Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Faerie dance on the corner of a full moon

One problem I have found with all research (and all googling) is that my question is usually so off-trail, so, um, esoteric in nature that the most fuzzy-eared of archivists can't find what I'm looking for.

So when I looked for all the songs of an obscure country singer,
Harvey June Van, a real back-number, nothing came up, save an old tribute to that old country prodigy from Monterey, Tennessee. She was a star by 15, Like Hank Williams

What I was looking for were lyrics from a haunting old "hurtin'" tear-jerker, "The Lights Are Growing Dim"

Um. Dim here. I'll have to go by dim memory:

For you the lights are brightly shinin'
For me the lights are growing dim

And I can hear my Maker callin'
From the pearly walls within.

I know that you have found another
My chance for happines was slim

For you the lights are brightly shining
For me, the lights are growing dim.

Penelope pining for absent Odysseus dallying with Nusicaa on her island?

A father stricken when a son he had made breakfast for on a Saturday morning, with country music on--has left a goobye note, saying he had joined the army.

A wife in Toronto when she gets the crashing news that the vacationing husband has found a Senorita, and it's all over.

The rich man's wife turning to drugs?

Siver threads and golden needles
Cannot mend this heart of mine

And I dare not solve my problems
In the warm glow of your wine

You can't buy my love with money
for I never was that kind

Silver threads and golden needles
Can not men this heart of mine.

Back to Harvie June Van:

Now I'll no longer be a burden
And so my loss will be a gain

And I'll no longer need your lovin'
For where I'm goin' there's no pain.

God has taken all my troules
For he knew I couldn't win

For you the lights are brightly shining
For me the lights are growing dim.

Behind every American intellectual (I swear) are the words of a country song.

And behind every killer guitar player a country singer.

And behind every so-called intellectual the leap back and forth between ideas, while the thinker searches for salvation in a phrase, any phrase?

Small wonder that the remarkable Leonard Cohen, say, is a fan of Hank Williams.

And behind my own freakish screed here on a full moon, on the edge of which dances a fairy, a Hank Williams title, "Faded Love and Winter Roses."

Oh inchoate ideas.

And the mind too numb and the body too sick of love to rise to the occasion.



Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...


The sky is angry tonight
the clouds roll in and with them my fear of an empty bed and dreamless night

Of shadowless walls that give no mercy and love, love being left, laid out in the open with no sheild to cover or protect
and so it cowers in the darkest of all corners, weeping as if it were a child in mourning

All the while the breeze blows freely, capturing my thoughts I have screamed outloud when no one could hear and this place was empty.

Where, where does one go when there is no road to travel and the heart feels broken, like shattered glass with open wounds

oops lost my mind....

EA Monroe said...

They go to El Paso to Rosa's Cantina...

Ivan when you speak of country singers I always think of Marty Robbins and his song El Paso. I love that song. Even the Grateful Dead must've loved that song as many times as they performed it. ~Liz

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Eat your heart out, Percy Bysshe Shelley.

This is good poetry.


ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

The Grateful Dead doing El Paso?


I did say American intellectuals were insfluenced by country music.
...Well? The Dead did ideate, did they not, and Jerry Garcia could be called an intellectual of sorts. Lol.
Hey, they also did Casey Jones!

Arrived into the cabin!


the walking man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the walking man said...


ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

OK, Mark.

Technical glitches, but I'm trying.

A.L. Gordon, huh. Poet-playwright.

Four-foot iambs.

I am a little bit afraid of four-foot iambs. You never know when one's gonna getcha.


Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

::knock knock::: anyone home?

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Home, but thuinderboomers are out.
Will have to shut down for a bit.

What time is it getting to be?

Anonymous said...

Hope you enjoyed the beautiful weather this weekend. One last gasp of summer methinks.

Hey, your creativewriting.ca domain name came up for renewal. I moved it from EasyDNS to another provider called Namespro.ca that is considerably cheaper ($15 / year versus $60 / year) and has a reasonable reputation. The move should be completely transparent, and nobody should notice a thing, but if you spot anything out of the ordinary, let me know.


Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

It is after 3 am now. I wish you a sweet goodnight.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Belated goodnight.

Who sleeps on a full moon?

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...


The warm sun is rising
Silence surrounds me, even the mother robin seems to be sleeping
as I watch the colored rain of fall drift from the trees around me - it is so beautiful here

In the garden I walk, smelling the flowers that are still awake and as if with little hands they reach out to my senses. The roses are still in bloom despite the cool weather and the morning glories open as if requesting their own attention

I can hear the small fountain in the backyard ... how calming the water is when the mind is full of questions and the body restless

The hammock from last summer still hangs, damp from the storms of last night, but so inviting - more than enough room for one and so I lay in the middle, swing with one leg over the edge and feel as my toes touch the grass wishing the day good morning.

Good morning Everyone...

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Good morning, Tara,

And not for nothing is this site Creative Writing.

Andres Marvel, metaphical poet of gardens. I think you've outdone him in a sunshiny way.


Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...


LUXURIOUS man, to bring his vice in use,Did after him the world seduce, And from the fields the flowers and plants allure,Where Nature was most plain and pure.
He first inclosed within the gardens square
A dead and standing pool of air,
And a more luscious earth for them did knead, which stupefied them while it fed.
The pink grew then as double as his mind; The nutriment did change the fed. With strange perfumes he did the roses taint; And flowers themselves were taught to paint.
The tulip white did for complexion seek, And learned to interline its cheek; Its onion root they then so high did hold, That one was for a meadow sold: Another world was searched through oceans new, To find the marvel of Peru; And yet these rarities might be allowed
To man, that sovereign thing and proud, Had he not dealt between the bark and tree, Forbidden mixtures there to see.
No plant now knew the stock from which it came; He grafts upon the wild the tame, That the uncertain and adulterate fruit Might put the palate in dispute. His green seraglio has its eunuchs too, Lest any tyrant him outdo; And in the cherry he does Nature vex, To procreate without a sex 'Tis all enforced, the fountain and the grot, While the sweet fields do lie forgot, Where willing Nature does to all dispense A wild and fragrant innocence; And fauns and fairies do the meadows till
More by their presence than their skill. Their statues polished by some ancient hand, May to adorn the gardens stand; But, howsoe'er the figures do excel, The Gods themselves with us do dwell.

Andrew Marvell

TomCat said...

Ivan, in the plus side, if you play that music backward, your wife will return, you'll get your job back, your dog won't have fleas anymore, you'll be sober,and you'll never be lonely again.

Josie said...

That old devil moon.

I'm staying indoors tonight, closing the blinds shut, wearing a wreath of garlic around my neck.

You know my history with the full moon!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...


What a thinker that Andrew Marvell.
No wonder he is called a metaphysical poet.

All those sons of bitches of biology, the Frankensteins and their genetic mutations.
And Marvel could see them four hundred years before they appeared.

Great example of metaphysical poetry
What does the word mean?
And inquirey into the ultimate reality.


ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Should read "an inquiry into the ultimate reality".

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...


I didn't know God made honky tonk angels
I might have known you'd never make a wife
You gave up the only one that ever loved you
And went back to the wild side of life

The glamor of the gay night life has lured you
To the places where the wine and liquor flows
Where you wait to be anybody's baby
And forget the truest love you'll ever know

I do get playful, wanting to add,

Down the elevator
of your future
I've been shafted
And you went back to the wild side of life

Yep, play that ploughjock music white boy! :)


p.s. to tomcat,
Your comment came in with a touch of spam. Don't know what that was about...Are the Bushies gettin' at ya?


Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

Well, if you are asking me Metaphysics is a vein of Philosophy. To me, it holds more truth in reality. It dives deeper into the connection of human nature and those funny little things that scientists thought they could answer but really can't. It also deals with more abstract things like the cosmos, even down to the simple idea of dumb luck. I bet somewhere there people in dark rooms with little eye glasses trying to figure out how they can find a new solution that those big boys in the science fields think they found the answer to.

