Watchers – A Poem by Brandon White

Friends, here’s another poem inspired by this past weekend’s cabin stay. I’ll let you take in the piece without filling-in too much, but I must say, isn’t a world of wide-open possibility so much more exciting than one of harsh absolutes? I hope you enjoy the poem. Feedback is always welcome and appreciated!


Watchers:

We park the car outside the cabin
and step into the chilly night,
our heads swimming from too many
samples from the local winery

The smell of sulfur
hangs heavy in the air,
the source hidden
among the trees

A guttural howl heard
the night before was enough
to send you scurrying
indoors

We put the kids to bed,
pour ourselves a drink
and sit beneath a blanket
on the back-porch swing

I take a deep breath of cold,
now-clean smelling air
and swirl my whiskey around its glass,
your head resting on my shoulder

A few moments later,
another howl from somewhere
in the distance sends coyotes
into hysterics

I smile,
pushing aside every rational
explanation that comes to mind,
opting instead,

for wonder



-Brandon White

Album of the Week – Veedon Fleece


Friends, I hope that February has been kind so far. I’m back with a new Album of the Week selection for your listening pleasure. This week, we let the soulful voice of Van Morrison take us away with this hidden gem of an album.

Veedon Fleece, for my money, belongs in the same conversation as Astral Weeks as one of Morrison’s most thrilling, mysterious, and consistent works. It’s not an album that I see mentioned when Morrison’s work is written about, and this borders on criminal.

So, friends, I think it’s time we pull this forgotten masterpiece from the dusty shelf and lay it in the bright light of morning. Grab your earbuds, take a stroll through town or your neighborhood, and let Van’s piano and voice wash over you. You’ll thank me later.

Veedon Fleece is available on all streaming services as well as available wherever music is sold. Enjoy!

Durable – A Poem by Brandon White

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Hello Friends,

After a lovely weekend spent in the shade of great pines, I can’t help but feel a bit out of place as I try and reenter the flow of life as I know it—a kind of hangover. I’m sure there’s a clever term for it that I’m not remembering. Oh well. I have for you today a free verse piece inspired by my reflections on the previous week. I hope you enjoy it.


Durable:

The sunlight shining through
this pint of beer
reminds me that church
can be held anywhere
two or more assemble

I have faith to spare
in what's proven durable,
like this love of ours.
This immutable spark between us
that threatens to set any room we share

to burning
in a blink


-Brandon White

Broken Bow – A Poem by Brandon White

Hello Friends,

I write to you now from a cabin in the Ouachita National Forest. Outside, cold rain falls steadily through the pines, and all my favorite folk tunes flood my mind. I wanted to capture something of the moment. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.


Broken Bow:

Indescribable relief
came over me when I saw
that the cabin nearest ours
was unoccupied

I've come to disappear,
but my daughter is terrified
of unfamiliar toilets, and
the showerhead won't stop dripping

The porch swing creaks as if
it could give-way any second,
but you know my hand will remain
in yours

and in that split-second we fall,
I'll give a lifetimes
thought to the anger I feel
at the limitations of my vocabulary.

We’ll land on the pillowy
laughter of our children,
and we’ll be left
red-assed and redder-faced,

neither of us giving a damn
about the deposit

The Lesson – A Poem by Brandon White

Happy Friday Friends!

Before I dive headfirst into this weekend, I’ve another fresh-out-of-the-oven, free verse piece for your enjoyment. Again, the current goal is to keep the channel wide open. What’s meant to come will come. Warts and all!


The Lesson:

Time heals nothing
of consequence,

it merely dulls
the blade

That may sound a bit
pessimistic,

but the wound is
the lesson

and the burning
of the old life

Those who wait for some
resurrection of normalcy

forsake the lesson
and fail to realize

that there’s nothing left
to return to

Gone Fishing – A Poem by Brandon White

Friends, Happy Thursday! I’ve for you today a free verse piece born of the moment, and by that, I mean, created at the moment I wrote this post. It will stand as an exercise in not overthinking things and being a conduit for whatever might come through. Here it is, wild-eyed and kicking like crazy. Enjoy!


Gone Fishing:

Time on the water

That’s the secret

Don’t let anyone
tell you otherwise

Of course, there’s mystery

What pulls the writer
from the comfort of home

and into this cruel world

Still, you must remain ready

You must remain wide-open
and vulnerable

You must put some blood
in the water

and be willing
to be consumed

completely.


-Brandon White

Hotel Art – A Poem by Brandon White

Friends, I hope you’re having a wonderful week. Wednesday blew in on an icy breeze and brought with it this free verse piece inspired by my strange fascination with hotel artwork. As random a subject as I can imagine! I hope you enjoy it!


Hotel Art:

Like a sneeze
upon the canvas

A hollowed-out
confection

Reproduced by uninspired,
paid hourly brushes

Bargain bin
Monett

Discount
Dalí

For brand
not heart

Financial
windfall

For the
artist,

A blessing?
A curse?

Does it
matter?

Put your
ear to it

and listen
for a heartbeat


-Brandon White









Album of the Week – Songs of Leonard Cohen


Friends, I return with a new Album of the Week pick for your listening pleasure. This week, we dive headfirst into Songs of Leonard Cohen, the debut album from the master himself. The album is a stark, brilliant collection of songs that will melt you to your seat with its timelessness and authority.

Leonard was a limited musician and considered a limited but powerful vocalist, but his words rise above these limitations and wrap themselves around you. They are as wildly alive today as when released so many years ago. I encourage each of you to make time for this record. Give it the attention it deserves and have your faith rewarded.

Songs of Leonard Cohen is available on all streaming services as well as available wherever music is sold. Enjoy!

Idiot Prayer – A Poem by Brandon White

Happy Sunday Friends!

After immersing myself in our first Album of the Week selection, I decided to revisit and rework a free verse piece from some time back.

Listening to Nick Cave alone at a piano, his songs at their most pure, I couldn’t help but be inspired. I hope if you took the time to listen, that you too were moved.



Idiot Prayer:

I don't want
to shake another hand
and feign delight

My eyes blurred
from too many hours
staring at a computer screen

I want to light
every pick-up truck
in a fifty mile radius on fire

A mouthful of
little white pills
that choke-off my despair

Draw the curtains
and push the sky
away

May my pain
look as cool
as Nick Cave

Make me
a star in the business
of shared misery


-Brandon White

God’s House & the Lone Coyote – A Poem by Brandon White

Friends, I was reminded recently of this free verse piece from my debut poetry collection. I hadn’t thought of it in some time. I thought it would be nice to share it here. Feedback is appreciated!


God’s House & the Lone Coyote:

The steam from my coffee
fogs up the small panes of glass
in the backdoor.
I often stand here in the morning,
staring out at the frozen world.
  
Chain link separates our backyard
and an empty field.
Beyond the field, a firehouse
and a church.
I wish it were just the field.
  
I guess I’m thankful
that help
is no more than
a hundred yards
away at any moment,
  
and having
God’s house
in the neighborhood
should do wonders for
my property value.
  
I watch a lone
coyote make his way
across the frozen grass
just beyond
the back fence.
  
He pauses and
looks back the way he came,
as if reconsidering the choice
that brought him here.
  
Eventually, he carries on.
I sip my coffee.
The morning sun ascends.
The world turns.


-Brandon White

The above poem, “God’s House & the Lone Coyote, ” appears in my debut poetry collection, The Year that Stole the Light Away (Raw Earth Ink). Click the cover to purchase a copy!