It’s About Time*

for Big Tent Poetry prompt: to create a poem using steganography, a form of ‘security through obscurity’ in which a secret message is sent via an innocuous medium –– an image, a letter –– and decoded using a method known only to sender and recipient. The beauty is in the message being truly hidden in plain sight. (sometimes even to the writer)
http://bigtentpoetry.org

It’s About Time*

Dear John,

Love perhaps, or just
sweet surrender, as dawn
fingerprints window sill,
seeps into room and sunshine
on my shoulders
leans in to whisper,
welcome to my morning.

Lacking all rhyme and reason,
well out of season, the thought
of you beckons, and all my
memories become windsong,
whistling down curving
back country roads, filling
my senses, as I hear you say,
Come, follow me,
and you will be
dancing with the mountains.

In my heart, I soar
with the eagle and the hawk,
never a doubt, that you
will return, back home again.
Think of the poems you wrote,
that read like prayers, promises
you made and couldn’t keep,
because need of your spirit
ran too deep, driving you
to fly away, like one of the birds
of which you sang, when
you strummed strings of this
old guitar that now stands
silenced, gathering dust
in dark corner.

Life is like a sad song
I can’t escape,
fact of sleepin’ alone
for far too long
or, eclipse of earth
upon which I still walk,
since your final words,

goodbye, again.

Elizabeth  7/16/10

*It’s About Time is explained and decoded on sidebar pages at the top of the page just beneath the banner, and listed under “Decoding.”

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About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here: http://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ https://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/ http://claudetteellinger.wordpress.com/
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43 Responses to It’s About Time*

  1. Stan Ski says:

    I had to use the decoder – I wonder how many will get it without…?

    Like

  2. 1sojournal says:

    Stan,

    although I listen to a great variety of music, I reach for this stuff when I most need to find that still point inside of me. But, because I know the majority of the songs, I was singing along the entire time I was writing. I was absolutely convinced that no one at all would need the decoder, it was so very obvious to me, lol.

    Thank you for making the tally 1.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  3. vivinfrance says:

    Wonderful poem. Thank you for writing it, and then for sharing it.

    Like

  4. brenda w says:

    I had to use the decoder, too! Beautiful piece.

    Like

  5. Mory says:

    I couldn’t decipher it. wonderful poem.

    Like

  6. 1sojournal says:

    Viv, the pleasure is all mine and more. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    Brenda, thanks for letting me know it actually worked.

    Mory, I am so glad you liked it.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  7. pamela says:

    Elizabeth this is a beautiful poem! I also had to use the decoder or else I would have never figured out who it was.
    Pamela

    Like

  8. 1sojournal says:

    pamela, glad to know that it actually worked. But, then again, they are mostly his words and he certainly knew how to use them to tell a story that millions could relate to.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  9. Solafari says:

    Loved seeing the finished product after hearing you describe it to me. What a wonderful tribute.

    Like

  10. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you, Sara…it’s all your fault.

    Mom

    Like

  11. James says:

    I’ve always liked his songs since I grew up hearing them. I really enjoyed this poem. It’s a fine tribute especially how the words of his you used reveal your own relationship to his music. Very nice.

    Like

  12. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you James, and that was a surprise to me as well. A really nice one.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  13. derrick2 says:

    Well I haven’t looked at the decoder yet and have no idea who this is about but I did enjoy it very much; beautiful language. Will go and get the secret now!

    Like

  14. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you Derrick, I certainly enjoyed the prompt and ended up with far more than I intended.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  15. I love the phrase memories become windsong. It’s absolutely gorgeous!

    Like

  16. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you Elizabeth, I have several favorites in this piece, myself, and that would be one of them.

    Elizabeth C.

    Like

  17. It’s a wonderful poem–I especially liked the line: think of the poems you wrote,that read like prayers

    Like

  18. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you Linda, I had some very good material to work with.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  19. systematicweasel says:

    Music moves us in different ways. A wonderfully written poem!

    -Weasel

    Like

  20. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you Weasel, I agree with you and am glad that my musical tastes are eclectic. That might make for a good series of poems, don’t you think?

    Elizabeth

    Like

  21. Tumblewords says:

    Country road, take me… how lovely your poem! A proper tribute!

    Like

  22. 1sojournal says:

    Tumblewords, thank you for reading and commenting. Am glad you enjoyed it.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  23. Uh-oh I need the decoder.

    Like

  24. Ben C says:

    As a teacher, this is a technique I would definitely consider sharing with students. Well done, Elizabeth.

    Like

  25. 1sojournal says:

    Hi Evelyn, this poem shows my age, no one else’s, lol. The decoder is on the right sidebar under pages.

    Elizabeth

    Hi Ben, and as a former teacher, I used it in many different ways. I will warn you however, it was most often greeted with a bit of moaning and groaning, but usually followed with a lot of discussion and sharing, not just of what had been written, but of the process itself.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  26. Rallentanda says:

    Recognised
    ‘Dear John”
    ‘Sweet Surrender” Tim Buckley,(great song)
    ‘Country Roads’
    ‘Sunshine on your shoulders’ John Denver
    ‘Sad Song’
    Fly Away”
    ‘Come follow me”
    That’s all.
    ‘dawn fingerprints
    window sill seeping
    into room’
    good line

    Like

  27. maria says:

    I kept thinking as I read it that there is a familiar sound to it, but it wasn’t until I used the decoder that I figured out why. Well done!

