Today, I’m sharing 3 different versions of the same poem. Two of these poems were recorded in studios; one with my beloved Upthegrove Reynolds Project that I performed with in the Ann Arbor/Detroit areas (more on that in another post), the second of which was a CD I recorded with the help of music producer Michial White Jr. (no relation). What great experiences they both were.
The third is just me, recited the piece without music accompaniment…just me and the instrument I was born with.
I hope you enjoy all three versions. My words run deep and so do my feelings, so be kind, if you don’t mind.
Here is Defiling Heaven…
above, the never before heard version with the Upthegrove Reynolds Project, recorded in 2003 in Ann Arbor, MI at the Solid Sound Studio
this is the version produced by Mechiel White Jr. (aka the Groovematist) in Dexter, MI (turn up your sound a little)
Oh, the dark side of life! I’m not talking about back alleys and seedy bars. I’m talking about the dark days that sometimes turn to weeks, and sometimes feel as if it will never leave, taking up residence in the crevices of my brain that I wanted to remain empty for some grand creative entity to entertain me and maybe the masses.
This cloud of darkness has followed me around since I was a child. I remember the torment of my emotions. Crying and not knowing why, feeling way too many feelings. Those emotions embarrassed me before I learned feelings just are, leave them be…before I knew of empathy.
All this commotion was compounded by a closed head injury I sustained in an accident in ’76. The residual downward spiral was vicious and brutal. The body heals, not so much the mind. Now, episodes come and go, a not-so-welcome nor appreciated boulder in the room, then almost as quickly, a quiet life again resumes. It’s only then, I can say “whew, I survived until the sun did shine”. It always shines.
So I fluctuate from moments of self-love to the depths of self-loathing. Often brought on by illness, over-stimulation, a rush of adrenaline, too much pain, people’s attitudes. I feel there is no excuse to be rude! If I feel unsafe or threatened, I will retreat into my shell and withdraw from the world, content to stay, which is not exactly healthy for this lady. I’ve learned to take this time to quiet my mind, rest and nourish my body, and of course, write poetry. Heard once that self-pity is a form of self-comfort. So I comfort me and let the tears flow, if need be.
I only say these things because I’m becoming very aware that I am not alone. The world currently holds a lot of sadness, can’t we harness it and use it to empower us? We can rise above it! We can, I have to believe.
It’s hard for me to put this out there, exposing this about myself (always fearing judgment), but the mask is coming off. To not only help me, but perhaps to help you too. I say if we express something, it can then take its leave; Identify and Release.
So if you’ve been feeling it too, maybe you should express it, safely; write your words down, write some poetry, paint it out, share your feelings with a friend, express it here. Verbalize! Better than hurting someone or something, including yourself.
I’m embracing all sides of me, and there are many (my poor Randy).
No pity please, no sympathy, no remedies, no ‘try these’. Just let me be and I will return momentarily. (Actually I’m fine now, latest episode is over.)
I’m standing, in truth, to say that we all have suffered some sort of life tragedy, none of us are so special.
So please, PLEASE, just be KIND, doesn’t cost a dime~
(a kind word, a smile, a wave is all it might take to save someone’s life…just the same, a hateful word, a verbal attack, aggressive behavior is all it may take…now can you see why I believe in kindness?)
I’m taking a break, for the moment, from my normal everyday routines, to honor those that have been brave enough to serve for our freedoms and our often self-centered selves.
Words are hard to come by for this poet, so I will share with you a poem written by a dear friend and fellow poet, the late Joseph Porter, aka the Mountain Man. He asked me years ago to record this poem as a gift to him, and I was honored to do so! This is Old Pilots…
In loving memory to Joe Porter, Dan McHenry Hickey (Poet Laureate, Madison GA) and Robert White. Salute~
To my daddy, John, and my brother, Mark; i love you and thank you dearly. To Bill Barrington, granddad to my daughter-in-law, hugs.
To my new friend Ed Clary WWII Veteran from Bradenton, FL
And the countless others that have served with all they have/had!
(sorry if i didn’t mention you by name, there are so many to thank)
Here’s another audio for your enjoyment. You can view the photo and words to this poem on my earlier blog by clicking the link below:
Hope everyone is having a fine day.
Hey, I learned a new trick. Videos may be next…
This audio is me reciting butterflies on our shoulders.
You can revisit my prior post at
you said you’d never teach anyone
to cook again or spit poetry
you said the student out learns
each generation grander
expectations higher than the one before it
but i beg you to continue
to be my teacher
you add grandeur to my level life
inject wisdom into stagnant veins
you are my leader
feeder of my hopes and dreams
handing over the reigns when i am ready
you steady my breathing
steady my beating heart
you are the sea breeze under limp sails
you are the nail that holds my vision
neatly framed and matted
so please don’t stop teaching
i need you
I need to learn the lessons
so we can lead another generation to greatness
you are the sweetness
in the spring air
(for Maude Ena Headlam, aka Mummy, my teacher)
©Linda Neckel White
here’s to all the lonely days
when memory’s footsteps echo loudly
in the hollow cavity that once housed my heart
ah, the quietude, illusive at times, always divine
I savor those lonely days
so here’s to you, sweet silence you
sweet, sweet solitude
why must you try so hard to elude
©Linda Neckel White