Original Song: "When Morning Looms"
Linda Sue Grimes at SRF Lake Shrine, Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, CA
Commentary with song lyric
Chorus: "There’s nothing clouds can shake"
There’s nothing clouds can shake
To break the jealous ties
The frost in on the fencepost
The water is still wise
The chorus of Grimes' song, "When Morning Looms," dramatizes the postmodern squelch of ideas that penetrate both weather and the common truth that water which does nothing other than seek its own level is "wise." Frost on the fence post is, in fact, just another form of water. And how long does frost on the fence post last? Until the sun comes up! Unfortunately, the frost may appear day after day until spring time . . .
Verse 1: "When morning looms"
When morning looms
And the pepper is hot
The turtle will be bright
But the sturgeon will not
After butterflies spill free
And the yellow turns to gold
The quirky will stay young
The evil will grow old
Every morning offers a new beginning for the children of planet Earth. The sun rises on the innocent and the guilty alike. The singer of this plaintiff song has come to the stage of her life to realize that her own station of life was like that of a "turtle"; her adversary, however, occupied the level of "sturgeon."
Evolutionarily, the turtle is higher than the sturgeon: the turtle treads the land, while the sturgeon still breathes through gills—swimming is its only way of locomotion. A turtle might swim as it chooses, but it also walks on the ground.
Naturally then the "turtle will be bright" and the "sturgeon will not" be bright. The sturgeon will remain water-bound. No matter how bright the sturgeon might think itself, the fact is that it will remain the victim of gills.
Not content to equate each station of life of victim and adversary in her worldview to turtle/sturgeon, the singer metaphorically sings in "butterflies." Butterflies after resting gestationally in the cocoon stage eventually "spill free."
"Yellow" which in some venues equals cowardice turns to "gold," as the singer notes she has witnessed that "quirky" folks seem to remain youthful, while "the evil" or those who criticize, judge, and otherwise denigrate others lose their youthful spirit.
Verse 2: "Nothing to see here, Quacker"
Nothing to see here, Quacker
Nothing to hear at all
The moss grows on the wrong side
While the bitter reaps the fall
You've raked the scent of verses
And burned them in your nose
And dumped your figs on stories
That vindicate the rose
The speaker then accepts the fact that what she has to sing will have no influence on those who will never understand her "quirky" nature. She calls her adversary "Quacker" because for her all the blathering, bilge, and poppycock she has heard from that quarter is nothing but quacking.
She knows and accepts the fact that nothing she can ever say or do will change the position of the "sturgeon" and quacking duck who would always continue to denigrate her life choices, if she would but allow it.
According to the thinking of the singer, the adversary is bitter and will reap the fall; the adversary's moss "grows on the wrong side."
The adversary has either deliberately and/or maliciously misinterpreted the discourse of the singer. The singer/poet describes that likely malicious act as burning poems in the nose and dumping figs on those written narratives.
Verse 3: "The wisdom of the ages"
The wisdom of the ages
Prevails without a brain
But nuts and loons and titmice
Disturb the worn terrain
Nobody gives a damn about
A song sung by a saint
And plucky hens and misanthropes
Still spin their days drug-dazed
The adversary has little or no understanding of the eternal, scholarly, or spiritual aspects of the history of the world. The singer knows that "the wisdom of the ages" continues despite the provincial platitudes of the local and isolated. But she also sees that such provinciality can disturb the landscape and mental environment, even of popular culture.
It must be common knowledge that saints hold little sway over popular culture. Even in academic culture, saints are quite passe. And societal drugs (caffeine, alcohol, prescription drugs) spread their mischief over a large percentage of the population—no doubt, one suspects over the adversary, here addressed by the singer.
