Monday, July 31, 2017

Cliff Colors

It's Monday so we had ukulele class and I made up a song to go with the chord progression we practiced. That song was about pizza, I think. The chords were C/Am/F/C.

This song uses that progression but I decided to use a sentence from last night as a prompt and came up with these lyrics. For some reason, the melody came out like it's a guy singing so I'm not sure if I wrote this from a male or female perspective. No bridge, just verses and a double chorus. And I added a G7 chord in the chorus.

Recording is a little off - I messed up the ending and a little in the beginning. It's late :)

Cliff Colors
We drove up up the mountain road
To where it dead ends
Were the first ones up there that night
And that’s where it all began.

Walked down the path
Didn’t go too far
Just far enough
To get away from any cars

Looked at the cliff colors
Bleeding red
Sky was going dark
You held my hand.

Cliff colors,
They were Blood red
Only lasts a little while,
That’s what you said.

We walked a little further
Got closer to the edge
You said don’t worry
I’ve got your hand

We waited patiently
For the stars to shine
Watched as they turned
The black sky white.

Looked at the cliff colors
Bleeding red
Sky was going dark
You held my hand.

Cliff colors
Blood red
Only lasts a little while
Till the sun fully sets

Now I’m back up this road
Drove my kids to the dead end
Parked my car and as we walked
I said, This is where it begins

This is where the day
Turns into night
No matter where you go
Remember this sight.

Look at those cliff colors
Bleeding red
Sky is going dark
Won’t you hold my hand.

Cliff colors
They’re Blood red
Only lasts a little while
‘Till the sun fully sets.

(c) 2017 Sue Schnitzer

Sunday, July 30, 2017

One More Poem that was supposed to be a song 7.30.17

Song Prompts that I came up with and then ignored. Another night, maybe.

A geometry sneaks underneath the disturbance!

The newsletter punctures a romance.

A teenage cliff colors.

Life gets in the way. Is that your life or other people’s?

One More Poem that was Supposed to Be a Song 7.30.17

Instead of writing a song I jammed on my keyboard for a while.
Does that count?
The challenge is to write a song or poem,
not hang out and have fun
Randomly playing chords, melodies, and whatever my fingers want to do on the keyboard.

Structure, my friend,
That is the goal.
So, structure is what I will do.
In the form of a written song
or poem.

Poems are easier.
There are less rules
and only one element,
Actually, that isn’t true.
Rhythm, maybe rhyme, and yes, some form of structure.
It doesn’t have to be verses and a chorus.
or a bridge
or a recurring line at the end of each verse.
But there needs to be something
that makes it cohesive
And not just a rambling mass of
Structure, rhythm, a thoughtful process,
or else
It’s just words vomited on the page.

So, time to focus on the end goal.
Words on a page
In a meaningful pattern
With a purpose.

Today I met Bob who was sitting on a stool
next to mine, listening to live music.
The band had a Hammond keyboard, which took me back,
I mean, a real Hammond organ sound.
So I filmed the solo and kept it running through the end of the song,
after which the band took a break
and Bob said something like,
“That was the song to get.”
I agreed and we started to chat.
At some point he said, “I’m Bob”
and reached out his hand.
“I’m Sue,” I said back and we shook on it.

It was fun just chatting with Bob,
a random stranger when I sat down,
and an acquaintance I may see again,
when I left.

I left Bob on his stool
after the first song following the break.
We shook goodbye.
Will I see him again?
Well, I know where he will be on Thursday night,
he told me about a show he's going to.
Maybe I’ll go out for music after work.
I love music
and so does Bob.
That’s all I need for now.
Someone I know on the stool next to mine,
appreciating good music.
No strings.
No expectations.
No games.
No drama.
Just a music buddy
in a music town.
Now that is a line for a song.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Poem about writing a happy song

I keep trying to write a happy song
but my thoughts keep having the wrong
I’m trying so hard to be funny
but my words are gray instead of sunny.
I wish I knew why
'cause I look at the sky
and see blue, there's  just a few
white clouds
floating near the sun.
Big sigh,
Why, oh wy,
can’t I write the words that describe
the smile in my heart

I thought it was me,
then I thought it was you.
Now I realize we never had a clue.
Happiness came,
Happiness went
Like the tide rolling in,
Then out it went.
Not funny,
Not sad.
It happened,
I'm not mad.
'Cause I’m who I am
because of all those yesterday’s.
And that makes me soooooooo
Freedom is a happy place to be.

In honor of my state of mind
I’m trying to write a happy song.
I’ll try again to write a line
that will make someone smile,
maybe laugh.
Try to write a lyric that’s clever,
just quirky enough to be brilliant.

Happiness comes,
Happiness goes.
Like the tide rolling in,
Then out again.
Such a heavy thought, but just science.
Gravity pulls you down,
Happiness picks you up.
Words can jump all over the place
All I want to do is put a smile on your face
When I sing this, my happy song.
Maybe even do my happy dance.

Trying so hard to write a happy song,
funny, bounce, dance, jump.
Drop the literal, drop the angst,
Pick up the tempo,
C’mon take a chance.

The jokes on me, maybe it’s on you,
It’s the frown upside down
That can give you a clue.
Trying too hard, maybe just let it roll,
Drop a line and sing.
Pretend you’re so old
That it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks.
Just keep that smile,
Laugh a little,
And liven up this space.

Why did the songwriter write a happy song?
To prove she could do it.
In other words,
Exactly why the chicken crossed the road,
To get to the other side.

Oh happy day.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Hypocrite essay in verse

After writing what I posted earlier today, I sat back and thought about whether I was being judgemental and hypocritical.

