To all the poets I have known
Who saw the beauty in
the common place,
Saw Incarnation in a baby’s face,
And in a drop of rain, the stars,
When there was mud and
blood and tears
You sang a song at night
to calm our fears,
You made a moment last
a thousand years,
Thank God for poets I have known.
You go on dreaming after
dreams all fade,
When friends desert, you are
the ones who stayed,
To write the prayers when every
prayer’s been prayed,
You are the poets I have known.
To all the poets I have known
You built a kingdom out of sea and sand,
You conquered armies with
a marching band,
You carved a galaxy in stone,
You built an altar out of bread,
You spent your soul to see
the children fed,
You wove your heart in every story read,
You lovely poets I have known.
You walking wounded of my life
Who bled compassion in
the heat of strife,
Who stood between my heart
and Satan’s knife,
With just the armor of a song.
You are the heroes and the brave
Who with a slender pen
our passions save,
And chisel epitaphs upon the grave
Of all the poets I have known.
Words: Gloria Gaither/Hanna Street Music/BMI / Music: Dony McGuire/Rambo McGuire Music/ASCAP
There is a price you pay to en-flesh Art.
Gloria Gaither has learned that some lyrics require a lifetime of gathering and incubating words, wisdom, experiences and rhyme before they can be fully formed and birthed into the earth realm.
“To All the Poets” is her passionate and haunting homage to those creative, believing souls who paid the price to see the invisible tugging on heaven’s heart and squeezing its essence into poetic interpretation. It honors and recognizes those daring enough to scale the lofty heights, peer into the unknown, take off their shoes and let us in on the mystery.
Gloria comes from a long line of poets, seekers and other-world women. Her mother Dorothy along with both grandmothers, each in their own unique way, demonstrated the joys of storytelling, dreaming and learning readiness by seizing life moments and awakening the creative muse in young Gloria. All three shaped her.
Grandmother Boster (her mother’s mom) was a strong pioneer who journeyed by covered wagon to homestead in Wyoming, where she and her husband built a sod house and a life with blood, sweat and tears. She could make do out of nothing and fix anything from a plow to a broken finger.
Grandmother Sickal (her father’s mom), though legally blind, her sensitive, nimble fingers brailed their way, creating colorful flower and vegetable gardens. She made bread, soups and apple butter on a wood-fueled cookstove and never let a soul leave her door without something in his hand from the garden or from her baking.
Mother Dorothy was keenly aware that blindness could be hereditary, so she was determined to help her children see even if their physical sight was hindered. “Close your eyes and feel the texture of the tree bark, Gloria,” she instructed. “Touch the maple leaves, count the points, smell the fragrance. Is it sugar, silver or red maple?” she asked. “Feel the tracks in the rich mud ... What animals have left their mark? Learn to know and feel. You don’t have to have eyes to see.”
Through the years of studying and gleaning, Gloria discovered that many of her favorite writers also had family who took the time to pour selflessly into their young, formative hearts. Many sacrificed their own giftings to ensure their children would have greater opportunities than they at pursuing their particular craft.
The father of the prolific composer Dan Fogelberg was an extremely talented musician but became a high-school band conductor to provide for his family. Notable American author Thomas Wolfe credited much of his notoriety to the tutelage of his father, who carved magnificent gravestone monuments and “chiseled epitaphs upon the graves” so his children could have enough food and a proper education.
Gloria also acknowledges some of her heroes, the “walking wounded”... survivors of divorce, addiction, betrayal, abuse or the death of loved ones who managed to seek healing, pursue wholeness and now “bleed compassion.” Those who have risen out of the pit by embracing unconditional love and finally understanding the words— “You’re better than this.”
I was privileged to be in the room when Gloria pulled this amazing lyric from her case and handed it to Dony. I watched his eyes well with tears as he remembered the music from so many years ago that Father orchestrated to rescue him from his own abyss. Within moments, Dony had composed the perfect accompanying melody and score for Gloria’s lyric. We wept in holy awe.
Gloria dabbed her eyes, “My desire is to always be there with my pen ... listening and ready. Art is the only thing that will stitch us up when we’re torn.”