give us a song


Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. – Maya Angelou

Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue. – Plato

This week, we departed from our usual work and focused our attention on song writing. When anyone works long enough on one artistic medium, in this case poetry, a certain freshness in the work can be achieved when the artist practices another form. This is the case here. We listened to music together, discussed different songwriting forms, and challenged ourselves to write in that form. The work that came from this was potent and surprising, some of the strongest the writers have made in some time. It’s as though they have been practicing and practicing in the same way with the same diligence and potential and this new form opened up possibilities in their work that they didn’t know what there.

This happens for many artists – something new and out of their control moves into their realm of experience, their consciousness, and changes the way they do their work. In the pieces below, you will read what happens when well-practiced writers ride the energy of something new. It makes magic.


This year was the first celebrated Memorial Day that my Grandpa and Grandma were buried in the same spot.

Every year my aunts and uncles would plant flowers at my Grandpa’s grave.

This year they decided to also sprinkle tobacco and pecans on the grave for my grandma.

I still have her old, classy jewelry and antique gloves that I wear with pride.

I also have a spoon you can use for root beer floats with a straw on it.

I miss you a lot Grandma B.

You always told me that if boys came around to hit ‘em with a baseball bat. You ornery presence will be missed.

Try not to smoke a cigarette with your oxygen tank and blow up heaven.

When we reunite we can have all the root beer floats and pecan pie and watch CSPAN.

See you in Paradise.
RIP Verna Barwin August 7, 2015


*** Continue reading