Author Archives: zeven37

Bent River

When the moonlight peaks over
those softly swaying cottonwood trees,
you’ll find me by the river
dancing to the rushing water’s beat.

Cool air drifts into the valley,
driving away the summer’s heat.
Barefooted, young, and naive,
no one could ever make us leave.

With the comfort of the river,
we share our happiness and grief.
Weaving tales that become legends,
the things of old, the things we keep.

It’s there that I found my first kiss.
Moonlight dazzled and drunk on the night,
she was more than beautiful;
my friends say I was just a lucky guy.

When people hear that water humming,
they begin to relax about their day.
Laughing and sharing with one another,
fear and worry is easily washed away.

I learned secrets not yet forgotten.
Heard things I can’t repeat.
I will never forget those nights
and everything they mean to me.

When the moonlight peaks over
those softly swaying cottonwood trees,
you’ll find me by the river
dancing to the rushing water’s beat.

The Light Around Me

The light around me has grown dull.
It’s brightness keeled
and the sharpness blurred
to edges black.

Understand that the sun
is still high above.
This gloom is just a setting
projected from myself.

It shapes the world I see.
Experiences curtailed.
Faces lost.
Misplaced fears.
Diving emotions.

I am blind to the periphery.

GRAVE STONES

The well has run empty.
Nothing in it to be found.
Just a straight, dark hole to nowhere.
Down and down and down.

With the water went my spirit
marked with infamy
as I face a certain future
that has no joyful destiny.

It is a strange thing
to know your number of days.
Time no long unfathomable
but still a heavy weight.

My emotions turn in circles.
Memories thread my thoughts.
The world will not change without me.
And so, what of it did I cost?

I leave nothing behind
but the dust of my bones.
A life forgotten,
yet a name willed to stone.

MEET ME AT THE CREEK – Billy Strings

Originally from the small town of Muir, Michigan, Billy Strings (William Apostol) has been touring around the country this year and still managed to make time to release his sophomore album Home. His guitar picking skills are on fire and the toe-tapping music he creates is just something I can’t get enough of.

Though there seems to be no limit to his talent, one particular song continues to stand out to me off his debut album Turmoil and Tinfoil. “Meet Me at the Creek” is a fast-paced traditional bluegrass tune featuring the standard of guitar (Billy Strings), bass (Brad Tucker, Royal Masat touring), mandolin (Drew Matulich, Jarrod Walker touring), and banjo (Billy Failing).

The first seconds of the song spin and swell into a short pause, before the off-beats take us into a frenzy with the banjo setting up the melody. The music moves swiftly to the first verse where the unique quality of Billy’s voice sets in – a throaty yet smooth tone with a little bit of twang.

Lyrically, the song focuses on returning home, penniless (or nickel-less?) and full of misfortunes from a life away. Burdened with all the bad choices, the narrator comes to the creek to watch the muddy waters churn, taking his troubles with it. And while it may only be a temporary ease, at least some worry can be left behind. I, too, enjoy sitting by a creek (a raging river can also do the trick) – the sound of the moving water is soothing and sometimes loud enough to inhibit your own thinking.

After moving through the first couple of verses and chorus, the banjo again moves forward, answered by the guitar. The short verse following has a fun pause on the song title before moving into another chorus before the song heavily syncopates and runs into a whisper of itself as everyone gears up for solos.

The mandolin starts the jam session ending in a whirlwind that leads to the guitar. After some decent play, the guitar builds up with the mandolin into a siren like sound and then wildly drops off to that banjo that has just been “slowly” moving in the background. The song gradually builds around the banjo, moving a few times more back to guitar and mandolin, as we are pulled out of the jam and back to the melody. This improv’d section is likely new every time it is performed live – a bonus with bluegrass and jam bands.

Billy Strings is not a musician you want to miss. “Meet Me at the Creek” is just one of the many fantastic songs that he has put together. If you are not a bluegrass fan, I still encourage you to give it a try. His music has bleed in from other genres – most notably rock influence – and it comes with so much energy. Passionate musicians always shine through.

Go grab a beer and tap your foot to this one! Please take a listen to a live performance of this song here and check out the full lyrics below.

Enjoy!
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“Meet Me at the Creek” by Billy Strings

Well I’m standing all alone by the river of my home
Thinking about the days I’ve left behind
All the years I roamed not a nickel can I show
And the river helps to ease my worried mind

Well the river run all night, lord, the river runs all day
I can’t run no more cause I’m here to stay
I had an eye for trouble and I’ve lived a life of pain
I sit back and let that water heal my brain

I’m letting go of all my troubles
I think I’ll be right here to stay
Well the water keeps a churning while my poor heart is burning
Muddy water take my pain away

Well one thing I want to know, lord, is where we people go
When everything comes crashing to the ground
Meet me at the creek grab a beer and tap your feet
See that muddy water flowing down

I’m letting go of all my troubles
I think I’ll be right here to stay
Well the water keeps a churning while my poor heart is burning
Muddy water take my pain away

Well I’m standing all alone by the river of my home
Thinking about the days I’ve left behind
All the years I roamed not a nickel can I show
And the river helps to ease my worried mind

I’m letting go of all my troubles
I think I’ll be right here to stay
Well the water keeps a churning while my poor heart is burning
Muddy water take my pain away
Muddy water take my pain away

DREAM

After months of rush,
when things begin to slow,
my head gets heavy
from the exhaustion
and undertow
of endless commotion.

My body begs sleep,
starved for the deep bliss
of stillness and restoration;
falling deep into
the invisible clouds
of the impossible
with stretches of
imagination.

My thoughts frayed
and memories split,
I won’t deny myself
such a gift.

Insanity

Sometimes
I feel like
no matter how hard I try
I just can’t get it right.

Every ounce of effort
is positive and forward.
I am determined
but still short.

The emotion
of cyclic failure
is wearing me down.

My mind has become foggy
short-circuiting and skipping
words are misplaced
and memories are incomplete
or even erased.

While patience and calm exude from the outside,
it is utter pandemonium within.
How far down can this stress drag me?
And why do I let it take over again and again?

Are my expectations too high?
Does perfection seem a reality?
Is this insanity?

One thing is for certain.
If I continue on like this
there will be nothing left of me.
Only dreams of a life
that could be.

Dark Sky

Far from the pulse of lights
removed to a desert of sandstone
the sky reveals itself new
in the banks of night.
Stars slowly encroach the darkness
gleaming from the infinite beyond.
The air has lost the haze
replaced with the milky ribbons
of distant white.