Monday, 9 March 2015

A Poem For The Tower

My bus short-turned AGAIN this morning. However, it was still a nice commute today:

Peeking through the east-west streets of residential neighbourhoods - the CN Tower kept appearing in the hazy pick-orange morning light. Other skyscrapers seemed to dance in the dawning of the sun reminding me that, while the bus drives along a street of two-story brick houses - I live in a huge and busy city.

I kept thinking, "I see the tower, and the tower sees me, and ..." but then was unable to finish the thought. I knew that this came from a poem that I listened to in the car when I was growing up. It was a recording we had (on a cassette tape) called Alligator Pie. Aunty Laura had given it to me, and the poems and songs from it are a very treasured part of my childhood.

When I got to work today I looked and looked to find the next bit of that poem, I knew that it was actually about the moon. It turns out that, "I see the moon, the moon sees me" is a fairly popular phrase:

I See The Moon
I see the moon, the moon sees me
shining through the leaves of the old oak tree
Oh, let the light that shines on me
shine on the one I love.

I See The Moon
Song: By Jim Brickman, 2002
I see the moon, the moon sees me 
The moon sees somebody I want to see 
So, God bless the moon and God bless me 
And God bless the 'Somebody' I want to see

But neither of these were right and it took a lot of searching to find it. In my various internet discoveries, was that the author of "The Moon," which is the poem that I know, is Canadian. In the back of my mind, I always knew that the Alligator Pie tape was somehow linked to Canada and Toronto;. It turns out the poet/author, is Dennis Lee and he is responsible for a number of amazing things: he has written a huge amount of children's poetry, did the lyrics for the Fraggle Rock theme song and other songs from that show, and was co-writer of the story for Labyrinth. He also wrote this poem, which is the one I had been looking for:

The Moon
By Dennis Lee, Garbage Delight, 1977

I see the moon
And the moon sees me
And nobody sees
As secretly

Unless there’s a kid
In Kalamazoo,
Or Mexico,
Or Timbuktu,

 Who looks in the sky
At the end of the day,
And she thinks of me
In a friendly way —

 ‘Cause we both lie still
And we watch the moon;
And we haven’t met yet,
But we might do, soon.

I think it is perfect. I wish I could have remembered it on the bus this morning, because the words are so fitting for the CN Tower. "I see the tower and the tower sees me, and nobody sees as secretly." I also saw the list of poems in the book, Alligator Pie, and remembered one called "Skyscraper" that is also a beautiful poem about the city:

By Dennis Lee, Alligator Pie, 1974

Skyscraper, skyscraper, 
Scrape me some sky: 
Tickle the sun 
While the stars go by. 

Tickle the stars 
While the sun's climbing high, 
Then skyscraper, skyscraper, 
Scrape me some sky.


Sweeton said...

Thanks Chris, that bought back memories of many car trips, listening to Alligator Pie.

Meghan van Asseldonk said...

we have the skyscraper poem as a board book, I use to love reading it to the boys.