Sometimes I don’t follow my own advice.
Distance provides perspective
Cool off
Vent but don’t send.
Did I do that?
Well, I wrote it out.
I read it through and edited before sending,
Did I give myself enough distance?
Did I cool off?
Did I vent?
Did I send too early?
I wrote, I read, I edited.
Heat of the moment
Rather than cool.

So now I wonder
Am I a hypocrite?
Did I judge
And cast stones?
Did I go too far
Did I do what I accuse other people of doing?

Today’s questions to ponder
Rather than “What is the meaning of life?”
I am wondering,
“What is the meaning of free speech?”
“What is too far and who gets to judge?”

Am I a hypocrite?
  A little.
Did I go too far?
I didn’t pick on anyone by name
I didn’t post a derogatory photo.
I didn’t post anything that would incite violence or harm.

Free speech determinations
Are beyond the scope of a poem
Or an essay
By an average lay person.
Free speech is a right,
But there are restrictions.
Determining those restrictions
Is left up to
The judiciary.
The closest thing to an impartial body that we have.
Their role is to interpret the Consitution
Based on the rule of law.
Of course, those interprettions,
I.e., decisions
Become the next case’s rule of law,
So being a judge
Is a rather weighty thing.
We talk about higher authority
In religious and spiritual terms.
In the case of free speech and other Constitutional rights,
Religion is supposed to be irrelevant.
After all, we are a nation of people
and a nation of religious liberty.
In God we trust and under God.
May God bless the United States of America
Hm. I looked up where that started as a presidential speech thing.

Uh oh.
According to the HuffPost:
The first president to say it was Richard Nixon, who dropped the phrase during an attempt at damage control for the burgeoning Watergate scandal on April 30, 1973. “Tonight, I ask for your prayers to help me in everything I do throughout the days of my presidency,” he said. “God bless America and God bless each and every one of you.”

Oh my.

Essay in Verse

I debated myself on whether to post this one. It may offend the person who triggered it (if he happens to read it). It also may offend other people. My freedom of speech argument won the debate so here I am jumping into the deep end. Some days I am brave. Some people call it lack of common sense or unfiltered. I call it being free.

Essay in Verse

Where to start?
I should start at the very beginning,
   because, as the songs says,  that’s a very good place to start.
But which beginning should I start at?
The beginning of time?
The moment of truth where
  reality collided with fantasy?
So many beginnings,
Who knew?

This story will start with yesterday,
   just another normal day in the life.
Work, a little exercise, dinner, the news, some music,
   and a little internet surfing
   ending up with pulling up a dating site
   I hadn't looked at for a while.
I had tried another site
  Half heartedly, pun unintentional.
Out of curiosity a few months ago,
   and maybe some hopefulness,
   I looked at this new site
   after a friend mentioned it.
It was free,
so nothing to lose, right?
Filled out a profile, took a couple of the quizzes
   and trolled the site a little.
Got some messages,
   wrote back, nothing came of it.
Got curious again last night,
   pulled up my messages and responded to a few.

And that is the true beginning of this story,
   which I wish was fiction,
   but unfortunately,
   it isn’t.
Not to worry about me,
Nothing bad happened
to me. 
What got to me was seeing firsthand that
on the surface we seem similar
people like this really do exist,
and laughing at the absurdity of what they say and think
    doesn’t change anything
    or make it any less scary.
Yes, there are people living in our world, country, state, city
who think and say things
    that make me cringe
They think and say things
    that are so hateful, so close-minded, and so baseless
        [By the way,
religious precepts are not a valid base for hate.]
They think and say things that are a direct insult to
    me, my children, family, friends.
We don’t live in a world where people think I have horns,
but we do live in a world where some people
    Believe I am the devil,
    Believe that people I know are heathens,
The devil?
A threat?
To who?
To what?
I don’t advertise my beliefs.
I don’t shove them down anybody’s throat.
I don’t expect everyone to think exactly the way I do.
All I expect is the freedom to choose what to believe
   and to not be put down for my beliefs
   or my values.
And I will admit that this person and others like him
have the same rights and expectations that I have,
So he/they have the right to believe whatever they want to.
But they don’t have the right to
   post demeaning, hateful statements, jokes, and graphics.
   to propogate hatred
   and question someone's loyalty to the good old USA
  because they don't like the person.
 [I thought that hatred wasn't Christian]

How did this happen?
How do people like this thrive and seem to be proliferating?
   Or maybe they’re just getting more vocal?
How did such behavior become normal?
I don’t know.
I don’t understand.
I can’t accept that people can think these things
and spread such vitriol and hate
just because of differing beliefs.
Our country was founded on the principles of freedom
And liberty
And justice
For all.
What part of “for all” excludes certain groups or individuals?
If our country’s founders didn’t mean "for all",
   they would have listed who it wasn’t meant to include.
They didn’t list exceptions.
All means all
And we need to figure out how to make that a reality that works.

And since religion seems to be such a big part of the equation these day,
Does God say to hate people because they believe something different from you?
Does God teach to spew hate because you don’t like what someone says or how they dress or who they choose to be or love?
I’m wondering,
Where did the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer go?
I think they’re still referenced in some form in western religion
   I can almost understand how the Lord’s prayer could be corrupted,
  “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”
    But, who determines what is evil?
    And just because I believe something different from you,
        Does that make it evil?
        Does that mean I am tempting you?
            Unless of course, you are tempted because you want to believe,
Or you don’t understand what I believe.
        So you call it evil.
But the Ten Commandments?
Really, how can those have been so corrupted?
    It is pretty simple really,
    Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Most religions say you should be righteous.
Morally right
Morally good.
I can see how maybe these definitions of righteous can be interpreted in rather negative ways,
But only if your moral compass ignores the Love Thy Neighbor portion of the program.