Goodbye July or “What I Did While Trying to Make Disneyland Dining Reservations”

This is the story of how I wrote yesterday’s poem and turned it into a song early this morning while trying to make Disneyland dining reservations.

The night before last I was awake during the night looking at the calendar on my iPhone trying to make Disneyland dining reservations (which is such a crapshoot these days), realizing I couldn’t make September ressies for at least one more day, if I was lucky. Staring at the month of July, I was thinking about how July may be my least favorite month – certainly living in the hotter states I’ve lived in like Southern Nevada and Central Florida. Will July ever end?

I then jotted down those lyrics.

Last night I was awake during the night doing the same staring at the calendar thing, trying again to snag Disneyland dining reservations, and I thought, “I must write the music for those lyrics.” I did snag some ressies, so then I got up at around 4 am and recorded this song, trying not to sing too loudly so I wouldn’t awaken my husband and cats – lol!

It was a lot of fun and came out better than I thought it would. Hope you enjoy!

July (#Lyric #Poem)

And July goes on and on and on
Hot days, long days
Never been a fan
Except for

Birthday parties, frilly pink ribbons
Angel food cake and pink frosting
Ice cream on a fancy plate
Pink candles lit on the cake

And July goes on and on and on
Hot days, long days
Never been a fan
Except for

Playing catch in the street
Disneyland fireworks in the sky
Roy Orbison on the hifi
Ice clinking in the glass
After Shirtless dads mowing the grass

And July goes on and on and on
Hot days, long days
Never been a fan
Except for

Koolaid, popcorn and Beatles 45s
Never heard the F word or “Not gonna lie”
Motown, Photoplay, days at the beach
Coppertone, skates and surfboards,
all within my reach

And July goes on and on and on
Never been a fan
Hot days, long days…

White Wine (#lyric #poem)

White wine in the evening
Is not good for sleeping
Eyes snap open every hour on the hour
Brain is whirling with Samson-like power

Thumbing through Kindle for temporary distraction
Writing poems for lyrics and 50/90 reaction
Using the time given, borrowing from daytime
Vocals too tired to steady the night”s rhymes

Making big plans in the dark of the night
Counting the minutes til earth’s morning light
Struggling to function for long in the morning
Reminding me of truth that comes as a warning

White wine in the evening
Is not good for sleeping

“One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop (#poetry)

I’ve been reading How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry by Edward Hirsch and when I read “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop, I fell in love, to quote my dad. (It’s copyrighted so I can only provide a link to it on poetryfoundation.org.)

And then that very day, Austin Kleon just happened to mention an article in the NY Times where they dissected it. What???

I so related to the message of the poem itself, but what then intrigued me was the form of this particular poem—villanelle—nineteen lines divided into six stanzas—five tercets and one quatrain—turning on two rhymes and built around two refrains. The first and third lines rhyme throughout, as do the middle lines of each stanza. The first and third lines become the refrain of alternate stanzas and the final two lines of the poem.

I don’t usually go for tightly-formed poems, only if my instincts guide me into those same forms. Or maybe Mr. Clukas’ poetry class sunk in deeper than I’d thought – lol!

But I must write one of these. The concept is just so lyrical. And because it is a strict form, I probably won’t do it in the middle of the night on my iPhone, but will, indeed, have to sit at my computer and think it through.

The Mystery of My Heart (#lyric #poem)

What is the meaning behind the mystery of my heart
That tugs so hard no matter how near or how far
I need to know
I really need to know

Feelings of rapture keep me tied up in thought
Is it hindering my future or
Is it the light shining on where I ought
I need to know
I really need to know

Years of security were a blessing indeed
Was it worth the price of choosing not to leave
I need to know
I really need to know

Did the lies I believed underneath the grief
Kill the truth of the story of the resident thief
I need to know
I really need to know

Memories of home and childhood innocence
Destroyed any chance of building fences
Which would I choose if I’d had all the facts
Who would I be, how would I act
This is the mystery of a life without answers
To questions I have for happily ever after
I need to know
I really need to know

A Lifetime (#lyric #poem)

A lifetime is a long time to never have known you
A decision was made without your consent
Birthdays and Christmas and favorite Sunday dinners
Counting the measures of unceasing torment

Photos displayed on a beachy white dresser
The cross prays for family unknown to the pastors
Strumming the coasts in search of heart’s answers
Mothers in hiding and cruel puppet masters

The child pays the price for adults who are wounded
The cycle must end in choices not taken
Letting go of love for what can never happen
Walking day to day with a soul deeply shaken

Triumph is yours when light faces dark
Staring the truth down a long lonely barrel
Companions who appear like angels of laughter
Are gifts you ignore to your everlasting peril

A lifetime is a long time to never have known you
Decisions made with or without our consent
Offer moments in hours of restless slumber
Awake counting treasures of unceasing relent

Questions (#Lyric #Poem)

If I asked mere questions, it wasn’t to gossip
But to fill in the air that poetry leaves
Like whispering trees or a dripping faucet
Rushing Hardy Falls where I once grieved

How can you know the buttons and the brass
Internally observed when cutting teeth
Sitting in Mr. Clukas’ poetry class
Deprived of your presence like the air that I breathe

If I seemed to you rude when I inquired within
It wasn’t to make a judgment of some mortal sin
I came to you with nothing but a clean, blank slate
Looking for you to fill it like your favorite plate