Jenny

Jenny drifts down

To sleep on the land

The winds rise to play

With the leaves thousand hands –

Limbs softly swaying

She settles to dream

The moon's milky images

Rain down – as autumn beams...


Jenny lies still

And makes no complaint

As sure-footed shadows

Silent – and faint

Forage for moonbeams

Held in the frost

While I stand there watching –

Weighing the cost


Pull me aside

Then read me a line

That rose from the bud

But then died on the vine

A wind-beaten warrior

An ice crystal queen

The feather writes poems

On the death – of summertime dreams


Jenny now sleeps

'neath a blanket of snow

The robin gave way

To the hawk and the crow –

Snow lies like eiderdown

I walk the land

It keeps her warm

While I – on the other hand...


Pause by a window

Shake off my coat

A candlelight burns

The night adds its notes--

As a barred owl voice mingles

In the wind-blown forest

With leaves laced with ice crystals

In rustling chorus


Pull me aside

Then read me a line

That came from a secret

That's no longer mine

A wind-beaten warrior

An ice-crystal queen

The feather writes poems

On the death

Of summertime dreams

The Bottom of Loneliness

Crowds on the beach claim the sand and the sun

Lovers and loners – the old and the young

The waves break in rhythms – not easing my mind

Hand-holding lovers make use of their time

Sandcastle walls test the will of the tide

On her quilt in her tower the lady confides

As one walking towards me I tried to forget…

Have I reached the bottom of loneliness, yet?


Turning around wouldn’t do any good

I’ve had my chance with the would and the should

I’ve had my chances to live in her flame

But I fell as winter was calling my name

The spring found my soul ‘neath some parking lot snow

The carousel spins – the children have grown

But the price of rebirth has run me into debt

As one walking towards me I tried to forget

Have I reached the bottom of loneliness, yet?


Have I reached the bottom of loneliness, yet

Waves break in rhythms – I’m breaking in sweat

As one walking towards me I tried to forget

Have I reached the bottom of loneliness, yet?

Moon Struck

The moon – is a lonely city

Lit by lights that don't belong to him

I lie on a hill and feel sympathy

But when it's my turn he grows dim


What does it matter where I stand

What does it matter where I lie

Up on a hill with my back to the land

The truth is up there in that light


At times I feel my life is only

Grains of sand slipped through a glass

I took a risk and still I'm lonely

So press my shadows on that grass


What does it matter how I pray

What does it matter how I sin

I called on the phone – told I'm too late

Be sure to call my next of kin


The morning comes and I'm wet with dew

I roll down the hill and hide my shame

I work a long day til that sun is through

Then back up the hill where I battle that blame


What does it matter how I pray

What does it matter how I sin

I called on the phone – told I'm too late

But be sure to call my next of kin


What does it matter where I stand

What does it matter where I lie

Up on a hill with my back to the land

The truth is up there in that light

Kisses Sworn

What people say – Most of the time
Mostly air – Don't have to rhyme

When someone sings – I hear the words
My life in strings – My world the chords

If someone smiles – And reads his line
Ask “Were you true ?” – You know his mind

In a dream – You're lying there
Looking up – My eyes you share

Like a wind – That blew through town
Laid me low – And now is gone

Would this need – Keep me here
I'll wrap myself – Around a tear

Will it grow – Over me
Like a cloud – That drowns the sea

The fool who writes – These words in haste
Kisses daggers – Steel embrace

The hand that holds – The pen of words
Dies a death – Of kisses sworn

Dies a death – Of kisses sworn

Bed of Stone

I'll lay my hair upon

This marble pillow

That you placed upon my bed

I know it's cold and hard

But there's a reason –

And I won't let you get inside my head


I'll lie upon these

Sheets of glass

Upon a mattress carved from stone-

I won't be the one who

Cries surrender

You take the door –

I'll call this home


I don't have an answer

For you leavin'

I've got no desire

To play that game...

In the mornin' I will rise

Believin'

That tomorrow night

My soul won't lie in shame


Take your heart of stone

In your suitcase

Pack it in your trunk and turn your key-

As the sunlight turns these

Sheets to silk tomorrow

The love you stoned me with will cease to be


I don't have an answer

For you leavin'

I've got no desire

To play that game...

