DISCOVERIES: Julie Flanders, “Joyride” (The Poem) (2/6)

Photo credit: WANDAROCKS (Wanda Ruggeria)

Photo credit: WANDAROCKS (Wanda Ruggeria)

Julie Flanders is a master lyrical shape-shifter. Over the years, her award-winning songwriting skills (honed since her teens) have morphed into related manifestations as a bestselling poet and her use of neuro-linguistic programming in her hypnosis/ coaching practice. We thought Flanders was an ideal person to rev up our Ideablog’s “Discoveries” theme because her varied portfolio of career successes is a case study of what great things can happen when one never gives up on discovering—especially the untapped potential within oneself. As she writes here, she didn’t set out to write a book of poetry, but as a lifelong collaborative creator, she wanted to reconnect her own independent spark which eventually coalesced into her poetry collection Joyride. And she continues to explore new musical forms with her band, “The October Project” which has released (in their namesake month!) their latest album, “The Book of Rounds: 21 Songs of Grace,” resplendent with their signature: mesmerizingly moody layered harmonies. We predict these will cast as powerful a hypnotic spell on you as they have upon our office. As October always heralds the seasonal shift towards the colder, contemplative months of the year, we wish you the thrill of unexpected discoveries.
~Victoria C. Rowan, Ideasmyth Creatrix-in-Chief


Proof positive that time flies, I had to wear reading glasses to read Joyride in public.  I then had to overcome my own vanity about this in order to post it. This was my great act of courage, especially noble considering that the poem is about the spirit of defiance we must conjure to stay alive, fully alive, even as time calls us back to herself.


The backlit clouds of your childhood

Mock you with nostalgia

As the broken clock betrays all allegiance

To the present

Where the flagpole used to stand

For something

You feel like a ghost

Walking in a place you should be recognized

By the living

But you are not part of this scene

You are invisible to the young eyes

That open on each other

Like perfect windows

That can see nothing but themselves

Breezing through youth

With all the empty excitement

Of a full wind

Or a wind full of ego and joy

Each girl, each boy

Unique as a f lower

And as beautiful as a brand new toy

When it has just emerged from its wrapper

Never to be better than this

Never to be able to go back

To that moment before

You were walking here once

Skies clear as they are now

Stretching over your own foolishness

With that same benign countenance of approval

Life is a great big water slide

That rushes by faster than expected

By the time you realize

You’re coming to the end of things

You used to care about

You can finally appreciate

The sensation

Of bright air

Ballooning into your lungs

The happy chatter of birds

And the scolding remorse of what-ifs

On dead tongues

You pretend it doesn’t matter

You pull up a little taller

Invisible, perhaps, but superior

To what? To whom?

Well, perhaps no one cares but you

You believe for a moment

That the whole thing is exterior

That it is not just your imagination

Or perception

Or whatever you want to call it


But call it something because

Naming things is still important

Call it age

Call it wisdom

Call it longing

Call it the way of the world

Call it jealousy

Call it cliché

Call it mortality

Call it whatever you will

It won’t kill you to tell the truth

Nor will it keep you alive

You now understand it’s not enough to survive

The significance is in the quality of the ride

With all the other ghosts who laugh and cry

And declare their love and affinity for you

As you ride down

Where life is too short

And so astonishingly wide

You cannot avoid it

(And you have tried)

So make a choice

Embrace this overwhelming slide

And smile

As you glide

Into eternity

See more of Julie Flanders’ Featured Creative posts on our Ideablog

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~~~#1 Bestselling Amazon author, Julie Flanders is known for her passionate and haunting texts.

With deceptively simple words, she guides readers through the mysteries of the familiar to a deeper understanding of life and love, death and loss, miracles of perception, and the magic of the ordinary.

An award-winning songwriter, Flanders is the lyricist for the band, October Project, which she co-founded with composer Emil Adler, and which is still celebrated for its two groundbreaking albums recorded for Epic Records that together have sold over 1/2 million copies worldwide. October Project is set to release its newest studio album, The Ghost of Childhood, in 2016.

Flanders’ songs with many artists have been widely featured on television and in film. She is considered an innovator in both the creation and marketing of independent music. Her newest work, The Book of Rounds: 21 Songs of Grace, an original cycle of musical rounds, is being released by Sounds True Records in September of 2015.

Flanders is also an acclaimed Achievement Expert and Master Success Coach, mentoring creative leaders and innovators and forward-thinkers in business, design and the arts. Her client list includes business visionaries, Academy Award winners, New York Times best-selling authors, and social influencers who are shaping the future now.


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