Life at Sea

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I’m tired like a cliche. Like I’ve been alone in this raft too long with no food or water and the sun beating down on my naked body twenty four hours a day. It’s been so long I can’t even remember the shipwreck. Was there any ship at all?

Tell me I didn’t do this to myself. Tell me that life on that island wasn’t worth it. It has to be better on the next rock. Anything has to be better than this. I enjoy my own company but the jokes get old after a while and the silence becomes awkward.

I received a message in a bottle but I couldn’t get the cork off so I threw it to the depths. It bounced back out of the water and into the raft. Instead of repeating myself I use it as a pillow and spend sleepless hours thinking of what the metaphor might be.

A Change Is Gonna Come

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This is a rethinking through poetry of one of my favorite songs, “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke.

 

I was born by the river in a modest house

Oh and just like the river I’ve been moving south

It’s been a long, long time coming

But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

 

It’s been too hard living, but I can’t tell at all

‘Cause I know If I look up, I might trip and fall

It’s been a long, long time coming

But I think a change gonna come, oh yes it will

 

I turn on the the TV and see a man on his knees

And I think to myself, “I’m glad that isn’t me”

It’s been a long, long time going

Assuming change gonna come, waiting still

 

Then he  comes to me, the man on TV

Begging, “Brother, help me please”

But I find every way to excuse his plea

Thinking all the while, “What if that was me on my knees?”

 

There have been times that I thought it wouldn’t last for long

But now I think my selfishness is what drug it on

It’s been a long, long time coming

But it’s time for change.

Make a Wish

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I’ve wished my whole life;
to be a helicopter pilot,
that WVU would win a championship,
for peace of mind.

I’ve been encouraged to wish.
It’s 11:11, make a wish.
See that shooting star? Make a wish.
Blow out your candles, make a wish!

I throw a penny in a well.
I break off the big part of the wishbone.
I whisper to a ripe dandelion and
watch the seeds float away on the breeze.

But wishes don’t always come true.
Sometimes they’re sure not to,
like when that dandelion you pluck
grows at the base of your uncle’s grave marker.

There’s horror in knowing
that no matter how hard you wish
he’ll never again be here
to pluck a flower for himself.

Still, for him, I wish.

Let’s Go

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Fish in a bowl. Feed me the good stuff.
Eating a Moon Pie; not as good as they once were.
Moon orbits Earth. Is this as fast as I go?
Spinning in a chair; make me go faster.

RHCP on the stereo; turn that shit up.
Open a window. Open that door.
Let some air in. Let it air out.
Let me out. Let’s go somewhere.

Missing Home

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I’ve been thinking a lot recently about my old home in Florida where I spent six years of my life. I miss my friends, the weather, and the beach. These are all things that someone might expect me to miss, but sometimes it’s the less obvious that draws you back to a place or time you’ve left behind. I wrote this poem about one of those obscure things.

Old Friend

Hanging by the gas station,
you were there when we arrived.
I had seen you times before,
never thought about you I would scribe.

You led us to the house,
highlighting views on either side.
I’m sure you thought it strange
that I stared the whole ride.

Over the coming years,
closer we would come.
Long walks in the woods
and lying in the sun.

You were there when I needed you
yet you never said a word.
But to hear you speak at all
would have defined me absurd.

You danced when I danced,
but to your own beat.
You danced when I didn’t
to music silent but sweet.

Better would I know you.
About you I would learn.
The more I found about you,
more knowledge I would yearn.

Your name was meant for insult,
but your namers, they’re all gone.
Yet here you are to stay,
especially brilliant at dawn.

You starred in many movies.
Most framed you all wrong.
Your beautiful image they used,
backed by ominous song.

You’ve been in many beds
and seen plenty of Hoodoo,
rode inside cars over the world,
even experienced in Voodoo.

I know you mean no wrong,
you only know how to live.
Out of fondness for you,
this declaration I do give:

Since we’ve met I’ve lived on mountains, I’ve been to the city, and seen places without trees.
And if there’s one thing I know I wouldn’t trade you for snow, steel, concrete or leaves.

I’d love to look on you now.
My heart fires you stoke.
When I pull up to that gas station again
you’ll be draped from cypress and oak.

This I know to be true, sweet Southern Spanish Moss.

I loved living in the South. I have an huge amount of admiration for West Virginia and these mountains I’m surrounded by, (especially in the Fall) but there’s no place like the Deep South. There’s a feeling there that I’ve experienced nowhere else. It’s difficult to explain if you haven’t been.

To me nothing is more Southern than Spanish Moss hanging from a Live Oak. That’s what I picture when I think of my old home and it’s one of the things I miss most. What do you miss about “home?” What do you picture when you think of that one place you wish you were right now? Maybe you’ve never been, but you know it’s where you’re meant to be.

I said I would close every post with a quote, but I think this song is appropriate. I believe I heard someone say this was in the genre of “Swamp Pop.”