Monday, December 27, 2010

A Post-Christmas Poem

Not mine but a good one.

Journey of the Magi by T.S. Eliot

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on the slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: Were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their god.
I should be glad of another death.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


wake up
to thin paper cocoons immediately undone,
their contents consumed.
the floor is littered with a terrible refuse.
and faces drain of anticipation,
as multicolored lights illuminate
fabricated smiles.

and then:

that's it?"
the offerings expire)
"it's not even what I asked for.
i needed more
than this"

the air is still and strange when
greedy eyes glance at sturdy walls
and stare at flawless feet.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Snippets

a tip of the hat to a few of my Christmas favorites:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

When Christmas Comes Around

a late entry.
real happy about the way
this one came together.
hope you feel the same.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Garden of Earthly...

Happy Holidays all! Loving the card designs that have gone up. Wishing that I had the talent to produce such beautiful imagery. Anyhow, wanted to share something I just posted on my blog. Recently have been thinking of this piece by Bosch and drew from it some inspiration... The spacing is out of whack, and it's not what I intended; blame Google! Some words are supposed to be offset from others, to give them more space for emphasis but this isn't bad. Happy Holidays! I'll have to jump on the "Country Christmas" train now.

"The Garden of Earthly..."

Split in three.
And the interlude.

(triptych trifecta)

Holy Ghost apparatus:
produced me.

And God knows,
I decay.

Naked bodies, piled high

What I’m trying to say is
We haven’t got time.

for most of these
rotting flesh


Sunday, December 19, 2010

...Holiday artwork- Advent #4...

This is my last holiday artwork post, which means that this is my creation for this year's card. As you have probably noticed, the idea of advent has really been on my mind this season. I didn't realize how much, until the other night I woke up in the wee hours of the morning with a few phrases running through my head. I've shared them below, unedited, just the way they rolled through my mind.
As you view this card, I hope you feel as though it was especially made for you, because it was....and this is my way of wishing you and your family a super holiday!!! Have a great week!!!

(The) Coming
Through the sands of time....................................
..........................................................Sifting and Shifting,
Between arrival & future destination...
...Waiting again.......................

Saturday, December 18, 2010

{)Country Christmas(}{)A Mixtape(}

been savin' the best fur last folks. this here's ma last Christmas mix of the season. it's a blend of classic bluegrass, country & western. i've derived much joy during the collecting & patching together of this collection. there's something here for everybody, ranging from songs that celebrate the Savior to songs about the broken-hearted Christmas blues. there are songs of Christmas on the range, Christmas in the country, Christmas in the mountains, and there's even one about being in a Christmas tree delivery truck. some of these songs go way back with recordings that span several generations up to the present date. for me personally, they produce a genuinely warm feeling as i think of the intimacy of this ongoing celebration that mainly happens within the context of family. there's something about the country inflection, the tone of the songs, the vulnerability and playfulness of the lyrics that has a way of casting my memories back to childhood. I pray it'll do the same for you & yours. A special thanks to Josh for providing his talents to the album artwork displayed above as well as all the blogs out there who are kickin' out the crackly goodness. Merry Christmas everybody ~ Doug

Blue Christmas - Leon Huff
Christmas Angel - Stompin' Tom Connors
Christmas Is Near - The Stanley Brothers
Old Timey Christmas - Merle Lindsay & The Oklahoma Night Riders
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks - The Louvin Brothers
Footprints In The Snow - Jack Guthrie
When It's Christmas On The Range - Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys
Santa & The Kids - Charley Pride
You're The Angel On My Christmas Tree - Faron Young
Lonely Christmas - Ferlin Husky
Christmas With You - Johnny Cash & June Carter
Winter Wonderland - Willie Nelson
Here At Christmas - Be Thine Mountain
Hanukkah Dance - Woody Guthrie
Baby, It's Cold Outside - Homer & Jethro with June Carter
Christmas Is Just Another Day For Me - Ernest Tubb
Blue Christmas Lights - Buck Owens
Old-Fashion Christmas - Jimmy Martin
If Santa Claus Could Bring You Back To Me - Jimmy Wakely
Silent Night - Wilf Carter
A Cowboy's Christmas Song - Leon McAuliffe And His Western Swing Band
White Christmas - Kitty Wells
(Merry Christmas) We Must Be Having One - Tammy Wynette
Be My Valentine On Christmas - Glenna Bell
Country Christmas - Loretta Lynn

