Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving

Today I give thanks for silhouettes.
Black lace against a sunset,
Cat in the snow-framed window,
Unapologetic and still.

Today I thank my scars.
Silver skin stretch marks mapping my journey,
The gold seam in a broken vase,
Tree bark and creases in the toes of my shoes.

Today I am thankful for murmurs,
Whispered wishes and exaltations and
The skip, skip, skipping heartbeat
Singing love, loving, love.

Sarah Gowan
Thanksgiving 2014

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Tangle Faeries - Releasing an Idea to the Wild

Back in 1997 I wrote a poem with my 3 year old in mind. I shared it with my family and a couple of friends and then put it away with the thought that I might do something with it some day. Maybe a children's book or a song, I wasn't sure, but I knew I wasn't finished with it. Several years later I discovered that a guy in Atlanta had written a children's book using my idea, though not my words. Recently another person made a blog post claiming her precocious 3 year old came up with the story.

My first reaction was "How dare they steal my idea! What do I do about this!?" I knew that a lawsuit would be a waste of time and just felt too ugly to think about. I know full well how ideas get disseminated and if I really wanted to keep the idea for myself, I should have kept it to myself. (In this case I shared it with a touring musician who talked about it on one of his tours.)  I don't think anyone plagiarized my work, I think they heard the concept and had to make something with it probably forgetting the source completely. But my ego is hollering for credit and, to be perfectly honest, I like my poem best. So my blessings on the creative minds that took the concept their own way, and here is Tangle Faeries as I wrote it on February 6, 1997.


The Tangle Faeries

"Sleep", says Mama, "Sweet dreams, sleep tight,
It's sleepytime, so say goodnight."
She whispers softly, singing low,
A lullaby most soft and slow,
Singing to the darkening air,
Of faeries dancing in your hair.

Jingle jangle, tingle tangle,
Faeries spin and dance and leap
Jingle jangle, tingle tangle,
With dreams a-billow, to your pillow
Weave night-magic while you sleep.

Flute and bell, drum and chime,
Dancing wildly arms entwined,
With moonlight and a twisty rhyme
They spin a spiral dream sublime
Turning round the slip of time,
A feather touch. Winds. Unwinds.

Some be frightful, some be wise,
Dreams of laughter and surprise,
Some flit away with day's first rise,
Morning stretch and open eyes.
Some stay a lifetime, dreamtime treasure,
Nighttime gifts of light and pleasure
Bell and flute, chime and drum,
Something magic this way comes!

Jingle jangle, tingle tangle,
Faeries spin and whirl and leap,
Jingle jangle, tingle tangle,
With dreams a-billow, to your pillow,
Weave night magic while you sleep.

"Good morning," says Mama, "Rise and shine,
The day's begun, it's wake-up time,"
Calling to the brightening air
A sparkling song, as with care,
She combs and brushes and laughs, "See there!
The Tangle Faeries danced in your hair!"


Sarah Gowan
Feb. 26, 1997