A poem to call on confidence

I have a stately purpose
Just like a stately pine
I have a sprightly wit
Just like a friend of mine

I have a stunning sense
Just like a flower’s smell
I have a sustained vigor
Just like a young Orwell

You like my noble name?
Why yes, it ends in matter
How ‘bout my natural charm?
Mad, just like a hatter

I bring a sparkling fury
To music like a dance
My hand’s superb command
Puts my readers in a trance

I am a throneless king
Who picked the wrong to rule
You can call it vain conceit
But I know I ain’t no fool

I’m slick with polished ease
Gold throughout my voice
Calculated with mathematical precision
And you thought you had a choice

There is a majestic awe
To my nameless grace
A simple, modest plainness
To my fervent, steady pace

Don’t make a vital mistake
And sullen, call it quits
You might make boats for a living
But I’m the captain of this ship

-TS

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I’m Not Asking

I will never know
how hurt you have been
and are.

You held it together for
years. Then one day it all
came apart.

Maybe you saw it coming,
but couldn’t believe it would be
a new reality.

Reality sounds kinda nice
compared to what every
stunted, splintered day in this hell feels like.

I hope you can have some good
before you go. There’s been a mistake
in how much broken you were handed.

I pray peace for you, even when you
really frustrate me. I want to hear
more joy in your voice.

Not one more moment of pain, Lord.
Not one more God-forsaken moment.
Let’s see you redeem.

I call upon you now to right this ship.
To make impossible good out of
insurmountable bad.

I’m afraid I’m not asking.
I’m telling.
Right now, show my mother … love like she’s never seen.

Asleep in a still pool of water

Asleep in a still pool of water;
the figure balances atop
without disturbing the
balance.

Even the thought of a ripple –
would rock the water awake,
the figure has cleared
his mind.

Can you feel its quietness?
The sound of an empty mind
falling out of consciousness,
neither asleep nor awake?

It is hard to imagine
the sound of the space
and moment between
the two worlds we know best.

A third place, where the figure
finds his mind’s rest, is not
a beginning or a destination,
question or answer.

It is rather a state
of such tremendous peace,
that it brings a foe like worry
to its knees.

Little one

Little One,

If you like to think of God
as a metaphor for everything good
in the world,
I think that’s ok.

If you’re not sure
what faith really is,
it’s alright to say,
I don’t know.

If you can think positive
thoughts when everything around
is falling down,
Then you’re ahead of the game.

If you want to believe in love
when someone says something mean,
and it hurts more than you think you can bear,
then you’re already on your way.

Make small, little acts of love a big deal.
Make big, complex concepts seem small and easy to understand.

I give you this advice, little one.
Take what you like.
Leave what you don’t.
And be sure to give a whole lot away.

With all the love in the world,
Dad

Secret Sound

There is a deep intimacy
to the music made with you in mind.
There’s a secret sound
buried beneath all the chords.

I’ll be honest, if I didn’t have that,
I wouldn’t believe at all.
But when I close my eyes and sing to you,
I believe.

There was a time tonight,
when I sang to a group of friends,
the words they say you spoke and speak,
and I cried while I sang them.

I tired to hold it back – like always
and I wondered if that gentle push
was you saying:
“Let go, Ty. Please, just let go.” 

The lustful man’s lament

Do you reserve your love for me?
Yes, my dear, I do reserve my
love for you, but not you alone
I’m afraid.

I gave little pieces away
to some beautiful flowers whose
petals I collect in a jar by my bed.

I also – ashamedly – give my love
away to this dark abyss. I sit on
the edge and I throw little pennies
down to the bottom.

A penny might not seem like much,
but when you throw one or two
everyday of your life, it starts to
add up.

When I throw a copper piece now,
I can hear it hit all its brothers and
sisters with a metallic clank.

It reminds me of something, the noise.
It reminds me that while I want to give
you all of my everything, there’s a
small fortune sitting at the bottom of a
dark pit, that says otherwise.

Crushed a 1960s Gibson

I have been doing nothing over the past few days other than filling my head with information about guitars. I’ve been researching what guitar is the best band for your buck. I have looked high and low. Virtually and in the store for my perfect guitar…my baby.

I’ve played $5,000 Gibson Hummingbirds. I’ve played $3,000 Martin D-28s with Indian Rosewood back and sides, sitka spruce tops, and mahogany necks. I’ve played 50 year old instruments with more character than an old, smokey-lady’s face.

I’ve talked to salesman from big chain stores, I’ve talked to techs from small mom and pop shops at great length and learned everything I could from their expertise. I really want to find a guitar that speaks to me and I’m doing my due diligence.

You might look at the guitar pictured above and think that I’ve found the one. But I haven’t. The Martin Streetmaster above is an all-mahogany guitar with a “distressed” finish, which makes it look bad ass in my opinion. I might still pick it up one day, but I haven’t yet and this is why.

I got the idea, as I headed to my 4th guitar shop during my quest, to bring my Yamaha FG-203 along with me to compare its sound with the other guitars in the store. To give you an idea, my Yamaha acoustic is currently selling different places online for about $150. Thats $150 for a basically brand new acoustic.

Well, I got to the shop and set up all these beautiful (and expensive) guitars all around me. I played my Yamaha first and played a simple chord progression rather loud. Then I tuned one of the instruments next to me and played the exact same chord progression and compared. I repeated this process with all the acoustics in the room and it was quite a big room.

You know what I found out? I liked my $150 Yamaha’s sound as much, or in some cases, more than I liked the supposed grander and definitely more expensive guitars. I had a thick wad of cash in my pocket when I entered the store – burning a hole like you might expect. I wanted so badly to throw my money on the table and buy a superior instrument.

But that didn’t happen.

I came downstairs at the shop feeling a little dejected. The guy at the front desk looked at me and said, “Your guitar won didn’t it?” He was right, my little Japanese acoustic beat all those flashy name brands.

I might still get a new guitar, but not right now it seems.

I have so much knowledge in my head about body sizes and wood tones it’s coming out my ears. But it doesn’t matter what experts tell you. It doesn’t matter how much better a guitar is supposed to sound. All that matters is what YOU like. What YOU think sounds the best and fits what you’re trying to play. Don’t let anyone bully you into thinking because its got a name brand and flashy inlays that it’s a better sounding instrument.

I got so caught up in having the Martin name across the headstock of my guitar that I almost made a rash decision.

I’m a person who has never been up on the latest trends, but I remember in school wanting the new black Nikes or a Easton baseball bat with the big barrel or getting older and envying the kid down the street’s BMW M3. I want to pay attention to the bullshit of brand names and remember when my $150 Yamaha crushed a 60s Gibson.