went with a song that while without a harmonica accompaniment has the instrument (slang “Harpoon”) mentioned in the lyrics.

Me and Bobby McGee was written by  Kris Kristofferson.  It was posthumously released by Janis Joplin in 1971, and became the second No. 1 single in American chart history to be released after the artist’s death.

The song has been song or covered by Roger Williams, Waylon Jennings, The Grateful Dead, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers and The First Edition, Gordon Lightfoot, Dolly Parton, Olivia Newton-John, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson.

Lyrics:

Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waitin’ for a train
And I’s feelin’ near as faded as my jeans
Bobby thumbed a diesel down, just before it rained
It rode us all the way to New Orleans
I pulled my harpoon out of my dirty red bandanna
I was playin’ soft while Bobby sang the blues, yeah
Windshield wipers slappin’ time, I was holdin’ Bobby’s hand in mine
We sang every song that driver knew
Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose
Nothin’, don’t mean nothin’ hon’ if it ain’t free, no no
And, feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues
You know, feelin’ good was good enough for me
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee
From the Kentucky coal mine to the California sun
There Bobby shared the secrets of my soul
Through all kinds of weather, through everything we done
Yeah, Bobby baby kept me from the cold
One day up near Salinas, Lord, I let him slip away
He’s lookin’ for that home, and I hope he finds it
But, I’d trade all of my tomorrows, for a single yesterday
To be holdin’ Bobby’s body next to mine
Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose
Nothin’, that’s all that Bobby left me, yeah
But, feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues
Hey, feelin’ good was good enough for me, mm-hmm
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee
La da da
La da da da
La da da da da da da da
La da da da da da da da
Bobby McGee, yeah
La da da da da da da
La da da da da da da
La da da da da da da
Bobby McGee, yeah
La da La la da da la da da la da da
La da da da da da da da da
Hey, my Bobby
Oh, my Bobby McGee, yeah
La la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la
Hey, my Bobby
Oh, my Bobby McGee, yeah
Well, I call him my lover, call him my man
I said, I call him my lover did the best I can, c’mon
Hey now, Bobby now
Hey now, Bobby McGee, yeah
Woo
La da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la la
Hey, hey, hey Bobby McGee, yeah
La da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la
Hey, hey, hey, Bobby McGee, yeah
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Fred L. Foster / Kris Kristofferson
Me and Bobby McGee lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
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Padre

Inspiration: Musings on Muses (Part 1)

Terrifying Explosion in Beirut Wasn't Nuclear, Experts Say, And ...

image: ScienceAlert

Why do I write?  In one sense it is to express myself.  In yet another, it is a deeper art in which I express possibilities.  The idea of ideas – possibilities beyond expressions of myself, but of things not experienced (at least) by me.  These inspired thoughts are the subject of this rambling musing on muses and musings.

Inspired is a simple word – “to breath in,” “to receive spirit.”  But what is the muse?  Love poems come easy to me when I am in love.  My lover is the best muse possible for such poetry.

But what of my darker works?

It is amazing how diverse prompts from daily life can come together to take-on lives of their own.  It is evident in the writing process of my poem Saving Face.  This poem was virtually spontaneous at about midnight after a long day.   The night before, I had watched a film which informed it.  The day was ending with news of a huge explosion in Beirut.   Deja vu was my initial reaction, alongside with a cold shudder having had friends killed in the 1983 bombings there.  This began a series of free associations which culminated in the poem.

So what was that process?  The shock of an explosion in Beirut brought about memories of the young men killed there in the 80s.  This in turn led to the patriotism they (we) felt about service.  It made the loss seem greater.  Then the realisation, that in 2020 we send our young women to war and its horrors, as well as our “boys.”  Memories of my own service, and of the iconic image from Apocalypse Now of a camouflage-painted face became an image of the “face of war.”  The idea of war as a political agenda, and of politicians needing to “save face,” brought to mind Saving Private Ryan.  Who then would save these young faces of today – this new generation of “camouflage faces?”

But the process does not end with the dual meaning of “saving face.”  The structure itself had its muse.  That inspiration was the aforementioned film watched the day before –  Blade Runner 2049,  Face, Face, Face.

So why do I write?  I write to sort the bombardment of ideas into something tangible, something less chaotic.  I write to give the struggling ideas dome rest and peace.

 

Padre

 

I will revisit the Muse musings soon, and how love and loss, and new love inspire me.

 

 

In Hand

 

Writing, Write, Fountain Pen, Ink

Pixabay

When I was at school, I was quite proud of my cursive hand with its requite swirls and flourishes.  Many hours were spent trying to replicate the elaborate script that, in white on green, spanned the front of the classroom wall just below the ceiling.

