Saturday, October 10, 2020

When You Knelt and Kissed The Stage At Madison Square Garden

The Word from the Corner
There is something I really like about artists who - no matter how amazing their gifts or abilities - are most in touch with what inspires THEM. And find ways to express that. Last fall we saw Brandi Carlile at Madison Square Garden. At the start of the concert, she paid respect to the place, the history of the performers before her, the audience, to the art of performance, to the music. This poem was inspired by Brandi and band that night.

When You Knelt and Kissed The Stage At Madison Square Garden

Today is your first headline show
We are in this hall
Hallowed by music
Music that raised the rafters above
We still hear the echo

I bow before no one Though I worship the ground On which you walk I tell myself again I will not bow Before you You and twins and band bound onstage To cheers, applause, the roar I am with the multitude Then you stop You kneel facing us You kneel to the stage You kiss the stage I know what you’re doing I know what this is You bow before the holy You hear the echoes of the voices Hallowing this place You kiss the stage Now I wish to bow I bow Only before the god That you bow before Who is your god? Who is your muse? We seek the same god We seek the same muse In the hall tonight You kiss the stage You join the multitude Let us pray

Thank you Brandi Carlile and band for that night
Yes, she did this
Madison Square Garden, New York City September 14, 2019

PS This show was the first time my wife and I saw Brandi Carlile perform. It was the beginning for us of many shows hearing and appreciating Brandi and band.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Connected - Poem - The Word from the Corner

The Word from the Corner

posted on Facebook North Andover Poets Corner

Writing poetry is simply about paying attention. It's like praying, except you're praying to the world. Sometimes the world prays back. Here's a poem that I wrote in 2017 that got lost in my papers, and for some reason I thought about it this week. Luckily, I found it. The world prayed back.
Don't get distracted. Pay attention. We're going to need our full attention. You know what I'm talking about. Strength. Resolve. Peace.
Every pore
every cell
every breath
every heartbeat
connects me to all that is.
When I spin
is it I who turn
or is the entire world turning
around my stillness?
I am here with all my kin
only separated by this thin veil of time
only separated by this thin veil.
You touch the whole world
the whole world touches you.
You are inseparable.
You are one.
Go forth and act
knowing the power you have
--Mark Bohrer August 2017

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Introduction - The Six Grandfathers

Introduction - The Six Grandfathers

Where This Poem Started

On this Independence Day 2020, I'm thinking about what it means to be an American, who we are. Is there a way for all people who live in this country to come together, to stand on common ground?  I wanted to share a poem I wrote a few years back about the monument at Mt. Rushmore and the mountain it was carved from - The Six Grandfathers. It captures my thoughts, my hopes.

This all started many years earlier with another poem I wrote titled “Ozymandias In Reverse”. That poem told of a person traveling in the desert who came upon great carved stones lying about on the land, and a tower built of these stones. The person wondered how these great building stones and tower came to be. The poem was an attempt to take the idea of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias” and turn it on it’s head. It wondered if a great structure, rather than falling into wreck and decay with the passage of time, could somehow come into being, could come to greatness with the passage of time. 

The narrator in this poem comes to realize that the reason the great stones and tower are there may not be due the power of the hand that shaped and built them – they may only be there because everything else around them had worn away. The stones that remained had withstood the test of time.

Then I saw a beautiful picture of Mount Rushmore, a picture taken from the air, showing Washington’s face in profile. His face was like the prow of a ship, gazing out onto America. 

I had visited Mount Rushmore many decades before and had an image of the monument in my mind, but this picture struck me differently. Instead of us looking at the figures on Mount Rushmore and wondering about them, what do those figures think when they look out at this land? 

Then another question came to mind – what about the figures that are missing from this monument? What about those who lived on this land for millennia before the Europeans arrived?  

These great figures from our past – whether they are present in granite or in spirit – what do they see when they look out at their country, when they look at us? That’s where I started.

July 4, 2020   North Andover, Mass.