For Michelle

If it’s true that time is the longest distance
between two places, then I have been seeking
you across a vast and endless wilderness,
fearing that, even if I could find you and touch you
I could never hold you in my hands, and you would
slip through my fingers like water, like you had before,
when, not being able to see better or look harder
or be braver, I lost you. Like you were never there.
Just a memory, a ghost or breath of air.

And yet, after so long waiting, and watching
the flowing of time and events and people between us,
pushing us further and further from each other,
and you receding into the distance little by little,
getting smaller until at last I could not even see you
or dare to hope to find you, you were there.
Again, within reach of my arms, you were there.
And we were us like we were before, and
I could touch you again and I felt whole.

Just the taste of you that once, for that instant,
made it seem possible that I could hold you again,
and somehow it was possible, and now we are as close
as I could ever dare hope, measured in inches, feet, yards.
I am right here. You are right there, 87th star to the right
just out my window. I reach for you daily now,
but I touch only air, and the gulf of time flows between us.
My green light at the end of the dock, I can only watch
and wait, looking at you, beyond my reach, shining in the dark.

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Brightly Beams

Here is another version of one of my favorite hymns:

Brightly Beams Our Fathers Mercy A Cappella from Jamez on Vimeo.

2010 Albums and Songs of the Year

This was a bit of a strange year in music, in my opinion. It saw the continued fracturing of rock and pop into even more sub-genres, which has been going on for quite a while, but there was an interesting rise of new folk music into the mainstream. This was best exemplified this year by the success of bands like Mumford and Sons, Delta Spirit, Broken Records and, to some extent, Arcade Fire. It has been happening for some time, as is evidenced by great albums in previous years by Augustana, Robert Plant and even Kings of Leon with their rootsy southern sound. I don’t know what to think of this trend, but I like it, as you’ll see from looking at my list. Continue reading

For My Son On His 16th Birthday

Now that you are sixteen you will have the opportunity to go on dates. Hooray! Right? Well, yeah, but there are some things you need to know. Some provisos, caveats and quid pro quos, as they say. Continue reading

New Music for the End of the Decade: Stereophonics

Leave it to band of the decade nominee Stereophonics to capture the moment as this unfortunate decade winds to a close. They are making their case for the brass ring with their new album, very appropriately titled, Keep Calm and Carry On. I especially like the second half of this album, with the closing song “Show Me How” winning me over as the album eases to a melancholy but soulful close. Continue reading

The Damnwells, One Last Century

damnwells-in-hall

Please see my review of this new album here.

The Damnwells – New Songs

Alex Dezen of The Damnwells has written some new songs and, as always, they’re completely fantastic.  I hope they make it onto a new Damnwells album.  Here’s one symptom of what’s wrong with the music business:  The Damnwells are not as successful as bands with half the talent they have.  If you love these guys as much as I do, pass the word, and buy their albums: Bastards of the Beat and Air Stereo.

[cross-posted at kulturblog]