Friday, August 28, 2009

Words on Papers

Poetry is one of my favorite tools of emotional expression. It feels natural for me to tell any old piece of paper how I'm doing, what I'm thinking, and especially so when the emotions are big ol' things. I'm tired of grumpy though, so I'll move on to some warmer stuff.

These are a few old poems I decided to dig out and brush up a bit. They were written anywhere between a year and three years ago. I'm proud of them, though, so I'm gonna hang the rules of originality and post 'em.

Into The Cold - a song
Someday this world will end
And when that happens will you be alone?
Will you have someone standing by
Before all goes black and cold?

Will someone be there holding your hand?
Will their touch drown out your fears?
Will their smile take you away
Through a love that's lasted years?

Someday this world will end
No one knows when, but one thing's clear
If you're there when those trumpets sound
I'll be right beside you, dear

Someday this world will end
And when that happens I don't want to be alone
So I'll be with you, your hand clasping mine
We'll smile, remembering years of love, into the cold

Fate, Love, Death and Stars
In dying I found my life
In that life, death, and back again
Each time you spoke my name I was reborn
And we strode to that brink where
Fate, Love, Death and Stars collide
In ecstasy, insanity, in warmth
Taste and touch become glory's senses
And beauty of form cannot be
Dimmed, diminished, destroyed
Because it is all that exists
We still speak with lips
With tongues and teeth but without words
We drink life through our hands
Warmth through our eyes
Love becomes the only language
We will ever understand
Time passes without notice
Guard falls, music shut out
Until your heartbeat is my own
And my thoughts come from your mind
And I dream without knowing I slept
And awake to my smiling dream

Light, Contours
You have a way of attracting light
From all corners, it wraps around you
Begging, pleading, to be the one
To touch your shoulders and contours
To illume the grace in your neck
The glory in your face
The perfection in your eyes
It loves you in the way the wind loves
The sound of leaves
And the sway of grass
Your radiance needs no excuse
And the light, in bliss, in purity
Offers none, only love
And I can only wish, pray
To be as close to you as the light on your face
The glow on your skin
Nothing separate in our affair
Until jealous light blind me with
The perfection in your eyes

My Soul, Your Soul - this poem was written for my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary
I am bound, yours, from this day
To the end day which is not
By resolve that shames iron or steel
For the heart wills what it will
And those golden cables can nothing fray
A million gloried bands draped between souls
Into a soul entwined, enclosed
Contained into a single form
Divinely crafted into that highest potential
That neither man nor death may split asunder
Where there is no beginning or end
To what we are, and what we are is this:
My heartbeat in your chest
Your breath in my lungs
And these million bands of gold bridging
My soul, your soul
To one

I hope you can appreciate them as much as I felt them... Words are important to me, like little pieces of myself that don't shift or fade away, and my poetry has always been me at my most honest. I haven't gotten the talent of uninspired lyrical creation yet. Don't really want it.

Anyways, let me know what you think. Constructive criticism is magic stuff for an artist willing to listen.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Even More Brain-Thinkings

I'm in an odd mood now after writing that poem... I'm thinking about a lot of things. Surprise. I think I think too much. The guys at the studio say so. A lot has to do with my curiosity. I'm curious about people and motivations. But I've already talked about that before. I think.


Might have gotten myself into a funny situation today... hope it all pans out. As usual, I got into it pretty blind, just going from my gut. Which is ironic because I just claimed to be a constant thinker. I guess there are just some things that make your brain shut down when presented, because it doesn't know what the heck to do anyways.

At any rate, whatever happens (if anything happens at all, just sayin') has gotta happen slow, because I'm not all ready, I think, to handle anything more. I'm blundering around in the dark here, and I don't want to bump my head or stub my toe on anything, nor step on anyone's foot or accidentally poke them in the eye. Or pile-drive them to the face. Just sayin'.

It's worth the try, though. I could really go for some excitement.

So this is a reminder to me: don't pop my bubble. Got it? Good. Good me.


The Peddler

D. Lawrence Ficklin 8.27.09

A-walking went I once in town
To ease an ache within my skull
Which dwelt on matters grey and dim,
Sapped happy whims lifeless and dull.

Peace sought I, and so I forged
A trail to take me to the park.
The sound of wind would do me well,
Mixed with the scent of earth and bark.

And while I walked beneath the eaves
I heard a curious sound arise,
Which wound its way between the leaves
Like a knife tearing a cloudy sky.

"Here, I have it here and now!
Take it while it lasts, my friend.
You'll regret if you let this pass by-
All good things must one day end.

"And what is more - this ends soon!
So grab it up before it's gone.
Gobble, horde all that you will-
It's what you've wanted all along"

To its small and red-clad source
I followed the raucous yell,
A man who barely reached my chest
Before a sign proclaiming, "SELL!"

"Good morn to you, my fellow man!"
He screamed at me in glee.
"You've heavy thoughts within your mind,
That much is plain to see.

