Busker in Berlin

Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London…

He sang on Wilmersdorfer Strasse, dressed in khakis and a button-down shirt. If it weren’t for the fact that he was busking, he could be taken for any other professional walking up and down the busy shopping street. In fact, he probably was a professional, maybe a lawyer or a teacher, with a roof over his head at night, and maybe a family.

His hair was white and silky, and it fell almost boyishly onto his forehead. His face was wrinkled, and as his lips moved each line was accentuated, so that once you could see the deep lines below his nose and then you saw the valleys in his brow.

So how can you tell me you’re lonely, and say for you that the sun don’t shine?

He smiled at the photographer taking his picture. He looked to the photographer’s left, and saw a girl smiling back at him, so his own grew wider. He came to the delicate melodic part in the song that he loved most of all, and he closed his eyes as his fingers plucked the strings.

In our winter city, the rain cries a little pity for one more forgotten hero and a world that doesn’t care.

He finished the song and saw a Euro drop from the photographer’s fingers and into his small case, littered with coins. He nodded, grinning, at the pair, and they smiled back and walked on. He looked after them, although they didn’t look back at him. He saw them draw nearer each other, remembering that they had each other and being thankful for it.

He didn’t need to be out there on the streets of Berlin, singing and playing for strangers. At his age, he could retire comfortably and didn’t need the income. But he didn’t play for the twenty or so Euros that would accumulate within a couple of hours. He played for the joy and the sadness, for the truth and the lies and for everything else that a voice, words, and a guitar could express.

“Watch the Leather”

I have no memory of when I wrote this song, but I think it was sometimes during my earlier teenage years. I happened upon it tonight and it struck me as rather creepy and gloomy, which is odd since I truly don’t have any clue as to what prompted me into writing it in the first place… And now, without further ado, some lyrics from my (apparently) dark teenage years:

In her mind, a shining knight
of blue blood and court days.
She's stealing kisses in the night,
Slowly feeling her new way.

Listen closely at the window
Of a lover's engined hideout.
Not sweet nothings will you hear,
Just a grunt and then he'll cry out:
"Hey, watch the leather"




Romantic girl, this ain't your world,
Sonnets dead and gone,
Rosy girl, this a thorn filled world,
Survival's for the strong.


In Love With A Voice

Interviews, photographs, different costumes and looks, different words and ideas… None of those seem to matter. Rather, they matter, but they’re not the most important thing. It doesn’t matter what she looks like. It doesn’t matter what she wears, really. Her words and ideas and opinions matter, if only because I agree with them – though more so because they come to light in her lyrics. But even if those ideas didn’t sit well with my view on life, I still don’t think I could help it.

The first time I heard her, I didn’t appreciate her. I truly, honestly think that I was too young. I couldn’t yet hear the beauty, the emotion, the sheer and utter strength that was in her voice. A few years later, and a need for something different, brought me back to her. One song was all it took. Her voice, without instruments, without accompaniment – she drew me in, and I was in love.

I am speaking of Tori Amos. Many don’t like her. I can understand why. I didn’t like her, once upon a time. Now, though? Her voice sends shivers down my spine and makes my vocal chords quiver with jealousy. Her lyrics, filled with emotion and spirit, make me smile or laugh or want to hug something or need to cry. She is an enchantress, and as her tenth studio album comes nearer to being released, I feel the call of her music to me, and I respond.

It may be insane, it may be silly, it may simply be typical-teenager-stuff, but I can’t help it. I’m in love with a voice.

Frisbee

Some misunderstandings I understand.
Some mistakes make perfect sense
And I sense that they’re innocent and harmless,
Though how can I get you to harness
Your emotions when you’re high strung,
When you’re stung by the bee
The bee that doesn’t like me.

Can you dance with me, Madam,
Can you hold my hand, dear?
I miss you so much and I fear…
I fear that you’re lost, or that I lost my way
In the murky ocean, can’t get back to the bay.

In my hand there’s an image
Of happier times, yes there were some.
Some wonderful wonderful days,
When we gazed onto the vast horizon
With chocolate cupcakes and candles and a breeze.
How did I lose my frisbee back then?
How did the tubes come into our lives?
Oh why can’t we just live in hives?

Can you dance with me, Madam,
Can you hold my hand, dear?
Embrace me all night and all day and all year
And all of my life, never leave my side
Even when I say “go away”
Please stay on as my guide.

Written in August, 2008. Haven’t looked at it since. Seems more like lyrics than like a poem, so please tolerate the lack of obvious rhythm, because there is one, it just only works in my head.