Friday, February 7, 2014

Idle Hands (A Folk Song)

I wrote this piece as a challenge from dVerse Poets Pub, which was to write a song rather than a poem.  For me, they are much the same, though most songs usually have some sort of rhyming scheme.

When I was growing up, I used to fancy myself an artist.  I daydreamed I would one day put flowers in my hair and carry the guitar around singing folksy little tunes (much like the picture of the lady to the left).  However, as I matured I realized I'd never have the voice for singing or the patience for adequately learning to play guitar or piano (although I admire both).

I'm 31 years old now, and I still wear flowers in my hair and those folksy lyrics still find their way into my poetry from time to time.  I think in a lot of ways, my desire to write eloquent tunes and be someone other than ordinary is what sparked my poetically-inclined journey of literature and scribe.

Anyway, here is my contribution to the prompt.  If you will, imagine a hippie girl with her flowers and guitar.  I thought of Bob Dylan before I wrote it, so naturally he found a place in this little folksy lyric poem.

"Idle Hands"

The man on the street
He wasn’t such a bad man,
He gave me his opinion,
I put some change in his hand
And I thought about you
As I walked away,
The silver in your eye,
The gleam in your ways,
Each word a token
I’ve already spent,
The time mulled over you
Just clock hands I lent

Yes, love was a potion
That sit idly in my hand,
And a man like Jesus
Would more likely understand,
That there’s needles in my fingers
Thread in my heart,
I was wishing for Dylan
And you couldn’t play the part,
Sometimes love,
It just walks out on the spot.
Yeah it’s too bad how I felt
Pushed your feelings away,
I’m sorry, I just can’t stay

You never did get
the way the words had to fit,
my love for coffee,
the tea that did sit
upon my desk
while I wrote to you,
the words you read
falling dead to your hands,
and I guess thats when
this all began,
me just needing someone
who could understand,
all of my ways
and the things they did want,
everything that
you're obviously not


As I pulled away
and held the break
I thought about Neptune
And the clouds she waves,
Even all the Greek God’s
Couldn’t make your love stay,
And I’m sorry I sinned
When this all became,
There’s just too much of me
That I’d rather stay the same,
You’re tired of my smile
And the plate that I gave,
We’re both still hungry
So I’d best be on my way



  1. Well I like the reference to Dylan, but this is more an homage to Gordon Lightfoot (whom I love). I could imagine any number of his melodies accompanying these lyrics...but you nailed the time period. The lyrics are well crafted, rhythmic, musical and say something. Pretty good writing, I'd say! Enjoyed it a lot.

  2. bitter sweet...i like the refs in the greek gods...the needles in the fingers and thread in the heart as well...wishing they were dylan but they could not play the part..ha..well played.

  3. flowers are always becomming of a woman, and sadly as your wrote, love doesn't always succeed. If it leaves a song, perhaps it was enough.

  4. First.. flower in you hair suits you... great thinking there.. The needles and thread in the first chorus struck some really stark images in my head.

  5. I can totally picture this being sung by a girl with flowers in her hair.......I, too, was struck by the needles and thread.

  6. many great lines that hold the listener (reader) a bittersweet tale that is told very well...

  7. I definitely picked up on the "hand" theme. "Clock hands I lent" and "needles in my fingers" are fantastic lines.

    To me, this was sad/not sad. Catharsis or reflection, moving on, isn't necessarily tragic. But there's a tinge of the blues with disappointment, for sure.


Thank you for taking the time to comment, it is so appreciated. Your thoughts and critiques are always welcome! I will be by to visit your blog soon!