Songs of the Season

Hark! The herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King!
Sleeping in Heavenly peace on a silent night
in oh little town of Bethlehem
He has come to bring joy to the world!

Mary, did you know that the child that you deliver
Will soon deliver you?
Holy infant, so tender and mild
God and sinner reconcile

Joyful all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies,
with angelic host proclaim,
Go tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere,
That Jesus Christ is born.

These are the carols that we sing,
During Christmastime
These tunes are more than just holiday rhymes,
They tell of God’s love divine

Frosty and Rudolph and snow days are nice,
But they cannot compare to God’s sacrifice.
He sent His Son, Jesus, for the world’s sin to die
And for the gift of eternal life even Santa can’t supply

Christmas trees are fine to see,
But I prefer what the angels sing:
Peace on Earth and the first Noel,
Good will to men from the King of Israel.

This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing!
Salvation from sin will come from this Heavenly being!
Fullness of God in a small child
So God and sinners reconcile

by Katharine Johns

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Fatima, Thoughts on Poetry

19-year old Fatima is your average girl with a twist; she loves to express herself through passionate words. Yes, that’s correct Fatima uses poetry as a way of expressing herself, she began writing her poems somewhere between being 12 and 14, and has been writing ever since.

Why poetry you may ask? When asked what motivates her to write, she responded “I personally believe poetry is a wonderful way to transmit all those feelings that some people do not allow to show up often, but that doesn’t mean they all have to be pure sadness or frustration, some are made out of the deepest emotions, that ones that warm up your heart, that make you smile… In my case, being able to express just the way I really want, is enough motivation.”

Writing according to her is about self-expression, her favorite thing about writing is “About writing… probably that it shows so much of who you really are and the thousands of topics you can actually get to talk about, adaptable to everything and everyone. Also, to be able to paint your own world in the confines of your mind and to be able to show clearly what your intentions are, capturing a moment with the exact combination of thought and feel on paper, it’s priceless.”

She says that writing has helped her grow as a person by helping her communicate with both herself, and other people better, “…it has helped me to communicate better with people around me and with myself at some point, because, I realize things while reading or writing quite frequently.” Where does writing stand in her future? Well, she hopes to continue to use writing “as my runaway to freedom still, or probably, to dedicating it way more time, as a vital part of my life, for sure.”

Fatima had a few words to those of you who are interested in writing, she said “I would definitely tell them to try it out; after all, it’s a wonderful way to think about things, usually, writing as words come to your mind is amazing; it really fuels the way ideas flow and the effect it has on them. Writing is just something that each person feels different but that everyone I know has loved equally.”

Her last words during the interview were a simple thank you to those who read her work. “Finally, but not less important, of course, to those people who actually take the time to read my pieces, I would like to give them a huge Thank you, for all their support and for all their love along with all the inspiration they give me. Follow your dreams they might lead you somewhere someday.”

A Din’s Thoughts

Timothy Hatfield is a name the majority of you will not recognize, but it’s a name you will come to appreciate, and respect after you read some of his poems.

Hatfield is a freshman studying at Marshall University, who partakes in the art of writing poetry in his spare time. He took the time to discuss how poetry has influenced his life, as well as what his goals are when it comes to writing poetry.

Hatfield stated that he began writing poetry when “I was 13-years-old, after my parents divorced.”His major influences with writing have come from “watching people,” and the works of brilliant poets like “Edgar Allan Poe, John Steinbeck, and H.P. Lovecraft.” Hatfield has a goal in mind as for where he would like his poetry to take him, and that plan is A Din’s Thoughts, a book which he hopes to write. When asked the purpose of A Din’s Thoughts, he responded with “to one day have enough pages to complete a small book of poetry, and to have it published.” He hopes to have this book completed within the next two years.

“I’m currently working on one more poem. Usually I try to write one per day, but here recently that’s been a strain. I should have one up by the end of the week thought.” The poem featured here, is titled “A Din’s Thoughts pg. 10.” A poem Hatfield explained as coming to life from him watching his grandfather’s grieving the death of his sister. He said “I had seen my grandfather morn his sister who had just passed away. It was around fall time. So you could say that A Din’s Thoughts pg. 10 is based on personal loss.”

The message Hatfield wants readers to take away from “A Din’s Thoughts pg. 10” is, “That life goes on, and there is a dreamer in all of us. It’s a short poem, with a very simple meaning.” Hatfield’s book in the making is one that will be filled with artistic poetry that will be enjoyable to a broad range of readers.

The RiffRaff

Open Mic at The RiffRaff, an Art Collective located at 865 Mercer St. in Princeton, WV, is an “artistic haven” according to Lori McKinney-Blankenship, where artistic talents of all types are welcomed, encouraged and respected.

Lori McKinney-Blankenship, along with the help of her husband Robert Blankenship opened The RiffRaff in 2006, making it a mere five years old, with the goal of giving back to the community, in an artistic way.

McKinney-Blankenship responded, “I grew up here, this is my hometown. I went away, studied theatre, and spent a summer abroad in London. The way the culture was shaped by the arts really affected me” when asked about what had motivated her to start The RiffRaff. She continued by saying “The fact that the community had access to art was something I recognized to be very valuable. After graduation, I searched for artists to work with, and hit the jackpot with creative collaborators. We wanted to make a difference in our community.”

Their desire to make a difference in their community was the building block to The Riff Raff. At open mic night, people are encouraged to make their way towards the stage, and to share their artistic talents with people who help form a supportive and welcoming group of people. All types of art are welcomed at The Riff Raff, according to McKinney-Blankenship, “Visual, literary, performing, healing, and theatrical. All types of creativity are welcome.”

The RiffRaff supplies people with a place to communicate with people whom they share things in common with. McKinney-Blankenship stated, “We’ve seen tons of young artists come in. Their creative lives are shaped by it. Waves of artists come at a time. It’s like eras of time. It’s always exciting,” she went on to say that “a few have really made it their identity, and taken advantage of the opportunities. Our door is open for you to make it your own.”

What falls under the category of making The RiffRaff your own? Well, at The RiffRaff, you are encouraged to share your art with other people. Diversities of art are welcome, encouraged and respected at The RiffRaff.

If you’re interested in starting or being in a band, The RiffRaff is a great place to meet people. McKinney-Blankenship said, “If you want to find a band, come to open mic. You’ll find musicians to perform with. Once you’re ready to record music, talk to us and we’ll get you started” when asked about how people could go about starting a band, and recording their music at the recording studio at The RiffRaff.

The RiffRaff gives people the opportunity to meet other artists, and to make friends with whom they have things in common with. McKinney-Blankenship said that “If you’re an artist or really creative person, and you’ve been looking for people to relate to, be friends with, you’ll find them here.”

For more information on The RiffRaff visit their website at theriffraff.net!