Stephen Fuller *** Poetry, Essays

March Gratitude 3/3/20: The One Where U2 Performs Bad at Live Aid, I Take a Go Dog Go Prompt, Write an Into My Own reflection, and Say Thank You to Bono

Odyssey began his journey following the Greek victory at Troy, setting sail over the seas ruled by an angered Poseidon. In many ways, the seed of my 27 year journey on seas ruled by an angered God began the day I watched U2 perform “Bad” at Live Aid, getting inside the defenses of my youth like a Trojan Horse to inspire me not only to write poetry, but to seek a life that was about something greater than the idle worries of childhood. It took a long time to figure out what this life should actually look like and I am still working hard at it with the aid of friends, mentors, and a re-found faith; note the 27 year journey, one that didn’t even begin until almost 7 years after I watched this performance… so a long time.

Just a few months after watching this on TV, I would be compelled to form words in my head as verse on the page. U2’s charismatic front-man, Bono, writing lyrics that expressed both his search for a spiritual home and how that spirituality invoked in him an anger at war, injustice, and the actions of men around the world that seemed in defiance of the simple message to ‘Love one another’ that God kept delivering to us through messengers across space and time seemed to be singing directly to me. God’s own son, Jesus in the Middle East, Gandhi in India, and Martin Luther King, Jr. here in the US ultimately were all killed for having the courage to deliver this message of hope, love, faith and it confused me, angered me. Bono sung angry and yearning words that echoed what I felt in my own heart, helped give those feelings words, and seemed to encourage me to assemble my own words into poetry. I am grateful for this.

And so I take Beth Amanda’s Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge at the Do Dog Go Cafe, “Let there be storms.

“Let There Be Storms, upon listening to U2 perform Bad at Live Aid”

I twisted, I turned away, I tore myself in two
Again and again and again.
You asked me to surrender, but I could not, would not
Again and again and again.

At sea, the God I angered rose up from depths so dark,
Fear could not begin to define its presence in my heart,
To separate this ship from its course as far as He could
Until at last, shattered, isolated, dislocated, condemned
I surrendered the temptations held like precious babies
Lines I kept saying to myself again and again and again.

I shattered my heart of clay, gave wind my lifeless lifeline,
Walked into the night, through the rain, into the half light,
Through the fire and set my spirit free, let my heart be led.

At sea, the god I angered screamed out, “let there be storms!”
They came, darkened the shallow blue sky, blew its pretty clouds,
Puffs of cotton candy, that quickly became mist at the Gale’s rage.
Until at last, desperate, the revelation came to blood shot eyes,
The time to surrender had arrived, to let go the precious babies
I had sung for too long asking, convincing the darkness to stay.

I walked away, I let it go, I walked away, I am awake
Again. Again
I am surrendered, the darkness fades away. The darkness fades away
Again, I can sleep.

Thank you Bono, thank you U2, I am grateful for you.

— Stephen

Lyrics

Bad by U2 from The Unforgettable Fire

If you twist and turn away
If you tear yourself in two again
If I could, yes I would
If I could, I would let it go
Surrender, dislocate

If I could throw this lifeless lifeline to the wind
Leave this heart of clay, see you walk, walk away
Into the night, and through the rain
Into the half light and through the flame

If I could, through myself, set your spirit free
I’d lead your heart away, see you break, break away
Into the light and to the day

Hoo, hoo!
Hoo, hoo!
Hoo, hoo!
Hoo, hoo!
Hoo, hoo!
Hoo, hoo!

To let it go and so to fade away
To let it go and so fade away
I’m wide awake
I’m wide awake, wide awake
I’m not sleeping
Oh no, no, no

If you should ask, then maybe
They’d tell you what I would say
True colours fly in blue and black
Blue silken sky and burning flag
Colours crash, collide in blood-shot eyes

Hoo, hoo!
Hoo, hoo!
Hoo, hoo!

If I could, you know I would
If I could, I would let it go

This desperation, dislocation
Separation, condemnation
Revelation, in temptation
Isolation, desolation
Let it go and so fade away
To let it go, oh yeah, and so fade away
To let it go, oh no, and so to fade away

I’m wide awake, I’m wide awake
Wide awake, I’m not sleeping
Oh no, no, no

Songwriters: Adam Clayton / Dave Evans / Larry Mullen / Paul Hewson
Bad lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Image: Ulysses and the Sirens, John William Waterhouse, 1891

7 Responses to “March Gratitude 3/3/20: The One Where U2 Performs Bad at Live Aid, I Take a Go Dog Go Prompt, Write an Into My Own reflection, and Say Thank You to Bono”

  1. saynotoclowns

    One of my favourite albums! And I remember listening to this song over and over, how it haunted my young heart. Thank you for the reminder!

    I really love your piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Midwest Fantasy

    Omg Stephen this is a work of art. The line that caught me was this–I shattered my heart of clay, gave wind my lifeless lifeline,

    A very revealing piece about yourself, and I am so glad you shared it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Stephen

      Thank you Beth, so very much. My posts at Fullbeard this week were pretty “exposing” but I think pretty powerful for me… steps I need to take.

      I am very grateful you took the time to read this and that it was meaningful for you.

      And I am deeply grateful that for you, one of the OGs of my blogging experience. 🤣

      Like

      Reply

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