Spoken Truth

I hear you, more than I listen to myself.
Messages of caution or concern,
statements of grace, sentiment
not fallen on inattentive ears.

The words we can,
the words we must,
the words we say.
The words we trust

And this. And we, are we
even comfortable with our vocabulary?
Do we know or can we tell,
right words from the wrong?

Conversation or confrontation, depending
on your situation, those same words mean
something else to someone else.
It’s becomes even more difficult to tell.

The words we say.
The words we hear,
spell out misunderstanding.
Injustice. Pain or fear

Shared experience, descriptions,
details, doubt and deception at times
difficult to put into words.
Our emotions demand that they must.

Honesty is what it is, as it has
always been, but spoken less and less
more and more. It matters not how you
express yourself, only that you do.

 

© 2020 j.g. lewis

The Power And Precision

I can’t remember if it was just before or just after its second album, but I saw Van Halen in concert at the Winnipeg Convention Centre.
It was early in the band’s career, and the show was as loud as you would have expected, and Eddie Van Halen was better than you could have imagined.
How could you not have known, at the time, that this man was taking this band places.
Albums, then, came out annually after Van Halen’s astonishing self-titled debut disc took the world by surprise, or by storm. I believe Rolling Stone magazine described the debut as near perfect. That was when Rolling Stone was still the bible on music; at a time when I read the magazine religiously.
That was more than 40 years ago, in my teenage years.
I wasn’t a huge Van Halen fan — late ‘70s music was about change, and I went another direction — though I appreciated the power and precision behind the music.
With older brother Alex Van Halen on drums, propelling the music forward with bassist Michael Anthony, the four-piece band covered a lot of ground, climbing the charts and making a name for itself with two (actually, three) singers over time.
There were varied eras of the Van Halen — defined by original lead singer David Lee Roth and then veteran rocker Sammy Hagar — still, it was Eddie’s guitar that made it happen.
A lot of great guitarists do, and will, come and go.
Eddie was a keeper, acknowledged by many as one of the greatest. He played like nobody, or nothing, had.
He was impressive. He was memorable.
He died yesterday from throat cancer at age 65.
Too young.
Too sad.
Long live rock and roll.

R.I.P. Edward Van Halen

I Look

I see kindness behind a mask, care
or concern, no reason to ask
why.         Or why bother?
Now, a million deaths.
I’ve heard the results. I’ve listened
to excuses, yet cannot understand
                 all they talk about;
those who dare, and those who
won’t wear a mask.
It is simple.
This virus spreads, like hate.
Both will kill. Neither will wait
for understanding. It’s not right.
It is not fair.
                  We all watch these people who
won’t disguise their sickness behind a mask,
as if it is a bother, too great a task
                  to comprehend
people are dying.   Our humanity loses
a little each time.
We are all at risk, a point they miss,
these cowards who find comfort in
conspiracy.
                   Or jealousy
of those who belong, or empathize,
with others. We all need be concerned.
Is it political, or a stereotypical
example of a malignant soul who cares
                    only for self.
Not lack of intelligence,
but an insignificant mind.
                    I look and I wonder
what did this to them, or did they do it
to themselves?
It is not obvious, yet I can easily see
the ignorance they don’t bother to hide.

©2020  j.g. lewis