Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Poetry Today: Trends and Traditions 14
Compiled and Formatted by Anthony Servante




Welcome, readers, to Poetry Today: Trends and Traditions, in what is this our 14th venture. Ofttimes I am asked what the "theme" for the month is, and I am inclined to answer, Whatever the poems say. In Poetry Today 13, however, I did pick a theme, and that was to let the poets talk about their own work. As a rule generally I prefer the poems to speak for themselves, but last month, I wanted to allow the inner voice of the poet to speak up for the poems. This month, our theme is a common one: That song lyrics can be read as poems. For this type of venture, we need songs, and for those, I asked five music talents to submit a poem or two from their song lyrics that they would consider worthy of poetry.




Steve Palmer, of the band MOOCH, selected A Samhain Mask, from the Stations of the Sun (2013) LP. Steve Scorfina, of Pavlov's Dog and SOUL STEEL, offers us LATE NOVEMBER and NATCHEZ TRACE from his Pavlov's Dog days. Bridget Wishart, former singer for the band, Hawkwind, picked Czaritsa (June 2007) and Make Believe (From the CD Bloodlines by Spirits Burning & Bridget Wishart on Floating World Records). Dave Lambert, guitarist for the Strawbs, folk-rock band, gave us a peek into a work in progress solo album, THE VISIT, while I included The Winter and the Summer from the Strawbs LP BURSTING AT THE SEAMS. Bill Mumy, from BARNES & BARNES fame, as well as AMERICA, and let's not forget he played Will Robinson on the iconic Science Fiction TV show from the 60s, LOST IN SPACE, shared his song MAN WITH A GUN

To get a sense of the poetry, read the lyrics first and then listen to the songs. And here we go.

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 Steve Palmer


Steve Palmer


The Biography:

Stephen Palmer is the author of eight novels: Memory Seed (Orbit 1996), Glass (Orbit 1997), Flowercrash (Wildside 2002), Muezzinland (Wildside 2003), Hallucinating(Wildside 2004) and The Rat And The Serpent (Prime Books 2005). In 2010 PS Publishing published Urbis Morpheos. In 2014 Infinity Plus Press published his surreal slipstream steampunk novel Hairy London. Ebooks of Muezzinland, Hallucinatingand The Rat And The Serpent are available from Infinity Plus, who have also published the ebooks of Memory Seed, Glass and Flowercrash. His short stories have been published by Wildside Press, Spectrum SF, NewCon Press, Mutation Press, Eibonvale Press, Solaris, TFQ, Unspoken Water, Kraxon Publishing, Tickety Boo Press and Boo Books. Further short stories will appear in 2014.

Stephen lives and works in Shropshire, UK.


The Lyrics:





A SAMHAIN MASK: MOOCH, STATIONS OF THE SUN, 2013

The mist is closing in and it is time for, the embracing, of a mask.
The face you had upon you during summer, isn't single, there are more.
You only have to clothe yourself anew.
You only have to find which mask to choose.


The wind is biting cold and it is time for, the displaying, of a mask.
The other personalities within you, can be lively, if you want.
You only have to clothe yourself anew.
You only have to find which mask to choose.


The rain is pouring down and it is time for, understanding, of the mask.
Your friends will want to see the one who'll surface, if you'd only, look within.
You only have to clothe yourself anew.
You only have to find which mask to choose.


The mist is closing in and it is time for, the embracing, of a mask.
The face you kept presenting during summer, wasn't single, there were more.
You only had to clothe yourself anew.
You only had to find which mask to choose.


********


Steve Scorfina


Steve Scorfina


The Biography:

Known as the Founder of REO SPEEDWAGON and PAVLOV’S DOG, Steve Scorfina has come a long way. In 2009, the documentary OLD DOG, NEW TRICK follows Steve in his early years helping to form the roots for Alternative Rock and strengthen the growing Progressive Rock movement of the early 70s to his new group Soul Steel.

