::muddy hymnal::

I’m not sure why, but I can’t help but associate lots of my photographs with songs by Sam Beam.  Maybe it’s because they are often playing in my car as I’m driving around shooting. Maybe it’s because I’ve been transplanted down South and am a little more connected with the atmosphere and culture he often reflects upon.  Maybe I just vainly hope for a fragmented connection between the feelings I try to stir within people who view my photographs to those things I feel when I hear one of his songs.

Songs of sadness, beauty, poverty, emotional despair, hope and peace, appreciation for the natural world and simple living.  Songs that bring to mind weary memories and allow deep reflection.  Songs that speak of holding on.  Songs spliced with faith and misunderstandings.  Appreciating your roots, your land, and knowing where you’re from. Songs about families, songs about lovers, songs about individuals.  Truth hidden and defined through the sweet sounds of a steel guitar.

Photo taken in Brooklet, GA (click for larger view)

found your name across the chapel door
carved in cursive with a table fork
muddy hymnals
and some bootmarks where you’d been

the shaking preacher told the captain’s man
the righteous suffer in a fallen land
and pulled the shade
to keep the crowd from peeking in

we found your children by the tavern door
with wooden buttons and an apple core
playing house
and telling everyone you’d drowned

the begging choir told the captain’s man
we all assume the worst the best we can
and for a round or two
they’d gladly track you down

we found you sleeping by your lover’s stone
a ream of paper and a telephone
a broken bow
across a long lost violin

your lover’s angel told the captain’s man
it never ends the way we had it planned
and kissed her palm
and placed it on your dreaming head

-Sam Beam



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4 responses to “::muddy hymnal::

  1. Mom Buteyn

    I LOVE this photo Kay! Beautiful!

  2. Margaret

    How does he write like that? I love him so much. I read an interview once where he said many of the stories in his songs are fabricated. I like the fact that he dreams up this poetry rather than reflect on real past experiences.

  3. richie roy

    i like that pic!

  4. Aunt Pam

    The love of nature. Oh what our Lord has given us. Beauty beyond words.

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