Sunday, May 27, 2012

Purple Songs Can Fly

I was working on a poem last week, gradually developing the words of an almost-poem that erupted in my mind one day. The poem is about the stories that reside in each of our hearts, stories that narrate our lives.

On Thursday morning, I received an email from my friend Anita Kruse, founder and executive director of Purple Songs Can Fly: 

Purple Songs Can Fly is devoted to children being treated for cancer and blood disorders at Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Centers. In this program, which is the first of its kind, Anita and other professional composers help children to write and record their own songs. Each child receives a professional CD recording of the original composition.

Anita’s email contained a Bus 52 video describing the profound mission Purple Songs Can Fly. In the video, Tony “Jesus” Alvarez, a young patient at the Texas Children’s Cancer Center, describes his experience writing and recording his own songs. He says, I recorded some songs, and now I’m just recording basically my life.

Jesus’ words intermingled with the poem I was writing. Here is the result:

Behind every brow
Is a never-ending story
Weaving tales of
Within every heart
Are Trail-worn stories
Seeking a place that is

I recorded some songs
Said the smiling child
Whose purple songs
Now fly.
I recorded some songs,
And now I’m just recording
My life.

Stories wander home
To dwell in the hearts
That lived them
Where they
Narrate plots of life
Where they
Grieve or celebrate
The everyday pathos
Of meaning

Stories wander home
To be sung
To be formed
In musical ecstasy
So they can express
Joy and sorrow
So the life story
Will fly,
Will soar in purple hues,
The colorful rainbow
Of song.

Tell me your story, I said,
In the innocence of
A child at bedtime.
And the tale that
Emerged on the lips
Of the suffering
Told the story
That created the world

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