Magnificent – Lyrics without a Melody

I enjoy writing lyrics. I started this when I was in Ireland, and I finished it up (at least for now) just this evening.  Who’s going to put it to music? What’s it about? Picture a boy who walks through the jungle two hours one way to attend a small village schoolhouse. Certainly, it’s a true story.

Magnificent
lyrics by Mark W Sasse
1
Calloused hands of only twelve,
Dining on scraps and banana rows
Too many mouths, and not enough time,
but he smiles and laughs through his daily throes
Magnificent.
2
Tire tread sandals, half torn to shreds
from the rugged path he’s learned by heart,
three days a week if time to spare
he walks the mountain path to learn his part
Magnificent.
chorus
And the modern world nods its head
at the glitz and glamour and vapid threads,
That saturate our well-lived lives while he walks the jungle trail
magnificent
3
He’s late of course, ‘n has no books,
But eyes peer round at the blackboard lesson
language and numbers elude his grasp
he’ll fail his exams with or without this session
cause he’s one day closer and two hours farther from …
magnificent
chorus
And the modern world nods its head
at the glitz and glamour and vapid threads,
That saturate our well-lived lives while he walks the jungle trail
magnificent
bridge
The distance is not the problem cause he has the strength,
and time is not the issue cause he has all day
it’s not the humble school house without materials
it’s not government promises which always feel betrayed
it’s not the the blanket statement from ignorant city folks
Or his uncle who thinks it’s silly he gets nothing for his walks
It’s not the village children who have a head start
or nature which pounds his every inch when monsoon season stalks
The problem issue lies much deeper
Hidden in the human condition,
a failure to recognize that which truly is …
magnificent
4
The jungle trail welcomes the math
two trees multiplied by twelve ants,
a glorious quorum of learning begins
a history re-imagined by a small boy’s pant,
reborn each day by two hours of walking towards …
magnificent
chorus
And the modern world nods its head

at the glitz and glamour and vapid threads,
That saturate our well-lived lives while he walks the jungle trail
magnificent

Merry Christmas: A Vigil for a Starry Night

On a night when the clouds cover the stars like an impenetrable mountain cliff, I wait for a sign. A small tinge up my spine. A desperate plea for the ancient ways to speak once again. I wait for the light, hoping it will come, hoping it will be enough. .

The stars, spread brightly out like colored snowflakes flickering across the onyx sky, reflect a distant constellation, and begin to re-enter the atmosphere, piercing through the fractured clouds, giving faint and distant light to the voidless black, the empty sea, the sandless desert, the vacant abyss that is deep within me. The light, hushed and dimmed by a millennium of travel, is all I have. Is all I ever had.

I wait for the reflection to reach me, hoping one refracted beam from a star long ago still exists, the same ancient light that awakened the shepherd’s eyes one cool and lonely night. Can the light that ushered in a new millennium, awaken a new epoch within me. If so, it might be enough for my heart to go on.

In the midst of tears, in the solitude of our inner being, we yearn to be on that impoverished hill, to understand the magnitude of that sight, a heavenly light illuminating a darkened heart, a heavenly chorus rising to a crescendo of glory.

Will I choose to believe its truth, not blindly though because I know what the light can do for one’s soul.  And though the unbearable pain releases not its grip, I have a question to answer. Does the light still exist for me?

Does the same sky, which God ripped open that night with his right hand, planting angelic heralds of peace on the clouds to rustle awake the shepherds, still exist for me? Can he reach into my clouded heart and announce the truth like a heavenly chorus? If it is so, all suffering and cause of angst still present throughout the world will be no match for the blessed announcement: “A Child is born.”

PERSON: This child is born.

A Vigil for a Starry (Christmas Eve) Night

A Vigil for a Starry (Christmas Eve) Night

On a night when the clouds cover the stars like an impenetrable mountain cliff, I wait for a sign. A small tinge up my spine. A desperate plea for the ancient ways to speak once again. I wait for the light, hoping it will come, hoping it will be enough. .

The stars, spread brightly out like colored snowflakes flickering across the onyx sky, reflect a distant constellation, and begin to re-enter the atmosphere, piercing through the fractured clouds, giving faint and distant light to the voidless black, the empty sea, the sandless desert, the vacant abyss that is deep within me. The light, hushed and dimmed by a millennium of travel, is all I have. Is all I ever had.

