Poem: A New National Anthem

Photo by TJ Parker


The truth is, I’ve never cared for the National
Anthem. If you think about it, it’s not a good
song. Too high for most of us with “the rockets
red glare” and then there are the bombs.
(Always, always, there is war and bombs.)
Once, I sang it at homecoming and threw
even the tenacious high school band off key.
But the song didn’t mean anything, just a call
to the field, something to get through before
the pummeling of youth. And what of the stanzas
we never sing, the third that mentions “no refuge
could save the hireling and the slave”? Perhaps,
the truth is, every song of this country
has an unsung third stanza, something brutal
snaking underneath us as we blindly sing
the high notes with a beer sloshing in the stands
hoping our team wins. Don’t get me wrong, I do
like the flag, how it undulates in the wind
like water, elemental, and best when it’s humbled,
brought to its knees, clung to by someone who
has lost everything, when it’s not a weapon,
when it flickers, when it folds up so perfectly
you can keep it until it’s needed, until you can
love it again, until the song in your mouth feels
like sustenance, a song where the notes are sung
by even the ageless woods, the short-grass plains,
the Red River Gorge, the fistful of land left
unpoisoned, that song that’s our birthright,
that’s sung in silence when it’s too hard to go on,
that sounds like someone’s rough fingers weaving
into another’s, that sounds like a match being lit
in an endless cave, the song that says my bones
are your bones, and your bones are my bones,
and isn’t that enough?

Ada Limón, “A New National Anthem” from The Carrying.  Copyright © 2018 by Ada Limón.

10 Word Review – The Peanut Butter Falcon

Heart. Humor. Warm. Fun. Adventure. Healing. Family. Wrestling. Cast. YES.

It’s Nearly Fantasy Football Time

I think she’s pretty comfy…

Getting that second coat done…

I think she’s enjoying her morning…

10 Word Review – Palm Springs

Loop. Time. Meaning. Funny. Cast. Dark. Sweet. Dance. Cave. Yes.

I call this one little dog on carpet

Morning light on the hibiscus

10 Word Review – Harriet

Inspiring. Bravery. Determination. Courage. True. Human. Hero. Cast. Strength. Yes.

10 Word Review – Underwater

Murky. Problematic. Slow. Flat. Disappointing. Dark. Pacing. Angsty. Creatures. No.

The naked ladies are blooming

Someone got a haircut…..

10 Word Review – Dolittle

Sweet. Silly. Heart. Funny. Quirky. Adventure. Family. Characters. Light. Fun. Yes.

10 Word Review – Birds of Prey

Tedious. Kitschy. Excessive. Action. Disappointing. Spirited. Flashy. Fighting. Annoying. No.

10 Word Review – Little Women (2019 Film)

Splendid. Heart. Family. Women. Rolls. Happiness. Modern. Period. Cast. Yes.

Picking up shutter paint with this little one…

Who pops up on the 2020 playlist? Why look at that, it’s @curbservice! Plus, @morehipnow just happened to be wearing her Curb Service t-shirt today. Kismet?

Waiting for her Mama to come.out of the store and hoping for more of those freeze dried treats we picked up earlier at Prairieland Feeds…

Walking, after the rain

Evening #getoutside #sunflowers #sunset #illinois #pixelphone

2020 So Far

Whatever you want to say about 2020, and there’s probably a lot to say, one thing is certain, for me anyway, my playlist for 2020 rocks. It could be my favorite all time. Though, 2013 was pretty darn good too.

I make a playlist every year of songs I discover during that year. It could be new artists, but it doesn’t always hold to those conventions. I also sometimes include older artists I’ve just discovered and/or deep dive tracks from albums I already own but may have not paid enough attention to. There are no real parameters other than it has to feel new to me, even if it isn’t something new. I’ve done this for years and years now. Initially I made mix-tapes on cassette recorded from the radio, then mixes recorded from CDs, then playlists on iTunes and burned onto a CD on a laptop. I used to make copies and give them as gifts to friends. But, with the advent of streaming services and a change in laptops that made it harder to burn discs, I switched to making them on Spotify last year. Sharing doesn’t involve making discs for people anymore, but I can still share, which I love.

I know 2020 isn’t over yet (just keep hanging on and getting through people) which means I’m still adding to this list, but I’ve been giving the 2020 list a listen quite a bit recently and I’m really into it. Just past the midway point, I guess you could say this is the mid-mix 2020.

Enjoy and know going in, it’s a mix for sure. My tastes are eclectic, so be prepared.

Today I went for a walk about…

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