Faith Must Stay Alive  Doc Holliday Poem

Faith Must Stay Alive Doc Holliday Poem

Faith Must Stay Alive

I saw it as a proof, an odd, awkward
proof, one as disabled as I myself became, but

but proof all the same, this odds-defying
fact that I am still alive after all my attempts

to un-cheat death, if you will.
Your faith in me has proved out,

as if all recipients of faith
must stay alive long enough to either
confirm or at last disprove the merits

of this trust . . . so now I can see it, this trust
you placed in me . . . and I finally realized

if I truly want to die, I must now admit
to myself what you have known
since our childhood.

Artist’s note:

John Henry Holliday (1851-1887), known throughout the West as Doc Holliday,was born in Georgia and educated as a dentist in Pennsylvania.  Diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1873 and given only a half-year to live, he moved west, hoping to extend his life a few months in the dry climate.  Already condemned to a slow, painful death, Holliday knew no fear in dangerous situations, and his fame grew;  he teamed up with the Earp brothers during the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and many historians place the amount of men he killed in the 30s.  The only fellow Georgian Holliday continued to contact after he went west was his cousin, Mattie Holliday. Shortly after Doc contracted tuberculosis and left Georgia, Mattie too left their childhood world to become a Sister of Charity, entering an Atlanta convent. No correspondence between the two has survived, but it’s safe to say she had a profound impact on Doc, in that even though he had been raised a Presbyterian, it was revealed after his death at Glenwood Springs, Colorado, that he had recently been baptized in the Catholic faith.

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Persian invader Xerxes Video and Song Lyrics

Ward Kelley's Thoughts

Where there’s no evidence this is a true story, it certainly could be one. Xerxes slayed hundreds of thousands of Greeks during his invasion of the democracies, so it’s not a stretch to imagine a wealthy land owner making a suicidal stand against the invaders. This song has it roots in a poem I published 20 or so years ago, by the same name; I guess I felt compelled by the situation and the thoughts running through the protagonist’s mind as he stood in a small temple at night on his property, in a thunderstorm, knowing Xerxes and his murderous army waited over the next hill. He had sent his wife, brother and slaves to the shore and safety, while committing himself to Honor: better to stand and die than be known as the man who ran away. While waiting for death to come at daybreak, he stands in his small temple and contemplates his gods, concluding they themselves had run away to the shore . . . but it’s better to be a man who can honorably complete himself, than gods who can only cry at their results.

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Temple in the Path of Xerxes Song is About:

The song is set in 5th century BCE Greece, where a landowner learns the Persian invader Xerxes is nearing his property with a large, murderous army. He quickly sends his wife, children, brother and slaves to the safety of the shore, and resolves to make a suicidal stand with his small guard of mercenaries. The night before the battle, he stands, during a thunderstorm, in the small temple he built on his property, contemplating his gods – why does a man decide to stand and fight, when the very gods have fled this place?

Temple in the Path of Xerxes Lyrics

(Whitaker/Kelley 2015)

Verse 1
Stone frigid columns, pungent fumes, incense burning,
biting breeze penetrates the Acute night outside,
pillars clammy, expressing my fear, oh, from learning
invaders coming tomorrow for genocide.

Chorus
My children are safe at the coast,
their mother SPIRIT ed them down,
with the slaves, my brother, oh, and most;
she left my sword . . . . but not her gown.

Verse 2
Wind easily dispels incense and sacred smoke,
I understand our gods have also left this, oh, this place,
and perhaps they too are at the shore, beaten down and broke
into human pieces, oh, of themselves and our race.

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Chorus
Why does a man stand firm after
the very gods have fled far from this place?
I’ll always rail from the rafters,
look unyielding fate in the face.

Verse 3
Is the nature of gods to dissipate, oh, at whim?
So man must stand while the gods are only, oh, only smoke
for the awe of future generations, oh, brave him
who does not flee, oh, but is privy to the old joke.

Chorus
My children are safe at the coast,
their mother SPIRIT ed them down,
with the slaves, my brother, oh, and most;
she left my sword . . . . but not her gown.

Instrumental

Verse 4
I cannot imagine this place without myself,
but it’s better to believe in man than these cults,
for any man can readily complete, oh, himself,
while the gods can only . . . . . cry at their results.
oh, cry at their results.

Oh,oh, well you know it’s coming.

Here it comes. Oh, oh, you know it’s coming.

I see it. Oh, God, it’s coming,

Oh, oh, oh, oh, it’s coming.

Can’t you see it? Oh, here it comes.

Can you feel it? Oh, God, it’s coming,

Oh, oh, oh . . . . oh, here it comes.

