Clocks and Lamps

This is a poem reflecting on life through the collection and the ultimate giving of possessions. I was inspired by a conversation I had with my uncle, who is a very devout priest, about how the things that he had collected simply become garbage if the family does not want it. Maybe he came to this by seeing all the people come and go in his life – and the disposal of their belongings. It really reminded me of how life is truly simple at the core to give back and not be controlled by what you own. A simple idea and a poem to go with it. Cheers.

A holy man has spent his years praying

Years

Walking through narrow wooden halls

Lit with dim lamps

When night would fall

Sitting silent on a quiet lake

He would speak so softly

As to not make a mistake

Years passed

His health began to wane

One could never tell

He never spoke much of pain

His years of prayer and solitude

Subtle vintage soul

Quiet demeanor and gentle attitude

“Is there any worth to this”

He asked me

Once we pass

Is there any meaning left

The colored lamp, wooden clock

Passed from hands to hands

Through generations tenderly walk

Falling down the mountain

Back to life
Formed from reincarnation

The giving fountain

Eyes passing

Looking

Watching

Take what is left

When the date has passed

When the soul departs

Small trinkets left

I learned much from his quiet soul

His tepid walk

Gentle flow

Upon others shoulders

Leave what you collect
From the field

There is no reason to save

Gands these items we collect down

It becomes a pile of forgotten

The trash man will collect it and move on

Drive away in the early dawn

Clocks and lamps

Collect new meanings

When new eyes see

A new branch is born

Upon the tree

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A City on the Verge of Revolution

My hometown cries out for help and investment from my generation. Not only the monetary investment to restore it, but the physical elbow grease and time that a city needs to be rebuilt. Being that I am a full time musician and weary of committing any time or money to anything because of my transient lifestyle, the idea wears on me. I have no idea what I can do but I want to do something. This is a poem about the challenges the city faces, but what I face also. I am going to do a series of poems on South Bend, IN and this is the first installment. Enjoy!

A city on the verge of revolution

Slow but surely it rises

Dim lit hopes to find

A solution

Will I be the resolution

Or the prodder

Stay or leave

I can’t just pay restitution

If I stay I shall invest myself in the future

A price not yet determined

The man at the store

Is not afraid to give me the sermon

The streets can be brought

Back to original glory

Of the Studebaker nights

An all American story

At stake city buildings

Crying out for help

Asking to take its wings

Nourish it with fillings

Can these hands build back

What has been stolen away

Should I give up

Simply wait for yet another day

These streets and walls have gone on neglected

Yet I try to move out

All my things

I have collected

Only to be called back

With a voice so timid and quiet

Asking for help

While its soul is dying

Can I afford to stay

What help can I be

Even a little effort

Goes a long way I can see

People are inspired

Looking for revolution

So I fix the brim of my hat

And commit to be

Part of the solution

Equality

All this talk about equality

Let us remember it was a gift

To you

To me

So what right have we

To not give it freely

We hold onto this gift

Tightly clenched in our hands

While people beg to be equal

You plot to make other plans

Try to quiet the voices of upheaval

Standing in the way of progress

Will leave the heart cold

A heap of tender mess

This is no question of religion

Who is holy and who we bless

It is about sharing love we have been given

Don’t stand in the way

Change is winnin’

When cold mouths fall silent

Ears muted to the calling out

That is truly

Not what this country is about

Embrace the wind from the mountains

Fall back into the ocean tide

Stand with our neighbors united

Throughout all the country side

Democracy needs us now

In the moments tried and true

Moments committed to the history books

Are decided right now by me and you

Forget the political stands

Religions trying to buy you out

When fair is not fair

You must scream and shout

People who need equality

Ride next to you on the highway

Sit by you on the train

Do not let these peoples strife

Be forgotten in vain

The bird that flies in the night

Will be back at dawn

To lay at rest

When the work is done

As Martin Luther King brought light to the flame

Calling out to our generation to continue

To do the same

For we are on the cusp of progress

The moment when intuition and passion

Are put to the test

So let us not rest

Until everyone is seen equally

And as we say in the USA

To everyone

God Bless

Everyday Poems

Poetry can be a mythical creation that comes at times unexpected. Sometimes it is just a plane old everyday experience. I am currently exercising my writing every day as a way to grow and understand my own writing and inspirations – as a poet and a songwriter. Somedays are just like this poem – just a simple reflection about the things around me with no real deep inspiration, other than the commitment of writing. I hope you enjoy this “Everyday Poem”. Cheers.

Cup of hot tea

Time for reflection

Nothing better

Than late night detection

The mind wanders

Fingers write

Thoughts of the day

Lead to the night

Trying to grow

One line at a time

Creating poems

Words whisked together

Hoping they shine

Adjectives and verbs

trying to find the right words

Behind these eyelids

Simple thoughts will serve

For the next idea

Will be stolen from the day

Spoken in words

Elicited from what we say

Some nights are inspired

Others the normal kind

Putting the pen to paper

Just doing it every time

In hopes of growing

Achieving something greater

I needed it in my life now

My world would be different

If I waited one second later

Through poetry I have found

What resonates my life

Notes that resound

The soundtrack of my days

Is written in these lines

In these pages

It is me that I hope to find

When eyes become heavy

Sleep bound

I pull up the covers

Close my eyes

While the world spins round

Wonder

Video

This is a song about how my mind seems to wonder at all times. I have a very curious personality – and I feel this song really captures the way I feel sometimes. Enjoy!