Thursday, December 16, 2010


via !!crescere!!, Be Thine Mountain would like to wish you a Merry Christmas. Ben & I wrote and recorded the following song last night and would like to gift it to you. it's a little rough around the edges, but it's wrapped in love. look for a second appearance of this number on an upcoming country mix of the classic sort. peace & joy ~ B.T.M.

Here At Christmas - Be Thine Mountain

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

...Holiday Artwork- Advent #3.1...

Here's a couple more pieces inspired by the advent season. Feel free to write something based on them. I have been missing the posts filled with creative writing, even though I have been enjoying all the great music mixes....let's (inspire/be inspired by) one another!!! Share the gift of your thoughts and words....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

...Holiday artwork- Advent #3...

Here are two more cards that I created in years past. We're almost down to the final week. During this season, I hope that you're feeling excitement rather than stress; joy instead of anxiety. BlesSINGs to you and yours!!!

<(*)>lights on a house<(*)>

last year this time, my good friend ben nester (one half of be thine mountain) gifted friends & family with a homemade christmas ep. he's given me permission to put it up here for all ears to hear. it consists of two traditionals & two originals. you can tell which one i favor by the title of this post. keep your eyes peeled for volume two.

oh come, oh come - b. nester
more christmastime - b. nester
silent night - b. nester
lights on a house - b. nester

Sunday, December 12, 2010

...A Mix of BlackForrestry: Christmas Time Is Coming To Town...

Here's my contribution to the stream of Christmas mixes that are flooding the blog. I wasn't going to post a mix, but I received an offer from Ryan "The Coolest Cat Around" Portnoy to participate in a "good-old-fashioned mixtape swap". So, I figured that I would post the results here for you guys to enjoy as well. If you are unfamiliar with the ever-coolness of the Portnoys, check out some of their projects at
This past year and a half, I have fallen in love with soul, gospel, and garage music, so it is appropriate that the music of this mix reflects that. These tunes are the ones that have been bringing a special amount of merriment to my holiday preparations. Hopefully, it will do the same for you.

01 The Beatles- Christmas message 1969 (excerpt)
02 The Sonics- Santa Claus
03 The Vel-Mars- Jingle Bells
04 Elvis Presley- Santa Claus Is Back In Town
05 Otis Redding- White Christmas
06 The Ronettes- Frosty The Snowman
07 The Supremes- Silver Bells
08 Darlene Love- Marshmallow World
09 Honey & The Bees- Jing Jing A Ling
10 Carla Thomas- Gee Whiz It's Christmas
11 Booker T & The MGs- Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
12 The Temptations- Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
13 Harvey Averne Band- Let's Get It Together This Christmas
14 Wild Honey- Angel's Christmas
15 The Funk Brothers- Winter Wonderland
16 The Poets- Merry Christmas, Baby
17 Smokey Robinson- Deck The Halls
18 Betty Lloyd- Snowflakes
19 Desmond Dekker & The Aces- Christmas Day
20 The Shurfine Singers- Silent Night & The 11 O'Clock News
21 Rotary Connection- Christmas Child
22 Zebra- Christmas Morning (Sean Bonniwell Re-edit)
23 Gene Toone- Baby Boy
24 Manhattans- It's That Time Of Year
25 Bill Withers- Gift Of Giving
26 Don Mason- Here's Wishing You A Merry Christmas
27 The Galaxies- The Christmas Song
You can download the mix broken up as tracks with this link
Please let me know if the tracks download out of order or there are any other issues when downloading.