Of course today people are so into Philosophy because it has become a fad. Ha! They are not in it for the understanding ... just read what looks good on paper.

My favorites are Plato and Kant, but let's not forget Satre's version of Existentialism. I do not necessarily agree with it all, however it is a good read.


ivan@creativewriting.ca said...


It gets even worse with me when there's nothing to drink.

Heck, if the full moon can raise a tide, you can just imagine!

I've been like a bull in a chinashop all day.

Picks up pants, drops pants.
Picks up pen, drops pen.

Elastic gone on the shorts.
Drops shorts.
Drops pants again.

I think I shall re-read the works of Edgar Cayce and see if he says somewhere that the earth got its troubles when it got a moon!


(And I was born near Transsylvania).


ivan@creatifvewriting.ca said...


Yep. I thought I had old Play-Dough all figured out until somebody introduced me to Wittgenstein.
There was a quote of Wittgenstein that he disowned and tried to erase wherever it appeared.

F*ck and live
Suck and die.

Now isn't that kind of a modern thing for an earth twentieth-century philosoper to say?

Talk about metaphysics.

Certainly not for our politically correct age.


the walking man said...

Metta-Buddhist thought of attaining the ability to deal with all mortal cares and troubles in an attitude of calm serenity

Physics-some kind of bullshit science that most believe rules the material world

Mark-way beyond all of the need to question anything other than "are we there yet?"


http://www.creativewriting.ca said...

Well, Mark,

Received thinking says philosophy melded into science.

We somehow got to the moon on inches and feet, and not metric.

Our versiton of Darryl Hammond, Charilie Farquarson, of Parry Sound, Ontario says if the Lord had meant us to go metric, he would have given us ten apostles.

A lot of scientits are now going with Lewis Carroll. The Red Queen.

We have to jump and run like hell just to stay in the same spot.

I think Tara is right. We are all, all of us lay people trying to find a transfinite number, an x.25 that will prove all those overground scientists wrong.

What people seem to miss is a calculus of he human heart, which, I suppose, would be a subject right up Tara's alley.
But that's Dostoevsky territory more than Einstein's.
Nihilists would say that the sole outcome of science is the hydrogen bomb.
There was a Big Band all right, but talented scientists have found a way to bring some of it back, and, well, Bang!...Just like ancient Chinese alchemists stumbling upon gunpowder.
Maybe we should become followers of
Charles Ludd and go and smash everything scientific.

Speaking of Ludd and Luddites, my computer has gone to hell on this full moon. My techie says he has put my blog in a new domain and has asked me to report on any abnormalities.
Well, it's pretty abnormal around here. I can't get into my own comment space four out of five tries and I can't get into Josie's either.
Don't know what the problem is.
Josie says the computer at her work seminar has gone all to hell too. Full Moon.
Today, science doesn't want to work.
The full moon seems somehow full of real radiation that we can't see.
Oh f*ck. I am becoming a lunatic.


http://www.creativewiting.ca said...


Tomcat and Tara's comments came in through the blog editor, who says there was spam in both comments.


Gotta be the full moon.


Sienna said...

Moon river wider than a mile
Im crossing you in style someday
You dream maker, you heartbreaker
Wherever youre going Im going your way
Two drifters off to see the world
Theres such a lot of world to see
We're after the same rainbows end
Waiting round the band
My huckleberry friend, moon river
And me..

Testing 1 2 3....:) hello, hell-llo!

EA Monroe said...

This is a comment test. Do not try to tune your tuners. Do not try to adjust the horizontal other than doing the limbo. Soon all will return to normal. Hah. Are we there yet?
This is a test.

Donnetta Lee said...

And then there is Bob Wills and the Playboy Band. Talk about poetry!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Donnetta and Liz Monroe,

Hey. Rose of San Antone.

All Eastern Europeans are cowboys, or cowbly wannabees.

