Category Archives: Poetry

An Innocent Man

I have always loved this song by Billy Joel called “An Innocent Man”. I love the lyrics, the snapping finger, the sparse instrumentals, and his powerful voice. It’s basically about a man trying to inspire trust in someone he wishes to be with.

Some people stay far away from the door
If there’s a chance of it opening up
They hear a voice in the hall outside
And hope that it just passes by

Some people live with the fear of a touch
And the anger of having been a fool
They will not listen to anyone
So nobody tells them a lie

I know you’re only protecting yourself
I know you’re thinking of somebody else
Someone who hurt you
But I’m not above
Making up for the love
You’ve been denying you could ever feel
I’m not above doing anything
To restore your faith if I can
Some people see through the eyes of the old
Before they ever get a look at the young
I’m only willing to hear you cry
Because I am an innocent man

Some people say they will never believe
Another promise they hear in the dark
Because they only remember too well
They heard somebody tell them before

Some people sleep all alone every night
Instead of taking a lover to bed
Some people find that it’s easier to hate
Than to wait anymore

I know you don’t want to hear what I say
I know you’re gonna keep turning away
But I’ve been there and if I can survive
I can keep you alive
I’m not above going through it again
I’ve not above being cool for a while
If you’re cruel to me I’ll understand

Some people run from a possible fight
Some people figure they can never win
And although this is a fight I can lose
The accused is an innocent man

You know you only hurt yourself out of spite
I guess you’d rather be a martyr tonight
That’s your decision
But I’m not below
Anybody I know
If there’s a chance of resurrecting a love
I’m not above going back to the start
To find out where the heartache began

Some people hope for a miracle cure
Some people just accept the world as it is
But I’m not willing to lay down and die
Because I am an innocent man

I am an innocent man
Oh yes I am
An innocent man

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Filed under Life, Lyrics, Poetry, Spirituality

Funeral Blues

I first became acquainted with this poem while watching the film “Four Weddings and a Funeral”.

If you saw the movie (and few did not, it seems), you may recall the scene where this poem was read (during the funeral of Gareth, played by Simon Callow, the cheerful, adventurous lover of life who is felled by a sudden heart attack at one of the weddings). The poem is read by his domestic partner Matthew (played by John Hannah) in a haunting Scottish lilt which makes the poem even more sad and beautiful:

Funeral Blues (Part 1)
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West.
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

— W. H. Auden

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Filed under Art, Poetry

Square One

I just got the new Tom Petty album Highway Companion.

There’s a song on it that I just love entitled Square One. It’s a beautiful song about hitting a certain age and realizing you’ve gained wisdom. It took a lot out of you, but you’ve learned to get back to “square one” and start over a different way. Here are the words:

Had to find some higher ground

Had some fear to get around

You can’t say what you don’t know

Later on, won’t work no more.

Last time though I hid my tracks

So well I could not get back

Yeah my way was hard to find

Can’t sell your soul for peace of mind

Square One, my slate is clear

Rest your head on me my dear

It took a world of trouble

It took a world of tears

It took a long time to get

Back here.

Try so hard to stand alone

Struggle to see past my nose

Always had more dogs than bones

I could never wear those clothes.

It’s a dark victory

You won and you also lost

Told us you were satisfied

But it never came across.

Square one, my slate is clear

Rest your head on me my dear

It took a world of trouble, took a

World of tears

Yeah it took a long time to get

Back here.

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Filed under Life, Poetry, Seeking, Spirituality