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I once was a frustrated musician in the city park
Just an unknown artist who stayed way past dark
My audience was mostly the squirrels and birds
Not a soul knew the man who painted with words

One day I was discovered and everything changed
From morning to late night my schedule rearranged
Fame and money so much more than I could believe
Had it all, but there was always, even more to achieve

I've looked at life from both sides now
From lows to highs, and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really didn't know life at all

Slowly all this popularity began to suck my soul dry 
A slave to handlers and schedules felt like I would die
So I hatched a plan and borrowed a friend's name
Hidden in obscurity Poetry Soup started as a game

But something surprising happened along the way
Began to fall in love with other poets more every day
A poetry contest for simple glory totally captivated me
And it was in this bowl of Soup I began to clearly see

I've looked at life from both sides now
From lows to highs, and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really didn't know life at all

That musician in the city park actually had it made
Surrounded by nature's beauty while the artist played
The night sky incredible, something money can't buy
The audience that matters dwells in Heaven on high

It's nice to be loved and valued without the aid of fame
To woo only with your words, riches can't be blamed
But how would things change if I revealed my identity
Would my fellow soupers forgive and love me for me

I've looked at life from both sides now
From lows to highs, and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really didn't know life at all

Note: The contest is themed after Joni's famous "Both Sides Now" song. To play off of her song I quote almost verbatim her concluding chorus. I do so three times intentionally for effect and give full credit to Joni Mitchel as the original writer of said chorus.

Contest: Alfred Vassallo's "Both Sides Now"
Date: 7-23-14
Poet: Dave Wood



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  1. Date: 7/24/2014 5:12:00 PM

    This is a great poem. Dave. there is nothing like friends that appreciate you for who you are and not what they may get from you. monetary riches can not bring you true friends, You always wonder if there is motive. You did a very good job on this one my friend.... Robert.
  1. Date: 7/24/2014 5:11:00 PM

    Enjoyed reading your contest entry..Now I wonder who you are or if this was just a work to win a contest?..Anyway enjoyed way to go..Thanks for the visits to my page..Sara
  1. Date: 7/24/2014 5:07:00 PM

    you've woven joni mitchell's lyrics beautifully within your own very wonderful poem and i'm especially glad that you acknowledged her words. good luck in the contest!
  1. Date: 7/24/2014 5:01:00 PM

    I love your poem song dave, the best I've read from your pen yet. I have always said that to dream of fame is an empty dream. Why would anyone want to live in a goldfish bowl. I am so glad you learned this, and now chooses the birds and the squirrels. great write, my friend....peter
  1. Date: 7/24/2014 3:58:00 PM

    To be loved for who you are is the best feeling money and fame can't buy.This poem reminds me of the last two biographies I read of Susan Boyle and Robbie Williams...Fame changed everything they were ,except their heart.Their heart is still the same,yearning for the freedom of that musician in the park.I really enjoyed reading this poem. Its so different and uniquely crafted Dave.
  1. Date: 7/24/2014 1:02:00 PM

    you had me worried my friend until I read your seemed out of character for you..still a very good for your question within your poem..some of your souper friends would love you for you... some would become like seagulls spotting food on a beach
  1. Date: 7/24/2014 12:01:00 PM

    Wow fabulous write Dave! So well depicted theme,, both sides ,, awesome,, can't there be a third way out?
  1. Date: 7/24/2014 10:33:00 AM

    I love this write!.... If I were a famous artist I think I'd stay hidden. More honest and sincere friends that way. Although it would be awesome. Its seems like a lonely life.
  1. Date: 7/24/2014 4:18:00 AM

    from fame to real fellowship, you tackled both sides with the depth and eloquence of your words, dave... perhaps, we could include song's title where some lines were taken?... incredible, dave.. huggs
  1. Date: 7/24/2014 3:23:00 AM

    Soup mail
  1. Date: 7/24/2014 2:22:00 AM

    Wow Dave your poems so often have a unique twist! Whether this is fact or fiction your lyrics are awesome and you deserve fame and fortune for them anyway! Hugs jan xxx
  1. Date: 7/24/2014 12:55:00 AM

    Hi, As I read I started to sing this............:) Quite an interesting take on the "Both Sides Now" theme, you should do well with this piece. What really matters in life are the real things, the things money nor fame can buy. Great write!
  1. Date: 7/23/2014 11:49:00 PM

    Remarkable Dave or whatever your real name is...cheers Tim