Friday, December 10, 2010


some Christmas jAZZ for your listening pleasure. this was a tough mix to make. to my personal dismay, there appears to be very little material to work with in the avant garde department, though i'll never give up the search. however, this is excellent jazz throughout with a heavy dose of the Christmas Spirit, including a few tracks that really push the envelope. if you listen to nothing else, please hear roland kirk's (cool lookin' cat on the cover) interpretation of we three kings. a yuletide gem to rival coltrane's greensleeves (also included).
Merry Christmas

silent night, holy night - i heart lung
winter wonderland - sonny rollins
we free kings - roland kirk
variations on a Christmas theme - the modern jazz quartet
God rest ye merry gentlemen - oscar peterson
have yourself a merry little Christmas - dexter gordon quartet
what child is this? - vince guaraldi
chipmunk Christmas - john scofield
santa claus is coming to town - jimmy smith
sleighride (aka midnight sleighride) - sauter-finegan & their orchestra
little drummer boy - jazzcode
do you hear what i hear? - jack brokensha quartet
we three kings of orient are - wynton marsalis septet
greensleeves - john coltrane
white Christmas - charlie parker
hymn for st. john of shanghai - create (!)

Monday, December 6, 2010

...Holiday art- Advent #2...

I'm going to include 2 past card covers in this post. They are both from several years back.

{)Christmas Eve(}{)A Mixtape(}

this is christmas eve, one half of a two disc christmas mix i made for some close friends in 2008, though i've made a few revisions for the sake of improvement. this was the mellow half. the other half, entitled christmas morn', was more on the peppy side. perhaps i'll put it up next year. this will be the first of three christmas mixes that i intend to put up between now and somewhere's around the 20th. there are some really wonderful renditions of the classics here, as well as some fine originals. merry christmas. doug

carol of bells - i heart lungs
joy to the world - clem snide
holy night - a perfect friend
o come, o come emmanuel - belle & sebastian
only at christmas time - sufjan stevens
the little drummer boy -vandaveer
lo, how a rose e're blooming - feist
christmas (baby, please come home) - arab strap
in the bleak midwinter - dan zimmerman
silent night - richard hawley
blue christmas - the perishers
the first noel - benji cossa
wrap me up - the sad cobras & the magic twig family
christmas time is here again (bring out the joy!) - my morning jacket
we're going to the country - sufjan stevens
christmas eve, driving home - frontier ruckus
don't be scared, there is a savior - joel pickell
shenandoah - le loup
the choir at your door - the choir at your door
last christmas - erland oye
if you were born today - low
o little town of bethlehem - the innocence mission
white christmas - snow den
it came upon a midnight clear - laura gibson
jingle bells - julian koster

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I just noticed that !!crescere!! is closing in on 100 posts. I am honored to be a part of this blog. It has inspired me and given me the opportunity to, hopefully, encourage other artists in their quests. I have mentioned many things that have had a huge impact on me this year. Some of them have come from this blog. Earlier this year I went through a very powerful change; an awakening. God, and I blame Him because this kind of beguiling activity has His modus operandi all over it, has used many instruments (some smooth, some blunt) to pierce me, hook me and draw me deeper into His heart. Holiness has been a huge reality that He has been opening my eyes to. Then a convergence of all the arts in my life (that I dabble in) being instruments of worshipping Jesus. It is as if everything I have learned, from the CD sleeves that inspired me to writing poetry in middle school, to my modest song writing based off passages of Scripture, has converged into a mountain peak and exploded at the tip into confetti and streams of turqouises, teals, canary yellows, golds and oranges. I am grateful that !!crescere!! is part of the journey.

Here is the short of it. Amidst a week of prayer I had a dream that I was at a concert. The guys playing didn't have their shirts on. For some reason that stood out to me. I heard the term "gravio rio". At first I thought it was the name of the band. As I researched I found "agravio" which means insult or wrong. Rio, of course, means river in Spanish. I have an affinity for aspects of Latin culture so this definitely spoke to me. I finally concluded that I was in the "wrong river". Though I wasn't in a terribly sinful state, necessarily, I wasn't completely in His pleasure.

