i didn’t know when Shel passed away. it seems everyone who knew me was so concerned about what my reaction would be, that no one wanted to bear that responsibility. i didn’t have cable television in may of 1999 & i rarely read the newspaper, so i spent about two weeks in blissful oblivion.
i was watching a movie with my best friend & my new boyfriend when my mom called me. she told me she had saved an article which had run in the Chicago Tribune about Shel. excitedly i asked her if he had a new book coming out or if he’d be making an appearance….my one great wish had always been to meet my literary idol. when she told me that he had passed away i was so obviously devastated that my new boyfriend thought i must have been crying over the demise of my father. “No,” my best friend told him “she’s just found out that Shel Silverstein died.”
i’ve met many incredibly skilled musicians, actors & writers throughout the years, and i’m certain that i will meet dozens more in my lifetime. i’ve shaken hands with Johnny Cash & had my photo taken with Tom Robbins. i’ve made countless people, both celebrities and still unknown talents, laugh at my witty retorts both online & in real-life. my one, great regret is that i never had the chance to sit down for five minutes with Shel….i know it would’ve been the best five minutes of my life.
and so….i offer you a little bit of my poetry for Shel Silverstein. my elegy to him and my ode. there is also a video done by G. Social Media from a show i had at Hop Ice Cream Cafe in west asheville, nc.
….thanks for playing. : ) barbie.
The sidewalk’s slowly cracking now.
The attic light has dimmed.
The giving tree gave
all the poems she saved.
The bearded man’s moaning a hymn.
The sun is going down again,
and the rain is coming in.
And we search the ground
for the perfect sound
and we wonder where we’ve been.
What common thought has captured us?
Who pulls the fraying thread?
And what can we say
of ourselves today,
when our bodies are finally dead?
And all of our eyelids are leaking.
And our ears softly beg for a rhyme.
‘Cause all that we need
is a moment to grieve,
in an endless allotment of time.
Where is our singing savior now?
Who took him away from our world?
His poems now rest
in his last precious breath,
in tears of the boys and the girls.
I’ve lived inside his shadow now,
for this lifetime that I’ve had.
And his words and art,
from my very start,
have distinguished the good from the bad.
I pray for a new man to follow,
to lead me the way of my dreams.
A genius of meter.
A brilliant new leader.
As my hopes start to break at the seams.
‘Cause Shel paved the sidewalk for writers,
and the gifts that he gave are unchanged.
And I can’t let it go,
since nobody knows,
how to mop up the tears in my brain.
Ode to Shel Silverstein
Who are you when you’re with me?
Are you the you you’d like to be?
I’d like to be with you, you see
and be the me I’d like to be.
And if we two, that’s me and you,
were the “we” we wanted to,
would we be happy instead of blue,
if I were me and you were you?
But if I were you and you were me
oh what chaos that would be.
So you be you and I’ll be me
and all will wish
that they were we.
for more information on Shel Silverstein, please visit www.ShelSilverstein.com
G. Social Media is on twitter – gsocialmedia