The words are from a poem I wrote last year for Christmas. Always cool to see the marriage of my words and design.
I take more pictures in winter, to keep the still in frames
I sometimes glimpse a bit of spring, through melted snow and flames
The chilly sent of icy rain, hangs throughout the town
The frosty breath of frozen lungs, while snow is falling down
I see a river flow beneath, coursing cold and runneth green
I see a North-bound, rusted train, barreling down with steam
The glow of warmth, bright with light, there’s one I call my home
I pray for the broken, ragged few, who spend this night alone
Where would I be, without this place, into a man been made
I often doubt and cry aloud, hoping again that you’d save
It’s Christmas time in Cincy-town, soon a city colored white
I will rest and spend good time, with my family here tonight
Bless us, Lord! Keep us safe! We fall down on our knees
We pray for much and forget to thank, but now we’re begging please
We are your kids, we hide as such, breaking all the joy you built
We placed on him all the shame, but still carry around our guilt
Take it all! And throw it out! I’ve been hanging on too long
Hope you’ll accept these feeble words, that now come out in song
I am one man and a broken one, you’ve asked to humbly serve
I will fail and fail again, because I haven’t got the nerve
The season is right and ripe with joy, only good comes from above
I pray for heaven coming down, I pray for your unfailing love
The sky is light gray.
The ground is dark gray.
The trees have no color,
Because there are no trees.
The fields are muted,
in both senses: sound and sight.
The cold’s color would be gray as well,
Though it is colder at night.
Machines run treads into the earth,
Cleaving mounds of mud and grass.
Pressing seeds deep
The farmer hopes to sow.
City dwellers look down their nose
Feigning regality, stuffy mood.
What happens if I tell them,
It’s out here we get our food.
That’s the scene I set;
Drab and uninteresting.
Winter fields as flat
as thoughts of nothing are long.
The pools of shallow water
reflect up, looking like voids.
All you hear is your head,
Because there is no noise.
I lay on my back, at loss and wonder why,
Staring, I look up; underneath an Iowa sky.
I’m wearing my dad’s shoes now and giving him advice. Or is it his necktie? I don’t know for sure. Boys will become fathers and fathers will become boys. Mothers will cry to their sons for hours on the telephone and sons will cover up the receiver so their mothers don’t hear them crying. Because now they’re the man.
Sons will leave long pauses in conversations. Thinking of chess boards. They will look right past you, through you, to the house where they grew up. They will be distant.
They will have trouble sleeping. They will realize some things about marriage. Mostly, it is choosing to love.
Sons will fumble through prepared speeches basically written on note cards to their fathers. They will say things like, “I hope you know…” and “I’ve been thinking…” and “For now…”
I hope you know I can’t bear to hear my mother cry like that. I will die before I let that happen again.
I’ve been thinking that you probably feel like you’re under a microscope. I know it will feel forced and awkward. Nothing you do will feel right.
For now, you got to get back to even. For now, you have to learn to be a man.
For now…I guess I’ll have to do.