On Loch Lomond; October 15, 2021

You would have loved it here
But we didn’t get this far
I had too many questions
You had too much pride

And I sit out here on a boat with my friends
And I sit out here on a boat on the loch
And you sit there with your friends
And you sit with the flowers where you are
This is typical for us now – a thousand miles away

I want to move away from you – like this boat on the loch
Because everything different is a gift
You want to settle a distance from me – like a long drive north
Because everything different is scary

No one knows the best course to navigate
I can love you over my shoulder
Until I don’t anymore
You can be right about your choices
Until they no longer make sense

In the meantime – I’ll be on the loch
With my friends and my beer 
And my hope that you are happy
And my hope that you are tending the flowers
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That Sunday That Summer

Give me a reason to drive these lonely miles
Westward into the heart of the construct of love
But not the love that would sustain me
That love is too far west for a day on the highway

Give me a reason to abandon my pen and paper
Thoughts and words are the charlatan’s game of love
I lay them at the altar of your pledge
To the unwritten words betrayed by our collision

Give me a reason to close the last few open doors
When my soul was shackled by the obligation of love
There were keys jangling in front of me
Once these doors are locked – they will fall quiet

At Messenger Marsh

You didn’t even know who you were to us – to me – at that time
On that sunny day when the world wanted to open up for us – for you and me
When we touched and kissed and one spark of love arced across my soul
You were the best of us – of all of us – of those who came before and since
I was the one who chipped the porcelain pedestal that held our hearts aloft
My fear and my pride did their worst because they knew you were the best

Now the pedestal has crashed down around me and I pray you are unharmed
I want you to be safe – to be happy – to realize who you were to me that day
Who you were on that sunny day at Messenger Marsh – your love in bloom

The love in that house

The love in that house
Was a powerful love
It was a confused love
It was a love with flaws

The love in that house
Was an unbreakable love
It was a love that carried us
It was a love that baffled us

The love in that house
Was a soulful love
It was based on mythology
It was more than simple fiction

The love in that house
Is a slender reflection
Of the love that taught us to love
And the love we have tried to carry on

My Unfinished Heart

The bleak landscape of my unfinished stoop invites feral animals in search of sustenance
Much like the fertile landscape of my unfinished heart waits for a something to cleave to
Much like the fertile landscape of my unfinished heart searches for balance in this life


The cold would be daunting but the stoop gets visitors – even the little one with the golden eyes  
They rarely stay long – they get what they came for which offers me some sustenance

You came to the stoop that day and you asked for little and you gave everything
And I’m nurtured by your words and by your graceful presence in my graceless life

You named the Christmas cat Noel from miles away nestled in the safety of family
Today she returned to the stoop for a moment because she is more hungry than she is afraid

She will soon learn she is safe – she is safe there on the unfinished stoop
You will soon learn you are safe – you are safe there in my unfinished heart

You were less hungry for love and more hungry for the words and you somehow found both
Like Noel – you will be protected on the unfinished stoop and in my unfinished heart



Old People/ Where I Work

Sometimes they cry for yesterday
For those lost and never found

Sometime they cry for tomorrow
For what might have been for them

When they laugh it can be robust
Filled with parades and victories

When they laugh it can be hollow
Filled with slivers of hope

Sometimes they rise early
With a fire in their bellies

Sometimes they retire late
With an ache in their soul

Some days they illuminate our world
With unwavering strength and love

Some days they ground our souls
With endless wisdom and patience

I can’t help thinking these days

I can’t help thinking these days
America has found herself an epic jam
The trouble could be of her own doing
That is how these things go – theoretically
There is no end to the anger pointed at her history
Everyone pays the price in one way or another

Pulling down a statue is well advised
If there is lesson learned through the act
To destroy the living American dream of an innocent
Is not a protest no matter how you dress it up in speeches
That wrong will never win a right or deserve the right to win

There is a change in the air – a deep dark angry change
I pray for people who have their hands raised in anger
I pray for the innocents who will lose everything – for nothing
I will not defend her history because it is indefensible
I will pray for our future and for those who make it there
I can’t help thinking these days
Things have got to get better for everyone here in America

The Rock River: June 2020

The brackish water rolls slowly past the once lush berm
Those who must – will pull their sustenance from within
Those who don’t need to – might find other treasures

The boats pass by with bravado befitting this quaint bank
The vibration angers the fish as much as the fishermen
We drive by in air conditioned and stale smoke comfort

There was an old purse living down there since ‘96
It was reeled in this morning by a boy and his mother
You never know what you’ll find in the Rock River

You are not broken

You are not broken – you are in transition – you must know that
The ideas that swirl around you now are old and outdated
You marched triumphantly though a storm with your head held high
Now your heart leads the way – but is no less vulnerable

You love strong and without fear but tonight fear is getting the best of you
Old expectations and forgotten promises hold you in place with heavy hands
You danced by the light of the moon and changed the demons that haunted you
Now your soul and your God and your love are your flawless suit of armor

You are not broken – you are in transition – please tell me you know that

That Sunday That Summer

Give me a reason to drive these lonely miles
Westward into the heart of the construct of love
But not the love that would sustain me
That love is too far west for a day on the highway

Give me a reason to abandon my pen and paper
Thoughts and words are the charlatan’s game of love
I lay them at the altar of your pledge
To the unwritten words betrayed by our collision

Give me a reason to close the last few open doors
When my soul was shackled by the obligation of love
There were keys jangling in front of me
Once these doors are locked – they will fall quiet