"I give escape from want and worry,
From those weights within your soul.
You see, I'm a peddler of an ancient ware,
A remedy from long, long ago."

Intrigued, I bade the man go on,
So behind the sign he nimbly flew.
He emerged at once with a little box
Containing what he and God only knew.

"Within my hands," he screeched at me,
"I hold a singular power
To grant you freedom from your wants
And the thoughts that blacken every hour.

It's a tool that transcends life and death,
From kings to queens to the ragged poor.
One that any man could utilize,
One that every man may afford."

As he spoke his fingers worked
To unlatch the box-lid's lock:
It complied and clicked, and with a grin
The man presented me the box.

I took it after brief restraint
And peered through its vast depth,
And horror slowly iced through my veins,
For what I saw was worse than death.

I saw children crying in the streets,
Swollen bellies, shriveled limbs,
A world of men who clucked their tongues,
Their coffers filled up to the brim.

I saw old men at grand, long tables,
Their hands and faces smeared in blood,
As they ate the dreams of generations,
And ground the leftovers to mud.

I saw burning homes and shattered glass,
And countless swollen, weeping eyes
Alongside drunkard smiles, indignant shrugs,
Looking at laughing at the hideous cries.

And last I saw myself therein
And the part which I had played
In passing on without a thought
When a friend or neighbor needed aid.

Tearing my gaze from its black depths,
I looked to the man before me.
"Take this back, show me no more!
I'll not purchase your apathy!"

He cocked his head like a curious hound,
His toothy smile fully bared.
"Why give back what you already own?
The rest of your life you never cared.

"You never thought what you could do
To make one stranger's day the brighter.
You squeezed from all all you can take,
And when it's gone you've squeezed tighter."

Again I thrust the box to him,
But stepping back his eyes gleamed cold.
"All sales are final, I'm afraid;
There's no market for pre-owned souls."

Then vanished he within a blink,
Where he went I could not tell.
And the sign which once proclaimed the sale
Now promised only hell.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Thoughts (grumble grumble)

Now for something completely different. Heh.

When I think about reluctance, especially in myself, the first thing that comes to my mind is a wonderful, long and largely inconsequential list of excuses. Nevermind the whys, wherefores or whatnots, or whatever other reasons/hopes/possible fulfilment of dreams which may be involved, my mind gets stuck on the "what ifs" and the harm which some of the more negative outcomes might entail. All at a merrily subconscious level.

Like I said at the beginning of my last entry, I'm not one to plan (usually) my life. I let it run its course (I'm so terribly Bohemian). And like anything living on autopilot, there are only so many times you can run into cliffs and mountains before becoming fearful, wary and distanced from the ground.

Even if you need to land. More than anything.
(It doesn't matter.)

My favourite excuses are found in the following (very muchly incomplete) list. I won't bother explaining all of them... they're fairly simple (yet this fact makes them no less potent... my mind can be very convincing to my rest of me).

1. Fear of Pain (Loss, Rejection [Success? {?}]): Ah, how wonderfully hypocritical of me after what I said in my last blog. This, if anything, proves I still travel that road of improvement. Still, the veracity inherent in that particular muse cannot be discounted merely because I personally am moved by fear... at least to a degree.

2. Shyness:
It is a fact that I am something of a paradox. I often feel incapable of meaningful conversation with those with whom I would most love to express meaning/sentiment with, yet I am perfectly fine performing onstage in front of literally thousands. I sang for the late President Gordon B. Hinckley and every single missionary in the world, as an example, yet could not find a way to personally connect and relate with my companion in the Missionary Training Center. Likewise, I feel crippled when it comes to small-talk, or "making conversation," or whatever you'd like to call it. If the answer is not direct, I most likely will not speak, as I do not have the talent of easily conversing with people whom I am not properly acquainted with. Elizabeth Bennett would encourage me then to practise this skill, but like our pal Mr Darcy I would rather put up the front of arrogance/aloofness/indifference than go out on that very scary limb.

I know I'm nothing extraordinary, but I know also that I am a good, fine man, and I play it sometimes as though I were God's gift. This has cultivated itself into an all-pervading trait of expressed irony and sarcasm, and while no harm is meant by it, it does leave people confused and bewildered, which only succeeds in making me seem even more aloof and mysterious. Ugh... To speak plainly, everyone, no matter where it is (work, school, church) knows who I am. They know my name. They greet me in the halls, or on the street, and stop me to see how I'm doing (to their disappointment and possible offense, I'm sure, when they realize I'm not more forthcoming with whatever they seek to learn). I don't know why they continue to do this. It's how it's always been. I'm nothing special, yet "they" never cease in their attempts to "know" me, even though, out of the hundreds who know my name and (shudder) like or approve of me (...?) I can count on one hand the number of people who truly know me, or knew me, at least some part or version.

