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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Monday, January 09, 2012

Here's to my daughters and their mother!

About once a week I ride to school with my youngest daughter. It's always interesting. Sometimes we talk about things. Other times she communicates through music. This morning she plugged her Ipod into the radio and played a song I've never heard of by some songwriters I never heard of. She didn't say a word, but I knew it was not a random selection. It was as if she wanted to introduce me to a friend she had already met who had something I needed to hear. I asked her who it was, and she said, "Us and Our Daughters."

Without knowing anything else about the couple singing this duet, as a  father of three girls, I could relate to the name they had chosen for themselves, and the words of  this raw "under-produced" track began to sink in.  The couple sounds tired--a good kind of tired. The kind of tired that comes after years of making ends meet but forgetting the beginnings. The kind of tired that puts a head on a shoulder with a deep breath and  "I love you" veiled in a sigh. See if you hear it, too. My daughter has no idea that the song she played on the way to school has been on my mind all day.

There is honesty in these tired voices and in the written words on their webpage. Imagine a couple, thirty-something, with two little girls at home, and having gone through what their home-page says "Last year was a harder year for us and our love but we walked through it..."  Like I said, I could relate. And hearing the song again on-line tonight reminded me of a short verse I wrote for Julie fourteen years ago on the eighteenth anniversary of our engagement:

"If time could somehow be reversed 
to change what might have been,
I'd choose the life that we've rehearsed
and do it all again..." 



Remember when we were young?
Our hearts they would beat like a drum,
like a freight train runnin’ on a Mississippi track,
but faster like that…
Remember when we felt free?
Free to be anything?
Time was on our side and everything was fine.
The day was ours and the night.
How do you and me keep this burnin’
when the whole world has gone crazy?
How do you and I keep the spark alive
Well, I’ve been thinking lately...

We should sail away to some distant place
Forget each others names and faces
Fall in love all over again
Tell me we can get back to…remember when.

Remember when she first cried?
We joined along that night.
The tears were runnin’ down our tired faces
To the sound of God’s grace…
Remember when you held me close
The wind it was spinnin’ round us
I couldn’t tell the difference between the sky and sea
lost in each other, just you and me.
How do you and me keep this burnin’
when the whole world has gone crazy?
How do you and I keep the spark alive?
Well, I’ve been thinking lately.

We should sail away to some distant place…
Forget each others names and faces…
Fall in love all over again…
Tell me we can get back to…remember when…
…remember when…
…We should sail away to some distant place
Forget each others names and faces
Fall in love all over again
Tell me we can get back to…
remember when…remember when…

Lyrics by: Phillip & Lia LaRue
Performing Name: Us and Our Daughters
Album: Songs about Us / “Remember When

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year! 2012

It was the Year
Then came the dawn
of changing times
of shifting winds and paradigms
when all but gone
was memory
of how we lived and used to be.


It was the year
that some foretold
on scribbled stone in days of old
“Sit now and fear.
For all your days
will fade in this galactic haze.”

It was the year
that others told
to those in other days of old:
“Sit now in fear
and trembling still.
Work out your faith as is His will.

"For it is not
the task of man
to set or see the sovereign plan
nor then to plot,
according to
the flesh, what he in turn will do.      

 Mayan calendar in stone
"‘Tis all, alas!
what’s meant to be
and though it seems a tragedy,
This, too, shall pass,
and in the end,
bring hope as sun and moon descend.”

Then came the dawn
of changing times
of shifting winds and paradigms
when all but gone
was any fear
of what might happen in that year.

© Copyright 2012 Tom Kapanka
Here are the same words (in prose-like form) with links to some of the reasons for inclusion.
Then came the dawn of changing times of shifting winds and paradigms when all but gone was memory of how we lived and used to be.It was the year that some foretold on scribbled stone in days of old: “Sit now and fear. For all your days will fade in this galactic haze.”It was the year that others told to those in other days of old: “Sit now in fear and trembling still. Work out your faith as is His will. For it is not the task of man to set or see the sovereign plan nor then to plot, according to the flesh, what he in turn will do. ‘Tis all, alas! what’s meant to be, and though it seems a tragedy, This, too, shall pass, and in the end, bring hope as sun and moon descend.” Then came the dawn of changing times of shifting winds and paradigms when all but gone was any fear of what might happen in that year.


In case you didn't know it, the year of our Lord 2012, according to some mystics, is going to change (or end) our lives. Spend some time reading this Wikipedia article and you'll get the general idea. It opens by saying, "... Many contemporary fictional references to the year 2012 refer to December 21 as the day of a cataclysmic event…” That article loses by citing many cultural references to this phenomenon, including this note for tourists:

"In 2011, the Mexico tourism board stated its intentions to use the year 2012, without its apocalyptic connotations, as a means to revive Mexico's tourism industry.... The initiative hopes to draw on the mystical appeal of the Mayan ruins. On December 21, 2011, the Mayan town of Tapachula in Chiapas activated an eight-foot digital clock counting down the days until b'ak'tun 13 [December 22, 2012]."

Mind you, Patterns of Ink does not ascribe to any "Dooms Day" prophecies that set dates. This post is provided to assist readers in conversations that are likely to come up this year.

The lines above were more of an exercise in meter and  rhyme. I have used medial rhyme before "
Summer Road." And I have used alternating eight-count and four-count lines in "My Father's Hands." But I have never forced myself to lock into the 4-8 count, medial rhyme while including a pattern of first-word line rhymes (1st and 4th lines of each stanza) nor do I recommend this idea.

Meter and rhyme are simply tools of poetry among many other tools, and when they play too prominent a role, the words can sound contrived. This exercise in writing was not a disaster, but I think you can see why it don't often let form become so demanding. In my opinion, the challenge of writing and reading metered verse with a strict rhyme scheme is making it sound as conversational as possible. To whatever extent one can resist sing-songy "Roses are Red" rhythms, even a rigid piece like "2012"may have some merit given the historical context that prompted it.
Here is a word from a NASA expert to calm any concerns that this post may have inadvertently raised.
22,355

Since 2007, this NASA public outreach website, has received over 5000 questions from the public on the subject of 2012 being the end of life as we know it. While this year is likely to bring significant change to life as we know it, I believe it is the beginning (and not the end) of some very interesting paradigms. It is a wondrous year to stretch our faith as is His will... "For it is not the task of man to set or see the sovereign plan."

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