Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday Poem: How to Write a Song

Be quiet.
Hum a melody.
Write more.
Wash dishes.
Walk away
from the song you think you love.
Sit down
for an hour,
maybe two.

Re-hum that melody
and be OK
with change.
Eat lunch
and feel it nourishing you.
Sit outside.
to think.
Then, write.

And at the end
when the sun sets again
and you're 
and tired
of writing,
watch HGTV
and go to bed.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Songwriting Retreat: Day 1

These posts date back one week, handwritten while on a songwriting retreat at a lakehouse.

How does one "do" a songwriting retreat? Isn't it lonely? [Yes.] Isn't it difficult? [Yes.] What do you expect? [Anything, really, but especially songwriting.]

Before anything else, I had to settle in; I'm actually still settling in. Made a sandwich, mixed up some berry "just add water" drink mix I found in the pantry, and - the best way to settle in - washed my first dish.

When I've dirtied and subsequently cleaned my first dishes, I know I'm ready. See, I've begun making this space somewhat my own, done a little homemaking, taken enough time to prepare and clean up after a meal.

Now, I can write. 


You see, I had to come here. I had to leave the rhythms and noise of the normal. Not escaping; rather, setting aside. Admitting, "The world - my world - will not end without me." But neither will it stop or get quieter anytime soon, so the writer needs some space and some quiet.

Just as we need mundane, ordinary, real-life, it is good to step away from it and see it from a distance. Write it down. Think it over. Turn it around, see what's hidden behind, underneath.

Then, after some time (probably longer than the actual retreat time can give) we are ready to give it back, lay it out, reveal to those ready to listen, ready to take it from us and like it, hate it, misunderstand it, or the many responses that will be given to the end product - the song.

multiple writing instruments and notebooks 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursday Poem: Chained

Perfect that today you're gray
It's OK to feel this way
When things are gray.

Most things stand so still
I can hide away
when it's still

Wonder how you got someplace
until you remember why you left
a road to someplace else
you've yet to find

I am afraid of you
your clever words
awkward stare
the way you convince me to be wrong

you tell me to have freedom
but free, I will not be
Your wind is blowing through 
all my leaves
never still anymore

"It's me, not you,"
Do not worry; I will concede
and leave you to be
free of me.