Cleaning Windows!

It’s not a mistake to find the book Lit Up Inside amongst my books of poetry. Some might think that a book of song lyrics by Van Morrison doesn’t belong squeezed between Billy Collins and Mary Karr and a few shelves away from Betjeman, Stevens and Larkin! I like where I have placed it. Song writers and poets have much in common. In Morrison’s 1982 album Beautiful Vision you find the song Cleaning Windows. As a child I have memories of having our windows cleaned and watching in delight as the window cleaner with ladder and bucket moved from house to house. Window cleaners never stayed for long. Morrison when he couldn’t find work in Belfast in the 1960s turned to cleaning windows! I continue to enjoy his singing and I’m glad it worked out for him. Today I reckon he has someone to clean his windows as his net worth is estimated to be nearer $90M. Enjoy the lyrics or the poetry and if you have time listen to him sing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYyVxQgnhDo

Cleaning Windows
Oh, the smell of the bakery from across the street
Got in my nose
As we carried our ladders down the streets
With the wrought iron gate rows
I went home and listened to Jimmie Rodgers and Frank Williams
In my lunch break
Bought five woodbines at the shop on the corner
And went straight right back to work

Sam was up on top and Jim was on the bottom
With the V
Went for lemonade and Paris burns At the shop
And broke for tea, yeah
I collected from the lady and I cleaned the fanlight inside-out
I was blowing saxophone on the weekend
Baby, in the down joint

Tell me, what’s my line?
I’m happy cleanin’ windows
Well, I’ll take my time
I’ll see you when my love grows
Baby, don’t let it slide
I’m a working man in my prime
Cleanin’ windows

Heard Leadbelly and Blind Lemon on the street where I was born, yeah
Sonny Terry and Brownie Mcghee and Muddy Waters singin’
I’m a rollin’ stone

And I read my Christmas Humphrey’s book
Said the book on Zen
Curiosity killed the cat
Kerouac’s Dharma bums and On the Road

Tell me, what’s my line?
I’m happy cleanin’ windows
Well, I’ll take my time
I’ll see you when my love grows
Baby, don’t let it slide
I’m a working man in my prime now
Cleanin’ windows

Tell me, what’s my line?
I’m happy cleanin’ windows
Well, I’ll take my time
I’ll see you when my love grows
Baby, don’t let it slide
I’m a working man in my prime, well
Cleanin’ windows

We’re singing Be-Bop-A-Lula, Who Slapped John?
Tell me what I say
Shaking All Over
Good Golly, Miss Molly (cleanin’ windows)
Wop-bop-a-loo-bop, bal-bam-bam
Tutti Frutti

Bumpin’ the blues
Cleanin’ windows (when I’m cleanin’ windows)
When I’m cleanin’ windows
When I’m cleanin’ windows (cleanin’ windows)

Prayer:
Lord God,
at times its good just to pause
and give thanks for the ordinary things.
For Mondays and Fridays.
For weekends and holidays.
For sunshine and rain.
Lord God,
at times its good just to pause
and give thanks for the ordinary things.
For trash days, and pay days,
For the car’s silent hum
For the plane’s safe landing.
Lord God,
at times its good just to pause
and give thanks for the ordinary things.
For the neighbor’s smile
For the bark of the dog next door.
For the opening flower in the pot by the door.
Lord God,
thank you for the ordinary things which
can often surprise and delight us, as they should. Amen.

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