Saturday, August 23, 2014

Poem: Jackson


Slashes of color in vibrancy mark
Canvas imprinted by creativity’s spark
Images cutting a blackness of soul
Brush strokes on fire contrast the dark whole
Yellows and reds, often greens will appear
The mind sets the pattern that the painter might steer
Feel all his passion as abstractions evolve
Conflict the tableau he could never resolve

Copyright SGW 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Poem: Ablaze

From ashes once destructive past
Embers spark as everlast
Stomach's pit a rumbled pitch
Ignition formed in ordered stitch
This inner hearth absorbs the core
Filling vast and full contour
Flames arise with blinding force
Stripped of any last resource
Mind consumed in fiery rage
Burn away, yet still engage
The fervent heat left uncontained
Laying waste when not restrained
A blackened landscape left behind
Wreckage formed of own design


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Poem: Old Friend

Old Friend

Comfortable seat by the window
Back in a familiar old friend
When the music was suddenly silenced
A wonderful world seemed to end

Today I felt drawn by a purpose
Rediscovering a place once called home
And the environs are unquestionably fitting
Filled with memories I am less all alone

Dancing visions of the songs once performed here
And this poet dispensed many a verse
Hours spent inside pleasant surroundings
Finding friends, old and new, to converse

Lean back in this chair by the window
The spot I would find near the door
There are times you step back to remember
And you love that you’d been all the more

Copyright SGW 2014

*  For The Twisted Tree coffeehouse

Friday, May 16, 2014

Sarah Gardner: Jazz For Babies

I have been a fan of the Appalachia-based sounds of Red Molly since they formed in 2004.  One of the founding members, Abbie Gardner, is part of an incredibly talented, musical family.

Her father, Herb "Pops" Gardner, is a well-known and highly-regarded jazz musician (trumpet, piano, trombone, clarinet, saxophone) in New York, who has performed with virtually every name in jazz a person could think of over the past 50 years.

Abbie's sister, Sarah Gardner, is also an exceedingly talented musician in her own right.  After performing in rock and jazz bands, Sarah became a mom and turned to teaching and performing music for children.  She tours in this capacity, as well.

Sarah Gardner has just released a CD, "Jazz Pour Le Bebes (Jazz For Babies)," that is a 14 track collection of jazz classics such as "Baby Face," "Hello Dolly," "Pennies From Heaven," and some great, recent Red Molly songs like "My Baby Loves Me" and "Hello Goodbye."  She has found that, for a variety of reasons, the songs speak to children, gets them moving and brings about loads smiles and laughter.

But this is no CD just for children; do not be deceived by the title.  If you love jazz performed by top-flight musicians, and you should, this is definitely something every adult has to have in their collection.  With Sarah on lead vocals, the CD also features "Pops" on trombone, piano and cowbell, Abbie providing background vocals, Ted Casher on sax and clarinet, Craig Akin on standup bass, slapfiddle and electric bass, Bill Winiker on trumpet, and Joe Hart on guitar.

"Jazz Pour Le Bebes" is filled with the finest musicianship you will come across, jazz or otherwise.  If you have kids, having them not want to "switch the music" will be a nice bonus.  In the meantime, kids or not, you are going to be tapping your feet, bobbing your head and having a good time.   

As Sarah states:  "Administer by ear daily.  Repeat as needed.  May cause addiction in some people."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Poem: Round Pegs

Round Pegs

Finding the answers is forever elusive
Questions can linger; denial’s conclusive
Surrounded by laughter yet alone in the void
Inevitably given, any hope is destroyed
Passersby linger for a moment’s reprieve
But passersby pass; by definition they leave
Some offer wisdom, say the time is at hand
As if snapping of fingers brings the dream on demand
Others, a promise in their smiles and words
At the end of the day not a voice can be heard
So build a safe mask to convey the false picture
Lie to the thoughts to constrain the self-stricture
When push comes to shove, all the shoves push the limit
Clock has been stuck on this singular minute
Deserve so much better but no solace admits
Stuck with round pegs; into square they’ll not fit

Copyright SGW 2012

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Poem: Dead Or Alive (Afraid)

Dead Or Alive (Afraid)
Fear is consuming as it grips on the mind
Not knowing confounds any reason defined
Pain builds in patterns becoming encompassingly dire
Life’s been a process of no means to inspire
Alone in this drifting to anonymous sorrow
Can’t help but shudder for the hurtful tomorrow
Spirit is beaten beside the body’s decay
Any chance of a gift has been long thrown away
No one can answer through the fog set in motion
The distance to sunshine is as wide as an ocean
Left but to wonder how I’ve grown so afraid
Some things are taught and some things are made
When each day’s reduced to merely how to survive
It is hard to decipher whether dead or alive

Copyright SGW 2013

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Poem: Life Is Still There

Life Is Still There

She said be happy
Relax and enjoy
But rosy shades gloss
The constant sorrow
Within the knowing
That life is still there

She said it works out
Good will come your way
But illusion breaks
On shores of a truth
Feeding on the pain
That life is still there

