Stephen Fuller *** Poetry, Essays

March Gratitude 3/5/20: The One Where Simple Minds Find Me Alive and Kicking, I Write an Into My Own Reflection, About Good Work, and Thank the Journey.

Poetry alone could not solve the riddle of what troubled me in spite of giving me the cliff edge on which to stand and shout. I would need to live. I would need to sail the seas on which my angry God tossed me.

Good work came in the form of leading Sailors at sea, and like all officers I had my successes and I had my failures, while epic some of both might have been, most were comparable to the standard mundane ups and downs all adults face as they make their way in the world, only the context and setting changed to fit my choices. This good work, however, also served to further muddle a confused, angry, yearning young man. How do you reconcile faith in a God of Love with an industry designed and motivated for war? How do you reconcile belief in the better angels of humanity within the extreme framework of its annihilation? These questions were like the Greek soldiers who made their way behind the wall of Troy in the horse, and my soul the Trojans. Or to modernize the metaphor, the Trojan Horse that waited for the computer clock to topple over a certain time before releasing its virus taking down my mainframe.

I kept the questions to myself.

Now, though, I come to the last thank you reflection derived from the music of my first year of writing. I am grateful for the tossing on the sea, it strengthened me. I am grateful for the confusion, it led me to clarity. I am grateful for the virus, for the failures, for the Trojan Horse… without them I would have never had to fight so hard to save and recover the man I needed to be, I would have never had the chance to meet him, I would have never had a chance to know my God. He had a plan. Now… I am alive because He stayed until my love was ready to be lifted.

On Top Mount Monadnock

You stayed. You held on to your sweetest cup.
You walked behind me up my climb of Monadnock
To catch me had I slipped those final steps.

I drew on your strength when helping that woman
Climbing alone to prove her knee reconstructed
Could not hold her back. I heard Your whisper

On top of the mountain where You led me, first
When cold rain kept me chilled, then the next,
When seeing the view so full, my storm inside

At last calmed. So arms outstretched we embraced.
You served me the cup once again; ready to drink,
I sipped to let Your love at last burn me down.

Then with Your hand on my forehead, voice no longer
A whisper, spoke “It is not time to say goodbye,
It is time for your love to be alive and kicking.”

We stayed on top Monadnock like Thoreau and Emerson
Taking it all in: the journey, the storms, the slips,
the falls, drinking the sweet tonic of boys who lived.

(C) 2020 Stephen Fuller

You turn me on
You lift me up
Like the sweetest cup I’d share with you
You lift me up
Don’t you ever stop, I’m here with you
Now it’s all or nothing
‘Cause you say you’ll follow through
You follow me, and I, I, I follow you

What you gonna do when things go wrong?
What you gonna do when it all cracks up?
What you gonna do when the love burns down?
What you gonna do when the flames go up?
Who is gonna come and turn the tide?
What’s it gonna take to make a dream survive?
Who’s got the touch to calm the storm inside?
Who’s gonna save you?
Alive and kicking
Stay until your love is
Alive and kicking
Stay ’til your love is
Until your love is, alive

Oh
You lift me up
To the crucial top, so I can see
Oh you lead me on, till the feelings come
And the lights that shine on
But if that don’t mean nothing
Like if someday it should fall through
You’ll take me home where the magic’s from
And I’ll be with you

What you gonna do when things go wrong?
What you gonna do when it all cracks up?
What you gonna do when the love burns down?
What you gonna do when the flames go up?
Who is gonna come and turn the tide?
What’s it gonna take to make a dream survive?
Who’s got the touch to calm the storm inside?
Don’t say goodbye, don’t say goodbye
In the final seconds who’s gonna save you?

Ooh oh, oh oh
Alive and kicking
Oh stay until your love is
Love is
Alive and kicking
Ooh oh, oh oh
Alive and kicking
Oh stay until your love is, love is
Alive and kicking

Ooh oh
Alive and kicking
Stay until your love is
Alive and kicking, oh

Stay until your love is
Alive and kicking, oh
Stay until your love

Songwriters: Charles Burchill / James Kerr / Michael Joseph Macneil
Alive And Kicking lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group

2 Responses to “March Gratitude 3/5/20: The One Where Simple Minds Find Me Alive and Kicking, I Write an Into My Own Reflection, About Good Work, and Thank the Journey.”

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