The Lyrics:


ALONE ON THE BRIDGE
Model: Lidia Savoderova
Photo Model: Anastasii Mikhailov
Art Work: Gonzalo Villar 


LATE NOVEMBER 
Steve Scorfina and David Surkamp 

Oh, she wants, she wants it badly
And I, I can't believe all she said
Because she's cool, yeah she's cool
She's just like lightening
Take her home, keep her warm in late November

I can't say why she's so strange now
Why did I always believe all she said
She's came down, held me close
Came down from night skies
Take her home, keep her warm in late November

She just goes to show you never know
What's in your heart, what's in your soul
She just goes to show you never know
What's in your heart, what's in your soul

She's home now, but far away she flies
But she don't know how she came
Or how she leaves
'Cause she's cool, yeah she's cool
She's just like lightening
Take her home, keep her warm in late November

She just goes to show you never know
What's in your heart, what's in your soul
(Repeat to end)






NATCHEZ TRACE 
Steve Scorfina 

All I can hear is wind shouting though the forest
All I can hear is the sun as it's shining
I wish I was home but I'm lost
They say she's waiting by the Natchez Trace
In all the silver thread and cold black lace
When she put you in your resting place
Would you take my gold or leave my soul unscathed

All I can hear is the howling wind and a haunting woman I know
'Cause all the angels in heaven, devils in hell
I think I'm caught in this rock and roll
She's waiting by the Natchez Trace
In all the silver thread and cold black lace
When she put you in your resting place
Would you take my gold or leave my soul unscathed

You got to leave me alone
You got to leave me alone
You got to leave me alone

No, no, no, no
If the woman don't get ya the snakes will
This road is so long and so dark and so cold
She's one bad woman, one bad woman
Waiting for me, get your hands off me
She's waiting by the Natchez Trace
In all the silver thread and cold black lace
When she put you in your resting home
No, no, no, no

Oh, no, she's one bad woman
You got to leave me alone
You got to leave me alone
Oh, no, she's one bad woman




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Bridget Wishart


Bridget Wishart


The Biography:

Bridget Wishart; Singer/Songwriter

Bridget Wishart might be best known for the many talents which she brought to legendary space rockers Hawkwind during her tenure with the band in the early 1990s, providing her vocals, poetry, mime and dance, and playing a major part in rejuvenating their sound and vision for a whole new generation of fans, but that’s only a small part of her story.

When Bridget joined the Hawks, she was already well-known to the free festival crowds as having been the singer for The Demented Stoats and, mostly notably, with the all-girl punksters The Hippy Slags. Although those alliances were, sadly, never committed to vinyl, her time in Hawkwind (for which she left her job teaching ceramics at Bath’s Prior Park College) delivered up albums such as Space Bandits and Palace Springs, an appearance on the television music show Bedrock and a number of DVD releases. The epic magnum opus, ‘Images’, which she co-wrote and provided lead vocals on, is still a live favourite for the Hawkwind faithful, whilst her evocative vocals on the Native American-influenced ‘Black Elk Speaks’ is a high-point in 90s Hawkwind output.

Leaving Hawkwind in 1991, she moved on to contribute dance and choreography with Techno Pagan and then in 1995, along with Tim Carroll, formed the UV design company, Temple Decor, who, amongst their credits, provided backdrops for the WOMAD festival.

Having left the music scene in 1997, little was heard from Bridget until she was, thankfully, lured out of musical retirement in 2003 by American composer/musician Don Falcone. Since then, she’s worked with Don and his space rock collective, Spirits Burning, on three full-length CDs, Earth Born, Bloodlines (on Floating World Records) and the recent (2014) double CD release, Make Believe It Real (Gonzo Records).

She has recorded with and is part of many other bands well known for their spacerock alliances such as Spaceseed (including their latest CD The Fraternal Order Of), Astralfish (Far Corners), Mooch (Dr. Silbury's Liquid Brainstem Band), Omenopus (Portents, Time Flies, The Plague and more recently The Archives and Compendium Of Souvenirs), Hola One (Lost and the ever evolving Moments), and the cult release Last Wish by Djinn (herself and Alan Davey), of Arabic-influenced spacerock.

She is co-author, alongside Ian Abrahams, of the long awaited book, Festivalized, which recounts the rise and fall of the free festival scene as told by those who were there. Recent news from Ian is that a new publisher has hopefully been found and the book should finally see the light of day.

Bridget’s ongoing live project is Chumley Warner Bros, which consists of Bridget on vocals and EWI, alongside Martin Plumley on guitar and vocals. They describe themselves as having a ‘semi-acoustic fireside sound’, harkening back to the festivals campfires of yesteryear. Catch them where you can!

