I jammed with my friend named Omar* on drums three or four times about two or three years ago. Nothing structured, we just sat in a room and he banged on the drums and I banged on the guitar, both of us with a modicum of skill. Omar is actually a great guitarist, but wanted to branch out into the world of drumming. I was just getting started seriously playing guitar and hadn’t really gotten comfortable with playing it in front of people. I’m very thankful for the experience, but we never got the band going.

One of the first things we did together was jam out a song I called “Steep.” I never got a good recording of it and I may never get to record it, but I wanted to share the lyrics with you. So…let’s call it a poem.


Well if there ever was a day
when steeping tea would take our breath away
and orange rinds or orange peels
would pierce the protective efforts of our shields
we’d never entertain the thought to yield
nor turn our backs with death at our heels

Well If there ever was a day
when walking home could take our breath away
Singing birds so high up in the trees
embers of the setting sun burning through the leaves
we’d never entertain the thought to sleep
not with the wonders of this planet at our feet

Well If there ever was a day
When you could feel the breath of life fading away
Or if time was a clock
Whose hand’s we saw to never stop
You would breathe deeply
You would Steep

You would steep.

When I was a very young, my grandmother Nancy took a lot of pleasure in drinking tea. After working hard at her two jobs, one of her great joys was to sit down at the kitchen table in the shared kitchen of the place where we lived and enjoy a cup. I remember the smell of a brand new box of Lipton tea packets vividly. I also remember my visceral anger when one day Lucy, the landlord of the rooming house where we lived, did something to upset her while she was having her cup. It probably wasn’t that big of a deal, I don’t remember any of the details of what happened, but that image stuck with me.

As I got older, my Gramma inexplicably switched to coffee. I asked her why, but she didn’t know herself.

Part owner of Reciprocal Skateboards if you’ll excuse the name dropping.