October 24, 2015
I am unable to attend the memorial for Riaz out in B.C. (if you knew him, please sign the guest book), so I decided to go back to the spot that inspired the poem and do a reading of it. Afterwards, I nailed the poem along with a picture of Riaz and a quote to the tree, then recorded a little introduction.
You can take a look here:
September 22, 2015
I woke up this morning to find out that the friend for whom this poem was written had passed away. I'm in shock. I hadn't emailed him in a while, but the last contact I had came in the form of a short note asking him if he was doing okay. He didn't reply. The world has lost part of its soul and music will never sound the same. Riaz, I hope you have found peace. Namaste.
I wrote this sometime in the late months of 1994 or the early months of 1995, I'm not quite sure. I know it was really cold. It's about a series of times, moments, and memories back in first year University (1993-1994) that I spent with a good friend.
I would just like to say for the record that this has been re-written at least a dozen times, and before publishing this post it was edited again. The only time I thought it didn't completely suck was in the 15 minutes immediately following the original draft.
Beneath The Willow Trees
There’s a place beneath the willow trees and beside the hill where two friends go to light a fire and escape the day, if only for a minute. To forget about why and not think twice about standing by the lake and watching the sun set at noon.
Beneath the willow trees and beside the hill mysterious clouds blow in the wind upstream from strangers oblivious to everyone and everything. The clouds fade to become insignificant wisps just as the sounds of nature break the silence to reveal a world which is not ours and never has been.
The ducks on the lake swim near but don’t give us the time of day, because in this world beneath the willow trees and beside the hill, time is overpowered by life, and the clock of life does not keep track of such things as hollow measures of time.
One solitary event may capture your heart in an instant, yet the time with which it passes goes unnoticed forever. Strangers in a not-so-foreign land, beneath the willow trees and beside the hill, contemplate the beauty and essence of the imagination, only to find it is time to rekindle the fire so they can wander through the darkness while the sun is still shining.
Prisoners behind walls of freedom laugh and cry but little do they know there is more to life than those walls have to offer. To be at one with your existence, you must do more than just live. You must inhale life and let it fill your lungs with the beauty that surrounds you beneath the willow trees and beside the hill.
There’s a place beneath the willow trees and beside the hill, where two friends once debated the meaning of life and the meaning of friendship, but ended up rediscovering the illusion of happiness. For them time stood still and reality was forgotten, until they extinguished the fire, closed their eyes and walked away in silence as the moon shone brightly at the crack of dawn.