Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Headline Poem 1/28/14 -- For Pete

(Photo credit Andrew Sullivan, New York Times)

Today, we lost a legend. Pete Seeger had a public life. He questioned the status quo, and through his music attempted to make sense of cultural situations and circumstances. He was active politically and socially, and said that singing with children at schools for over 70 years was one of the most rewarding experiences of his life. The news of his passing inspired a blog post (which I hope to share soon) and today's headline poem.

For Pete

a good song reminds us of the fight
of why we get up and dressed in the morning
and raise hell when we have to at night

it keeps us grounded like stones in a river
rushing by or stagnant

makes us want to stick our hand in the ground
to dig, touch, and plant roots

flowers will bloom if you let them
in Alabama, Vietnam, or a Mansion on a hill
a good song calls us home
to the heart, hearth, warmth, and food

a good song may send us behind bars,
especially when we ask others to sing along
some of the most beautiful things are ugly, broken, and alone

don't run from the dirty jobs
don't pretend they aren't there
they matter just the same as the beauties
in fact they matter more

a good song makes you linger
on a smokey mountain road
too cold to head out,
too cold not to go

Whether chasing bears in Cumberland
or bringing our soldiers home,
a good song speaks to strangers
and welcomes them in like friends

so have a seat and listen
to the music I'm about to share
it will do your soul some good
to introduce it to your ears

a good song makes a difference
whether big, simple, or small
it may not make bad guys good,
or brothers and sisters all,
but it will liberate folks to care,
and catch them when they fall