Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

I and Love and You

Posted 22 Jun 2010 — by nick
Category music, Poetry, Social Justice, Spirituality, Videos

Changing mood, aiding worship, motivating – the power of music. For as long as I can remember music has been an integral part of my life. From the days of grade school freedom listening to The New Kids On The Block or the happiness and hope of the country Christmas music of my family and childhood to the depression struggles in college with Damien Rice and Jeff Tweedy singing my sorrows. There also was the teen-angst phase of loud punk rock. These days I find myself listening to a lot of creative lyrics and unique musical arrangements; the likes of The Avett Brothers, Derek Webb, Josh Ritter, Spoon and of course Sufjan Stevens streaming past my ears.

Some have said, and I tend to agree, musicians are the prophets of our times. They have the power to bring up social issues, draw our hearts and attention to injustice and call for a higher way to live.

Lately the song “I and Love and You” by The Avett Brothers moves me to think and reflect. The story I hear is one of a man looking back at his life, how easy it was to fight and be harsh with his words and how overtime it wore him down. Left chasing after empty things and seeking fulfillment in nightlife, he comes to the realization that Love has been what he’s after, yet the simple three words, the most powerful words we can speak are hard to say – I and Love and You.

The whole album is beautiful, I highly recommend it.

Music: Turrell and Foreman

Posted 15 Mar 2008 — by nick
Category Friends, music, Poetry, Winter

On recommendation of Paste Magazine I recently picked up Ford Turrell‘s debut album and Jon Foreman’s Fall and Winter EP’s.

To say I’m pleased with these finds would be an understatement.

The Jon Foreman EPs weren’t to much of a risk – I’ve been a long running fan of Switchfoot and Jon’s song writing. Raw, real and emotional come to mind as I stretch to describe them. The depressing undercurrent of Winter makes me think Jon and I might share some of the same predisposition to seasonal sadness (come soon Spring!).
Favorite Tracks: Behind Your Eyes (amazing track), A Cure for the Pain, Equally Skilled

Because of my affinity for Ray LaMontagne‘s work, I picked this album up. I might describe Ford’s style as a pleasing middle between the smoky voice and poetic lyrics of Ray LaMontagne and the folk sound and easy of Amos Lee. By the third spinning of this album I had decided I liked it, it took a couple listens, not an instant favorite. The same was true for Ray and Amos for me though. I’m glad I gave it a couple spins, it’s becoming a favorite.
Favorite Tracks: The Stillest Hour, Listen to Your Heartbeat

Now playing: Jon Foreman – Learning How to Die
via FoxyTunes


Posted 09 Nov 2007 — by nick
Category Friends, Fun, music, Poetry

My roommate Matt is a stud. Last weekend some friends and I drove over to Illinois State University to hear him play at a Coffee House. He played quite a few songs, mostly his original stuff though he did include a fun cover of Counting Crows – Amy hit the atmosphere. One song I loved he is considering titling “Starstruck”. I’ve posted the lyrics below:

You move like a melody
Your skin is pure as a dove
Your eyes melt like summer rain
Your smile is sweet and disarming
This could be love

But no, that’s not how this works
I guess that’s the trouble with falling first
Open your eyes
Come take a chance on me

If life was a movie then you’d be the star
How clever, how gentle, how lovely you are
Would you make me an extra in back of the scene
Or could I be your leading man
A king for the queen

Every time the telephone rings
I dream that it’s you
Calling just to hear my voice
And tell me how you miss me too

But no, that’s not how this works
I guess that’s the trouble with falling first
Open your eyes
Come take a chance on me

If life was a movie then you’d be the star
How clever, how gentle, how lovely you are
Would you make me an extra in back of the scene
Or could I be your leading man
A king for the queen

You came to me quickly
And it’s no surprise
You’ve stolen my heart
With one glance of your eyes
The heart’s made for loving
So give it a try
Cause this could be everything
This could be everything

If life was a movie then you’d be the star
How clever, how gentle, how lovely you are
Would you make me an extra in back of the scene
Or could I be your leading man
A king for the queen
“Starstruck” ~ Matt Wondra

Matt’s done a wonderful job capturing the early feelings of romance and attraction we experience as men, and maybe also for you women as well. I liken this to poetic genius – a gift evident in Matt and littered throughout his songs. I eagerly await the album he is recording, in his room, right above me. In the meantime check out his MySpace page for some samples.