I wait for the reflection to reach me, hoping one refracted beam from a star long ago still exists, the same ancient light that awakened the shepherd’s eyes one cool and lonely night. Can the light that ushered in a new millennium, awaken a new epoch within me. If so, it might be enough for my heart to go on.

In the midst of tears, in the solitude of our inner being, we yearn to be on that impoverished hill, to understand the magnitude of that sight, a heavenly light illuminating a darkened heart, a heavenly chorus rising to a crescendo of glory.

Will I choose to believe its truth, not blindly though because I know what the light can do for one’s soul.  And though the unbearable pain releases not its grip, I have a question to answer. Does the light still exist for me?

Does the same sky, which God ripped open that night with his right hand, planting angelic heralds of peace on the clouds to rustle awake the shepherds, still exist for me? Can he reach into my clouded heart and announce the truth like a heavenly chorus? If it is so, all suffering and cause of angst still present throughout the world will be no match for the blessed announcement: “A Child is born.”

PERSON: This child is born.

I Wrote This Last Night

I wrote this last night. No particular reason, and I’m not even sure what it means. But I kind of like it. I’m thinking folk-rock.

Vagabonds of Mercy   by  Mark W. Sasse

Ghostly kin collared high and smart, rolling out till we hit the dawn,

Pardoned souls with sing-song hearts, Hit the road until they reach the dawn

And the shadows cover field and vale, where it spreads it’s really hard to tell

As we brace for impact from the eastern gale, remember truth is the hardest sell

 

A girl in jeans and a ragged smile, waves a knife at the quarter mile

I duck my head from her pensive sight, but the battered soul gives up the fight

Proffered dreams, deferred hearts, testing limits with spare parts,

But the mileage wanes around the bend, when you’re headed home and then back again

 

Chorus:

And the vagabonds always know where they’re going,

Cause the road welcomes everyone who floats on the wings of the sun

And the vagabonds always know who they’re traveling with

Cause they understand more than most the feeling of Judas’ kiss

 

 

Part of the reason I joined this quest, was to get something off my chest.

I understand your hesitation, but I really need your participation.

Mercy ends in the empty void when shattered dreams lay half-destroyed

But walking men and talking girls, know the dance of the underworld

 

And those who dare to reach inside, might find release on the other side

But those who laugh at the high employed …

 

May find the lost key

May say a quick prayer

May join the party

Of the unaware

 

Chorus:

And the vagabonds always know where they’re going,

Cause the road welcomes everyone who floats on the wings of the sun

And the vagabonds always know who they’re traveling with

Cause they understand more than most the feeling of Judas’ kiss

 

Don’t let the night take you.

Don’t let the light break you.

Don’t let the fight leave you.

Don’t let the might beat you.

 

Chorus:

And the vagabonds always know where they’re going,

Cause the road welcomes everyone who floats on the wings of the sun

And the vagabonds always know who they’re traveling with

Cause they understand more than most the feeling of Judas’ kiss.

A Vigil for a Starry Night

On a night when the clouds cover the stars like an impenetrable mountain cliff, I wait for a sign. A small tinge up my spine. A desperate plea for the ancient ways to speak once again. I wait for the light, hoping it will come, hoping it will be enough. .

The stars, spread brightly out like colored snowflakes flickering across the onyx sky, reflect a distant constellation, and begin to re-enter the atmosphere, piercing through the fractured clouds, giving faint and distant light to the voidless black, the empty sea, the sandless desert, the vacant abyss that is deep within me. The light, hushed and dimmed by a millennium of travel, is all I have. Is all I ever had.

I wait for the reflection to reach me, hoping one refracted beam from a star long ago still exists, the same ancient light that awakened the shepherd’s eyes one cool and lonely night. Can the light that ushered in a new millennium, awaken a new epoch within me. If so, it might be enough for my heart to go on.

In the midst of tears, in the solitude of our inner being, we yearn to be on that impoverished hill, to understand the magnitude of that sight, a heavenly light illuminating a darkened heart, a heavenly chorus rising to a crescendo of glory.

Will I choose to believe its truth, not blindly though because I know what the light can do for one’s soul.  And though the unbearable pain releases not its grip, I have a question to answer. Does the light still exist for me?

