Saturday, November 19, 2016

Surrender Under Protest

by Mike Cooley

From the comfort zone of history
On the lips of trusted loved ones
To the wounded fragile minds of angry youth
No sooner was it over
Than the memory made it nobler
A selective means by which to point the view

If it's all you can remember
Then it's been that way forever
And for six long generations it's been told
That among the fallen was tradition
That tradition was the mission
That the wrongness of the sin was not the goal

Does the color really matter
On the face you blame for failure
On the shaming for a battle's losing cause
If the victims and aggressors
Just remain each other's others
And the instigators never fight their own

Compelled but not defeated
Surrender under protest if you must
Compelled but not defeated

Friday, November 11, 2016

A Terre

(Being the philosophy of many Soldiers.)
by Wilfred Owen

Sit on the bed; I'm blind, and three parts shell,
Be careful; can't shake hands now; never shall.
Both arms have mutinied against me — brutes.
My fingers fidget like ten idle brats.

I tried to peg out soldierly — no use!
One dies of war like any old disease.
This bandage feels like pennies on my eyes.
I have my medals? — Discs to make eyes close.
My glorious ribbons? — Ripped from my own back
In scarlet shreds. (That's for your poetry book.)

A short life and a merry one, my brick!
We used to say we'd hate to live dead old, —
Yet now . . . I'd willingly be puffy, bald,
And patriotic. Buffers catch from boys
At least the jokes hurled at them. I suppose
Little I'd ever teach a son, but hitting,
Shooting, war, hunting, all the arts of hurting.
Well, that's what I learnt, — that, and making money.
Your fifty years ahead seem none too many?
Tell me how long I've got? God! For one year
To help myself to nothing more than air!
One Spring! Is one too good to spare, too long?
Spring wind would work its own way to my lung,
And grow me legs as quick as lilac-shoots.
My servant's lamed, but listen how he shouts!
When I'm lugged out, he'll still be good for that.
Here in this mummy-case, you know, I've thought
How well I might have swept his floors for ever,
I'd ask no night off when the bustle's over,
Enjoying so the dirt. Who's prejudiced
Against a grimed hand when his own's quite dust,
Less live than specks that in the sun-shafts turn,
Less warm than dust that mixes with arms' tan?
I'd love to be a sweep, now, black as Town,
Yes, or a muckman. Must I be his load?

O Life, Life, let me breathe, — a dug-out rat!
Not worse than ours the existences rats lead —
Nosing along at night down some safe vat,
They find a shell-proof home before they rot.
Dead men may envy living mites in cheese,
Or good germs even. Microbes have their joys,
And subdivide, and never come to death,
Certainly flowers have the easiest time on earth.
"I shall be one with nature, herb, and stone."
Shelley would tell me. Shelley would be stunned;
The dullest Tommy hugs that fancy now.
"Pushing up daisies," is their creed, you know.
To grain, then, go my fat, to buds my sap,
For all the usefulness there is in soap.
D'you think the Boche will ever stew man-soup?
Some day, no doubt, if . . .
Friend, be very sure
I shall be better off with plants that share
More peaceably the meadow and the shower.
Soft rains will touch me, — as they could touch once,
And nothing but the sun shall make me ware.
Your guns may crash around me. I'll not hear;
Or, if I wince, I shall not know I wince.
Don't take my soul's poor comfort for your jest.
Soldiers may grow a soul when turned to fronds,
But here the thing's best left at home with friends.

My soul's a little grief, grappling your chest,
To climb your throat on sobs; easily chased
On other sighs and wiped by fresher winds.

Carry my crying spirit till it's weaned
To do without what blood remained these wounds.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

by Gordon Lightfoot

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy
With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin
As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most
With a crew and good captain well seasoned
Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
Then later that night when the ship's bell rang
Could it be the north wind they'd been feeling?

The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound
When the wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the captain did too
'Twas the witch of November come stealing
The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashing
When afternoon came it was freezing rain
In the face of a hurricane west wind

When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck
Saying, 'Fellas, it's too rough to feed you'
At seven PM a main hatchway caved in
He said, 'Fellas, it's been good to know you'
The captain wired in he had water coming in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her
They might have split up or they might have capsized
They may have broke deep and took water
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her ice-water mansion
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams
The islands and bays are for sportsmen
And farther below, Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go, as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
The church bell chimed 'til it rang twenty-nine times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

All Around the World

by Noel Gallagher

It's a bit early in the midnight hour for me
To go through all the things that I want to be
I don't believe in everything I see
You know I'm blind, so why do you disagree?