Lyricist thoughts on Contessa of the Willows by Entrance Way

Lyricist thoughts on Contessa of the Willows by Entrance Way

In Contessa of the Willows the singer explores the stressed relationship he has with a woman who constantly seeks to find sadness in her otherwise happy circumstances. He loves her greatly, but wants her to see her proclivity for unhappiness flows from imaginary sources, as he attempts to show her his love can overcome her sadness.

This song started off when the line “fourteen thieves broke into your heart” popped in my head. This led to me fleshing out the origins or motivation of the fourteen thieves. I delved into some of my past published poems, finding ideas about this oddly stressed relationship about a man in love with a woman who constantly appeared to snatch unhappiness from a basically happy relationship. – Ward Kelley

Verse 1 Fourteen thieves broke into your heart, stole your peace, and made off with it all, you love best, child, what loves you apart. Love is only a tragic close call.   Chorus Oh, my Countessa of the Willows, you lay your head upon my pillows,   Oh, my Countessa of the Willows, like you’re submitting to our gallows. 

In verse 2 I pivoted off the English poet Stevie Smith’s line, ‘I’m drowning, not waving.’ – Ward Kelley

“Not Waving but Drowning” is a poem by the British poet Stevie Smith. It was published in 1957 as part of a collection of the same title. The most famous of Smith’s poems, it gives an account of a drowned man whose distressed thrashing in the water had been mistaken for waving. The poem was accompanied by one of Smith’s drawings, as was common in her work.

Verse 2 You want to learn how to raise your hand, wave it back and forth, say, “Well, here I am!” But then, child, I could never quite understand, you pull it right back down, and just say, “Damn!” Chorus Oh, my Countessa of the Willows, most souls mimic the arc of these willows,   Oh, my Countessa of the Willows as they bend far into the shallows. 

Verse 3 resolves the nature of the fourteen thieves who are actually fourteen pieces of the woman, parts of her who always seem to steal her peace. – Ward Kelley

Verse 3 Fourteen thieves, fourteen pieces of you; under your breast, child, there’s a throbbing ache . . . all that you do, you quickly undo, all that you make, you’ll soon want to break.   Chorus Oh, my Countessa of the Willows, why have you allowed your lands to go fallow?   Oh, my Countessa of the Willows how can I bring you to just let it go?   Verse 4 Sad people tend to look at themselves, and dwell upon all of their failings. Strong people, child, see the good in themselves; you need to see good traits, not your railings.

In the bridge I referenced the Roman Empire custom of placing a slave in the chariot of a triumphal general being feted by a celebratory parade when entering Rome: always remember you are human too. Anastasia’s part of the duet delivers two clues to the singer. She sings ‘can I ever belong?’ and later, ‘I need love, love, love.’ – Ward Kelley

Bridge You need the slave in your chariot, who whispers to you, “Always remember you are human too!”   You need love, you need love, love, love, here in the land where you can never, never, belong.   Instrumental   Chorus Oh, my Countessa of the Willows, the winds, like smoke, they stream and billow,   Oh, my Countessa of the Willows, pushing us both, oh, to the gallows.

Contessa of the Willows by Stafford/Kelley 2016

Entrance Way Radio

history of souls second edition

history of souls by Ward Kelley.

Author, poet, and lyricist Ward Kelley is now offering a second version of "history of souls". This book offers poetry that encompasses a number of themes:

Magical realism: Literature that looks at fables, myths, and allegory in the rational world.

Reincarnation: The philosophical and/or religious concept that the soul or spirit, after death, can begin a new life in a new body to learn new experiences and gain knowledge.

Metaphysics: A traditional branch of philosophy concerned with nature of being and the world that surrounds it.

Jesus & the Buddha Song – Notes from the Lyrist

Jesus & the Buddha Song – Notes from the Lyrist

The ‘wild’ idea which generated the writing of Jesus & the Buddha was the theological urban myth how the historical Jesus and the Buddha actually met during the biblical gap in the life of Jesus. This led to the dream of the singer, where he stood at the foot of the cross, dying with Jesus who abruptly transformed into the Buddha. Surprisingly the revelations given to the singer had little to do with Christianity or Buddhism, but rather centered on a Black Foot Tribe quote of how life and death are not separate, they just look that way.

The chorus brings in a little of Abraham Maslo’s Hierarchy of Needs, with altruism being at the top of the pyramid of Needs. I must say Jeff Stafford did an excellent job of singing these lyrics. And Anastasia Shield’s backup vocals lend such a taste of mystery that many listeners say they are drawn back to the song again and again. All in all, from the writing to recording to publishing, this song has been a wild ride.