Does the same sky, which God ripped open that night with his right hand, planting angelic heralds of peace on the clouds to rustle awake the shepherds, still exist for me? Can he reach into my clouded heart and announce the truth like a heavenly chorus? If it is so, all suffering and cause of angst still present throughout the world will be no match for the blessed announcement: “A Child is born.”

PERSON

This child is born.

vigil starry night sketch sheet

A Partial Poem at Midnight

I rarely write poetry anymore. It’s been a long time. I write a lot of lyrics, but for some reason I have completely stopped writing poetry. Which makes this post all the more strange because here’s a poem I wrote last night during the last fifteen minutes before midnight. Your interpretation is as good as mine!

A partial print

Tiny crooked paths, cut and twisted, half extended to nowhere

Obstructed by the partial print

Which leads us back to a partial heart

A partial direction

A partial urge to partly know what right becomes us

In the deadness of the night

A full print

Would reveal itself too candidly

A gaudy reminder of the obsolescence of our will

A tawdry reminder showing off our childish traits

Unable to make decisions on our own

A kowtowing puppet to a Powerfuller than I

No. A full print cannot navigate a partial world.

Partial people need partial prints.

Half-truths and hidden doorways.

Forked roads and overgrown hearts.

Back country dirt paths to nowhere.

Dead branches on live trees.

Partial people need all of the partial print.

But no more.

An Old School Love Poem for Valentine’s Day

I found this poem I wrote twenty-six years ago. It still applies to my very same Valentine.

Meet me tonight amidst the darkening trees,

The lunar view they call the lover’s land.

We’ll gaze with wonder at the sparkling sea,

And walk our world together hand in hand.

The lamp lights flicker wildly through the wind,

But my heart steadily wants beyond the light.

I leave all cares a million thoughts behind,

And search the shadow of my heart and night.

For, aye, I see the starry silhouette,

Who stands with grace among the timber pine,

And lights my soul as sun of after set;

I long to understand the endless shine.

For I shall laugh and love and lose my load,

That wears me down this long untraveled road.

A Taste of Poetry

Here’s something I don’t post too often. A poem or perhaps lyrics I wrote a while back. Bonus, it even rhymes!

When danger lurks do I run and hide,

or do I fall full-force to the other side.

Does it dance with ease like brilliant light

that glitters the eve at the break of night.

Or does it harness maddening villainous taunts

which feed desires we foolishly flaunt.

Or does all-embrace impart a plan

which molds me to a second man.

On the First Day of March – Sort of…

I was reminded recently of the following song I wrote for the musical I co-wrote with some individuals a few years ago called “A Tad of Trouble.”   Truly, it’s one of my favorites – who wouldn’t love a musical where a troubled, mute boy is given the gift of song by his guardian angel if he promises to turn his life around.  It’s a HOOT, yet unfortunately remains unpublished.  But here are the lyrics of one of the tunes:

 

On the first day of March, the harrow lies still

And the leaves long impacted wait the robin’s clear shrill

And the snow half-melted hints to warmth yet to come

In this dim barren world I know good is not done

On the first day of April as the rain sloshes down

And the wheels of the carriage are stuck flush to the ground

And the driver hurls curses at his horses undone

In this mud maddened world I know good is not done

For the mud gives way to the soft fertile ground

And the air in full blossom bring the birds back around

Long fasting, fresh finches wing their hopes to the sky

While fields of green splendor spread their life far and wide

Life whispers then roars out the name of the one

Who anchors the stars and gives warmth to the sun

Mid-March has no answer for the goodness that comes

And it reminds me my work here on earth is not done

On this first day of March while the tricksters still rule

While they scam and they laugh making peasants poor fools

And they cling to their money like a prodigal son

Even then I still know that good is not done

Even now I still know that good is not done

Smashed in Phoenix circa 1988

I came across some old poetry of mine.  Trust me, some of it will never see the light of day.  But here’s a short one I always kind of liked.  

Smashed in Phoenix

The pigeon-toed fool walked a fine line that night.

That night the lights flared in his eagle eye.

Strong he stood, staring vulturously into the eye of the fire.

Waiting, as if the ashes were to form into some apparation.

An apparition that would rise up, fly away and be forgotten forever.