    Like

  28. 1sojournal says:

    Rallentanda, thanks for stopping by and commenting. The decoding lists all of the song titles mentioned in the poem and written and recorded by the John in the salutation of the letter. I had a good time doing this one and the line you mention is also my favorite as well.

    Elizabeth

    Maria, by the time I was finished writing it, I thought it had to be so obvious it couldn’t possibly be a ‘hidden’ message at all. I have been pleasantly surprised at the outcome, but then just might be the reality of my age and the time that has passed since then. Thanks for stopping and commenting,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  29. So lovely and sad…your words painted such beautiful pictures…

    Like

  30. Jeeves says:

    LOvely one…Interesting codes

    Like

  31. EKSwitaj says:

    I love that you hid this in a Dear John letter.

    Like

  32. 1sojournal says:

    Cynthia, thank you and I could only wish they were all mine. However, the idea was mine, and I will take credit for that, lol.

    Elizabeth

    Jeeves, thank you and I had a lot of fun doing it.

    Elizabeth

    EK, I think you are the first one who mentions that. I giggled when I first wrote it. This prompt was so much fun.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  33. Robin says:

    Elizabeth, my first visit to your beautiful blog. I was deeply moved to learn that this prayerful poem is your tribute to John Denver – his music an important part of my own life. Thank you. I’ll be back. 🙂

    Like

  34. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you Robin, I’m glad there are more of us out there. I’ve also written the story of how the man and his music came to be so important to me. You can find it at:

    http://intuitivepaths.wordpress.com/
    It can be found in the archives under July, 2010 and the titled “Back To Beginnings”.

    Thanks for stopping and reading. I look forward to more visits,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  35. I remember John Denver, and a few of these songs were pretty ubiquitous on the radio when I was growing up, but I was of an age that I didn’t pay very close attention to him. This is a great tribute, and you worked the song titles into a very lyrical poem.

    Like

  36. 1sojournal says:

    Thank you Francis, and yes, for a while it seemed that one couldn’t turn on the radio without hearing one or more of them. But then, as will happen, the world moved on, we grew up and went looking for other songs and singers. I was a young adult at the time when so many of them could be heard. Although I found other voices, periodically I would get pulled back just to listen. I think there are periods of time in each of our lives that are punctuated by the music that most moved us in that moment. And sometimes, they become symbols for the way we thought and felt.

    Thanks for stopping and reading,

    Elizabeth

    Like

  37. Susan B says:

    I saw John Denver at a coffee house (remember those) while I briefly spent time at St. Olaf College. It’s one of my favorite memories. Thanks for bringing it to the forefront so well.
    “Good Write”

    Like

  38. 1sojournal says:

    Susan, remember me? I don’t drink coffee so have never been except for the one down the block from the bookstore and that wasn’t lucrative enough to have live entertainment, just an occasional poor struggling poet. But, you never told me about seeing Denver live. I would have loved that. Thanks for stopping and commenting though.And yes, it has brought back a ton of memories.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  39. Deb says:

    I found myself in the camp of “hmm, familiar, but …” — AND I listened to load of him, being of a “certain age.” Wonderful code and poem.

    Like

  40. 1sojournal says:

    Deb,

    thank you for stopping and reading, and lol, yes, we were all of a ‘certain age’ at one time or another. Some of us much longer ago than others. I must tell you how much I enjoy the prompts and all the discoveries and inspiration they are providing. Thank you, so much.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  41. You are fantastic! I loved each of these poems, and the narrative that went with them. So many great lines!

    Like

  42. 1sojournal says:

    Joyce Ellen, not sure how you got stuck in last weeks comments, but am still grateful that you came and left this comment. I wonder how many realize that these poems are almost twenty-five years old. But, when I went looking for cites, I was incredibly happy to read that Sharon Olds often publishes poems that are ten years old or more. She is that prolific and busy. I think I keep good company, lol.

    Elizabeth

    Like

  43. Mr. Walker says:

    Elizabeth, this was lovely. It was hidden in plain sight. I had to use the decoder as well, which helped me come back and read this again. Then I recognized some of his lyrics/song titles. I also loved the two videos you linked to. He was a poet. I can see why you would return to his music over and over again.

    Richard

    Richard, so glad you took the time to read and watch. I think he impacted me on that level of the spiritual that I feel dwells only in nature that some of us are never truly aware of. He definitely was a part of the spiritual experience I had when I was 27 and later the creation of my Personal Mythology. There are pieces of that scattered throughout my four different blogs. Maybe time to put some of it together in one place? Sounds like a rather daunting endeavor for an old woman who doesn’t move very well, but still worth considering. And I still go back and listen when I need to refuel or just get quiet. I have been moved by other singers, Peter Gabriel is a hell of a poet in my book. But then, so is John Denver as you’ve already said. Of course, he came before my encounter with poetry, but again, I believe he had a hand in that particular pie as well. Thanks again, for taking the time,

    Elizabeth

    Like

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