I resent it. I wish I could be more open to them, to cultivate more splendid relationships with people that I know to be good and honest and so very very interesting, but I know if I pursue those ends I shall have to unbuckle my own weary armor, which I fear to do, because knowledge, like love and hope, is a double-edged, razor-freaking-sharp sword, and, well, I hurt. Almost always, always easily.

I know. Man up. Rub some dirt in it. Still, the ugly, hypocritical fact remains that it is easier to polish that armor up to a mirror shine than it is to stitch up the heart beneath. (See previous entry, then accuse all you wish!)

See? Always a work in progress. The Mona Lisa took ten years for Leonardo DaVinci to paint. Three separate versions lie beneath the final. So, ya know, there's still hope. Booyah.

In short, I'm shy. And I dislike it. So give me a hand. Please. I overcome it when it is more than even my large and manly frame can contain, because my armor only keeps out the expression of the feeling, not the feeling itself. Which is all sorts of retarded. When it does come, it's in a flood, a rush, exhausting and usually completely overwhelming, almost always too late. No one likes emotional splurges.

3. Stupidity: Duh.

4. Logic and Reason: (Not mutually exclusive from the previous) If all of the factors on this list are already conspiring against me, not to mention all of the hardships waiting to pounce later on, then who am I kidding by thinking I can do it to begin with? Blame my mind. It works in mysterious ways.
for something completely different
... but not.

What makes it all better?

The fact that before long the reluctance I have is worn down by different flavors of idiocy, namely faith, hope, love, desire, etc... though it is still too often too late. Which means this needs work. Pronto. Because none of it ever waits, not should it have to.

Why is this so bloody confusing? Girls suck.



I've gone through this whole thing without a stitch of planning. Things seem to happen well enough on their own, and I do tend to make it through okay. Maybe a little battered and bruised, but no one lives long pristine. And, since I'm a splendidly average man, you can be sure that a phrase like "no one" does indeed include me.

This is a good thing.

No one wants an untested - and possibly unreliable - person to gum up the works, no matter how clean and polished they may appear. Because when it comes rolling right off the assembly line, there is no polish required, no sanding down or body work or engine tooling and tuning, and not because the rough spots aren't there, but because the rough spots aren't there yet. I know, I know, no one buys a used car because it's already proved its hardy worth, or a used diamond ring because it's already acquired some endearing dings and scars, but because the deal is better, because they aren't required to invest as much in its acquisition.

When this concept is applied to people, that investment isn't represented solely by money (hopefully). It comes in the forms of faith, hope and love... and by knowing that someone has gone through the rough spots and emerged with pride, dignity, composure (and even the slightest bit of polish), you can feel more confident and justified in giving them your trust. Who cares if you still have a few rough edges now? A diamond is still the toughest rock out there, and the world can be so very very harsh. The road is never fully traveled no matter how many miles you put under your feet. Just keep walking in that right direction, keep working away at the meanness that's working its way against you and stay positive...

I can't really believe I'm writing this. :)

To continue this topic in a direction which I am very fond of, I don't need to be perfect now. What I need to be is heading that way with pure focus and constant forgiveness in my heart, because even if I'm not perfect, I just might be perfect for someone else. You just never know. I've been hurt, I've been trampled and left behind and I've done my share of the same. I've seen parts of this life and world that still sometimes make me cringe, but despite it all (or perhaps because of it) I have turned into who I am, and I am proud to be me. (I really really like that I like that!)

I am nowhere near perfect. I'm no paragon of the species or even an especially admirable example deserving the adulation and recognition of great men like my father, my grandfather, or many other characters who have had their various entrances and exits over the course of my as-yet-brief personal history, but I am me, and that is a perfectly fine thing to be, and it gets better every day.

There are shadows on paths we would rather pass by
Truths we'd like not to admit, to forget all the whys
To ignore and let be the more challenging parts
Without chancing exposure of our fragile hearts
And so behind armor of iron or steel
We keep ourselves sane through sheer force of will
To never be scared and neither ashamed
To never know love, adoration or pain
Averting our eyes from the ways it might be
For true happiness means to risk misery
With both moods entwined in an unending dance
Always the worst of the two a possible chance
But let us still live despite all these fears
As life will heedless advance through the years
And a life that's half-lived is still just as long

As the life you've been dreaming to live all along


Sunday, August 9, 2009


D. Lawrence Ficklin

Please come out and take a bow
You've put on quite a show
Kept us all guessing to the end
But I guess now we know

So thank you so much for having us
Thank you so very, very much
It's been a pleasure being played upon
Thank you so very, very much

Your act was so believable
We'd forgotten about the stage
Silly we took it all to heart
The playacted love and rage

So thank you so much for having us
Thank you so very, very much
It's been a pleasure being played upon
Thank you so very, very much

So no need explaining any more
We get the joke and it was swell
It's all on us and we don't blame you
The deal was always too good a sell

We should have seen, we should have known
How far you led us on
So thank you, Hope, for what you've done
In cruelty you are alone

So thank you so much for having us
Thank you so very, very much
It's been a pleasure being played upon
Thank you so very, very much