Future works include further tracks on Hola One’s Moments, a second Astralfish album, a promised Chumley Warner Bros CD, guesting on Mooch’s latest CD (Mrs Silbury's Delicious Mushroom Flavoured Biscuits) and vocal and midi EWI contributions to the ‘currently in progress’ Spirits Burning Starhawk album.

Here are a couple of links...to Spirits Burning and my lyrics:
http://www.nohpoetryrecords.com/sbbwmbirwords.html
(above link is specifically the lyrics from Make Believe It Real...next link is all Spirits Burning Lyrics...lots there :-) )
http://home.earthlink.net/~falcone/sbwords.html.


The Lyrics:



Czaritsa
Bridget Wishart  June 2007
(From the CD Bloodlines by Spirits Burning & Bridget Wishart on Floating World Records)

Alexandra prays for the life of her son
While Russia's boys die one by one
Alexandra fights for the life of her son
A pointless war that never can be won.

Victoria, you were victorious
In your plans for her and Nicholas
But Victoria, it’s obvious
Your blood betrayed The Romanovs
Alexandra …

Alexandra refuses to count the blows
Blocks out the cries of those
Who fight and fall
Alexandra ignores all the pain and woe
Of the soldiers she'll never know
Nor miss, nor mourn,
Alexandra …

The peasant priest
Your holy seer
Whose prayers and pleas
You hold so dear
Has helped to bring
Your family down
You lost your lives
And the Royal Crown.

Alexandra prayed for the life of her son
While Russian boys died one by one
Alexandra's life ended facing a gun
Her family dying one by one.

Nota Bene 16th July 2014
These lyrics are inspired by the life and history of Alexandra, the last Czaritsa of Russia and wife to Czar Nicholas. She was the daughter of Queen Victoria and mother of Alexei whose haemophilia came from his famous grandmother. They allude to Alexandra’s misplaced faith in Grigori Rasputin as a healer and dwell on her wilful ignorance of the suffering of her country’s soldiers. 






Make Believe
(Lyrics: Wishart)

Where dragons fly
Where Immortals cry
The castles of your dreams
Nothing's what it seems

Where Immortals cry
Where dragons fly
Nothing's what it seems
In the castle of your dreams

In too deep, too deep
(You're in too deep, too deep
In too deep
You're in too deep . . .)

Silver swords cut through stone
Golden chords don't let go
Ancient myths, mystic law
Nature's kiss, true love's cause

Make believe it real

Time grows colder
Time in endless reams
Comes closer, older
Where dragons fly
Where dragons fly


Purchase these songs here.

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Dave Lambert


Dave Lambert


The Biography:

Dave Lambert, born 8 March 1949, Hounslow, Middlesex, England,  is an English singer-songwriter and musician who has been a member of the Strawbs at various stages of the band's career, beginning in the 1970s. Dave performs with the Strawbs on their critically acclaimed Acoustic Tour along with David Cousins, the band's founder, and Chas Cronk, another early and current member with the band. Lambert and also played with the band Fire and continues to work on solo projects. 

For a long-time fan of the Strawbs, it is a treat for me to receive the lyrics from a Work in Progress by Dave Lambert, sort of a peek into the creative mind of this music talent. But I must note here that I wanted to include a Lambert song from the Strawbs, so I added THE WINTER AND THE SUMMER from the BURSTING AT THE SEAMS (1972) LP, music and lyrics, of course, by Dave Lambert.


The Lyrics:




THE VISIT
She came to my door and I asked her inside
her face had a beauty like nothing I’d seen
She was looking for someone she’d met long ago
He lived in a house by the old village green
The name that she mentioned meant nothing to me
I’d moved from the city a short while before
And I knew very little about people round here
Sorry but I couldn’t help any more
Stay away from your windows and lock all your doors
Don’t let your children alone
I looked in her eyes and I said I’m not sure
I don’t think he lives here no more
The story was straight from a girls’ magazine
They met by the river and talked for a while
He was fishing for salmon and dreaming his dreams
She paused for a moment and started to smile
They walked out together for weeks in that summer
The memories could never be taken away
Of the picnics on Sundays the taste of cool porter
Times before innocence started to wane
I told her I envied her youth in the village
How often I’d dream of myself in those days
A time when the people had care for each other
A time that our progress has quickly erased
We sat there in silence and looked at each other
Slowly her features were starting to fade
There were many more questions I wanted to ask her
But only a feeling of sadness remained





The Winter and the Summer

Looks around with angel face
She does everything with amazing grace
She wears smart clothes but no-one knows
She's got nobody waiting at home.

