Willow Tree

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(I’m lucky to know a young man by the name of Aidan O’Reilly.  He’s an incredibly talented spoken word artist.  This is his work)

I’m calmly sitting on this willow tree where i can see things clearly
Angry
But I’ll be banging my head against walls till somebody hears me
Up above the clouds
Looking down at the crowds that surround you
I’d pray this message got through but i never got to learn how to
So let’s all pray for change just to see our own reflections
Admire your looks in blood stained mirrors
Then look around at this ghost town that has drowned you
Run from the sound of the bodies hitting the ground
And wonder why they all fell through
Ignore the cracks and
Drive over broken backs of dead bodies to get to your America
They built the streets that they bleed in
It matches the seats in your cars
It matches the ink on your receipts
Their souls are lost in the stars
Watching
While you proudly give your cash
To corrupt corporations that run this nation
And hire children overseas but to hell with immigration
And i don’t know what you were expecting
But the devil is a white man in a business suit
Collecting

Can you see us?
The kids above the clouds looking down
Disappointed
Dying for your dinner
Questioning who the hell was appointed
Capitalist
Why are we okay with this?
We feed a machine that eats us daily
Speaking in dollars signs
Translated by consumption
Pumping in prescriptions to their children
Robbing them of their chemistry
Silencing their destiny
Forcing young minds to make televisions sets
You’ll find them entangled in suicide nets
Forgetting that they’re living behind Star-spangled bars
But we’ll just keep watching
Up here in the stars

So we just look down from our willow tree
Sadly
Wondering why we’re killing each other
Over land and people created equally
And our tears rain down
To water your plants
While you fill our lungs with smoke from your plants
Sending sin to the wise
Setting fire to willow oak skies
You are damning your deities
Sacrificing your sun
For oil driven dreams
But please…

Can you see us
Up above the clouds
Sitting calmly on our willow tree
Peacefully
Wishing you could see that our leaves are leaving me
Unwillingly
But let’s just sit down
And wait for around
To celebrate our American apocalypse
Ignoring the facts
While embracing our grave
So let’s just relax
And shout into the unremitting darkness
Home of the Brave!

  1. #1 by Fried Chicken And Metal on May 30, 2015 - 1:03 PM

    Very nicely done!!

  2. #2 by Keith Spillett on May 30, 2015 - 1:09 PM

    Kid got game!

  3. #3 by johndockus on May 30, 2015 - 2:44 PM

    Very nice, Keith, a welcome change; and well done, Aidan O’Reilly. I give you my encouragement. – I don’t know why, but reading Aidan’s spoken word poem, the song “Kids of the Black Hole” by the 80’s SoCal punk band The Adolescents came to mind. Some strand shared, but Aidan’s words are a little more complex in imagery and in places more pointedly political. Maybe, if there is any criticism, a little too obviously so. But the image of sitting in a Willow Tree is fantastic, an image of life, planted and rising up, in the midst of debris and waste all around. The kids in the clouds suggests afterlife, not heaven but purgatory, an in-between state, maybe not far away from being sucked back down into hell, those who died and now look down and wonder how they got there. The blood flowing and seeping into seats of cars and receipts from stores – that’s really great. Gives rise to an image of a flood, maybe some connection to the Great Flood idea, Deity angry and disgusted with his creation. It’s a great image, suggesting much, and could be explored more. Zombie apocalypse was in the very back of my mind reading this too, and I have no doubt most everyone who visits Keith’s blog here loves zombies. One thinks of Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, the protagonists stuck in the Mall utilized as a symbol of mindless consumer culture, and ironically, at the same time, becoming a safe haven, and this classic exchange:

    Francine Parker: They’re still here.
    Stephen: They’re after us. They know we’re still in here.
    Peter: They’re after the place. They don’t know why; they just remember. Remember that they want to be in here.
    Francine Parker: What the hell are they?
    Peter: They’re us, that’s all, when there’s no more room in hell.
    Stephen: What?
    Peter: Something my granddad used to tell us. You know Macumba? Vodou. My granddad was a priest in Trinidad. He used to tell us, “When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the Earth.”

    Interesting how words can be geared and tuned for different purposes. One wonders what kind of band Aidan would have behind him, what kind of instrumentation (metal, punk, hip-hop or jazz) the kind of musical arrangement and rhythm he’d choose to perform/sing/shout his words as protest song.

    ————————————-

    Here are the lyrics to The Adolescents’ song “The Kids of the Black Hole” followed by link to the song on their debut album:

    “No sound is heard from unit two
    When there was once so much to do
    Was once a green mansion, but now it’s a wasteland
    Our days of reckless fun are through

    Go

    Kids in a fast lane living for today
    No rules to abide by and no one to obey
    Sex, drugs and fun is their only thought and care
    Another swig of brew another overnight affair

    House of the filthy, house not a home
    House of destruction where the lurkers roamed
    House that belonged to all the homeless kids
    House of the filthy, house not a home
    House of destruction where the lurkers roamed
    House that belonged to all the homeless kids
    Kids of the black hole

    Messages and slogans are the primary decor
    History’s recorded in a clutter on the floor
    Inhabitants that searched the grounds for roaches or spare change
    Another night of chaos is so easy to arrange

    House of the filthy, house not a home
    House of destruction where the lurkers roamed
    House that belonged to all the homeless kids
    House of the filthy, house not a home
    House of destruction where the lurkers roamed
    House that belonged to all the homeless kids
    Kids of the black hole

    The nights of birthdays
    The nights of fry
    The nights of endless drinking
    The nights of violence
    The nights of noise
    The nights that had to end for good
    Still not understood by the girls and boys

    Carefree in their actions as for morals they had none
    When the girls were horny who would be the lucky ones?
    Pushing all the limits to a point of no return
    Trashed beyond belief to show us kids don’t wanna learn

    House of the filthy, house not a home
    House of destruction where the lurkers roamed
    House that belonged to all the homeless kids
    House of the filthy, house not a home
    House of destruction where the lurkers roamed
    House that belonged to all the homeless kids

    House of the filthy, house not a home
    House of destruction where the lurkers roamed
    House that belonged to all the homeless kids
    House of the filthy, house not a home
    House of destruction where the lurkers roamed
    House that belonged to all the homeless kids
    Kids of the black hole”

    • #4 by Keith Spillett on May 30, 2015 - 3:27 PM

      Thanks for such a considered, thoughtful reading of it, John. I love where you went with it.

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