Life ... Life is still there

Copyright SGW 2011

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Poem: Ostriches


They are flat-earth in thinking
For no proof will provide
The reasons for changing
Toward the facts they’ve denied

Our climate’s been altered
What we’ve done is at root
A snowfall in winter
Doesn’t make this point moot

Half-wits won’t notice
‘For their head’s in the sand
While our ice caps are melting
They pretend all is grand

Sandy served as precursor
For the floods will soon come
As the coastlines we live on
To the oceans succumb

Temperatures rising
To unmatching, new heights
Earth-cracking droughts
There is no end in sight

We consume, we devour
And we squander at will
Unless we evolve
Our demise we’ll fulfill

With unfettered destruction
And the fools of FOX “News”
The threat is expansive
There is too much to lose
Copyright SGW 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Poem: Monsters


They resided under the bed
I knew they were there

Lift the bed’s apron … twice


They were there
Trust me

Never a threat
Until a finger to a light switch
So all went dark
And they were there

Run to the bed!
Tuck the blanket in fully around me
My only defense

Yet here I sit today
Having warded off the monsters
Hidden under my childhood bed

They were there

Copyright SGW 2014

Footnote:  Poetry prompt #243 in Melissa Donovan’s “1200 Creative Writing Prompts”

Friday, January 3, 2014

Poem: Ends


Moments pass as clocks spin
Little nooks of happiness reveal
Warmths of joyful pleasure
Linger in these pockets of sanctuary
For their finite nature is absolute
And they fade from view
As life moves to other destinations

Consciously, one must breathe in these jewels of time
Mental images marking what has come
And gone
The sadness of that which is lost …
Is it lost?
Or just embraced within
While some new adventure gestates

I will miss what has ended
But also rejoice in the beautiful memory
For then it lives forever

Copyright SGW 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Poem: War On Christmas

War On Christmas
“It’s wartime on Christmas,” says the charlatan voice
Reveling in tantrums instead of godly rejoice
Each year like clockwork comes the passionate fury
The attack on what’s “holy” in their self-righteous glory

In a nation three-quarters Christian it is hard to conceive
As to who’s actually threat to exactly what to believe
Perpetuation of fraud lies at root of the frenzy
To whip up the masses, requires indignation aplenty

For where is the gospel in these preachers of lying?
Lacking of love holds intolerant plying
Demanding that all must comply to their stricture
Unbending beliefs seem quite removed from the scripture
The populace shopping to capitalistic vulgarity
Where is the outcry to our moneyed depravity?
And all of the symbols from a pagan’s beginning
Since no origin in Jesus, is a Christmas tree sinning?

The truth is the message is meant to divide us with hate
The fake war on Christmas:  Deceive … Inculcate
It is all an illusion by the worst of the lot
The one thing assured; any God they’ve forgot

 Copyright SGW 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela

I have always felt that it is somewhat excessive when we make a big deal out of the death of famous people. Plenty of "regular" people die every day, too, and many of them were good, caring, decent people who made a difference in the world that will be lasting and positive.

Today, though, Nelson Mandela, has passed and the world has lost something it has rarely held. Nelson Mandela had his flaws and warts, I am sure. However, we would all be hard-pressed to find many people who have lived a life that was so given to good works, noble causes and decency. Mandela sacrificed much of his own life and pleasure for a greater good. In doing so, he never seemed to succumb to hatred, loss of dignity or corruption of even the slightest bit. Hopefully, he has left a path for not only South Africans, but all of us, that shows how we should live with each other and treat each other.

There are few people from history who I genuinely consider heroic. Nelson Mandela was one of those people, and I am truly saddened by his passing because I miss knowing that I share this world with such a great person.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Poem: Red Molly

Red Molly (Red Molly)
Harmonious beauty from angelical sounds
The rhythmic flowing of the music astounds
Eyes closed in wonder as the notes cast their charm
Melodious ocean of these songbirds disarm

The healing vibrations breathe a life-giving force
A three-part performance is the stage and the source
Warming of spirit can be felt in their presence
For the purest of pleasures, represent the quintessence

The listener leaves nourished with remarkable calm
Sustained by the power of mellifluous balm
Which finds me next morning with this pad and this pen
Inspired to writing ‘til I hear them again

Copyright SGW 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Poem: Fanatics

Fear takes its measure in infinite shaping
An ignorant basis there can be no escaping
Intolerant, fanatic, often religiously zealous
Cling to a panic that is fervently jealous

Limited thinking is the fabric it’s sown
Science discarded, fact-based reason disowned
Blindly accepting carnival barker’s lament
They preach as if righteous; somehow heavenly sent

They can only find comfort in what their mirrors reflect
Frightened by difference; twisted cause and effect

Racism bred from an uncertain dread
“Brown people coming and a black as our ‘head’”
Create boogeyman government to nourish their story
The more they can fear then the more to their glory

Twisted and tangled in deformity of view
The fear’s all they know, so they mindlessly do

Copyright SGW 2013