John Prine

We got a letter in the mail from Oh Boy Records, John Prine’s label, and opened it expecting to find an advertisement for something to buy.

We couldn’t have been more wrong.  This was the card we found inside:

(front)

(back)

Faith

“Faith is the art of holding on to things in spite of your changing moods and circumstances.”  ~C.S. Lewis

So many people seem to define “faith” as “believing something in spite of the evidence.”  I could never get behind that one.

This definition has far more appeal to me.

He Stands

One of the wonderful things about Local Lives: Poems About the Pennsylvania Dutch, ©1975, by Millen Brand, is that it’s not just a book of poems– it’s a local history.

Ralph Berky is the real name of a real person, and the poem describes his real life:

Ralph Berky
by Millen Brand

A German of an old name
who goes back to the old sounds.
Perhaps something Indian in him.

He walks long distances.
He stands still often.

He stands still in a road to listen,
a back road between a field and wood.
A farmer in the field is suspicious.
Anybody who stands still…

He knows the sound of the beeches, bird against cone-bur,
hemlock shadows,
the boring, hypnotic drill of the sapsucker,
the variations of wind,
wind in fern, wind in grass,
the approach of rain in the distance.

He is the lover of the place.

Engagingly Lost

“(Kurt) Cobain was very shy, very polite, and obviously enjoyed the fact that I wasn’t awestruck at meeting him. There was something about him, fragile and engagingly lost.”  ~William S. Burroughs

It’s Only Make Believe

Mona brought this song to my attention, and I’m glad she did.  I had seriously underestimated the range and power of Glen Campbell’s voice!

Full lyrics HERE.

Just For a Moment

Elda Maria Smiling
by Millen Brand
Excerpted from Local Lives: Poems About the Pennsylvania Dutch, ©1975

Elda Maria visits her grandmother
in the evening, and there is evening
over the aging eyes. Her grandmother thinks,
How I loved her father when he was small!
And everything about this child
is my son again– see him
there as he first stood up.
There is that cleft chin, that smile.
There he is with his smile!
“Child, kum. Come to me.”
Again just for a moment
let me hold him to my breast.

I see my light come shining…

That’s Clarence Clemons on saxophone.  I wouldn’t mind having this played at my funeral, but really I’ll have very little say in the matter.

Full lyrics at BobDylan.com.

Maybe

“Maybe working on the little things as dutifully and honestly as we can is how we stay sane when the world is falling apart.”  ~Haruki Murakami

Be Kind to Little Animals

As happens so many times, the artist has been lost in a series of reposts.  If anyone knows, let me know in the comments so I can give credit.

Such and such a cabin

I bought this book of poetry on a whim, and have been enchanted from the first page.  Millen Brand reminds me of Carl Sandburg, only friendlier:

The Last Families in the Cabins
by Millen Brand
Excerpted from Local Lives: Poems About the Pennsylvania Dutch, ©1975

At a bend in the Bally-Dale road,
in a low growth of woods
an unused log cabin still stands,
its adze-squared timbers weathered
into black bars between the mortar,
and some of the bottom logs thrust out.
“There are few cabins left in these hills,
none lived in at the present time,”
the Reverend Elmer Johnson says. “In my young days,
when I began the flour route
for my uncle, Joseph Schultz, the miller,
in the late eighteen eighties,
there were still four families
lived in cabins. Only the poorest
by that time would live so.
My uncle gave me orders
my first day with the wagon,
when I would come to such and such a cabin,
a woman would come out,
and would have with her a receptacle.
She would say how much flour she needed.
I should give her what she asked.
As I was told, so it happened.
I came to a cabin, the woman came out.
She reckoned, so many loaves of bread,
and the children should have a small cake,
so she explained how much she needed.
I tried to give her more, but she refused.
‘Only so much,’ she said.
Then she said, ‘I don’t have money.’
‘It’s no matter,’ I said as I was ordered,
and closed the wagon up and drove away.
Because people could not pay
was no reason why they should not eat.”

Change

The artist, Debbie Tung, is on the web in many places, including HERE.

Unfold

“They talk about angels, but what if the angels are within, and all we need to do is unfold our wings.”  ~Gabriel Andreas

The quote above is available on a greeting card at the artist’s website, HERE.