In the mornin' I will rise

Believin'

That tomorrow night

My soul won't lie in shame


As the sunlight turns these

Sheets to silk tomorrow

The love you stoned me with

Will cease to be

Lonesome traveler


With the ends all tied

While the bridges burn

As the same sad sun

And tired moon – turn

Their backs on me

So far from home

On a cosmic sea

Of empty rooms and crowded bars

     I’m just a lone-some traveler

     In a wilderness of stars


I’ve long since known

The price I’d pay

As the ambush lies

Along my way

Do I wait them out –

Sleep on stone

Slowly die alone

In blistering rooms and empty bars?

     I’m just a lone-some traveler

     In a wilderness of stars


Now I believe

That the empty space

Where flies my soul

Does not erase

That I tried and gained

That I tried and failed

That I won and lost –

All the world the cost

To be born wander

Is to set a lonesome sail


In the end the means –

To the soul be true

To the same red hair

And eyes of blue

That once watched me walk

Away from home

To die alone

In smoke-filled bars

And slow-fan rooms

     I’m just a lonesome traveler

     In a wilderness of stars

I Would Have Heard

Your taillights twist and turn on the winter road


As I follow…


We leave a Christmas gathering

Not – too – close


We know the same folks – shared a life

Shared a name

We bear the same scars – burned our hearts

On the same – damn – flame!


In the dining room we sat apart

Acted as though…

The dinner guests talked of wine and art

What – do – they – know!


If only someone raised a glass

Spoke the words

If your lips had whispered “This will pass…”

I would – have – heard


But now it’s you-- and now it’s me

Mixed company

We share a meal – and talk of art

The wine – flows – free


If only someone raised a glass

Took the lead

If I’d only whispered “This will pass…”

And that “I’m still me…”


The time soon came to pay respects

Touching hands - and smiles

In separate cars down a winter road

Down separate miles


Then through the falling snow – I lose your lights…

I miss a turn…

And through the blinding snow I come to know

How alone can burn!


If only someone raised a glass

Took the lead

If I’d only whispered “This will pass”

That “I’m still me!


If only someone raised a glass

Spoke the words

If you’d only whispered “This will pass”

I would have heard

I would have heard

In Plain Sight

You were hiding – there

All along in plain sight

There's a picture here

That proves it alright –

As the deep forest green – made

Your red highlights shine

And the pale – blue – sky

Caught the depth of your eyes


I saw you standing – alone

As so often you'd be

Wondering why – these

Eyes failed to see –

The warmth of your face

And the yes on your lips

That now hide in these frames in

My fingertips –


But I

Missed

What the camera lens knew

Now I'm – the shade

Of your wide eyes of blue –

As the days – slip by

Since my sun set on you...

I've come to know what the camera knew


You wanted

To dance in the sun

I stood in shadows

While we came undone – why

So long – you tried

I'll just never know...

For all time you're a pic-

...ture

I'll never show –


Because I

Missed

What the camera lens knew

And now I'm – the shade

Of your wide eyes of blue- as

The days slip by

Since my sun set on you...

I've come to know

What the camera knew

Shay's


From a pipe cross the ceiling

Of a stone cellar bar

Hangs the ghost of a love

Who once went too far


And it's nobody's business

So nobody stares

It's nobody's business

The ghost hanging there


It's only another love

Gone to the noose

Only another love

Runnin' round loose


From a pipe 'cross the ceiling

Of an old stone cellar bar

Hangs the ghost of a love

The death of a love

The ghost of a love....

…....gone too far


Someone is singing

But nobody shares

Someone is sighing

But nobody stares


It's only another love

Forcing the rhyme

Only another love

Swaying in time


And there's … no resurrection

No shiny day

So night after night

He'll swing and he'll sway


From a pipe 'cross the ceiling

Of an old stone cellar bar

Hangs the ghost of a love

The death of a love

The ghost of a love......

…....gone too far 

Sharon Fields

Sharon Fields awoke one day

To a pebble on the sill –

Tossed by her young man – as he

Came bounding up the hill

Said he to Sharon Fields – you know

I have no home to share

Yet follow me to yonder hill

We'll build a home so fair


And so they signed – their wedded names –

In the spring there was a child

Who'd never grow – to be a man

Would never live to smile...

