MarsEarth

Old world wisdom, new world insight – poems, poetry, philosophy, dreams, commentary, ideas


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Inanimate Objects don’t know they are inanimate

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Remember the times
we all have stubbed our toes?
That sofa corner says,
“This is the altar of foot woes.”

Lifted a glass full of liquid
and it spilled off the table?
The moisture surrounding it says,
“No grip is able.”

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Opera – the OG Mash-up*

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

The Magic Flute

What is the attraction to opera?

It is symphony and brass band, plus more.

It is ballet and passionate couples, but still more. 

It is theater with murder and lust and gentle creatures, and yet much, much more.

I saw my first opera at the age of 10, it was a travelling company performing a snippet of the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart opera “The Magic Flute.” It was loud and boisterous.

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La LLorona – the weeping woman (revisited)

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

la llorona, marsearth,

Natalia Lafourcade

There is a legendary tale in Mexico (and the American southwest) about a beautiful woman who weeps in anguish and sheds many tears.
She is a woman whose children died.

It is said that her ghost haunts the rivers and streams and waterways because her children drowned.
And she drowned them herself – in anger against her husband’s unfaithfulness.

Among the stories told and re-told in families with Hispanic traditions,
the tale of “La LLorona” (lah yore-RONE-nah) is probably the scariest.

I have heard versions in English and in Spanish,
and with a very few embellishment, the haunting cries of this distraught woman give chills to this day.

(Thanks to my Tío Andrés, our Spanish folktale story teller.)

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The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – # 1

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Eric Clapton

Can you believe we have reached the Top Spot?
Thank you for following this blog and sharing it with your friends and family.
I always appreciate your interest and comments.
And now, “The next voice you hear . . . “
This song, the saddest of rock and roll,  expresses the ultimate experience
a person could ever engage in

for the sake of a perceived want or for the sake of love. 
For the loser, the loss cannot be calculated.
For the hurt, the despair is of a depth which can never be plumbed.
When we ourselves decide there is no other way to secure a valued relationship,
we – without question – cross a line . . .

Historically, forbidden love is exciting. But even the modern day seeker of forbidden love must follow rules, especially when a sweetheart belongs to another. How far have men gone to give a passionate embrace to another woman? King David made that bad choice. How far would a woman go to get the man she thinks is her soul mate? Well, let’s see. We have infamously stained dresses and a very high divorce rate among Los Angeles and New York actors for infidelity. Just the same, there has been no female version of “Say Anything.” Let’s not hold our breath for a woman so single-minded. What does a lovelorn man do when the object of his desire and passion is already taken?

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The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – # 2

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

How many times have we felt as if the world was against us? Like we were somehow earmarked for bad things to keep on happening? As if it was not enough to get bad news, but also to have something embarrassing compound and insult? Maybe at least once in life, or maybe once but for a long period of time? When this kind of “overkill” descended upon us, it was uncalled for. Not necessary. No real reason. Like being victim of collision on the open sea. As a lightning strike. We ask G_d, “Why is this happening to me?” and at other times, “Me, again?!” In some circumstances it may feel as if life itself is falling in all around us.

For Irish singer-songwriter, Gilbert O’Sullivan, born Raymond Edward, on December 1, 1946 (and still composing), expressing pain and suffering, separation and anxiety in music made for a successful career. His epic hits in the early 1970s were gateway works which single-handedly expressed the anguish of losing a loved one. They are now iconic in the world of popular music. Gilbert was born in Cork Road, Waterford, Ireland. While still in grade school his family moved to London, and later, Swindon.  As a teenager he played drums in a band named Rick’s Blues. Band members included guitarist  Malcolm Mabbett, bassist Keith Ray and Rick Davies, who later founded the progressive rock band Supertramp. Gilbert’s musical talent as a solo artist was heralded greatly in America.

His personal life did not play out in his songs, surprisingly. Gilbert was exposed to gut-wrenching suffering of death, disease and disappointment which allowed him to craft songs that we relate to. Recently, he told a reporter that, “a good lyricist has to have an understanding of [sad] situations, and this allows me to go into an area and write about it in a genuine way.” He went on to say that he did not know his father well growing up. And he found out that is father did not treat his mother well.  What is the sound of the Human psyche when it reveals the ruin of another person?

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The Saddest Songs of Rock and Roll – # 3

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Is there such a thing as an ultimate sacrifice? There are many stories in Earth history that detail the struggle of one man and also of one woman. These epic heroes are against the odds of success. They are in some sort of peril, facing overwhelming forces or powers. Usually there is little energy left in the tank – so they act through pure adrenaline. They are committed to an ideal which is often retold as the salvation of those left behind. These fighters take the battle to the enemy or opposing force. They attack with purpose. They counterattack with precision. They often win the battle or the war. We back at home celebrate their victories and anniversaries, but remember the lost. When our heroes lose, they lose it all. They lose their future, their reward, and in one final indignity, their lives seem to be silently snuffed out. Is this the ultimate sacrifice which a hero can give for the good of those she/ he loved? Is more lost when they die for what they believed in?

In some sense we all lose when any loved one perishes in our place. They take on the responsibility of protecting our rights and way of life.  It is the fighting men and women of our nation’s military who appear to be the larger-than-life subject matter in a particular song from Five Finger Death Punch (5FDP). This group is American heavy metal band from Las Vegas, Nevada. Formed in 2005, the band says that their name comes from the Kung Fu genre film “The Five Fingers of Death” (1972).  As I understand it 5FDP  originally consisted of vocalist Ivan Moody, guitarist Zoltan Bathory, guitarist Caleb Andrew Bingham, bassist Matt Snell, and drummer Jeremy Spencer in 2005. Caleb was replaced by guitarist Darrell Roberts one year later. Then in 2009 he was replaced by Jason Hook. By 2010 bassist Matt Snell split from the band and Chris Kael took up the position. With all the talent coming and going, it’s a wonder that the foundation members did not seek out some type of separation counseling. Is what we see happening on the outside of a person explain the pain going on inside that person’s mind?

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American History Month – featuring some not so famous Black Americans

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Turn on the TV and you will see iconic images of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. being used to sell automobiles. Seriously? This is what we as a society must guard against –  having well established heroes being used as economic pawns on the boob tube. So, how do we do this? Write letters? Protest on the Mall in Washington, D.C.? Make demands on social media and get millions of hits with a YouTube video? Remember the purpose of the last video you watched? Me neither.

The BEST way and the EASIEST way to solve this dilemma is to remember. We need to REMEMBER who we are! Yes. The purpose of every commemorative is to recall the good, and the bad, and then some more good (if possible). Every day is American History Day in the USA. Somebody is usually tinkering with something that moves us a little closer to “smarter” or “richer” or “cooler.”

I want to consider February my AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH which just happens to feature Black American citizens. The people I have commemorated here are heroic because of the determination that they showed against society, against naysayers, against a rigid system that tells US we should value things and not people.  Here is my list of genuine role models.

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