Poets and Troubadours

Poets  (see troubadours below)


The City of the Dead

Yesterday I drew myself from the noisome throngs and proceeded into the field until I reached a knoll upon which Nature had spread her comely garments. Now I could breathe. I looked back, and the city appeared with its magnificent mosques and stately residences veiled by the smoke of the shops.

I commenced analyzing man's mission, but could conclude only that most of his life was identified with struggle and hardship. Then I tried not to ponder over what the sons of Adam had done, and centered my eyes on the field which is the throne of God's glory. In one secluded corner of the field I observed a burying ground surrounded by poplar trees.

There, between the city of the dead and the city of the living, I meditated. I thought of the eternal silence in the first and the endless sorrow in the second. In the city of the living I found hope and despair; love and hatred, joy and sorrow, wealth and poverty, faith and infidelity.

In the city of the dead there is buried earth in earth that Nature converts, in the night's silence, into vegetation, and then into animal, and then into man. As my mind wandered in this fashion, I saw a procession moving slowly and reverently, accompanied by pieces of music that filled the sky with sad melody. It was an elaborate funeral. The dead was followed by the living who wept and lamented his going. As the cortege reached the place of interment the priests commenced praying and burning incense, and musicians blowing and plucking their instruments, mourning the departed. Then the leaders came forward one after the other and recited their eulogies with fine choice of words.

At last the multitude departed, leaving the dead resting in a most spacious and beautiful vault, expertly designed in stone and iron, and surrounded by the most expensively-entwined wreaths of flowers. The farewell-bidders returned to the city and I remained, watching them from a distance and speaking softly to myself while the sun was descending to the horizon and Nature was making her many preparations for slumber.

Then I saw two men laboring under the weight of a wooden casket, and behind them a shabby-appearing woman carrying an infant on her arms. Following last was a dog who, with heartbreaking eyes, stared first at the woman and then at the casket. It was a poor funeral. This guest of Death left to cold society a miserable wife and an infant to share her sorrows and a faithful dog whose heart knew of his companion's departure.

As they reached the burial place they deposited the casket into a ditch away from the tended shrubs and marble stones, and retreated after a few simple words to God. The dog made one last turn to look at his friend's grave as the small group disappeared behind the trees.

I looked at the city of the living and said to myself, "That place belongs to the few." Then I looked upon the trim city of the dead and said, "That place, too, belongs to the few. Oh Lord, where is the haven of all the people?"

As I said this, I looked toward the clouds, mingled with the sun's longest and most beautiful golden rays. And I heard a voice within me saying, "Over there!"

                  ~Kahlil Gibran



Once I thought
ideas were exceptions
not the rule.
This is not so
they are so plentiful
that they ride by
on air.
You've only to reach out
and snatch one
from the mist
or from nowhere.

With little raw material but sand
the sea has made
two hundred thousand mountains
that we'll likely never know.

This being so
is it too much to ask
that each man in his lifetime
makes a single contribution,
both unique and useful,
that no man walking down the beach
has handed us before?

Why not pay back
our birth bill
by adding an idea
even two or six
to the many given us
within condition
or a price?

~Rod McKuen

-from "The Sea Around Me," 1976, 1977
© 1976, 1977,1999, 2000 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved


I, Too, Sing American

I, too sing America.

I am the darker brother.

They send me to eat in the kitchen

When company comes,

But I laugh,

And eat well,

And grow strong.


I’ll be at the table

When company comes.

Nobody’ll dare

Say to me, “Eat in the kitchen,”



They’ll see how beautiful I am

I, too, am America

~Langston Hughes



Maya Angelou

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

~ Maya Angelou




                          SYLVIA PLATH (1932-1963)   

                                         Razors pain you;
                               Rivers are damp;
                               Acids stain you;
                               And drugs cause cramp.
                               Guns aren’t lawful;
                               Nooses give;
                               Gas smells awful;
                               You might as well live.
                                      ~Sylvia Plath





William Shakespeare



Ralph Waldo Emerson






John Lennon

Click here:  http://home.att.net/~chuckayoub/the_beatles_video_32.htm

John Lennon Tribute







             Melissa Etheridge (above) plays her ...

 Melissa Etheridge


• I've Loved You Before • |

I think of how you know me,
No doubts no thinking twice.
When your smile can be so soothing,
A familiar paradise.
When there's no one else that makes me whole
I am never needing more
I get this feeling that I have loved you before

Were we lovers in an army,
Marching all for Rome.
Side by side in battle,
Did we bravely leave our home?
Did I hold you in my arms,
As you were taking your last breath?
Did shout to all the gods,
That I would love you beyond death?
I swear I've loved you before.

Did we hide in the dark ages,
From a vengeful god above?
Were our names too unfamiliar,
To ever speak of love?
Did I cling to every moment with you,
In every parting glance?
An accidental touch,
Did we ever take the chance for more?
I know I've loved you before.

Have I wandered through the desert?
Have I looked to the north star?
Have I rode the days and nights on rails,
To get back where you are?
And every time I found you
It's your eyes I know for sure.

When I think of how you know me,
No doubts no thinking twice.
When your smile can be so soothing,
A familiar paradise.
When there's no one else that makes me whole.
I am never wanting more.
I get this feeling.
I know I've loved you before.

I know I've loved you before
I've loved you before.


Patti Griffin

Red lights are flashing on the highway
I wonder if we're gonna ever get home
I wonder if we're gonna ever get home tonight
Everywhere the waters getting rough
Your best intentions may not be enough
I wonder if we're gonna ever get home tonight

But if you brake down
I'll drive out and find you
If you forget my love
I'll try to remind you
And stay by you when it don't come easy

I don't know nothing except change will come
Year after year what we do is undone
Time keeps moving from a crawl to a run
I wonder if we're gonna ever get home

You're out there walking down a highway
And all of the signs got blown away
Sometimes you wonder if you're walking in the wrong direction

But if you brake down
I'll drive out and find you
If you forget my love
I'll try to remind you
And stay by you when it don't come easy

So many things that I had before
That don't matter to me now
Tonight I cry for the love that I've lost
And the love I've never found
When the last bird falls
And the last siren sounds
Someone will say what's been said before
Some love we were looking for

But if you brake down
I'll drive out and find you
If you forget my love
I'll try to remind you
And stay by you when it don't come easy



Jo Davidson


All the World's Religions

If I will not eat a
cow. . .
If a Bible's in my house
If I spend my days in prayer

If a veil covers my
If I make the floor my
What does it matter really?

If history could
rewrite itself oh would
it really change

If all the World's
Religions cannot keep
us living together
[ Find more Lyrics at
www.mp3lyrics.org/9y8 ]
then what do we believe
in maybe God is bigger
than all this
than all this

There's darkness and then there's
The two always seem to
Living in my soul
without paying rent

My contradictions run
I try to work them out in my
So if I've hurt you
please forgive me

If history could
rewrite itself oh would
it really change

Chorus repeat. . .

What do I believe in?
Maybe God is bigger than all this.




Melissa Ethridge