By summertime

They dried their tears

Then leaves began to fall

Then to – his winter ears – he heard

The clarion call...


They came one day to take the home

Built by her young man

Before he went – to hold the line

In an old and distant land

She took the deed

That meant no more

Put pages to the flame –

Then she took that “Dear Sir” letter

And treated it the same.


Sharon Fields would keep his name

Though he'd never – have wished so –

She was young and fair of grace

And had more the world to grow –

Sharon fields has now gone home

To the house built by her father

Where her mother lived alone – and where

The sun gives way to stars...

Two Directions

You pack your bags and tie 'em down

The horizon's got your eye

I know that road has two directions

I won't cry or say goodbye


You'll go far with what you've learned

Once you leave what you love

But miles make lonely memories

Don't let the eagle kill the dove


They say no road goes on forever

You'll have to turn before too long

Go get your fill of highway wind

Come back to me with a song


You know I thank that open road

When you leave me with a kiss

I learned to share you with those lines

They bring you back to what you miss


But I won't count those lonely nights

Or spend half my life all alone

But it's here when you want it

And it's there when you roam


They say no road goes on forever

You'll have to turn before too long

Go get your fill of highway wind

Come back to me with a song


Prophet

Please - give me - just a moment - of your time

To rest - a little quiet - in your mind

My wheels have got to stop – a little while

Slow the world- and cool – down


I've got a strong and restless need to feel – fine

In arms that cling – and eyes that know and shine

Even though I'll never – understand – the signs

That brought me – to this town


Lady – are you all that light would seem –

In these quiet hours – while I lie and scheme

To pull you through the windows of my dreams

Beneath these stars and trees?


Am I – on the outside – or am I in

The arms that prove the lonely lie to sin

A prophet – or a soul in wandering

With the promise to begin – please...

Tell me...


Will you cry because this ends

Or hold me - til the river bends

Or simply smile because it happened...?


Can I have another glass of wine

To drown me in another time –

Or wake me to this heart of mine?

Or tell you what I find

Beautiful...?


Lady – are you all that light would seem –

In these quiet hours while I lie and scheme

To pull you through the windows of my dreams

Beneath these stars and trees...


Will you cry – because this ends

Or hold me – til the river bends

Or simply smile because...

It happened...?

Some Other Where

Headin’ down to Boston

Was told I’d find some peace and quiet there

Said to get a room in Boston

Was told I’d find some peace and Quiet there

Didn’t find no peace in Montreal

Got a little loud around Eau Claire


Settled into Boston

Was sure I’d find some peace and quiet here

Had me a time last night in Boston

Thought I’d found some peace and quiet here

Got a little loud in Buffalo

Got a whole lot worse in Montpelier


Footsteps on the stairway

Comes a heavy knockin’ at my door

Got footsteps on the stairway

Comes a heavy poundin’ at my door

Baby’s headin’ for the open window

Turns and throws some dollars to the floor


Got danger at my doorway

Baby’s headin’ down the alley stairs

Anger beatin’ down my doorway

Baby’s flyin’ down the alley stairs

Only been in town a week or so

Seems baby got a ring she never wears


Headin’ for the window

Anger comin’ at me with a chair

Headin’ for the open window

Got danger comin’ at me with a chair

Grabbed them dollars off the bedroom floor!

They’ll help me get a start some other where


Headin for Kentucky

Hope to find some peace in all that grass

To the blue fields of Kentucky

I hear it’s mighty still in all that grass

Didn’t find no peace in Montreal!

Got a little loud in Boston Mass.

I remember...


I remember some – thing

Calling some -- one

Driving some – where

With the keys to my own heart


I remember mov – ing

Through a win – try scene

By the rail a ri – ver

In the ice a frozen heart


Now in the ci -- ty

No one sees – me

The River frees – me

A mem'ry warms my heart


Now it's morn – ing time

The day is dream – ing

I come to eve – ning

In the hands of a beating heart


To sleep beside – me

The River-wide – me

The brown reeds hide – me

In the arbor of a heart


A promise bleed – ing

The waste of need – ing

The years receed – ing

The draining of a heart


I feel the tide – turn

I hear the moon – yearn

Leaves of autumn – burn

The cycle of a heart


I remember some – thing

Something press – ing

Like children guess – ing

Has a butterfly a heart?


