Monday, October 7, 2013

The Lighthouse--a Poetic Journey


The Day 7 prompt for OctPoWriMo is about narrative poetry.  This time last year I wrote a story poem for the challenge that subsequently took on a completely different life. I would like to share the story,  Moreover this week is also the birthday of the friend who inspired it all, and this is as close as I will get to wishing him a happy birtjday.


It was Day 12 of last years' OctPoWriMo when the poem found me.  The prompt was "Hearts and Hands open". This prompt lead me to remembrance of a friend that we had lost contact with. It was one of my 2 or 3 favorites from the entire challenge. The original poem went like this:


Lifeline from a Lighthouse

You washed up on the shore
        Of our hearth and hearts.
        We threw you a lifeline and took you in.

It was neither your fault nor ours
           That the tsunami engulfed you again
            And at least for now
            Pulled you beyond our reach.

But should the tide reverse for you
             We are still here, the safe port. 
             We keep the signal light burning in the lighthouse
              Never knowing when you might struggle to our shore again.


After I posted the poem, my husband, the musician observed "That would make a great song.  Can you rewrite it as a lyric?"

You might think this was easy. After all, I was writing song lyrics long before I started playing with free varse. But I found tgat once I conceived a verse in a certain format it was to refit itbto another format. It took awhile to find satisfactory lyrics.



On the shore of our hearth
And hearts you washed up.
And our home became your home
And kept you safe for awhile.

Chorus:
When you're lost out in the storm
The light will still be on
Through high winds and tide and foam
Till you are safe again.
When you're lost out in the storm
The light will still be on
Through high winds and tide and foam
Till you are home again.

It was nothing that you did
Storms crashed around you,
Washed you away from us
Nothing we could do.

I turned this over to my husband who succeeded with a little tugging in fitting it to music. Meanwhile our daughter's choir teacher had asked for an original piece for the choir. He liked the Lighthouse and in their last concert before leaving middle school, the song was performed


"The Lighthouse" by Chuck and Meg Hammil

This post is part of the October Poetry Writing Challenge. To read more great poems click here.

12 comments:

  1. What a lovely teamwork, it's great to see the progress of this piece, nicely done.

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    1. Thank you yikici, I thought my fellow poets would enjoy following the evolution.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Ron. I am pleased to know that other people feel the connection.

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  3. Wow, this is a whole family production!

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    1. Yes, Misky, we all lived with this project!

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  4. WHAT? Too cool! Love it! Beautiful.

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    1. Thank you. We put a lot into it.

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  5. Replies
    1. Glad you liked it Rhi. Thank you for stopping by.

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  6. This is an extremely powerful piece. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

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    Replies
    1. thank you for reading and appreciating it!

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