But times, and life moved on and I found myself a teacher in the UK, where my adorned writing caused confusion among my students.  “Sir, why does your ‘n’ look like a ‘m’ and your ‘m’ have three bumps and not two?  Yes, I had inadvertently wandered into the realm of “joined writing,” in which cursive was seen as archaic and unnecessary.

But tides and time wait for no man, and even “joined writing” became something to forget.  If a student could master a keyboard, why spend time with the mastery of a pen?  To touch type was the new scribal talent.

I have often heard students moan “my arm is breaking,” if they needed to hand-write more than a few lines of text.  Primary teachers speak of students who hold pencils gripped in closed fists, rather than between index and thumb.

How far have we journeyed?  Where will it lead?  Will writing in the future even be a thing we need?

Padre

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge:

Today’s prompt: Write a piece of prose or poetry around the words cursive, touch, and forget

What Is Truly Inside

David Altmejd

Michaengelo said – every block of stone

Has a statue hidden there inside

It is just for the artist to

Find it where it hides

 

We too,  often our true selves hide

Hoping that others won’t see

What we have buried deep inside

Because of our insecurity

 

We conceal our aspirations

Things – we truly want to be

Ignoring that deep inside

Our SELF wants to escape and  make itself free

 

For so long I did bury – my love affair with words

Wishing one day – that I might find the nerve

To let my composition

By the world to be heard

 

So in these few verses

Scribbled swiftly – to a prompt responding

May it be to you – your wake-up call

For your buried self’s absconding

 

Padre

 

Photo Challenge #325

Onslaught

Man Doing Dab Position Near Beach

Photo by Tobias Bjørkli from Pexels

They were coming.  It was as simple as that, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.  Six weeks of preparation, the amassing of supplies, and contingency plan after contingency plan made and then scrutinised, made the reality of the situation no less real.  They were coming, like a biblical plague of locusts they would arrive just as the promise of Autumn beauty was taking hold.

Katherine sucked it up, and shuffled the pile of papers on her desk, and glanced around her room at the pristine displays and wondered how long would this sanctuary remain unchanged.   Yes, Year Nine was coming.

 

Padre

 

 

Playful Flashes

Girls, Women, Dame, Noble, Park, Forest, Road, Green

Pixabay

Firefly? Lightening Bug?

Or are you a will-o’-wisp?

Why do you beckon me thus –

Away from pathways – that I trust?

Do you wish me malevolence?

Or do you have fair intent?

I shall remain here within the gaze

Of my sister – always wise

And resist your playful flashes

Which may be malice in disguise.

 

Padre

 

 

Feelin’ Fine with the Hermits

 

This week’s Song Lyrics Sunday challenge is to write about a piece that includes the words touch or feel.  Feel and Feeling (Feelin’) are key words in the positive (“feel so proud”) and as a cover-up (“Feelin’ fine”) in the 1963/1965 classic “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.

The song was written in 1963 by Trevor Peacock and was first performed in a play that year.  It is most famous, however, in the Herman’s Hermit’s 1965 release which went to number 1 on the US and Canadian charts.  Nostalgically, this tale of break-up is one of my earliest experiences of pop music that I can remember.

Lyrics:
Mrs. Brown you’ve got a lovely daughter
Girls as sharp as her are somethin’ rare
But it’s sad, she doesn’t love me now
She’s made it clear enough it ain’t no good to pine
She wants to return those things I bought her
Tell her she can keep them just the same
Things have changed, she doesn’t love me now
She’s made it clear enough it ain’t no good to pine
Walkin’ about, even in a crowd, well
You’ll pick her out, makes a bloke feel so proud
If she finds that I’ve been round to see you (round to see you)
Tell her that I’m well and feelin’ fine (feelin’ fine)
Don’t let on, don’t say she broke my heart
I’d go down on my knees but it’s no good to pine
Walkin’ about, even in a crowd, well
You’ll pick her out, makes a bloke feel so proud
If she finds that I’ve been round to see you (round to see you)
Tell her that I’m well and feelin’ fine (feelin’ fine)
Don’t let on, don’t say she broke my heart
I’d go down on my knees but it’s no good to pine
Mrs. Brown you’ve got a lovely daughter (lovely daughter)
Mrs. Brown you’ve got a lovely daughter (lovely daughter)
Mrs. Brown you’ve got a lovely daughter (lovely daughter)
Mrs. Brown you’ve got a lovely daughter (lovely daughter)
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Trevor Peacock
Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Padre