Take This Tune

Posted: Monday, March 29, 2010 by Travis Cody in

Take This Tune is a feature hosted by my pal Jamie at Duward Discussion. Jamie puts up a video prompt complete with lyrics to the song, and the task is to find another song or to write something inspired by the title of the song or something in the lyrics.

I really enjoy participating in Jamie's feature because of where the prompts take my thoughts and emotions. This week's prompt is a song called Red Staggerwing, as performed by Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris. The lyrics have a wonderful risque innuendo.

But I wasn't inspired by that part of the song. I've had a flood of memory recently. I've been revisiting old playgrounds in my mind. So I've gone a little off the reservation with respect to the theme this week with a sonnet partly inspired by the mention of powerful go-fast machines in the Red Staggerwing lyrics, but softened by sweet boyhood memories.

This sonnet was composed using a Shakespearean rhyming scheme.

Heading east toward the returning sun,
Chill darkness retreating before the day,
I thought of hard round marbles lost and won.
A boy's game of skill and daring to play.
Bravado of youth risking precious stones.
Dead eye aim, shoulders tense, then a thumb flick,
Perfect orbs rolling, seeking fast to own
The target, easing alongside and click,
That one too becomes mine in my pocket.
My treasure, smooth like glass, won fair and square,
Stash'd away safe in my victory set
With those special ones never play'd and rare.
Eastward at dawn when dreams are possible,
I drive and smile, remembering marbles.

This has been an original poem by Travis Cody, copyright 2010.


  1. Excellent! Thank you for the post and link. I know the song and. as I read lyrics, heard a Bob Dylan song playing in my head:

    While riding on a train goin’ west,
    I fell asleep for to take my rest.
    I dreamed a dream that made me sad,
    Concerning myself and the first few friends I had.

    With half-damp eyes I stared to the room
    Where my friends and I spent many an afternoon,
    Where we together weathered many a storm,
    Laughin’ and singin’ till the early hours of the morn.

    By the old wooden stove where our hats was hung,
    Our words were told, our songs were sung,
    Where we longed for nothin’ and were quite satisfied
    Talkin’ and a-jokin’ about the world outside.

    With haunted hearts through the heat and cold,
    We never thought we could ever get old.
    We thought we could sit forever in fun
    But our chances really was a million to one.

    As easy it was to tell black from white,
    It was all that easy to tell wrong from right.
    And our choices were few and the thought never hit
    That the one road we traveled would ever shatter and split.

    How many a year has passed and gone,
    And many a gamble has been lost and won,
    And many a road taken by many a friend,
    And each one I’ve never seen again.

    I wish, I wish, I wish in vain,
    That we could sit simply in that room again.
    Ten thousand dollars at the drop of a hat,
    I’d give it all gladly if our lives could be like that.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    I had some treasured marbles too. :)

  1. Jamie says:

    Such a flood of memories that aroused from being the Jacks champion in my early years to the feel of the roar of a Corvette. Those go fast machines can be as emotional as music.

  1. You've actually inspired me to attempt writing sonnets now.

  1. Bond says:

    I never played marbles as a kid...we flipped baseball cards instead.

    You amaze me more and more each time you share.

  1. Travis says:

    Nick: Thanks for sharing those lyrics! I'm not really a Dylan fan, but I like those lyrics.

    Akelamalu: I wish I still had my treasures, but I lost them ages ago.

    Jamie: My sis was good at Jacks. She tried to teach me but I couldn't scoop up more than 4 or 5 at a time. I couldn't do a yo-yo very well either, but I could shoot marbles!

    Terra: That's fantastic! Good luck! And don't forget to share some if you feel comfortable.

    V: GASP! Flipping baseball cards! NOOOO! I wouldn't even flip my commons.

  1. 'Dead eye aim, shoulders tense, then a thumb flick,
    Perfect orbs rolling, seeking fast to own
    The target, easing alongside and click,
    That one too becomes mine in my pocket.'

    I'm right there alongside you.