Geoffrey

Geoffrey 2

long fur tangles

beneath fingertips as a

warm weight sprawls

hedonistically over

your legs whilst a deep

purr reverberates and

guileless eyes

stare deep into your soul

binding you tight


Meet Geoffrey.

Technically, he’s my sister’s cat, but as my sister and I now live together, I suppose he’s my cat now, too. He definitely likes to spend his time on my lap whenever possible. The photo of him was taken a few days ago, out in our new garden. I was trying to take photographs around the place, and he was determined to get my attention. He even climbed onto my back and sat with his paws on my head when I crouched down to photograph some flowers!

The poem I actually wrote quite a while ago, back when I was staying through at my sister’s old place. It’s one of what I refer to as my ‘text messages to myself’ – if I’m without a notepad and need to get some words out of my head, I tap them into a text message that I then send to myself. I didn’t realise just how many odd little things I had on there! Anyway, I thought this one would be a perfect accompaniment to the picture.

I hope you like it.

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Saturday Songsters – Tori Amos

It’s  Saturday and so time for another Saturday Songster post. This week’s track is ‘Winter’ by Tori Amos.

Tori Amos in Concert 13 July 2007

Tori Amos in Concert 13 July 2007 – By Flickr user, Spoon via Wikimedia Commons

Tori Amos is an American singer-songwriter, pianist and composer who came to fame in the early 1990s with the release of her first album, ‘Little Earthquakes’. Since then she has released thirteen further studio albums plus numerous compilations and live albums. In 2003 she was voted the fifth best touring act by the readers of Rolling Stone magazine.

I first heard Tori Amos’ music in the late 1990s when I was at university. One of my close friends and housemates used to play the piano and Tori Amos’ songs were some of her favourite things to play. The song I’ve chosen to share this week is one of the first I ever listened to – first played and sung by my friend and later on the copy of the ‘Little Earthquakes’ that she lent to me. Whilst I now own most of her albums, the first songs I heard are still my favourites.

Winter

Snow can wait
I forgot my mittens
Wipe my nose
Get my new boots on
I get a little warm in my heart
When I think of winter
I put my hand in my father’s glove
I run off
Where the drifts get deeper
Sleeping beauty trips me with a frown
I hear a voice
“Your must learn to stand up for yourself
Cause I can’t always be around”

He says
When you gonna make up your mind
When you gonna love you as much as I do
When you gonna make up your mind
Cause things are gonna change so fast
All the white horses are still in bed
I tell you that I’ll always want you near
You say that things change my dear

Boys get discovered as winter melts
Flowers competing for the sun
Years go by and I’m here still waiting
Withering where some snowman was
Mirror mirror where’s the crystal palace
But I only can see myself
Skating around the truth who I am
But I know dad the ice is getting thin

When you gonna make up your mind
When you gonna love you as much as I do
When you gonna make up your mind
Cause things are gonna change so fast
All the white horses are still in bed
I tell you that I’ll always want you near
You say that things change my dear

Hair is grey
And the fires are burning
So many dreams
On the shelf
You say I wanted you to be proud of me
I always wanted that myself

He says
When you gonna make up your mind
When you gonna love you as much as I do
When you gonna make up your mind
Cause things are gonna change so fast
All the white horses have gone ahead
I tell you that I’ll always want you near
You say that things change
My dear

Lyrics from azlyrics

If you’d like to know more about Tori Amos or would like to check out more of her music, you can visit her website here or her Wikipedia page here.

Saturday Songsters – Don Williams

It’s  Saturday and so time for another Saturday Songster post. This week’s track is ‘I Recall a Gypsy Woman’ by Don Williams.

Donwilliams

Don Williams is an American country music singer and songwriter from Portland, Texas, often referred to as the ‘Gentle Giant’ of country music. In 2010, after four decades of solo performance, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He was at the height of his fame during the 1970s but actually continued to release new music and tour until recently. It’s only this month that, at 76 years of age, he’s announced that he’s retiring.

I first heard Don Williams’ music in the early 1990s (I would have been eleven or twelve at the time) when my mum bought several of his albums on tape, replacing the records she’d had in the ’70s. Unlike my brothers and my sister who were really not impressed by country music, I found his deep, soothing voice a delight to listen to.  When I heard the song ‘I Recall a Gypsy Woman’ I also realised that, whilst I may not have heard it sung by Don Williams, I had heard the song on many occasions – sung by my mum. It was actually one of the first songs I myself ever learnt to sing!