I remember some – thing

Drawn on pa – per

It said mistakes – were

The price of a beating heart


And a butter – fly

Pinned to pa – per

Witch Hazel va – por

To anesthetize a heart


Yet – I remember some – thing

Calling some – one

Driving some – where

With the keys to my own heart


I remember some – thing

Something press – ing

Like children guess – ing

– Has a butterfly – a – heart?

Your Birthday

I don't know where the miles have gone

Or where the hours have risen and lain

And these beds of earth I've rested upon

Have been washed like sheets in summer rain



I pray for strength to wrestle the snow

While the leaves of autumn color my brain

As days turn to seasons – I need to know

Have I missed your birthday, again?


Did you pour yourself a tall glass of wine

Turn to the window and whisper a name?

It'll be alright if it's all in my head...

Have I missed your birthday, again?


I hear you're warm and safe on your bed

There's a hand to cling to as darkness wanes

Yet – do you wonder why the moon turns red

Why the wind sounds familiar – like a passing train?


Do you see the glow from a vagrant fire

That warns my cup with its low blue flame?

Does your home-fire heat match my world desire?

Have I missed your birthday, again?


Did you pour yourself another glass of wine

Turn to the window and whisper a name?

You had your life to live – and I had mine

Have I missed your birthday – again?

Shrines

You live your dream on your acre

A garden planted in rows

You give your soul to the seed to the flower

With a frown scolding the crows


You dress your table with flowers you've grown

And food you raised with your smile

While I'm in the wind seeking patterns in stars

On roads that turn minutes to miles


I put my faith in the god of the road

And you in your goddess of home

We have our shrines to calm troubled minds

Too much time on our own


I would come by in the evening with wine

For a dance by candle-light glow

We'd make our heaven on earth in those shadows

Til the morning light tells me to go


I put my faith in the god of the road

And you in your goddess of home

We have our shrines to calm troubled minds

Too much time on our own


Too Slow For Demo Work

Time to start another job

Pull it down and start anew

I'll tear out these old doors and walls

Move them back a foot or two –

Make a bedroom from a den

Because their family grew...

But before I bring the hammer down—I

Give the past its due


I see them in the chalk-white dust

As it swirls by my work lights

And I -- hear them drive those old cut nails

As I – pull them with a sigh –

I'll drag it out and pile it high

In that old – truck of mine...

Then haul in tools and lumber

And drive another nail in time


Don't have to do this –

Anymore – I know the trade

I've learned my lessons taking down – what

Other hands had made –

Their talk of wives and baseball scores

Still echoes in the frame....

Today I'll add another voice

Let a hammer sign my name


Not a simple trick of light

I see them down the line

Those old post and beam men

In the dust of my work site –

And I don't know where they are –

Now – alive or dead...

A question one who follows me

May ask of me instead


Where will I be on that day

When they come to move these walls

Will those young men even give a care

Before the plaster falls?

Will they hear a timeless voice

Echo in the frame?

Will I be on another job

Will I still have a name?


Not a simple trick of light

I see them down the line

Those old post and beam men

In the dust of my work site

I'm just too slow to make it pay

But I do it anyway

I feel I owe it to them

Though it makes a longer day


I don't have to do this-

Anymore – I know the trade

I've learned my lessons taking down – what

Other hands had made –

Their talk of wives and baseball scores

Still echoes in the frame....

Today I'll add another voice

Let a hammer sign my name


To erase it all without a thought

What would those voices say?

I'm just too slow for demo work

But I do it anyway

Detroit

Growing up in Detroit – driving

When I knew what being alive – meant

Chrome wheels turning in the city lights


My old man worked the assembly line – where

Cars were made by hand – the night sent

Third shift lights across my mem'ry room


I drove like I was free from dying

– On four wheels teenage flying

I made the headlights tame the chrome plate moon


The times since left those factories falling

I wait – in white-hot sand – recalling

How assembly-line-lights burned the summer air


The times sent me on a flight to nowhere

Off my Detroit streets to go where

The me I once knew turned to what I am


In the desert dark I lie and pray

Ma sends cards I read and burn

I forget what I was told and learned

Since I signed my life away –


And from the dark – I hear the sighing

Shadows in the moonlight pour

I hear an engine roar

And on my tour – I know dying


When the shadow cars come close – to me

Headlights burn holes straight through me

I've got no time to see their eyes

A wedding party – children—wives


It makes no difference—time is miles

The third shift lights my mem'ry room

A car sits idling in my sights

I'm still in Detroit – alive and flying

In cars hot off the assembly line...