Verse 4: "O hurry sun and come to all"
O hurry sun and come to all
Who wither in the rain
And spray your rays to badger them
Who lack a civil brain
When morning looms
And the pepper turns to dawn
The turtle will sing on
But the sturgeon will be gone
The singer then calls on the sun to come to those who have been withering in the rain. She asks for the giant orb to spray its rays—not necessarily to heal them but to "badger them"—the singer knows that the adversary has bought into the postmodern, pharmaceutical blather that the sun is bad for you; it causes skin cancer, blah, blah, blah!
Just a "civil brain" would be sufficient to understand that far from causing and disease, the sun is a healing force for all earthly inhabitants. (Of course, one would need to avoid extreme sunburns, but otherwise, the vitamin D from the sun is universally a nutrient.)
The singer then reprises her first line: "When morning looms" while also mentioning pepper, which was merely "hot" in the opening, but now is turning "to dawn." Pepper is an enlivening spice; pepper brings food to life, gives it an enchanting flavor. For this singer, pepper is important, and heralds the original notion of the conflict between "turtle" and "sturgeon."
The singer intuits that her own stance because it brings one to God-realization will be the stance that continues on, while the swimming, gilled stance of material will end.
A recording of the song, "When Morning Looms," is on SoundCloud.
Linda Sue Grimes, singer/songwriter, poet, & essayist
Life Sketch of Linda Sue Grimes
The Windmill Chapel
In the temple of silence
By the lake, we sit
In stillness, meditating
In divine Bliss.
Returning to our daily minds,
We walk out into the sunshine,
And the flowers greet us.
The Literary Life
After graduating from Centerville Senior High School in Centerville, Indiana, in 1964, Linda Sue Grimes completed her baccalaureate degree with a major in German at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in 1967. She married Ronald Grimes on March 10, 1973.
As a writer, Grimes focuses on poetry, short fiction, politics, spirituality, and vegan/vegetarian cooking, which results in her original veggie recipes.
Although music was her first love, Grimes considers herself primarily a literary specialist as she creates her own poetry, studies the poetry and literary arts of classic writers, and writes commentaries about classic poems.
However, Grimes does continue to express her love of music by writing her own original songs, which she records, accompanying herself on guitar or keyboard. She shares her musical compositions at SOUNDCLOUD.
After completing the PhD degree in British, American, and World Literature with a cognate in Rhetoric/Composition at Ball State University in 1987, Grimes taught English composition in the English Department at BSU as a contractual assistant professor from 1987 until 1999.
Grimes has published poems in many literary journals, including Sonoma Mandala, Rattle, and The Bellingham Review. She has published three books of poems: Singing in the Silence, Command Performance, and Turtle Woman & Other Poems, and a book of fables titled Jiggery-Jee's Eden Valley Stories.
Grimes published her first cookbook in the spring of 2013, titled The Rustic Veggie-Table: 100 Vegan Recipes. She is working on a second cookbook and her fourth book of poems.
Currently, at Owlcation, Grimes (Maya Shedd Temple) posts her poetry commentaries. On LetterPile, she shares her creative writing of poems and short fiction, along with prose commentaries on each piece. She posts recipes resulting from her experimental cooking of vegan/vegetarian dishes. on Delishably. She posts her politically focused pieces at Soapboxie, and her commentaries focusing on music at Spinditty. Pieces on the writing process appear at Hobbylark.
Linda Sue Grimes has been a devotee of Paramahansa Yogananda and a member of his organization, Self-Realization Fellowship, since 1978. A Kriyaban since 1979, she has completed the four Kriya Initiations, and she continues to study the teachings and practice the yoga techniques as taught by the great spiritual leader, who is considered to be the "Father of Yoga in the West."
Grimes practices the chants taught by the guru accompanying herself on the harmonium. She serves at her local SRF Meditation Group as one of the chant leaders.
Online Literary Presence
In addition to the contributions of her literary works to Owlcation, LetterPile, and SOUNDCLOUD, Grimes also curates her original creative literary pieces at her literary home, Maya Shedd Temple, on Medium, where she features her creative writing without commentaries.
© 2015 Linda Sue Grimes