(‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
The Creative Man is our weekly feature to showcase creativity, music, art, poetry, and more. This week, we feature a live concert special from Austin, Texas performer JD Casper and his band as they play at The Beez Knees.
What if the struggle was your story? A life of comfort And ease Is a recipe for the kind of boring story That puts children to sleep Without dreams.
I’d rather have a story Full of adventures And victories And rewards And kingdoms And dragons slayed And beautiful princesses And freedom won for captives
But those stories require Dark nights Evil Enemies Lonely songs on cold nights Terrible bone shaking fear Long hard battles Thunder and lightning Fire and fury Chains Blades Spiders Fire breathing dragons
Yes, Good stories require struggles.
Get this poem an more in “When Sea Billows Roll” by Josh Hatcher
I have no idea what was original, and what has been replaced and hobbled. The antique yellow engine, half the age of the rest sputtered and coughed up diesel, spinning her belt.
The old sawn boards, greyed and cragged by the sun – cracks filled with white pine sawdust.
The old steel, tracks and carriage were black, with orange crust creeping at the edges. We kept it and the massive blade covered with rubber tarps, but moisture always found a way in….
Just enough to leave a little crust, not enough to eat it away.
My job was to clean the bark with an old crowbar. The bath in the deep millpond usually did it’s trick. The bark would shed like t-shirt… mostly in one piece.
We spun the log on the carriage, Old Man Bill and I.
I’d dodge his occasional curses as she played with him.
She’d taunt and tease. After all, she was much older than Old Man Bill.
And I’d stand on the backside of the blade, guiding the timbers over the rollers to the forklift.
On a hot day, she would reward me, coating me with wet sawdust and millpond spray. Oh, the smell of white pine and pond water and diesel was the best summer.
And at the end of the day, the spring that fed the millpond would give me a drink. I’d stick my whole face into the hole in the ground and suck the water in. Drowning just long enough to cool my hot tongue.
It’s Creative Thursday! Every week we’ll feature a poem, a song, or some other creative expression here at Manlihood.com
We believe to be creative is in the nature of every man, whether it’s art, literature, musif, woodworking, or fish takes around the campfire. This week’s post is a poem by Josh Hatcher entitled, “Behold the Destroyer.” https://youtu.be/eFtM_rOY75c
JD Casper released his new song, Living in the Past this week, and Manlihood has an exclusive first look.
We sat down for an interview with JD Casper, and we’re excited to share his new song with you for our Creative Thursday feature!
Living in the Past is like walking into your grandfather’s house after he’s passed on, and as you’re cleaning out the cupboards, you find a coffee can loaded with cash. There’s the blessing of finding a rich treasure, but also the nostalgia of a simpler time, and grandpa’s old wisdom. JD Casper builds on an old tradition of folk and country music with his tender acoustic musical arrangement, but the depth of his lyrics are in the simple truths they communicate.
“Don’t look back in anger, hold on to your memories. Learn from your mistakes and all your apologies. With good help and company, a soul can be set free with a good melody you can make your dreams reality. Hindsight staring through the glass Broken hearts can heal without a cast. They say good times come from living like each day could be your last. Oh what’s the point of living in the past.”
JD Casper, “Living in the Past”
Check out the video for JD Casper’s “Living in the Past”
Manlihood: Your new song, “Living in the Past” has so much depth. There’s a message you want us to hear – tell me about that.
JD Casper: For me, the song serves as a modest reminder to be present everyday. Engage with your loved ones and don’t dwell on the past. You’re not your childhood traumas. You’re not the bad decisions or the bad break ups you’ve went through. Your hardships don’t define you. There’s always hope for a better tomorrow. For all of us.
Manlihood: There’s an earnest and rich earthiness to your music – it could have been recorded yesterday or 100 years ago. What is it about that folk style that drew you in?
JD Casper: As a child, I spent a lot of time with my grandfather. He’s had country radio on in his living room and garage 24/7 since before I was born. I think it was imprinted into my subconscious for better or worse. But I really started to embrace the sound about 10 years ago. I like music that bleeds emotion.
Manlihood:Is music your full time gig? What does that look like for you? Is it hard work?
JD Casper: Music has been my full time gig for about 5 years now. My schedule has been pretty consistent. I play six shows a week. It’s a lot of singing, strumming, and stomping. But I get paid well and get to spend the maximum amount of time with my family. Which is very important to me having a son that’s turning 3 this month.
Manlihood: You’ve been a musician since you were young. Did you ever dream it would look like what it looks like now?
JD Casper: If you had told me, the 12 year old boy from Lewis Run, PA that this was going to be my life at 27, I don’t think I would’ve believed it. I’m living my dream. Truly.
Manlihood: This song dropped this week, where can I buy it?
JD Casper: You can get it everywhere! Stream it on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon music, or download it on iTunes, or the YouTube video. There will be a bigger EP coming soon with 5 or 6 more songs. This is just the tip of the iceberg.