And still –

I'm flying..

Lila

It was told – long ago

That the sky had two suns –

And the world – knew no night

One would rise – as one dies

Never one the other met...


You were wrong to believe

You could keep

This lie – from my sight

As these tears – drown the night

My light – has now set...

...And calls the moon – to the sky

Floods our room

With pale light –

Too late to draw –

The blind –

I've seen your mind …

And I regret...


So – Lila – tell me

Don't just lie there

About a dream

..That lingers...

Calls out to you while you're –

Waking – sleeping

Sends a memory to these fingers

Keeping –

You adrift

And me alone


You were wrong to believe

You could keep

This lie – from my sight

As these tears – drown the night

My light – has now set


I can drown – in the moon

Pull the sheets – to my eyes-

Though I try – Lila cries

Covers me in true light –

And I am wet...


So, Lila, tell me

Don't just lie there

About a dream

...That lingers.....

Calls out to you while you're –

Waking – sleeping

Sends a memory to these fingers

Keeping – You adrift

And me alone

The Weaver

The years they fly

The days are slow

My life of faith

Not much to show

I've welcomed lives

Watched others go...

And those who say

They know – don't know


It takes someone

Who has no sense

To talk the past

Into the present tense

A barred owl flew

To my defense...

Seems all I can do

Is mend my fence


The seeds of Spring

The leaves of Fall

They grace the yard

I pace the hall

A portrait hangs

On my mind's wall...

On the porch she sits

In her mother's shawl


I pull the weeds

Rake the leaves

The snow destroys

What the rose achieves

Yet something deep

Within believes...

That life wears

What the dreamer weaves

That life wears

What the dreamer weaves

Rivers and Trains

Some say the river's

Sure got its ways

Wade in up north

Then drift down for days

– Drop in a line

Wait for a bite

But I got a feelin'

This driftin' ain't right


Don't take the river

Find you a train

One swells with coal fire

The other with rain

If you're late a season –

She says you're to blame

Pull up that line

And go catch you –

Catch you that train


Lovin' ain't easy

There's much more to the tale

In the evenin' I love you

By mornin' we sail

But days gather days

And nights pull up lame

So steer to the banks

And go catch you –

Catch you that train


Nobody meant this

Nobody schemed

I never dreamt this

But I'm comin' clean

The river will always

Flow in my brain

If I'm gonna hold you

I'm catchin' that train


Don't take the river

Find you a train

One with coal fire

The other with rain

If you're late a season –

She says you're to blame

Pull up that line and go

Catch you that train


Lovin' ain't easy

There's much more to the tale

In the evenin' I love you

By mornin' we sail

But days gather days

And nights pull up lame

So steer to the banks

And go catch you –

Catch you that train

New Way Home


With my senses filled with childhood fear

Time to pour a draught of forest air

The trail of mist—suddenly clears

It's a new way home


I've walked this path many miles before

So many nights those old dreams roared

But tonight – down this silent road I soar

It's a new way home


I still know these twists and turns

Where every rock and thorn I learned

Where December froze and autumn burned...

But it's a new way home


I heard those spirits call again

They pulled me to the meadow's end

And tonight I'll sleep where the heavens bend

It's a new way home


The old farm waits upon the hill

Where my cousins and I –wide-eyed still

Would peek from that frosted window sill

To a new way home


We'd spy the barn and fence-post rails

The tractor sleeping by the bales

In that moon-lit scene the barred owl wails

And we...were safe at home...


Clouds roll down the dusky sky

A misty moon-rise fills my eyes

Shadows cross the fields and lie

Upon my daddy's pond where I

Am home


My little trees now roof-top high

Planted all those years gone by

I see their branches brush the sky

In the breeze tonight--

Those pine trees fly!

It's a new way home


In the breeze tonight

Those pine trees fly...

To a new way home