Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

The Timetraveler

like a lone hand
grasping for
drops of rain
are the memories
that grab me
suddenly
out of the gray
and i am
back there
with you
your words
falling down
around me
like brown
leaves

Posted in The Sunday Driver: Life in the Slow Lane

A Foolish Way to Live

Along the mountain roads of West Virginia, I follow a flatbed semi empty of its load, red taillights glowing like the eyes of strange creatures luring me into the fog. Dark trees hang over us, dripping in the mist and it is easy for me to believe that I am once again traveling through Monte Verde.

My cell phone lost signal long ago and so I am left with the wanderings of my imagination and the James Lee Burke audiobook whispering through the speakers of my car. I am on my way to a place of love to sing songs for people both known and unknown. It is a journey I have made many times before singing songs I have often sung.

As I drive, I am struck by the words I am listening to which so encapsulate who I am.

“I don’t like the world the way it is and I miss the past. It’s a foolish way to live.”

If such is the case, then I guess I am a fool and will forever be. Oh, for more of a life of such foolishness.

Suddenly, my phone starts to buzz and lights up with the notifications as the signal from the cell phone tower finally breaks through the barrier of these mountains. I sigh, realizing my brief isolation is at an end. There is a cost sometimes, the price we pay unknown, for what we think is connection.

Then I am turning into the parking lot, familiar faces before me, the guitar case bouncing on the seat behind me in anticipation of song.

Posted in PEACE GROOVES

Those Days So Very Little and Long Ago

returning to places where i once wandered
with persons i did not know would be a part of me
when what was the future then is now today
very little remains of what i remember
and what i envisioned for my life is much more and less than what i thought it would be
strange to think many of those who walk here now only existed in that place where all of us begin
when i wandered here
already a young old man
those days
so little
and so very
long ago

Posted in The Sunday Driver: Life in the Slow Lane

Strange Dreams of the Now and the Not Yet

the storm has passed
i am spent
another night of dreams
full of regret
i awake so exhausted
i wonder if i have slept
i can’t make sense of the world within
there is such a disconnect
what i do while awake is never enough
i’m still working on the same project
with no finish line in sight
caught in the now and not yet

i keep putting words to paper
but cannot seem to forget the lives unlived
troubled by the unknown and a solitary mindset
still seeking that place where i can finally rest
free from dreams that mock my choices
and the faith i confess

all i do and have done is never enough
why am still so full of so many regrets
lives i could have lived with lovers i have met
still trying to make sense of what i will never understand
caught in this web of the now and not yet

Posted in Prayers and the Sacred

Bridges Burning

image

I awake to a fiery blaze
upon the wall
red in the morning
sailors take warning
herald of a coming storm
or the glow from bridges
to the past burning
no returning
lighting the way
into a new tomorrow
hope springs eternal
behind me fire
ahead the coming
of another dawn

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

The Mocking Past

image

I am still too attached to the mocking past.

Strangers laugh and I wonder if they are laughing at me as they pass.

Suddenly I am the awkward boy again, worried the outer mantle of me has somehow worn thin.

Yet I do not wish to be a man with a crocodile skin.

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

Fading 2

image

i am a shell of who or what I once was
sucked dry by the past’s creativity
walls adorned with art painted 20 years ago following me from one residence to the next like fading memories
hard drive and heart filled with songs and dreams recorded yet unreleased Langston’s birds with broken wings
journals of endless musings
runes of my becoming
yellowing with age

what I do now seems to falter beneath the weight of what I have done
known only by me
and a precious few
who seem so surprised by the truth
the responsibilities of today
the roles I am forced to play somehow block the artist I am from view

i climb your stares like an overweight guest
the effort and this present leave me breathless

Posted in Songs and Spoken Word

Songs Seldom Sung: RT. 340 Preservation Project

Big steps backwards.
Who needs another highway?
Big steps backwards.
Where are you going anyway?

Folks moving out to the country to get some elbow room.
What was wrong with the elbows you were bumping in the city you left so soon?

Big steps backwards.
Who needs another highway?
Big steps backwards.
Where are you going anyway?

Life moves so fast as it is you miss so much.
This old road is going to slow you down.
You got a road that slows you down
you want to speed it up.

Big steps backwards.
Who needs another highway?
Big steps backwards.
Where are you going anyway?

What is the price you are willing top pay
to destroy the bridge to yesterday?

Big steps backwards.
Who needs another highway?
Big steps backwards.
Where are you going anyway?

You build the future without the past.
What is left for your children?
The stream flows into the river.
The stream flows and the river runs.

Big steps backwards.
Who needs another highway?
Big steps backwards.
Where are you going anyway?

January 20, 2001

SSS: This series features the many songs I have written over the years that will probably never grace a record, move through a microphone, or echo through a radio speaker. I offer them here as windows into the mind and heart of a songwriter. Perhaps they will resonate with you. If you so desire, put some music to one and let me know.

Posted in Leaves on the Poet Tree (Poems)

Freedom

I ask for freedom for one day.
One day when my past shall not hold sway
o’er my aching head
and press upon me with its burden.

One day when I shall freely be
all that He sees in me,
to grasp a flicker of eternity
and the Light that beckons me.

I ask for freedom for one day
and that day is now
today.

May 9, 1987