Monday’s New Haiku

Here’s another installment in my ongoing series of haiku updates. True Haiku for You continues to be sold on Amazon, my new children’s book, Daddy Doesn’t Purr is in process, and for those who read my last post, Warp Speed opens this Friday in New York. Life is good. Enjoy and namaste.

Have the decency
To respect yourself as much
As you do others.

The killing must cease.
Religion is no reason
To kill anyone.

Will we ever learn?
Love given is love gotten.
The same goes for hate.

When the chips are down
Hardnosed hard work pays off more
Than anything else.

The march is uphill.
But what’s the alternative,
Waiting ‘round to die?

 When you fall in love
Fall fully and recklessly.
Throw caution away.

Learn the rules then know
Your greatest hopes of success
Come in breaking them.

An affirmation:
I have a beautiful soul
Filled with potential.

Are you successful?
How do you measure your worth:
Money, friendships, fame?

 Don’t regret your past.
Nothing was avoidable.
You did what you did.

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Warp Speed. Engage

Warp Speed1

A very cool and exciting thing has been ongoing for me for a little over a month now. A work colleague and friend of mine, Christopher Noffke, approached me about doing some music doctoring on a project that he was directing entitled, Warp Speed: a Sci Fi Parody Musical. Christopher remembered my work on a show at the Blatt’s Dinner Theatre (now defunct but reformed as the Pines Dinner Theater) and asked me if I would write some new music for the show. What started out as a two-song deal turned into four, and has not only given me a New York credit as a composer, but has sparked a kind of creative renewal in my composition work. Since finishing the Warp Speed commission I have steadily set about revising many of my old choral compositions, some of which were premiered, but never were typeset well, and some of which have never had a premiere. I haven’t really composed in many years, so this has proven very exciting.

In addition, I just learned from Oliver Blatt that he has been retained to provide tracks for many of the songs in the show, including mine. Ollie and I haven’t spoken much for several years now. Suddenly, due to a song I wrote perhaps twelve years ago, I have a NY credit, I’m writing again, and Ollie and I are both communicating and collaborating. Life is funny and certainly interconnected. Thanks, Christopher. Thanks, Warp Speed.

Now go see the show. It premieres in NY as part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival on August 1. Information can be found at http://www.warpspeedthemusical.com

Oh, and by the way, another old friend, Peter Lam, is in it. Set phasers to crazy!

Some Haiku to Chew…On

Well, my book True Haiku for You is now available on Amazon. And while I couldn’t be prouder of that and of the forthcoming Kindle version to be out shortly, the writing of new haiku is never far from my mind. Since my last post had nothing to do with poetry it seemed appropriate to post a fresh batch just written in the last few days. As always, thanks for reading, and enjoy!

 

Why can’t we agree

On what is best for our world?

It should be simple.

 

If you want the moon

You have to build the rocket

That will take you there.

 

To be a Christian

You should know what Jesus said.

People forget that.

 

Oppression exists,

But it rarely comes from where

People claim it does.

 

How are you feeling?

Take stock of your emotions.

Are you up or down?

 

The world is waiting

For what you have to offer.

Never doubt your worth.

 

A wind is blowing.

Let it carry you away

Toward adventure.

 

What would your dad think?

Would he be proud of you if

He could see you now?

 

No man walks alone;

He carries his ancestors

Passions, hopes, and fears.

 

Sometimes I wonder

Whether I really exist

Or am just a dream.

Thanks for the Memories…

I wanted to take a moment to say goodbye to an organization that did so much for me. American Family Theater/American Theater Arts for Youth announced its closure this week in a Facebook post written by their Artistic Director, David Leidholdt. AFT/ATAFY was established in either 1970 or 1971, depending on which website you believe, and lasted for more than forty years as a powerful force for children’s theatre across the country, introducing tens of thousands of children to the magic that is live theatre, and giving over a thousand actors, techs, designers and other staffers the opportunity to go on the road with a national tour, see the country, gain valuable experience, and learn the real ups and downs of the theatre game.

AFT/ATAFY was one of my first professional credits, and my first tour with them, Sleeping Beauty, was one of the greatest experiences of my life. As “Wotan the Wizard” and “Mannequin the Evil Knight” I toured the country from Boston to Texas playing our little show in as many configurations as possible. I saw the Gulf of Mexico for the only time in my life (to date), went to New Orleans right after Mardi Gras, rode out a hurricane in Wilmington, NC, and visited Jefferson Davis’s home, Beauvoir, in Biloxi, Mississippi. I made several lifelong friendships, especially with Chrissie Corbin and David Bickle, and met tons and tons of wonderful children, at least two of which kicked me in the groin. This all thanks to one man, Don Kersey, AFT’s then artistic mover and shaker, taking a chance on me, and the wonderfully batty and saccharine experience that was American Family Theater.

In the mid 2000s when money and opportunity were scarce I called AFT up and offered my services and they were only too happy to put me back to work. I went out on the road three more times with a different show, Babes in Toyland, made several new friends, and then did two Philadelphia-based patriotic shows at the National Liberty Museum, a museum owned by Laurie Wagman’s, (the owner of AFT/ATAFY), husband. I served them for a time as a hotel booker and in and around that managed to music direct seven of the tours that went out over a three year period. Their new Artistic Director, David became a dear friend to me and was a guest at my wedding. Also, in the mid-2000s AFT/ATAFY put my now sister-in-law, Mary Anne Furey, on the road for two tours and, though her experiences were not mine, I know that she gained valuable experience as well and had her eyes opened to parts of America she would never have seen without the opportunity to work for AFT.

So I wanted to say a proper goodbye and thank you to the wonderful, jumbled, frustrating, innocent, and truly magnificent world that was American Family Theater/American Theater Arts for Youth. You changed my life in many ways, opened me up to many new experiences, and ultimately did more for me than can ever be repaid. Thank you for everything. I sincerely hope that something new and wonderful arises to fill the void that children across the county, to say nothing of all the theatre artists, will feel now that you have ceased reminding us of the “magic all around you.”

Annnnd….scene. Blackout.

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