Daily Archives: November 24, 2002

A Poem is Different from a Song

A poem is different for me from a song
One takes a single image and distills its essence,
While the other takes a story and dissects its scenes;
Each has as its focus a sole point of view, most times,
That relies on the quality of perception, and perception of quality
of the individual who serves as the focal point.

A poem is different for me from a song
One takes the personal and makes it universal,
While the other turns the cosmos into an individual epiphany;
Each describes a lesson taught by life’s strange instructors,
But one glorifies a failing grade, and the other,
Laughs at the curve-setter.

A poem is different for me from a song
One is a persuader, smooth talk and choice words,
While the other is crude and direct, to the point;
Each builds a case for a circus of peers,
But one prosecutes for the sake of the law,
and one defends indigent soul.

A poem is different for me from a song
One is written, an arrangement of words;
While the other is sung from the chest and the head;
Each speaks a language that doesn’t quite translate,
But one knows the vocabulary of its speaker,
And the other, knows only the words.

25 NOV 2002

The Wizard of Oz

Ah, the Sunday evening movie hour approaches, and for probably the 57th time in my life, I will sit down and watch the Wizard of Oz. This time, however, I will not be tripping my ass off, nor will I be desparately sync’ing the soundtrack with Dark Side of the Moon. And this time, it will be the third time after reading Gregory MacGuire’s wonderful book, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. If you are not familiar with this work, I highly recommend picking it up – particularly if the anti-witch propaganda presented in the L. Frank Baum version seemed a bit one-sided. Hear of the dear one, Elphaba, unfortunately born at birth with a VERY olive complexion, fighting for the rights of Talking Animals, trying to return power to Queen Ozma after it had been usurped by the dictator Wizard, and wonder over her interactions with a very insipid, vapid and over-the-top nincompoop roommate at college, Glinda. Mourn as she accepts the death of her sister thanks to a know-it-all meddler from Kansas.

Ah, the humanity …

Among the Trees: a villanelle

I have sought among the trees for peace,
and found in their shade a quiet knowledge;
there is a humbling silence in their ancient speech.

The echoes of time are within their sky-bound reach;
and to find my own small sound in their endless song
I have sought among the trees for peace.

The many years I spent, wasted, in universities,
and the words I threw, mindless, at the world, seem trite.
There is a humbling silence in their ancient speech.

And all the wild students I thought I could teach,
have grown apart from me in spite, and so
I have sought among the trees for peace.

Between two worlds I often stand, unsure which way to leap,
and listen to the oak and pine, their quiet words of wisdom:
there is a humbling silence in their ancient speech.

While other fools proselytize and in their sadness, preach,
I have found solace in the branches of another school.
I have sought among the trees for peace;
there is a humbling silence in their ancient speech.

24 NOV 2002