Half Moon

--summertime and the livin is easy--

You might think that angels drop blessings like rain,

Gentle as their wing beats--

But they fly cheek by jowl with devils.

It takes both air and friction

To light a fire.

If you have a gift,

It was contained in the knife edges that marked your very bones

As well as in the graces that come like balm in the silence of the hours that bleed.

--lookin out my window, lookin out at the rain--

To sing in a way that everybody goes WOW and feels it like a charge through their own beating hearts,

You have to have to sing,

And not be able to imagine not.

It has to be both a holy hallelujah

And a profane kiss this.

It has to come with tender care and without a thought.

--oh lord, won't you buy me a mercedes benz--

Angels and devils will both try to kill you--

Glorious survival lies somewhere between saint and casualty;

And if it is not quite balance that you find,

What you gain will still be yours

In the notes of a blues

That nobody else could sing.


the photo is, of course, Janis Joplin



Marion said…
What an awesome write! I love Janis Joplin soooo much. My older sister had all of her albums and even met her once. There's never been another like her. Blessings!
Daryl said…
'Glorious survival lies somewhere between saint and casualty' .. not precisely a t-shirt or sampler line but most excellent nonetheless!
Jeannie said…
She was one of the greats.

I think it interesting that you included holy hallelujah (a la Cohen) whose Chelsea Hotel is a tribute to her.

Was this intentional?
Fireblossom said…
Dear Jeannie,

Well spotted. Yes.
Unknown said…
What a lovely poem.........
faye said…
No tag needed.. Janis was one of a
kind. Mercedes Benz is one of my
favorite songs to sing in the shower.
TALON said…
"Glorious survival lies somewhere between saint and casualty;" -- what a line, Shay!

She was really something else, wasn't she?
Unknown said…
A beautiful tribute, and serendipitous for me, Shay. I've been going back and revisiting Janis of late. Can't seem to get enough of her. She bowls me over.
Jannie Funster said…
Wow, seeing that photo reminds me how young she was, tho she seemed to have lived a long long life in her too-short years.

You are the greatest poet I know, Shay. Amazing words.

What's that line someone said... "An angel with hell-scorched wings?"

Desert Rose said…
I love Janis Joplin..that was a lovely read..:)
Mojo said…
Janis! Yes!
It takes both air and friction
To light a fire.

That was her through and through. Even if it wasn't.

Ileana said…
How passionate and true...makes me want to HAVE TO sing!!!

Besos, Ily
Senorita said…
I had NO idea this was from Janis Joplin. Apparently I don't know my music.
mac said…
Janis and Leanard?

You are ambitious, and successful :-)
Cloudia said…
Janis' Summertime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lynn said…
I adore(d) Janis Joplin. No one has ever had a voice close to hers. And I have her hair I think - when I used to try to keep it long and straight, it would go all Janis Joplin on me at the mere hint of rain.

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