Clara Kielkopf memory 

Not so long ago, when I was quite small, my rather ambitious mother enrolled me in a summer class. With a loving smile, she handed me a pale green flyer, upon which was boldly printed: 

Guitar lessons for the wee ones! Since I didn't know what a wee one was, I immediately assumed the class was for her, and carried on with life happily oblivious to the fact that I was doomed. 

It's true. I would never again be free from the first uplifting revelation that I had joined the ranks of would-be-guitarists, but when the idea was introduced to me, I barely noticed. It took James to wake me up. 

James was an unpretentious man. His life was geared towards helping other people, not developing his own. I have never seen him without an instrument of some sort resting in the near vincinity, and hope I never do. I remember the beginning of the aforementioned class. He never stopped radiating waves of contented reassurance, even as he wrestled with our stubbornly untuneable guitars, or listened uncomplaining to our raucous interpretations of "Jimmy Crack Corn". 

After the initial scare finding myself in a situation where I felt obliged to do the practicing, not just because a concerned mother was standing over me with a whip, but because I wanted to win the affection of my teacher, I discovered the beauty of re-creating music. By playing their compositions, I became a vessel for their unforgettable genius to pass through. Playing Bach makes one wonder if there isn't more to life than Dream Barbie, etc. Anyway, it was all very exciting. 

After the class terminated, James adopted me as one of his own students. He did everything imaginable for this young, overawed pupil. He even wrote a duet, with one part extremely easy so I could play it with him. It was beautiful. 

When he moved to Texas after years of struggling to surface in Louisville, we kept in touch. James had planted seeds that continued to grow in his absence. Thank you, teacher. Clara Kielkopf January 9, 1989 

Thank you for the great memories, Clara! I wish I could find the piece I wrote, "For Clara." May be deep in my ancient archives. I'll have to write another! Meanwhile, I've been writing since age 12, including some pieces I only recently recorded. That and more can be found at Blessings to you all! James 2021

response to Jenifer 

Thanks, Jenifer! We need to be adept at re-writing, editing, revising, over and again! I have done that since my pre-teen years, writing poetry, lyrics, and revising them time and again. I might be able to find one of my original manuscripts, where I crossed out possible words over and over again. I do this still today, more than 50 years later. The main theme I wanted to start on this blog is inspiration, then journaling. 

I have this practice from when I was born again at age 18, to just open the Bible…

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Prose, Poetry, Lyrics 


      As I think of how I wrote poetry as a youth, and from my youth onward, I believe music accompanies it in my mind. I'm never devoid of melody in some form. The driving force of words in lines is rhythm. This separates poetry from prose and connects to lyrics. As we want to be effective in lyrics, we must be practicing poetry and prose. We will benefit from studying and employing the devices in poetry, and this will result in the gift of song. All prose can be rephrased into poetry, and all poetry…

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