Rodriguez: The rock icon we’ve never heard of… till now

Sometimes the plot twists of reality trump fiction — big time! Imagine this: A musician toils for years without getting any recognition, gives up on his music — hangs up his guitar as it were, for a job as a construction worker — and resigns himself to living a life of obscurity, unappreciated…no, unheard of, in his own country.

Continue reading Rodriguez: The rock icon we’ve never heard of… till now

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The Candle

By my bed, on a little round table,

The Grandmother placed a candle.

She gave me three kisses telling me they were three dreams

And tucked me in just where I loved being tucked.

Then she went out of the room and the door was shut.

I lay still, waiting for my three dreams to talk;

But they were silent.

Suddenly I remembered giving her three kisses back.

Perhaps, by mistake, I had given my three little dreams.

I sat up in bed.

The room grew big, oh, bigger far than a church.

The wardrobe, quite by itself, as big as a house.

And the jug on the washstand smiled at me:

It was not a friendly smile.

I looked at the basket-chair where my clothes lay folded:

The chair gave a creak as though it were listening for something.

Perhaps it was coming alive and going to dress in my clothes.

But the awful thing was the window:

I could not think what was outside.

No tree to be seen, I was sure,

No nice little plant or friendly pebbly path.

Why did she pull the blind down every night?

It was better to know.

I crunched my teeth and crept out of bed.

I peeped through a slit of blind.

There was nothing at all to be seen

But hundreds of friendly candles all over the sky

In remembrance of frightened children.

I went back to children …

The three dreams starting singing a little song.

—-Katherine Mansfield

A Man In His Life

A man doesn’t have time in his life
to have time for everything.
He doesn’t have enough seasons to have
a season for every purpose. Ecclesiastes
Was wrong about that.

A man needs to love and to hate at the same moment,
to laugh and cry with the same eyes,
with the same hands to throw stones and to gather them,
to make love in war and war in love.
And to hate and forgive and remember and forget,
to arrange and confuse, to eat and to digest
what history
takes years and years to do.

A man doesn’t have time.
When he loses he seeks, when he finds
he forgets, when he forgets he loves, when he loves
he begins to forget.

And his soul is seasoned, his soul
is very professional.
Only his body remains forever
an amateur. it tries and it misses,
gets muddled, doesn’t learn a thing,
drunk and blind in its pleasures
and its pains.

He will die as figs die in autumn,
Shriveled and full of himself and sweet,
the leaves growing dry on the ground,
the bare branches pointing to the place
where there’s time for everything.

“A Man in His Life,” by Yehuda Amichai. Haven’t been blogging lately (though I promised myself I would do so regularly!). There’s been just too many things going on at work, which was probably why this poem resonated with me. It’s a more lyrical version of the usual, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” retort that people (like me) trot out with to explain being so busy. Sigh. So sad, so poignant, so beautiful!

Kaleidoscope World

So many faces, so many races
Different voices, different choices
Some are mad, while others laugh
Some live alone with no better half
Others grieve while others curse
And others mourn behind a big black hearse
Some are pure and some half-bred
Some are sober and some are wasted
Some are rich because of fate and
Some are poor with no food on their plate
Some stand out while others blend
Some are fat and stout while some are thin
Some are friends and some are foes
Some have some while some have most

Every color and every hue
Is represented by me and you
Take a slide in the slope
Take a look in the kaleidoscope
Spinnin’ around, make it twirl
In this kaleidoscope world

Some are great and some are few
Others lie while some tell the truth
Some say poems and some do sing
Others sing through their guitar strings
Some know it all while some act dumb
Let the bassline strum to the bang of the drum
Some can swim while some will sink
And some will find their minds and think
Others walk while others run
You can’t talk peace and have a gun
Some are hurt and start to cry
Don’t ask me how don’t ask me why
Some are friends and some are foes
Some have some while some have most

Every color and every hue
Is represented by me and you
Take a slide in the slope
Take a look in the kaleidoscope
Spinnin’ around, make it twirl
In this kaleidoscope world

in memoriam, Francis Duran Magalona, 1965-2009. Rest in peace

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I
want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to
dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know
if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for
your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your
moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of
your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s
betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from
fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit
with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it
or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your
own, if you can dance with wildness and let the
ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic,
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another
to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation
of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can
be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s
not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own
life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and
mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and
shout to the silver of the full moon, Yes!

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how
much money you have. I want to know if you can get up,
after the night of grief and despair, weary and
bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to
feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to
be here. I want to know if you will stand in the
center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you
have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from
the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and
if you truly like the company you keep in the empty
moments.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer. Post-VD poem for everyone. Thanks, Ka! 😉

Be careful of words,
even the miraculous ones.
For the miraculous we do our best,
sometimes they swarm like insects
and leave not a sting but a kiss.
They can be as good as fingers.
They can be as trusty as the rock
you stick your bottom on.
But they can be both daisies and bruises.
Yet I am in love with words.
They are doves falling out of the ceiling.
They are six holy oranges sitting in my lap.
They are the trees, the legs of summer,
and the sun, its passionate face.
Yet often they fail me.
I have so much I want to say,
so many stories, images, proverbs, etc.
But the words aren’t good enough,
the wrong ones kiss me.
Sometimes I fly like an eagle
but with the wings of a wren.
But I try to take care
and be gentle to them.
Words and eggs must be handled with care.
Once broken they are impossible
things to repair.

“Words” by Anne Sexton. A friend and I were talking about her a few days ago. And then she cropped up again at an interview I was transcribing. She’s a difficult poet to like. You kinda have to be in a bad mood to appreciate her. But this one, I like.