I Recall a Gypsy Woman

Silver coins that jingle jangle,
Fancy shoes that dance in time
Oh, the secrets of her dark eyes,
They did sing a gypsy rhyme
Yellow clover in tangled blossoms
In a meadow silky green
Where she held me to her bosom,
Just a boy of seventeen

[Chorus:]
I recall a gypsy woman
Silver spangles in her eyes
Ivory skin against the moonlight
And the taste of life’s sweet wine

Soft breezes blow from fragrant meadows
And stir the darkness in my mind
Oh, gentle woman you sleep beside me
Little know who haunts my mind
Gypsy lady, I hear your laughter
And it dances in my head
While my tender wife and babies
Slumber softly in their beds

[Chorus:]
I recall a gypsy woman
Silver spangles in her eyes
Ivory skin against the moonlight
And the taste of life’s sweet wine…

Lyrics from azlyrics

If you’d like to know more about Don Williams or would like to check out more of his music, you can visit his website here or his Wikipedia page here.

Saturday Songsters – Nick Drake

It’s  Saturday and so time for another Saturday Songster post. This week’s track is ‘The Riverman’ by Nick Drake.

Nick Drake (1971)

Nick Drake was an English singer-songwriter who released three albums before he overdosed on antidepressants in 1974. He’s often seen as being a ‘doomed romantic’ – a talented musician whose shyness and dislike of live performance led to depression and ultimately to suicide. During his lifetime he gained only limited recognition. In the years since his death, however, his music has steadily gained wider notice and appreciation. He’s been cited as an influence by artists such as Robert Smith of The Cure, David Sylvian of Japan and  Peter Buck of R.E.M.

I was first introduced to his music as a student in the late 1990s. The acoustic, guitar based sound, the fragile vocals and the haunting lyrics drew me. My favourite album is actually his third, ‘Pink Moon’, but the song that I’ve chosen to share is from his 1969 album, ‘Five Leaves Left’, and is a track that I can happily listen to over and over again.

The Riverman

Betty came by on her way
Said she had a word to say
About things today
And fallen leaves.

Said she hadn’t heard the news
Hadn’t had the time to choose
A way to lose
But she believes.

Going to see the river man
Going to tell him all I can
About the plan
For lilac time.

If he tells me all he knows
About the way his river flows
And all night shows
In summertime.

Betty said she prayed today
For the sky to blow away
Or maybe stay
She wasn’t sure.

For when she thought of summer rain
Calling for her mind again
She lost the pain
And stayed for more.

Going to see the river man
Going to tell him all I can
About the ban
On feeling free.

If he tells me all he knows
About the way his river flows
I don’t suppose
It’s meant for me.

Oh, how they come and go
Oh, how they come and go.

Lyrics from azlyrics

If you’d like to know more about Nick Drake or would like to check out more of his music, you can visit his website here or his Wikipedia page here.

Saturday Songsters – Levellers

It’s  Saturday and so time for another Saturday Songster post. This week’s track is ‘Fifteen Years’ by The Levellers.

The Levellers

The Levellers are an English band formed in 1988 whose music crosses the boundaries between rock, punk and folk. Their name is drawn from the seventeenth century radical democracy movement that was founded during the English Civil War and this very much reflects the band’s political stance.

I first heard their music in the early 1990s when my sister returned home from university with their second album, ‘Levelling the Land’, that she played constantly in the room next to mine. I was eleven years old at the time and they’ve been my favourite group ever since. I’ve now seen them live at least ten times! The song Fifteen Years is from that album.

Fifteen Years

I never was a violent man
Said the man in the bar with his head in his hands
He’s trying his best to understand the ’cause of his dismay
But the years of gin have broken him
They’ve left him cold where he’s fitted in
But it’s too late now to turn around and find another way

And the lights in the late night lock-in
Have faded away when he gets in
The girl from fifteen years ago
Has packed and gone away

That’s never how it used to be, what happened to all that energy
You took one too many liberties, I’m tired of being afraid
So after the fight she took flight hiding swollen eyes and a wounded pride
The best years of her life denied is sold for liquid shares

And the lights in the late night lock-in
Have faded away when he gets in
The girl from fifteen years ago
Has packed and gone away

And the victims of their world
Are advertised on posters
Just a beach and a pretty girl
You just take this potion

It’s another week till his check comes through
He’s got a fiver left to spend on food
The doors of the bar are open and he breaks another rule
But he sits on the stool that bears his name
He’s got a favorite glass an’ is called the same
He’s never been kept waiting, ’cause he pays the landlord’s wage

And the lights in the late night lock-in
Have faded away when he gets in
The girl from fifteen years ago
Has packed and gone away

The lights in the late night lock-in
Have faded away when he gets in
The girl from fifteen years ago
Has packed and gone away

Lyrics from Lyricsmode.

If you’d like to know more about The Levellers or would like to check out more of their music, you can visit their website here.

Saturday Songsters – Suzanne Vega

It’s  Saturday and so time for another Saturday Songster post. This week’s track is ‘Luka’ by Suzanne Vega.

