I've been writing haiku for a year straight. On my blog, there is a haiku for every day from last May to this one! Phew! Go back to the beginning and read them all:
It actually began last March when I was invited to write one a day for a month; I had so much fun that I just didn't stop after that. Keep on the look out for the publication of my haiku collection - coming soon!
I think I'll give myself a break for a while. Maybe I'll start up again with a different style, tanka or sonnets or limericks.
The Setting: Kellogg St. is up on Munjoy Hill in Portland, Maine. On the third floor of this house at the bottom of the street, you can see the ocean from all of the east-facing windows. Like living in some retirement magazine, we can see a few lighthouses without moving from the kitchen table. The picturesque illusion breaks apart as a giant cruise ships float in, blocking the view and inducing the blowing of loud foghorns. The seagulls chatter back at it.
I'm staying here with my old friend, Sarah Crow. She might have other names, but that's the name that most people know her by, and I don't bother to pry. We've known each other for over ten years, sharing many of the same experiences, memories, friends. Although we have very different perspectives on those times in the past, our shared history invokes a kind of magic that I don't find with most other people. Traditionally, the way I become closest with others is through music, specifically through singing together. There's a special kind of connection that happens when your voices join together. (I actually read an article recently that showed that our brainwaves synchronize.) I make a lot of friends beside the campfire. Once you've got a really solid harmony down with somebody, the kind that just pulls at your heart and your stomach and makes people around you go “Oh!” – then you know you've got a friend for life. At least that's been my experience.
It's getting late, as it does almost every night, because the children are feeling wound up and pushing to stay up past their bedtime. They've just put on a dance-show for us, or maybe a magic performance, or a series of comedic skits. Sarah makes sure their faces are washed and their teeth are brushed. While she reads out loud from a chapter of a book to help them fall asleep, I tune up the guitar and banjo in the office and set up the microphone. My laptop computer is almost ten years old and a little worse for wear; when I boot it up it sounds a bit like a airplane taking off. I wrap the back of it in a towel to try to dampen the loud whirring sound from it's broken fan.
Finally the house is quiet. (Quiet except for the muffled roar of my computer.) These peaceful moments are few and far between. We sit across from each other, on either side of the microphone. We crack some beers and try to catch our breath. Then, we sing.
To start things off, a nice laid-back acoustic version of Living With Lions, replete with Sarah's sweet harmonies and banjo accompaniment. Next, our interpretations of four of my favorite traditional folk songs (passed down for so long there's no known origin): I Know You Rider, John Barleycorn, The Lakes of Ponchetrain, & St. James Infirmary.
Listen and enjoy. Don't forget to sing along; that's what folk music is for!
This is just a sampling of what we can do, bound to be the first of many, so stay tuned. I have a bunch of new songs that need to get recorded. Combined with Sarah's original songs we'll have another record in no time! If you want to support the release of our next album, please donate here:
Music For Good
Peter Hazen is a writer & musician from New York State. He lives and works in Portland, Maine.