|May, 2009 - A poem crossed my desk recently that reminded me of another bit of verse that has
been in the back of my mind for many years. The current offering, a poem by John Jay entitled
October 6th (which happens to be my birthday) has a section that says "If only those, that think they
know, could harvest the seed they're meant to sow." I interpret "sowing seed" to be the work you
undertake, the children you father, the attitudes you develop, etc. It seems to me that the author
(someone who thinks he knows something) is very presumptuous in assuming that the reader has
somehow sown the wrong seed.
The other poem, entitled Maud Muller, is by the American poet John Greenleaf Whittier
(1807-1892). In this he wrote, "For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: 'It
might have been!"
Everyone has regrets, and most of these contain the word "if". If only I had taken a different career
path. If only I had been born to rich parents. If only I had married a different woman. The problem
with all of these is that no human being can know the answer to these statements. If I had taken a
different career path, it might have been a total disaster. If I had been born to rich parents,
I would probably be dead from the excesses that I inherited - but there is no way of knowing. If I
had married a different woman, I would probably still be wondering about another woman that I
didn't marry, because that is the way the male mind operates.
In my opinion both of these poets have only succeeded in writing words that might conjure up
thoughts of regret in the minds of readers. Life is too short for regrets. Let me re-word that: Life is
too short to spend a lot of time pondering and re-living those situations that you regret. One of my
songs says, "Time to move on - sing your own song. Use your head for more than just a place to
hang your hat." - especially if your hat is made up of a bunch of regrets sown together.
May, 1980 - At this time I praised the late Gavin Watson, Editor of the Clarksville Times, for a witty
and timely response to a reporter from the "big city" who had been very critical of our town. I don't
have a copy of his words, so I can't share them with you; however, I can say that Mr. Watson had
the capacity to use his words in a way to make a detractor run for cover. At the time I said that his
put down was classic, and Clarksville scores again by having a local journalist who can rise to such
an occasion with exceptional eloquence.
I also seconded a suggestion to restore the old Avalon theatre as an auditorium for use by the city
at large. I will not repeat the rest of my comments, because, unfortunately, the site of the old theatre
is now a vacant lot. There was simply not enough local interest to preserve it.
RHYME FOR OUR TIME:
Actions do not lie; and that is why
we write a book with every look until the day we die.
Words are deceiving, not worth believing,
unless what we say we live every day - cause lots of grieving.
People who quote but can't stay afloat,
who seldom obey or mean what they say - won't get my vote.
Just do your thing, your own song sing;
live every word, and you will be heard - much happiness bring.