Suzanne Vega Barcelona 2008

Suzanne Vega Barcelona 2008 – Image by Alterna2 via Wikimedia

Suzanne Vega is an American singer-songwriter who began her career in the 1980s, influenced by the poetic lyrics of musicians such as Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed and Bob Dylan. She’s since released eight studio albums. The song ‘Luka’ is from her second album, ‘Solitude Standing’ (1987), and is her highest charting single, having reached number three in the American Billboard Hot 100. It deals with issues of domestic violence and child abuse, relating the experiences of a nine year old boy named Luka. According to Allmusic.com, it was the success of this single that helped to convince record companies that folk-styled singer/songwriters weren’t just a thing of the past. Many new female artists, including Tracy Chapman, the Indigo Girls and Sinead O’Connor, were signed in the wake of its success

I first heard her music in the 1990s when my sister lent me an album. I quickly became hooked on her meaningful lyrics and beautiful melodies. For a long time I didn’t know that this song was about a child – with the female vocals and the name that could easily be male or female, it was an automatic assumption that the character in the song was an abused wife. It was only with watching the video that the character of Luka and the true meaning of the song was revealed!

Luka

My name is Luka
I live on the second floor
I live upstairs from you
Yes I think you’ve seen me before
If you hear something late at night
Some kind of trouble, some kind of fight
Just don’t ask me what it was
Just don’t ask me what it was
Just don’t ask me what it was
I think it’s because I’m clumsy
I try not to talk too loud
Maybe it’s because I’m crazy
I try not to act too proud
They only hit until you cry
After that you don’t ask why
You just don’t argue anymore
You just don’t argue anymore
You just don’t argue anymore

Yes I think I’m okay
I walked into the door again
Well, if you ask that’s what I’ll say
And it’s not your business anyway
I guess I’d like to be alone
With nothing broken, nothing thrown

Just don’t ask me how I am
Just don’t ask me how I am
Just don’t ask me how I am

My name is Luka
I live on the second floor
I live upstairs from you
Yes I think you’ve seen me before

If you hear something late at night
Some kind of trouble, some kind of fight
Just don’t ask me what it was
Just don’t ask me what it was
Just don’t ask me what it was

And they only hit until you cry
After that, you don’t ask why
You just don’t argue anymore
You just don’t argue anymore
You just don’t argue anymore

Lyrics from AZLyrics.

If you’d like to know more about Suzanne Vega or would like to check out more of her music, you can visit her website here.

Saturday Songsters on a Sunday – Leonard Cohen

With yesterday being the sixth of the month – and so taken by my post for the monthly Six on the Sixth challenge – my Saturday Songsters post was delayed until today. This week’s track is ‘Suzanne’ by the Canadian singer-songwriter, Leonard Cohen.

Leonard Cohen 2107

Image by Rama via Wikimedia Commons

I first heard Leonard Cohen’s music in my early teens when my Mum bought a greatest hits album – much to my Dad’s disgust. Mum has always liked his music but Dad still refers to it as “music to slash your wrists to”. Whist it may not be the most upbeat music in the world, I’ve always found his lyrics stunning and that’s what makes me simply close my eyes and listen. Leonard Cohen was my first introduction to singer-songwriters. A large percentage of my music collection is now made up of them!

As well as a musician and songwriter, Cohen is also a poet. He has thirteen studio and six live albums in his discography – the earliest produced in 1967 and the most recent in 2014 – and has also written thirteen poetry collections and two novels. I’ve not yet read these but I’m very tempted to.

The track ‘Suzanne’ is one of my favourites – though I can say that about lots of them! It was originally written as a poem in 1966 and in the same year was covered by the singer, Judy Collins. Cohen then included on his first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen, released in 1967. According to Wikimedia, it’s become one of his most covered tracks.

I hope you like it.

Suzanne

Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know that she’s half crazy
But that’s why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China
And just when you mean to tell her
That you have no love to give her
Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer
That you’ve always been her lover
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that she will trust you
For you’ve touched her perfect body with your mind.

And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said “All men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them”
But he himself was broken
Long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone
And you want to travel with him
And you want to travel blind
And you think maybe you’ll trust him
For he’s touched your perfect body with his mind.

Now Suzanne takes your hand
And she leads you to the river
She is wearing rags and feathers
From Salvation Army counters
And the sun pours down like honey
On our lady of the harbour
And she shows you where to look
Among the garbage and the flowers
There are heroes in the seaweed
There are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love
And they will lean that way forever
While Suzanne holds the mirror
And you want to travel with her
And you want to travel blind
And you know that you can trust her
For she’s touched your perfect body with her mind.

Lyrics from AZLyrics.

I found his introduction to the song in the video interesting to hear – it’s a real warning to carefully read any contract placed in front of you.

If you’d like to know more about Leonard Cohen or would like to check out more of his music, you can visit his website here.


I’m very behind on visiting people’s blogs at the moment so I apologise to any visitors who I haven’t got back to recently.  Hopefully I’ll have a little more free time this week.