Feathered Friends

I might see storm clouds
I might see sunshine
or something in between
if I peek out of the blinds
the room is a lttle dark
some might even say gloomy
but my friends the birds are out there
and they’re still singing to me

The lies that I tell myself
about what matters or not
may help me through the night
but I don’t believe a lot
a seasoned seeker of the truth
is not easy to deceive
I just wish I didn’t have
so many things to grieve

So serenade me, feathered friends
lift me on your wings
so I’ll believe it’s worth it
when I, too, choose to sing

Blink

Rode hard and put up wet
ain’t the worst feeling I’ve had yet
Gotta be careful what you will or won’t
No tellin’ what they might do if you don’t

When it’s too loud to hear yourself think
and your eyes are burning but you’re scared to blink
’cause what you may take for granted today
will likely up and go away

What you’re holding on to
may be real or not
but you keep holding on
because it’s all you’ve got

Keep telling yourself that it’s all good
if you keep doing the things that you should
except the bad stuff laying in wait
may our hearts be bold enough
to deal with our fates

Life and Death

They say the old boy’s car broke down
off in some South Georgia town
So he’s doing’ odd jobs to pay for repairs
no tellin’ how long he’ll be stuck there
Every day is another surprise
you might laugh or you might cry
roll with the punches and hold your breath
might be a matter of life and death
He clocked home early and went home sick
the strange car in the driveway was another kick
had some options, none of them was good
ain’t always easy doin’ what you think you should
Every day is another surprise
you might laugh or you might cry
roll with the punches and hold your breath
might be a matter of life and death
You get used to things being a certain way
but tomorrow is another day
never know if it will be better or worse
or if you’ll feel you’ve been blessed or cursed
A closet full of memories and tools in the garage
a sinking feeling thirty years were a mirage
sorting through old picture, old letters and cards
she knew the day was coming,
didn’t know it would be so hard
Every day is another surprise
you might laugh or you might cry
roll with the punches and take a deep breath
probably a matter of life and death

Merry Solstice

Sit in the sun
stand in the shade
melt in one
place or evaporate

Don’t mind the heat
or we wouldn’t be cooking
and half-dressed women
make for better looking

than Eskimos bundled
head to toe
(though snuggles are better
when it’s a little cold)

but a hot snuggle
would be better than none
when you’re delirious
from too much sun

I digress, we’re talking
about long days and heat
not what is or
isn’t sweet

so keep it cool
and stay hydrated
perspiration
is overrated.

No Warrior

He washes a plate and a frying pan
he washes a fork and knife
he washes his face, he washes his hands
and settles down for the night
trying to get his head around
the bad news of the day
mind blown by the numbers
of people who need him to pray
and how with a snap of God’s fingers
so many things are shattered
and for each of us at a given time
there is just one life that matters.

He never felt like a warrior
not qualified for the task
but they must really need it
or they wouldn’t ask
So as he lays him down to sleep
he prays the Lord their souls to keep
it may seem too simple
but it’s the bottom line
I’ll pray for yours
you can pray for mine

Prayer

God won’t give you
more than you can handle
but the devil plays
by different rules.
Too much good
or too much bad
can make you act a fool.

So you have to pray
for guidance, for
some light to see you through.
And remember when
you make it,
it was God, not you.

Father

The ritual my father performed
just to make a cup of coffee,
the paper towels on the counter top,
cup and spoon and jar arranged just so
waiting for the kettle to whistle,
comes to me sitting on the edge of the bed
placing my watch, cigarettes, ashtray,
glass of dietcoke and hanky clockwise
in front of the radio on
the nightstand, just so.

He never told anyone to move
from His Chair once the cup
was brewed, just said “are you
about done sitting there?” then stood
expectantly – somehow it never
took long – until the perpetrator
came to their senses and he
could arrange the cup and more
paper towels and usually some ice cream
cookies or other health food on the end table
getting Comfortable to peer down his nose
through tribifocals at the evening papers
browse through Outdoor Life watch the tube
or mabey take a snooze until it was time
to get up and do something else, like go to bed.

Sometimes, in the livng room lit
only by the television screen,
with my feet on the coffee table
(he favored a favorite footstool)
and my hands folded across my belly, elbows up
on the arms of the chair causing my shoulders
to kind of hunch up so my neck appears
to disappear, head tilted slightly forward,
in perfect stillness but with anticipatory
tension because we know we’ll have to get up
sometime, the way I’m sitting is him, damn,
I AM him, part of me wants to move and be me
again but something else holds me fast so that
he stays with me for a little while, and I look
through his eyes again for a little while
for a little while wondering
what he might say were he here.