25 April 2010

April Poem A Day Challenge Day 25

Poetic Asides: For today's prompt, write a poem inspired by a song. Be sure to include the song and artist (if known) with your poem, so that we can all make our own mix CDs to write poetry.
Hey, a cool prompt. Although I was paralyzed by indecision for a while. So many songs. I finally narrowed it down to some of my favorites, Bruce Cockburn, David Gray, Iron and Wine, and Vienna Teng. One thing they all have in common is some uncommon lyrical ability. I love the way they play with words, tweak meaning and generally make you look at something in a different way. Anyone who can use "Idolatry of Ideology" in a song and make it work is okay by me.

I stole from Bruce, I stole from David, I stole from Sam Beam, filched from Vienna... then there's The Offspring and Linkin Park, but we're not going to go there right now, although they provide their own brand of inspiration.

Some lyric excerpts to mull over, and the Playlist for as many of them as I could find for you to listen to.

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Call it Democracy
by Bruce Cockburn

Sinister cynical instrument
Who makes the gun into a sacrament --
The only response to the deification
Of tyranny by so-called "developed" nations'
Idolatry of ideology...

Northern Lights
by Bruce Cockburn

Mirrors are showing the day's last glow
As we're spit out into the jigsaw flow
Ahead where there should be the thickness of night
Stars are pinned on a shimmering curtain of light
Sky full of rippling cliffs and chasms
That shine like signs on the road to heaven...

by Vienna Teng

Summer move forward and stitch me the fabric of fall
Wrap life in the brilliance of death to humble us all
How sweet is the day
I'm craving a darkness
As I sit tucked away with my back to the wall

And the taste of dried-up hopes in my mouth
And the landscape of merry and desperate drought
How much longer dear angels
Let winterlight come
And spread your white sheets over my empty house...

Nothing Without You
by Vienna Teng

It's the quiet night that breaks me.
I cannot stand the sight of this familiar place.
It's the quiet night that breaks me, like a dozen papercuts that only I can trace.
All my books are lying useless now, all my maps will only show me how to lose my way...

by David Gray

You feel your in too deep
So offer up some chrome
And drop it in the tin
Slither back within
Your crenulated wealth
Your educated self
Your family in rude health
And all the joy it brings
Aren't we forgetting something?
Feet out on the ledge
Feet out on the ledge
Breathe, Breathe, Breathe, Breathe…

And in the heat of noon
Finds you like some dog
You're propped up in a field
Medically sealed
Scratching at the wind shield

And howling at the glass
At anyone might walk past
Were you not aware?...

Full Steam
by David Gray

All our lives we’ve dreamed about it
Just to find that it was never real
This sure ain’t no great Valhalla
Coming closer each turn of the wheel
Forlorn, adrift on seas of beige
In this our Golden Age
Even in our darkest hour
Never thought that it could get so bad
Bullied, suckered, pimped and patronised
Every day your tawdry little lives
So loose your head
And step within
The silence deafening
Now you saw it coming
And I saw it coming
We all saw it coming
But we still bought it

by David Gray

Can’t recall the moment when the doubt ripped your face
or put my finger on quite when the fog took your place
We’ve been beating on it 'til we’re black and blue
Just what good exactly is it gonna do?
Always so much harder, so much harder when you have to try
Could we at least agree upon the size and the shape?
The relative dimensions that the lie ought to take
For your delectation a scenario
Taken so much further than it needs to go
Always so much harder, always so much...

Such Great Heights
by Iron & Wine

I am thinking it's a sign
That the freckles in our eyes
Are mirror images and when we kiss
They're perfectly aligned

And I have to speculate
That God himself did make us
Into corresponding shapes
Like puzzle pieces from the clay...

Serpent Charmer
by Iron & Wine

There's a woman here with a broken record player
And a dusty compass off to map the country's new behavior
Strange words that we hold on back into the river
Brave boys in the empty coats of men

There's a kitchen timer, distractions and reminders
That the rolly-pollies slowly crawling across your family's china
Strange words that we hold on back into the river
Dead dogs only want to live again

There's a serpent charmer, pair of shoes and wander
Speeding ticket, you're not leaving that last land of slaughter
Strange words that we hold on back into the river
Good girls come and kick you in the shin

There's a hopeful hunter with a hapless sense of wonder
And a million claw marks on the rock he hid his money under
Strange words that we hold on back into the river
And made men only want to live again...

The Trapeze Swinger
by Iron & Wine

Please remember me, happily
By the rosebush laughing
With bruises on my chin, the time when
We counted every black car passing

Your house beneath the hill and up until
Someone caught us in the kitchen
With maps, a mountain range, a piggy bank
A vision too removed to mention

But please remember me, fondly
I heard from someone you're still pretty
And then they went on to say that the Pearly Gates
Had some eloquent graffiti

Like 'We'll meet again' and 'Fuck the man'
And 'Tell my mother not to worry'
And angels with their great handshakes
But always done in such a hurry...


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