Now playing: Josh Garrels – Break Bread
via FoxyTunes

I Shall Not Walk Alone

Posted 27 Oct 2007 — by nick
Category Light, music, Poetry, Spirituality

“I Shall Not Walk Alone”
By Ben Harper

Battered and torn
still I can see the light
tattered and worn
but I must kneel to fight

Friend of mine
what can’t you spare
I know some times
it gets cold in there

When my legs no longer carry
and the warm wind chills my bones
I reach for Mother Mary
and I shall not walk alone

Hope is alive
while we’re apart
only tears
speak from my heart
break the chains
that hold us down
and we shall be
forever bound

When I’m tired and weary
and a long way from home
I reach for Mother Mary
and I shall not walk alone

Beauty that
we left behind
how shall we
tomorrow find

Set aside
our weight in sin
so that we
can live again

When my legs no longer carry
and the warm wind chills my bones
I reach for Mother Mary
and I shall not walk alone

I’ve recently gotten into Ben Harper. He’s an artist I’ve heard a lot about and respect simply because friends I respect like him. Matt Wondra’s brother moved in with us a couple weeks back and loaned me one of Ben Harper’s Albums “Will To Live”. After listening through a couple of times I’ve come to really love this album. It’s beautiful and this track is pure poetry in it’s simplicity.

We shall not walk alone for the God of all creation walks beside us.

Music, Music, Music

Posted 15 May 2007 — by nick
Category Fun, music, Poetry

When I have nothing better to post about I decide to post on albums that are getting lots of playtime. The time is such.

Eyes Open by Snow Patrol
I continue to find it surprising that I’m listening to this first album so much – surprising because I might label it more mainstream-pop-music-ish than anything else I typically listen too. Maybe it’s the melancholy that has been visiting me for quite sometime now. Maybe it’s the brit-pop-rock. Maybe it’s the foot tapping bass beat. Or just the way it sounds blasting in my VW. I have enjoyed the composition of this album – one song flowing into the next, telling the over dramatic story of love desired and love lost. With lines that shock my heart into worship, lines like “I need your grace, to remind me, to find my own”

Favorite Tracks: Chasing Cars, Open Your Eyes

The Ringing Bell by Derek Webb
Derek continues to stir up controversy and break the Christian Music mold with politically provocative songs like “A Savior On Capitol Hill”. “Come on D.C. if it be thy will, because we’ve never had a savior on capitol hill” The electric/rock feel of the CD is reminiscent of Mockingbird, with subtle breaks where he reverts to an almost early Caedmon’s guitar and vocals feel lamenting about love, grace and God. The album runs a thoughtful, lyricful packed 30 minutes, leaving me wishing for more. Well worth the money. If you have the graphic novel and would be willing to loan it out… I’d love you.

Favorite Tracks: I Don’t Want to Fight, This Too Shall Be Made Right
Bonus: check out and both Derek related projects.

Oh yeah and if you’re a Wilco fan, Go buy their new album right now. I’m holding off on reviewing it until I’ve listened through it a couple times.

News from Lake Wobegon

Posted 16 Feb 2007 — by nick
Category Fun, Podcasts, Poetry, Technology

Many thanks to Beno for bringing this to my attention: The great story teller Garrison Keillor finally available on iTunes. Listening to GK serves as a reminder of his mastery of comedy and story. Check out A Prairie Home Companion – the APM radio show he anchors and source of the podcast. The segment on iTunes is “News From Lake Wobegon” – a standard segment of each APHC installment.

Occasionally I listen to The Writers Almanac by GK, another production of American Public Media. It highlights a poem each day and gives history on literary figures.

“That’s the news from Lake Wobegon where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.”

The choice

Posted 12 Oct 2006 — by nick
Category Poetry, Spirituality

The soft, story-telling voice of Garrison Keillor greets me at my desk as the caffeine reaches my bloodstream. iTunes updates my podcasts, APM and NPR primarily – an important part of my day’s beginning. The writer’s almanac seeps into my brain as it spins up, thoughts converge and life resumes for another day.

Then it happens, the sound reaches my ears converted to electrical impulses that stimulate more than just sounds receptors – thinking, wondering. Is it all the same, have I done this before, will I do it again. How routine this life seems I silently shout. The poem of the day has finished, but my heart remains enwrapped in this dialogue.

Everything Happens Twice
by Eve Robillard

That bird sitting dazed on the railing
has flown into your window before.

The dead-end street you’ve turned onto—
you did that just last month. The boss

calling you into his office
has nothing new to say.

There are only so many scripts.
Everything happens twice.

The friend who borrows your raincoat
will borrow your raincoat tomorrow. The parent

who never loved you enough
is doing it from the grave. You are writing

the very same poem
over & over again they are playing

that old, old song but it’s never
the very last dance. So smile at the guy

who drinks too much-
the one with forget-me-not eyes. Sleep

with the one who calls you
by another woman’s name.

It is a new day, things are different today than the day before. There was frost this morning, I woke late and made it to work early, I sent an email to an old friend. Life is different from day to day. The routine might be the same but I’m new each day and I choose to walk in the light or in the darkness each day, each moment. I choose to believe everything is meaningless and the same and settle for life less rich, or choose to embrace all that following Jesus has to offer.

My heart and mind are in sync, ready to start the day, they’ve fought the battle of cynicism and the temptation to beleive life as a Jesus follower is mundane and predictable.

And life resumes.