Take me away
'Cause I just don't want to stay
And the lies you make me say
Are getting deeper every day
These are crazy days but they make me shine
Time keeps rolling by

All around the world
You've got to spread the word
Tell them what you heard
You're going to make a better day

What you going to do when the walls come falling down?
You never move, you never make a sound
Where you going to swim with the riches that you found?
You're lost at sea, well I hope that you drown

All around the world
You've got to spread the word
Tell them what you heard
You know it's going to be okay

Friday, October 14, 2016

Indians Baseball Song

by Sammy Watkins

So let's go, go, go to the Indians ballgame
And we'll root, cheer, try, try to win every game
Take your beau, your gal, your Suzy and Sal to the ballgame
You'll be king and a queen for a day when the Indians play

Take a walk, take a bus, take your car
It's not far from wherever you are
Hear the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd
Be an Indians fan and be proud

So let's go, go, go to the Indians ballgame
And we'll root, and we'll cheer, and we'll try, try to win every game

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fair Weather Fans

by Steve Wynn

As a kid in Arizona, we didn't have our own team
But I was drawn to the Braves of Aaron, Mathews and Spahn
When we moved to The Bay, I got McCovey, Marichal and Mays
It was heaven and then in '68, the A's came along

With Captain Sal, Reggie, Joe Rudi. and Rollie
Having two teams to love was out of sight
When Seattle became home, spent my nights in the Dome
I still think the Mariners, Giants and A's are all right

A fair weather fan is not what I am
Even though my zip code has changed
I might smile and enjoy where I'm currently employed
Your soul can't be rearranged
It's so hard to understand
It's so hard to understand a fair weather fan

I grew up outside of Minneapolis
Glued to the radio and the '70's Twins
And the sad sound of crying when they didn't
Score enough runs for a Blyleven win

Now I reside in New York City
So I got a little thing for the pinstripes
But when the Twins face the Yanks in the ALDS
You know who this small town girl likes

A fair weather fan is not what I am
Even though my zip code has changed
I might smile and enjoy where I'm currently employed
Your soul can't be rearranged
It's so hard to understand
It's so hard to understand a fair weather fan

And there's bass player Pete, always fast on his feet
No home team, then for sure
He stays fast and loose but if he had to choose
It's be the Washington Senators

I grew up in LA to the sweet sounds of Vin Scully
That's how I went to bed most every night
There ain't a prettier park than the one in Chavez Ravine
I've seen many games by the palm trees and the lights

But I sure do love Manhattan
I took on the AL team after '93
But now that Torre and Mattingly have moved to LA
It makes it so much easier for me

'Cause a fair weather fan is not what I am
Even though my zip code has changed
I might smile and enjoy where I'm currently employed
Your soul can't be rearranged
Oh, it's hard to understand
It's so hard to understand

A fair weather, a fair weather
A fair weather fan
A fair weather fan
A fair weather fan
A fair weather fan

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Less Like Scars

by Sara Groves

It's been a hard year
But I'm climbing out of the rubble
These lessons are hard
Healing changes are subtle

But every day it's
Less like tearing, more like building
Less like captive, more like willing
Less like breakdown, more like surrender
Less like haunting, more like remember

And I feel you here
And you're picking up the pieces
Forever faithful
It seemed out of my hands, a bad situation
But you are able
And in your hands the pain and hurt
Look less like scars and more like character

Less like a prison, more like my room
It's less like a casket, more like a womb
Less like dying, more like transcending
Less like fear, less like an ending

Just a little while ago
I couldn't feel the power or the hope
I couldn't cope, I couldn't feel a thing
Just a little while back
I was desperate, broken, laid out
Hoping you would come

And I need you
And I want you here
And I feel you

And I know you're here
And you're picking up the pieces
Forever faithful
It seemed out of my hands, a bad situation
But you are able
And in your hands the pain and hurt
Look less like scars
And more like character