She is not the only song I sing
Though I sing them all for her
There is something in her melody
That I've never heard before.

The winter and the summer
Need never come again
The winter and the summer
Need never come again
In my life there is no season
No reason.

She is not the only book I read
See her pages are not torn
And her story is of loneliness
Though her memory still war.

The winter and the summer
Need never come again
The winter and the summer
Need never come again
In my life there is no season
No reason.

Every now and then I'm sad
Thinking what we could have had
If we'd met some years before
Would we now be wanting more.

She is not the only sound I hear
Though to hear her lights my day
There's no picture in the gallery
That has half as much to say.

The winter and the summer
Need never come again
The winter and the summer
Need never come again
In my life there is no season
No reason.



********


Bill Mumy





The Biography:

Bill Mumy is a multi-talented, prolific artist who entered the arena of professional entertainment at the age of five. He has worked on over four hundred television shows and is best known by fans around the world for the creation of his memorable roles as the heroic boy astronaut "Will Robinson" on the long running classic series "Lost in Space", “Anthony Fremont” from The Twilight Zone and “Lennier” from in the popular science fiction series "Babylon 5" which he co-starred in for five years.

Bill is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and has been in eighteen feature films, including "Dear Brigitte","Rascal", "Bless the Beasts and Children", and "Papillion".


The Lyrics: 



Man With a Gun
I was in my car on the way back home
When i heard the news on the radio
Sixteen dead at the shopping mall
Some crazy kid done killed them all
With guns he bought at a sporting store
The helmet, mask and vest he wore
Sixteen gone but many more to come
Man with a gun
And we send our children off to school
In a bus or a bike or a folks carpool
And we sweat and save so that they can learn
How to put the fires out we burn
But it seems like very month or so
The children don’t come home no more
Families cry in vain out to the sun
Man with a gun
Man with a gun       

Man with a gun
Far across the world they're hungry too
And the want the same things that we do
Some peace of mind and a piece of land
To get along as best they can
But something’s coming up the hill
The dogs and horses can’t stay still
Before the moon is high it’ll all be done

Man with a gun
Man with a gun

Man with a gun
On the video and TV screens
Bloody murder heinous scenes
Pay your money stand in line
It’s all a part of God’s design
It’s destiny   it’s only fate
It’s natural for us to hate
How do you think this land of ours was won?
Man with a gun
I was in my car on the way back home
When i heard the news on the radio

words and music by Bill Mumy
© So Boss Music  Ascap


Purchase ILLUMINATIONS CD here.

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We often ignore the beauty inherent in the words of songs because music dominates the senses. Reading is more a private matter, more passive than participatory. It caters to the intellect alone. Music prefers the listener to tap their toes or bang their head. Poetry delights the mind. Music seduces the body. Then there are lyrics, the bridge between music and poetry, at once cerebral and celebratory. And it was a pleasure reading and listening to the lyrics of our fine musical artists today. Thank you, one and all, for sharing your songs with us today. And thank you, readers, for joining us again for Poetry Today.

To submit poetry, send a few samples of your work to servanteofdarkness@gmail.com. If you have any artwork you'd like to share to accompany the poems, submit those as well. 

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Fine Art America
Where You Can Find the Artwork
of
Brande Barrett

For the finest in artwork, visit Brande Barrett - Fine Art America fineartamerica.com
Surreal Digital Photography Landscapes Seascapes and Sky

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Andrew D. Blacet (Words) Brande Barrett (Art)

Buy this fantastic poetic journey here.

Description: Here are poems for those who prefer to linger among the ruins, to listen for ghosts in leaning doorways or the driplines of caves; for those who appreciate the incipient dread of long shadows, the dark flourish of root and branch, the reflections of stars in wet sand. These are poems for the reader who does not require every puzzle to be solved, every monster to be dragged from its well and thrust into withering light. For those seeking reassurance from the familiar or mundane, look elsewhere. These are the thud of moist earth on the lid of a casket, the suggestion of half-formed faces budding in the boulders of a cliff – these are the occupants of the ditch.

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For information on how you can place your ad here on Poetry Today or on the column or interview of your choice, contact Anthony Servante at servanteofdarkness@gmail.com.



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