Spoken Word


For the third year in a row we’ll be starting our winter series Open Mic Nights at the Open Way Mindfulness Center here in town once a month starting in December.  They’ve been a wonderful way to bring folks together during our long, cold mountain winters and to share in the abundance of joyful creativity that is such a part of our mindfulness community.  Our Open Mic Nights welcome families and kids and my 14-year old step-son is often the first to volunteer to kick off the show with his comedic stylings :)

One of the things I have most enjoyed about these gatherings the last two winters is that we’ve had such a vast array of offerings.  We’ve had songs and instruments, rap, poetry, art work, comedy, readings, group sing-a-longs, tai chi and yoga demonstrations, improv group games, show and tell, dance, and more!  The variety has been just wonderful.

In my preparation for the Open Mic’s to start back up I’ve been inspired to write.  I play guitar, sing, and write songs and lately I’ve been drawn to spoken word pieces.  Spoken word can take many different forms and for me it has become a blend of rap, verse, and song with just my voice and no musical accompaniment (at least not yet!).


Here is one of my most recent pieces:

We take things, we take life, we take now, too seriously

Straight lipped, pursed tight, eyes taught with narrow sight

One ear pickin up the static of a bunch of crap that doesn’t matter

The other tuned into the black hole of shallow chatter, like,

“How are you?  And how bout this weather? And yes, I am SO busy it’s CRAZY!”

To which I quietly reply, “Well, you don’t actually want to know so I’m fine, and

what the sky is doin outside is just kinda what it needs to do and as far as your

crazy busy lifestyle goes, well, ain’t no one in charge of that but…you,

you could slow down it you really wanted to but you don’t”

Cause you see, we’re uncomfortable with what comes up

Distraction is our drug of choice which numbs the senses and strickens our voices

of intelligent self inquiring questions like: Where am I now?

Am I watering this moment with compost or trash am I living well or just trying not to

crash up into flames am I taking responsibility for myself or am I looking for

someone, or something, or some place else to blame for my unhappiness

And now you might not want to hear this, I mean, it might make you mad

But our quality of life is up to us

The journey of joy is full throttle or bust depending on how we instill our trust

in there here and now

When we live in the future or live in the past we rest uneasy or we don’t rest at all

if we set our goals too high we can set ourselves up to fall

and if we keep the bar too low, we can keep crawling, but we never grow

This moment is precious, our practice is weak

Let what matters the most not be at the mercy of what matters the least

(That last line in bold, by the way, isn’t mine.  It was written by Goethe, a German writer from the late 1700’s)

2 thoughts on “Spoken Word

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