the nucleus of all things


The love you gave me is the nucleus of all things:
You taught me that love shows itself more
by compassion than any physical act

You loved me even when I gave you nothing to love
When I asked for your forgiveness, it was already given
That you persevered with me when reason said otherwise,

proves that love freely given is not withdrawn,
but too easily discarded when taken for granted
that which should be cherished most


©Daniel von der Embse

this always puts me in the mood

Much has been written about Bob Dylan as a poet and a musician. My personal favorite Dylan work is Boots of Spanish Leather. It’s a great poem in its own right. Listening to this cover version by Nancy Griffith always puts me in the mood to write.


Boots of Spanish Leather

Oh, I’m sailin’ away my own true love
I’m sailin’ away in the morning
Is there something I can send you from across the sea
From the place that I’ll be landing?

No, there’s nothin’ you can send me, my own true love
There’s nothin’ I wish to be ownin’
Just carry yourself back to me unspoiled
From across that lonesome ocean

Oh, but I just thought you might want something fine
Made of silver or of golden
Either from the mountains of Madrid
Or from the coast of Barcelona

Oh, but if I had the stars from the darkest night
And the diamonds from the deepest ocean
I’d forsake them all for your sweet kiss
For that’s all I’m wishin’ to be ownin’

That I might be gone a long time
And it’s only that I’m askin’
Is there something I can send you to remember me by
To make your time more easy passin’

Oh, how can, how can you ask me again
It only brings me sorrow
The same thing I want from you today
I would want again tomorrow

I got a letter on a lonesome day
It was from her ship a-sailin’
Saying I don’t know when I’ll be comin’ back again
It depends on how I’m a-feelin’

Well, if you, my love, must think that-a-way
I’m sure your mind is roamin’
I’m sure your heart is not with me
But with the country to where you’re goin’

So take heed, take heed of the western wind
Take heed of the stormy weather
And yes, there’s something you can send back to me
Spanish boots of Spanish leather

Copyright © 1963, 1964 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1991, 1992 by Special Rider Music

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roller coaster

Words drink too much,
turn the conversation
into broken glass –
brittle, bloody

Some careless thing
gets held onto,
an act once shaken off,
becomes unforgiveable

the riding up and down
becomes too much
and we resolve there’s no use,

That’s when tears come,
feeling that unhappy together
is more bearable
than miserable apart

We have learned
how to make room
for each other
on the roller coaster,

to keep our places,
hold onto our seats,
so that we might learn
to love the ride

©Daniel von der Embse


memories of summer

You stop by my house
selling sweets that seem rendered
from your vanilla skin

Reaching into your pocket for change
you’re welcome to keep
affords me one last chance

to sample your homemade smile
and takes me to a long ago summer day
when flush faced girls in cutoff jeans

laughed at jokes made to pass the time
before being kissed, waiting nervously
to see what might happen next

©Daniel von der Embse