fears of the fathers

sailing through cherry blossom days
and crème brûlée nights
she wasn’t going to lay down her arms
for a mere brat of a boy
saving up her trinkets for later
giving him all her daydreams
and night sweats

he did not know the tango
but they moved through summer
amid a soundtrack of Ravel
and Aguilera
all second thoughts
stuffed under the mattress

back in the town onto which
they shook the clay from their shoes
all their dues, paid
if you took into account
their mothers’ latent wishes
and the fears of their fathers

you do the math

dancing tall in my living room
to George and Elton
(does it really happen
if no-one sees it
like that tree in the forest)
he says sometimes I never go out
(could tell him stories about 1985
when I lived ten years in 12 months)
and I dance and dance

my head full of 1990
(wonderwall,hammer,hit me baby)
one more time-let’s dance as one
I’ll lead this time, you follow
if you still have that notion
that 1+1=1
and 2+1=no end of joy

perhaps we find
a new kind of happy-
ness, wrapped in understanding
and lessons learned
(old flames, new rites of passage)
let’s not forget, and dance to now
(rhianna, poison, blended with
the Beatles, Eagles, and 21 pilots
shaken and stirred)

once I thought it was most crucial
to fly without a net
but I believe
the trick
is
to not let go

***
***

A playlist just for kicks- must say it’s hard to find original Beatles music online, just covers. Also- it feels strange to be this close to 64, oh so much closer than when we first sang it to one another, it felt so far off.

Tantalizing Tuesday: Noël Coward, part 2

*

Last Tuesday we began looking into the life of Nöel Coward. He was born Nöel Peirce Coward in 1899 in Middlesex, England. His body of work is enormous. He was a playwright, composer, poet, painter, he wrote short stories, he sang, and he acted.

What piqued my interest when I first started watching Coward’s plays and films was the depth of human experience and interaction. There is much within a small space. He would give us a one act play, perhaps 30 minutes long, and manage to punch into it such depth of feeling that one would have expected from a longer piece. For example, in the play and subsequent film,The Astonished Heart, that we discussed in part 1, we follow the characters along a relatively normal scenario. Surely the setting of marriage and cheating on one’s spouse is not new, especially in Film Noir. But just when you are relaxing into this simple story that you have heard before, pow! He lays something devastating upon you, in a quick twist of plot. I am fascinated by this sort of writing. I have dabbled in it myself but not anywhere near what Coward accomplished.

Since poetry is my favourite medium, I was delighted to discover that he also wrote poems. Here is a poem he wrote called “Nothing is Lost”, from his volume entitled Noel Coward Collected Verse :

Deep in our sub-conscious, we are told
Lie all our memories, lie all the notes
Of all the music we have ever heard
And all the phrases those we loved have spoken,
Sorrows and losses time has since consoled,
Family jokes, out-moded anecdotes
Each sentimental souvenir and token
Everything seen, experienced, each word
Addressed to us in infancy, before
Before we could even know or understand
The implications of our wonderland.
There they all are, the legendary lies
The birthday treats, the sights, the sounds, the tears
Forgotten debris of forgotten years
Waiting to be recalled, waiting to rise
Before our world dissolves before our eyes
Waiting for some small, intimate reminder,
A word, a tune, a known familiar scent
An echo from the past when, innocent
We looked upon the present with delight
And doubted not the future would be kinder
And never knew the loneliness of night.
-Noël Coward

Continue reading

sound track

our soundtrack
skipped records
dusty cassettes
ready to snap
8-track era crooning
no one else can hear

should we turn it off
or turn it up louder
each note someone
agonized over
we are all part
of the stew

take your face and try
to keep it silent
isolated in a sea
of countless faces
who know you better
than you know yourself

need we understand
why we can’t
move forward
stuck fast
and its me I know
that’s keeping me here

me with my hand
in the cookie jar
four decades
and I won’t let it go
the secrets of the unwise
locked up

in two hands
one no good
without the other
they press at the door
wood creaking
screaming for me
that time is running out

can we cha-cha
through the nights
so no one will notice
we are slipping
music so loud
it drowns out the
expectations

the band playing for days
feet flying
over wood
polished to a luster
blinding us
to all we remember

Tantalizing Tuesday: Noël Coward

Noël Coward. Always with the eyes, and that little raise of one eyebrow. He had such an expressive face. Today let’s give the boys their due in this Tantalizing Tuesday with a man that I only knew of as a playwright , then found out he was so much more. I would give my left ti…..big toe for an ounce of his talent.

Reviews are mixed about his singing voice, but no one can argue about his songwriting abilities. This song is still being covered over 80 years later.

Continue reading

Monday Random: Words

  • Words matter, and to me they matter probably more than people which is wrong- I know it’s wrong, so I’m working on that. I do feel guilty for saying that.
  • Words get propers from me because they kept me going between the ages of 10-20, and now they are saving my life.  I have to be grateful for that.
  • I was in the best, coolest conversation this weekend and I interrupted at an important juncture, taking the steam out of a good story I was hearing. I still feel badly about it. I would like to say something now to the storyteller and apologize, but that’s weird. I recognize it’s weird to agonize about it now. But I do want to be a better listener-
  • I used to be a self-proclaimed grammar nazi, but I saw it hurt others and realized it is not important that I be the Wonder Woman of words. I guess it comes with age.
  • Isn’t it funny how age brings both patience and impatience? I can be so grumpy about things, you know the things, those situations that make me want to say, ‘I am too old for this shit!’ But I am also more patient and serene about things I was so passionate about before.
  • I sometimes correct spelling and grammar in an e-mail before I reply to it.
  • I do feel bad about that
  • I still have an issue with your vs. you’re. I won’t say anything, but it causes me internal pain.
  • Does anyone else cringe when they hear ta-day instead of to-day? Probably fussy of me. It is most likely a regional thing, like here in the Midwest U.S. they often say, ‘ I want to go with-‘.
  • My mother loved words as well. Her favourite word she said was onomatopoeia  and second was Artaxerxes
  • I had to look up onomatopoeia. Twice.
  • Some of my favourite words are mellifluous, ineffable, nefarious, pluviophile, serendipity, deluge, fester, iridescent, orifice, chocolate, and coffee. Too many to list-

What are your favourite words? Do you correct grammar in others? Have a great Monday! Don’t let it get you down- Tuesday is coming!

  • p.s. Do you ever get annoyed at people who use too many exclamation points?!
  • Are you silently correcting my punctuation in my post?