A Little Insight into My Music World

Recently I received an email by a young artist asking questions about how to gain exposure in the music industry. Although I have no solid answer for this question I do believe I may have a unique perspective on it – if nothing else an entertaining perspective! So here is my response to one of our fans recently that I typed out. I thought it would be a great thing to share. Enjoy!
Hey (Name),

Sorry it took me a bit to get back with you. We have had a crazy couple of weeks and currently have a couple days of down time so I wanted to make sure I took some time and really responded to your questions. I think the first thing you have to do is create a youtube video that generates dislikes (thumbs down). This may seem counter intuitive, but here is why. First, it teaches you the most important rule in the music industry – don’t give a shit about what people say/think about what you are creating. The moment you care more about what people think than the art that you are creating – you can not continue on creating great art. Also, if you are getting negative reviews it means that you are actually reaching people AKA you are being heard. Just because someone likes or does not like your work does not really matter – you just want to be heard right? You should not care whether or not people enjoy or do not enjoy your music – it is art everyone is titled to an opinion. This does not mean that you should not have mentors – but I will talk about that later. If you can get over this first major hurdle then you are on your way. Exposure in the music business can be a very difficult thing for artist to stomach. So right away, this is giving you a great lesson – to simply let go and start creating. A quote by Steven Pressfield illustrates this ”Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.” So focus on giving to the world and forget about what others think – just do your best.

So obviously youtube is a huge way of gaining free exposure.

From a logistics standpoint of building a fanbase – start building a core group of followers in your class/hometown/school. It might just be a couple of friends that you are going to give your first recordings to. Start small and focus on developing meaningful relationships with people who genuinely have an interest in both your music and you as a person.

Play open mics. Learn from other performers and ask questions. Develop relationships with people at these gatherings. Get feedback on your original music from people you look up to and trust. This will help you in deciding what works and what does not. Always try to get lessons for guitar/voice especially when you are young. Great website openmics.org

Once you feel confident in your performing abilities – record a demo. I would suggest paying and going to a studio when you are young. You can learn to record yourself later. But go to someone who knows all the little studio tricks that can help you out.
Finally maintain a presence (and grow it as you go) on Sonicbids, Reverbnation, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, and CD Baby. This is an investment but these are great tools to begin gaining exposure.
A lot of shit has changed since I was 15 playing at open mics, but this is what I think would really help a young person in current music world. Hope it helps you.
Cheers,

Nate

The Salesman of Song

The Salesman of Song

Born to the middle class

They called him Joe

Full of talent

Full of song

Bringing to life

People’s wishes and thoughts

Make people cry or laugh

Whatever he sought

Growing up he took it so lightly

Musicians were not like him

Seemed to flighty

Years had passed

The pressure had grown

To make some money

Have some kids

Own a home

Through all he had been taught

All he had learned about

Never had the nerve

To sing his way out

See what songwriting could earn

So he went to school and got a degree

Went on to teach middle school until he was 53

Then came the recession

The ugly layoffs

He got caught up in the process

Now he had no job

His paycheck is much less

Would push a mower with his hands

Making sure the kids were fed

Keeping steady the natural family plan

Took out a loan and went back to school

No one ever thought this man a fool

Earned a PHD

Still struggling to find what he wants to be

He writes books on religion

Sells them at the doorstep

He knows that he missed

Stumbled when he could have leapt

He just writes songs on the side

Did it all along

Never had faith to make a living

Writing a song

He sells the idea to the young generation

Asking people for help

Feels the weight of procrastination

In a hole so deep

Playing songs so beautiful to the ear

But no singing can anyone hear

He is too old to try out new tunes

Wants to pay off the house and retire soon

He clearly knows years ago

Where it all went wrong

All that is left

Is the Salesman of Song

Mr. and Mrs. Particular

This is a story about a band name that we still laugh about to this day. Our first attempts to name our band were pretty rough. But this one in particular is funny still because it captures who we were once upon a time. Enjoy!

Mr. and Mrs. Particular

This is an emblem of what we once were

No longer do they exist

Vanished into the darkness and mist

Sent them off to the valleys and mountains

Never to be seen again

Every once and again we think of them

How everything seemed perfect back then

The sun would come up in the east

And settle in the west

In simple naivety we would live

It was all we knew

We thought it to be the best

Through travels and experience

We realized our views were much less

Then second best

We had grand ideas and no way to achieve

So the best option was for us to have them leave

So we packed up their things

And gave them our best wishes

We were both so young but willing to change

I never would have thought how things felt

Oh but so strange

And new

And confusing

This whole idea of changing was quite amusing

Even after we packed up everything in the van

There was one thought that came back

Again and again

What if we never find our way back

What if we let go and want our old selves back

We looked at each other and began to say

It seemed we were quoting each other

So we just stopped

Both of us felt the same way