Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Epic Statistics

Every once in awhile, I take a look at the site statistics for Shortening the Road. After doing some simple math, I discovered that in the past year this site gets about 250 hits and about 340 page views every month! That can't all be from my Mom!

According to Blogger, my wee blog is clocking in at over 23 000 pageviews since 2008 and my visitors come from all over the world (these are all-time pageviews):

United States
United Kingdom

Oddly, there are more than twice as many visitors from Belgium than my own home country of Canada. Could it be that I'm Big in Belgium and I don't even know it?

Wherever you come from, thanks for stopping by! I would really love to hear from you, so please leave me a comment. If you're on Facebook, please Like my fanpage. And if you'd like to have a copy of my stories for your own listening please, please download my CD!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Rhythm in Skin

So tonight at Madpoetix, I decided to leave my comfort zone and perform my first Spoken Word poem. I was inspired to write this poem after attending Northern Lights Gathering back in February 2013.

I witnessed a concert with a band called Pagan's Folly and an assortment of drummers who jumped up on stage to jam with them. I put the basics of this story together in the moment, but before I could jump up and perform it, the moment passed. Instead, when I got home, I wrote out what I could remember and spent the next few weeks refining it.

The quality of the recording isn't great, but you can still hear everything clearly. I really need to commit this poem to memory and perform it more often. The music playing is called Serpentine Seduction from the CD Tribal Magick by the Dragon Ritual Drummers.

UPDATE: I have titled the poem "The Rhythm in Skin".

 The Rhythm in Skin (2:13) written and told by JD Hickey

Once upon a time, when the world was new
and the skies were so blue
that the oceans were green with envy
In a village beyond the mountains
across the rivers 
deep in the valleys
there lived a people that are long gone today

No one knows where they came from
or where they went
But in the night, the people whisper the stories
Around the campfires, the people tell the tales
About how these magical people lived
But did not die
About how they thrived
But did not survive
Except in the rhythm of words and music and dance

One night, with the moon as their guide
with the fire in their eyes
these people were the first
to stir the lifeblood of the earth
to burst with the rhythms of the mountains
with their hands, their hips, their lips
they sang the songs of the ancients

And they danced to the heartbeat of a thousand drums
They pounded their feet and the mountains shook
They raised their hands to the skies 
and the stars were filled with the lights from their eyes

They shouted out to the heavens above
They sung together to the memories below
And all at once, they came to know
the songs sung by the trees, the grass, and the stones

They ceased to be the people who lived above,
disconnected from their bones
and the many became the few
and the few became the all
they answered the call,
and sank into her depths of her memory

But these people are not lost to history
Because whenever you place drums upon the earth
You can hear the calls of the first people
You can feel the beat of their feet
Their lifeblood becomes a part // of your own beating heart
They demand that you honor their memory

That you fill your eyes with firelight
That you shout out to the heavens above
That you sing together to their memory below

And you dance
upon the drum of the Earth

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Guest Story: Second Chances

This true story was told by Jennifer Ansell-Clark (email) at a storytelling event called Confabulation. The theme was Second Chances.

I'll let Jen do the rest of the talking.

WARNING: There is some strong language in this tale

Second Chances (7:35) written and told by Jennifer Ansell-Clark
Copyright© 2010 John David Hickey