Serious PhD research follows:

Back in the late 1930s and early 40s, most of the Fishers that lived in Oklahoma, were really into Country and Western music. It was all the rage in this area. A new brand of music that became known as "western swing" was very popular and the icon of the style was Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys. Their music was heard on the radio, their records sold in large numbers and they were even in the movies. A typical weekend might find many of the Fishers making the ten mile trip to Tulsa to enjoy a night of music and dancing at "Cain's Ballroom" where country and western bands from all around would play and entertain. A frequent headliner would be Bob Wills and his Playboys. You may or may not know that the reason they were called the Playboys was because their main sponsor on the radio was Playboy flour. It was sold in cloth bags that bore the imprint of a cowboy on the back of a horse that was reared up on its back legs. Over the cowboy was printed the words Play Boy. Grandma Fisher (Frances Roark Fisher) collected a number of these bags with the idea of using them as quilt squares. She cut them into squares and took them with her one night when Bob Wills was in town. She caught him during a break and asked him to autograph one of the squares and to please have each member of the band to autograph one. There were a lot of band members and they were all popular but they were seldom all at the same engagement at the same time. So Bob took the squares and promised to bring them back signed on his next visit. He did just that. Each square was autographed by a member of the band. Grandma embroidered each one and made a handsome "Bob Wills" quilt. She used red thread to embroider the autographs and the "Play Boy", all except Leon McAuliffe whose name appears in red but whose Play Boy is in black thread. When asked why the change of color when it came to Leon, a sly smile would appear on her face. She would chuckle and say that she had simply run out of red.
The quilt was donated to the Sand Springs Museum in Sand Springs, Oklahoma several years ago.

A grandson of Grandma Fisher, Robert Monroe "Bob" Fisher, created a homemade sign to display with the quilt. The following information was printed on the large piece of paper and is kept in the museum with the quilt.


ivan@creativewriting.ca said...


Loud, clear and, as is always the case with Henry Mancini, calming mood music.

I am calmed down. Calmed down. Cal


ivan@creativewriting.ca said...



Now I can have a drink.

Inside our hands, outside our hearts said...

tara is gone away... away far away... her voice has gone, her mind is lost, and her heart has been placed on hold indefinitely.

Soft love everyone....

EA Monroe said...

Ivan, that's an interesting story. I hadn't heard that one. No wonder you're an Honorary Okie!! Back in the 30s & 40s my dad played guitar in an Audie Murphy type band. There's a photo somewhere at my mom's house of the band in their black and white Audie Murphy shirts. If I can get my hands on it, I'll scan it and send you a copy.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Ooo. A very nice depressing song. I like it. Reminds me of "I can't make you love me, if you don't". I think from the title that we can safely say that it started life as a country song but it has evolved into an evocative blues song.

"Morning will come and I'll do what's right.
Just give me'til then, to give up this fight."

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...


Audie Murphy. What a hero. What a writer, what an actor. And handsome. Did Oklahoma proud.
And your dad sort of in that tradition.
How nice it would be for you to come out of "retiredment" and do a blog on this...Waiting to see the picture, as I'm sure the other Quarks are.


ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Lone Grey Squirrel,

Oh, you've certainly struck a chord with me.
I will lobby to have the Oklahoma Quarkettes to make you an honorary Okie too.
Besides Chris Christofferson, you will be the only other PhD who understands country music and its relation to the blues.

I might add a cartridge comment of my own. Blues is an antidote for cultural oppression. To some extent, Okies have been culturally oppressed, very much like the society I came from. They have produced some of the world's best music. That's the attraction of Oklahoma to me, especially the sackcloth dresses and shirts, though in the Ukraine it was flax.
Furthermore, it is small wonder that American Blacks are the most creative and original in their music, from blues, soul to jazz. The antidote.




EA Monroe said...

Ivan, I was in a full moon brain fog last night! I meant Gene Autry -- not Audie Murphy. I kept trying to figure that one out, if Audie didn't show up on the scene until the 50s!

I'm getting my cowboys mixed up!

I think Gene Autry might've been born in Texas (like me), but he was an Okie, too. There's an OK town named Gene Autry.

benjibopper said...

"Behind every American intellectual (I swear) are the words of a country song."

That is truth. And truth is beauty.

I think Don Cherry said that.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...