From Ward Kelley

Jessie & The Buddha

@ Ward Kelley Artists

Online Jesus meets Budda Myth Reference

According to the scrolls, Jesus abandoned Jerusalem at the age of 13 and set out towards Sind, “intending to improve and perfect himself in the divine understanding and to studying the laws of the great Buddha”. He crossed Punjab and reached Puri Jagannath where he studied the Vedas under Brahmin priests. He spent six years in Puri and Rajgirh, near Nalanda, the ancient seat of Hindu learning. Then he went to the Himalayas, and spent time in Tibetan monasteries, studying Buddhism, and through Persia, returned to Jerusalem at the age of 29.

Source Wiki Unknown Years of Jesus

Ward Kelley Artists

You can listen free to music with lyrics that are also written by the author of this poem, Ward Kelley Artist.

history of souls poetry

Jesus & the Buddha Lyrics

Verse 1
I dreamt I stood below Jesus on the cross,
He peered down, blood dripping, tears dropping, then cried,
“You’re a lost little man, lost, lost, join the cross,
come up here with me.” So I tried, and I died . . .
held his bloody face; soldier’s spear rammed us both;
we flew from Judah, He became the Buddha.

Chorus
If you take care of all others,
then you’ll find you will often do,
magically, fulfill you too.
A mystery
for me and you.

Jesus & the Buddha
Jesus & the Buddha

Verse 2
The Buddha quoted Blackfoot tribe, who once said,
“Life is not separate from death, it only
looks that way.” We’re always both, alive and dead.
Dreams are how we talk to both sides of ourselves.
“Life is not separate from death, it only
looks that way.” We’re always both, we’re two instead.

Chorus
If you take care of all others,
then you’ll find you will often do,
magically, fulfill you too.
A mystery
for me and you.

Jesus & the Buddha
Jesus & the Buddha
Instrumental
Chorus
If you take care of all others,
then you’ll find you will often do,
magically, fulfill you too.
A mystery
for me and you.

If you take care of all others,
then you’ll find you will often do,
magically, fulfill you too.
A mystery
for me and you.
Jesus & the Buddha
Jesus & the Buddha
Jesus & the Buddha
Jesus & the Buddha

history of souls second edition

history of souls by Ward Kelley.

Author, poet, and lyricist Ward Kelley is now offering a second version of "history of souls". This book offers poetry that encompasses a number of themes:

Magical realism: Literature that looks at fables, myths, and allegory in the rational world.

Reincarnation: The philosophical and/or religious concept that the soul or spirit, after death, can begin a new life in a new body to learn new experiences and gain knowledge.

Metaphysics: A traditional branch of philosophy concerned with nature of being and the world that surrounds it.

New Songs Week of 9 -12-2016 by Entrance and Anastasia

New Songs Week of 9 -12-2016 by Entrance and Anastasia

Our first new song this week is “Jesus & the Budda” by Entrance. The band Entrance is comprised of Jeff Stafford, Lee Dalson, Papa Boyd’O, Anastasia Shields and Ward Kelley. Their vision is to create and explore non-commercial rock platforms while drawing from the poetry of Ward Kelley. Their scope includes rock, psychedelia, folk, blues, and even a little classical.

Read Jesus & the Budda Lyrics.

Our second new song this week is “Touch of Outlaw” by Anastasia. In this song the singer realizes her man is struggling with middle-age, and commits to always being ‘right by his side.

Lyrics

Touch of Outlaw 
(Dalson/Kelley 2016) 
Verse 1 
You never gave up the bike, 
the cigarettes or whiskey, 
you’re precise in what you like, 
and it needs to be risky. 

Chorus 
My man needs a touch of outlaw. 
Time becomes the real buzz saw, 
but can’t force the glint in his eyes to thaw. 
He’s not older, he’s an outlaw. 

Verse 2 
I’ll be with you on that bike, 
drinking, smoking, I’m right there, 
even if the worse should strike, 
I will always be right there. 

Chorus 
My man needs a touch of outlaw. 
Time becomes the real buzz saw, 
but can’t force the glint in his eyes to thaw. 
He’s not older, he’s an outlaw. 

Instrumental 

Bridge 
Ohhhh, we’re going to ride on. 
Ohhhh, don’t care where we’ve been. 
Ohhhh, we’re going to ride on. 
Don’t know the meaning of sin. 

Chorus 
My man needs a touch of outlaw. 
Time becomes the real buzz saw, 
but can’t force the glint in his eyes to thaw. 
He’s not older, he’s an outlaw.

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