Monday, October 23, 2017

'Round and 'round she goes, and where she stops nobody knows

[Editor's note. Being as how (I know, Americans talk funny, or perhaps that should be funnily) it's October once again -- in many ways one of my two favorite months of the year, the other being April -- I decided to reach back in the old grab-bag and pull out a post I have put up twice before, first in 2010 and again in 2013. --RWP]


Barry Manilow has never been my favorite singer, but there’s something about this particular clip that reaches way down inside me and turns me inside out.

When October Goes (4:21)

I get the almost-a-cliché metaphor about a person’s lifespan (“Oh, it’s a long, long time from May to December, and the days grow short when you reach September” and so forth), and the leaves have turned red and gold and many of them have already fallen, and flocks of geese are in the air making their way south, and my mother died in the month of October in 1957, so this time of year always makes me a bit melancholy, but still...Barry Manilow?

There’s a little quiver in his voice -- and, yes, it may even be fabricated for effect -- and he’s a little “pitchy” (translation: out of tune) in places, but when he sings this song he somehow seems on the verge of losing his composure altogether. Maybe that’s what I’m responding to viscerally, I don’t know, the fact that we’re all in this thing together and we’re all putting on some sort of act and we’re all always dangerously close to losing control and letting everybody see how we really feel, and we certainly wouldn’t want to let that happen. Would we?

But still...

Barry Manilow?

(end of repeated post)

This time, though, I thought I would do something different and end with an original poem of mine that first appeared in my Billy Ray Barnwell Here blog because, well, it is October.


October 25, 2004

Our friend Carolyn came over for lunch
And as we finished at the table
Someone said, “Let’s go for a ride!”
So into the car we piled,
Like children giddy with anticipation,
Not knowing where we were headed
But eager to be having an adventure;
And someone said, “Where shall we go?”
And we said, “We don’t know!”
And someone else said, “Name a direction!”
And because the fall thus far at home
Had been drab and disappointing,
We headed north toward the mountains, laughing.

Five hours later we returned,
Tired but invigorated,
Having been to Helen and Unicoi Gap
And Hiawassee and Lake Chatuge,
Making all of the hairpin turns
And ascending, always ascending, until
We crested and began to descend
Through another set of hairpin turns,
And all the while we oohed and ahhed
And said how glad we were that we had come,
Drinking in the brilliant reds, the dazzling yellows,
The shocking oranges of autumn, the mountains ablaze
Against a clear blue sky.

2 comments:

Emma Springfield said...

This is my favorite time of year. I feel invigorated. I absolutely adore the poem about the drive to see the colors.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

They went up and then they came back down again. A kind of circular motion like the passing of seasons.