Well, like the old Commie said on a wet day, "Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear."


ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Smart redneck sports annnouncer Don Cherry hangs around with uber-poet John Keats?


Anonymous said...

Keith Urban is booked for a Canadian tour in Sept/Oct. and is scheduled for Calgary. Friends in Calgary have turned their tickets back.

This big shot western singer ( Keith Urban ) asked all Canadians to stand up at the Minot (N.D.) Fair.
After the Canadians stood up, he asked them all to leave the stands before he would sing because they were not helping out fighting with USA troops.

He is a New Zealander by birth (1967), then grew up in Australia from 1969) and finally in 1992 moving and living in Nashville, becoming another imported, brainwashed Yankee.

Pass this around and see how his record sales do in Canada.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...


I can't attest to the veracity of the Keith Urban insult, but I see your email comes from the Oakville Beaver, a medium-circulation newspaper in Ontario...I have worked for the Beaver and found it no great shakes.
Still, we have readers from all over the world on this blog, notably Australia and even New Zealand. I know there are going to be comments.


JM said...


There was a great joke a while back in The Onion about one of those flag wavin' singers enduring writer's block while he struggled to come up with a rhyme for Ahmadinejad.
(Woke up this morning foggy -- full moon and whisky glass last night -- with that mournful Willie P. Bennett tune Lace and Pretty Flowers on my mind. The day has had a melancholy tinge throughout.)


ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

If you've got lace and pretty flowers
Give your baby, get her under your powers
If you got silks and sweet perfume
You know she might come, she might come up to your room
But if you got soul
You know she's going to bowl you over
And when my baby rolls me over
I feel like I want to fly
I feel like I want to fly


Hey! I like those Willie P. Bennett lyrics.


ivan@creztivewriting.ca said...

Speaking of lyrics, where did our talented poetess, Tara go?

Josie said...

Ivan, you probably scared her away. You tend to do that :-)

eric1313 said...

Might have been me, Josie.

I'm purty durned scary at times, I reckun.

eric1313 said...

Hope she' ready to post some of this writing scribbled all over the walls.

She IS like me. I do some of my best work in a comment box.

It's because blogger likes to bully and reformat my words. I don't know how you guys create on blogger. It drives me crazy. I write stuff in comment boxes, then cut and paste the good lines to my new posts. It's kind of like letting your friends hold onto a prized posession.


Got nack in town last night--I should have come by and talked to everyone.

This post is excellent.

Benjibopper said it all! To bad Don Cherry doesn't put as much energy into writing as he does into finding those gawd-awfull doubled breasted suits that he always wears on hockey night in Canada...

eric1313 said...


The Taras Shevchenko poem on your old post was some powerful magic, by the way. It's very poigniant of you and Tara to have found it and posted it there, considering the conversations we all had on the subject.

EA, Tara, Josie, TWM, Benji, and the rest who've yet to show up:


Josie said...

Hi, Eric...! You're not scary at all :-)

eric1313 said...

Thanks, Josie!

But I worry about my super-power of clearing a room...

Don't mind me--when all else fails, blame myself and get over it. That's my sad motto.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

The doormouse welcomes all comments.

But Doormouse into vat of rye tonight and is hors du combat.

eric1313 said...

"Hors du Combat"

Very well said, my friend. I'll watch for our friends. I'd love to scratch out a few lines tonight.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Hic (nobis?)!

Let 'er rip.

EA Monroe said...

Hey, Eric! What's up?

eric1313 said...

Nothing, EA. Just blog hopping and reading.

Thanks for the encouragement about about the poems as songs. One day, I may do that. But I don't even have a band anymore!

Wish I had caught you all earlier.

ivan@cretivewriting.ca said...

Alcoholics, like dogs, are ruled by their stomachs.
So now that I have digested everything and am half awake, everybody's gone home.
Ah well. There is at last the Jon Stewart "Daily Show."
If it's a rerun, I'll kill him.


benjibopper said...

keats stole a suprising amount of his material from cherry. that's where the term 'cherry-picking' came from.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

That's pretty cool, Benji.