Interview with NewsGram on Web Talk
Based on the book First Poem of Words
by Jef Harris.
Do what you love.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try
the world. Try
to see the good in everything. How
many other good pieces of advice can you think of?
Today we are going to look at a man who
embodies everything I just said. He’s a world traveler. He’s an
author and a poet with a friendly voice. His name
is Jef Harris and and on his website he
writes — “poetry not only speaks from the
soul but also from the spirit of a living God dwelling inside, who
sometimes permits the soul to speak.” I love that. He’s written a
book called First Poem of
Jef Harris (Celebration
of Words) The book is like a celebration of words.
Which explains the cover. It’s word art.
You’ve seen collages of words before. Jef’s book cover is one
of those. It’s field with words that have a double meaning and are
fun to say like SING, MOON, MASSACHUSETTS, PEELED, PENETRANT,
PASSION, MASK and SURVIVAL. When you open it up and start reading
you find that this is not just a collection of words, it’s exactly
what Jeff just said a minute ago. It’s a celebration of
Jef Harris (Each
Poem is a Story). And each poem is like a
story. It’s just a short story, and the reader has to fill in the
Let’s take a look. Here is the first poem
titled PARIS 1980
The street was too narrow
the bus was too big and You
parked like a toddler.The
driver couldn’t back Us
out of that crookedLane.
He had to go forward.It
took four of usTo
pick up your RenaultAnd
sit on the sidewalkI’m
sure you must haveBeen
shocked mute whenYou
saw your car up fourAnd
over eighteen inches. Sorry,
we didn’t leaveYou
a note. You wouldn’tHave
liked our reprimandFor
lousy parking and Inconsideration.
couldn’t write it inFrench,
C’est la vie!Sommes-nous
The French words are translated on the bottom
to say, That’s life! and Are we forgiven? Hilarious. Who hasn’t
been in that situation plus, I’m from Chicago and when I
found Jef was too it made total sense and I had to read
it. You know exactly what happened there….They lifted and moved a
guys Renault Le Car in order to park a bus and the ending is the
note they couldn’t leave because they didn’t know how to write it
in French. All the poems aren’t this short and simple. I
picked this one because I liked the story and wanted to share it.
Here’s one read by the author
himself, Jef Harris.
Jef harris (Lead
me) – This poem is called lead
me and it’s actually a lyric to a song that I composed and
wrote. Lead Me
Through darkness that
surrounds me. Evil
coaxing my hostility. Temptations,
hatred in my heart. Far
beyond laughing demons dangling my desires from a string.
They want to take my soul away.They
promise everything. As
their low lead feeds me. Lead
the ignorance that delays me. Trust
that now betrays me. Pain
of realizing all those. Faces
aren’t of prophets. Mere
devils masked so saintly. Flashing hope before my
lured to accept their passion. Apt to
believe their lies. As
their steel will bleeds me. Lead
Getting his book published wasn’t
Jef Harris (Not
gonna happen) There was a time when I thought…I’m not gonna make
it. It’s not gonna happen.
But it did. Lots of writing and revising and
collecting and rewriting…
Jef Harris (The
Process) I’ve been writing
poetry for years. I started writing in elementary school actually
and I just kept on writing and submitting and revising and
submitting and revising…
And all the hard work finally paid off. His
book was published and now it’s available everywhere. First Poem of
Words. It’s a poetic travel journal of sorts. It’s designed to
share his experiences but also to inspire with poignant
thoughts, enlighten and spread hope.
Jef Harris (Traveling) The
way all the poems came out. I told the story of my travels from
Chicago, Illinois to South South Korea. and the different points in
between. Germany and other places in the states. and the way it
came about it did give a holistic view of how I saw the world and
its impact on me. Not the entire world but the world I was circling
around and its impact on me.
While doing some research for this edition of
Newsgram I read different reviews of Jef’s work. One reviewer
said “…there’s a rhythmic playfulness to his words…” and I think
that’s pretty spot on. Jef paints a colorful tapestry of
language in his book and I think you’ll enjoy the way the words are
put together as well as the story they tell.
It’s available online right now wherever you
like to buy books or you can visit his website https:///www.JefHarrispoems.com Jeff
is spelled with one F.
And that will do it for this edition of