One day the Lord spoke to me and said. "You can go higher". I realized then and since that I was spending more time in my soul than in His Spirit. As I said there were many tools He used. John Mark McMillan's The Medicine album, Philip Graham Ryken's Art For God's Sake, Makato Fujimura's work, Rick Joyner's articles on the arts and prophecy, as well as the days of prayer that were going on at our church at the time. It has opened doors in me that I am watchful to keep open. I just want to thank you guys for any response, encouragment or support you've given. If I'm on here a little less it's because I'm still striving to make Him my first audience. This is a beginning for me. I have spent 30 years stumbling toward this. Now I purpose to spend the remainder of my days here perfecting the best offering possible. Oh, it also could be because of my technological ineptness that I can't post a single song. Anyways, blessings to you all.

-:o:- First Attempt at Overlay -:o:-

Doug, I know we talked about Microsoft and how you've mastered their image program... but I don't think I even have it so I decided to play around with photoshop. I don't even know what I did, but I somehow induced some interesting effects by monkeying around. Overlaid a photo I found of my favorite place from when I was a little boy. A pond in Drew University's Zuck arboretum. Merging distant past and present... while trying to learn a thing or two: Youtube has some great tutorials. Photoshop has many, many functions. Layers are confusing! Anyhow, I like the way the colors turned out for sure. An eerie effect. Not too similar to your overlays which I'm so fond of, but I'm looking forward to playing around some more.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

<{(come winter)}>~<{(a mixtape)}>

greetings. happy first day of advent. here's a new mix intended to make you feel glad. if i were to try to describe it i'd say it sounds like the internal buzzings of someone dizzy with love. i realize that i might not have won you over with that statement, so allow me to explain:

the songs cover a lot of territory while consistently maintaining a sense of reflective joy & anticipation. somebody alone in a big room or ambling up a forest path with no one looking on. lost in thought. full of hope, acceptance, mystery. at times the music is hardly conscious - outside of time - flowing in the current. other times it's totally uninhibited - leaping giddy. i hope you've been here before. it's a good place to be.

what's the inspiration? i was thinking of a friend who i probably just described. one jaben vandenburg who this coming saturday will wed one carly arends. this mix is dedicated to them. i wish, hope & pray the very best to both of you & hope this music aptly reflects the coming days. congratulations - i wish i could be there.

as for everyone else, i would recommend this mix for activities such as drawing, walking, writing, necking, bubble-bathing, chessing, cooking & all around chillaxin'. enjoy. doug

birds pt. 1 - monster rally

Recent Poetry

(None of these really relate to each other; but I thought I'd put some recent poetry out there...)

"And Yet We Wait"

I still crouch in ribbons of weeds
-Bare to the bone-
Apprehensiveness illuminating
Men all around me.
I can't stand the quiet any longer.
So I ask them
What they think of the world.
"We don't know," they whisper.
"It's been a while."
We all turn pale.
Everyone forces a laugh
Until the wind asks us
What we're waiting for.



Fit right in.

Watch the way you ask questions;

When I'm not even around.

I told you,

"I'll be down by the river searching for driftwood."

It makes me feel at home.

So don't tell me you're lonely.

There's no such thing as an empty room,

Only a vacant mind.

You could be here with me,

It doesn't matter if I'm not around.

The Hudson smells nice this time of year,

You'd fit right in.


"Riverside Interlude"

Autumn's mockery
Creates an absence of boats,
And the willow speaks for itself.

Half of a worn couple shows affection:
Speechless eyes and a limp arm embrace.
Why am I alone?

Cold brick slabs retain
River water overflow.
"A monument to those lost at sea"
True patriotism.

Scarce light scatters slowly
Over a family torn to pieces,
God knows why
The seagulls don't mind
The cold.

I wonder where the fish will go?
Swim away with me?

Brick and mortar won't last forever...