Showing Up

When your heart is in exile
remembering when to smile
might be one of
the problems that you face

Trying to act normal
when you don’t know
what normal is
you might prefer to vanish
without a trace

but we keep showing up
and going through the motions
in the usual strangely
familiar places

Hoping and fearing
for the mask to be stripped away
a return to the light of day
and the state of earthly grace

Showing Up

When your heart is in exile
remembering when to smile
might be one of
the problems that you face

Trying to act normal
when you don’t know
what normal is
you might prefer to vanish
without a trace

but we keep showing up
and going through the motions
in the usual strangely
familiar places

Hoping and fearing
for the mask to be stripped away
a return to the light of day
and the state of earthly grace

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

For A Friend

Together apart
is hard on the heart
with so much to say
and no one to say it to
so gone yet so near
and the worst of your fears
have all come to visit
in your room with no view

Having fun don’t seem right
and try as you might
you can’t help feeling guilty
for just being alive
but please be assured
while you may never be cured
the worst of the symptoms
will slowly subside

When you’ve seen the path
you’ll be able to laugh
and a return to the darkness
will not be a choice
you won’t need approval
and finally you will
be able to forgive yourself
with an honest voice

Missed

There is someone I miss
there is no escaping this
not sure I would if I could
when good times were spectacular
and even the bad times were good

I wish I’d been a better man
I wish I could have saved her life
it’s a minor consolation that
she’s missed some sorrow and strife

Now I live with Karma
not saying “Good” or “Bad”
you might draw a conclusion
from the life we had

I keep keeping on
the best way I know
what else am I gonna do?
And when I need to smile
I can think of her
and the love we knew

Survivor Strong

The lost sheep
and innocent victims
have their answers now
they have the joy we
now remember only
vaguely and wonder
if we’ll know again

We walk the tightrope daily
sometimes we fall
things we don’t want to do
things no one should have to do
we share the pain of strangers
not because we have been there
though sometimes we have
but because we can
imagine being there

We all go there eventually
it’s common humanity
and a feeling we wouldn’t wish
on anybody becomes
a feeling we strive not to cause
it’s common decency

And the angels we wish
were still people make us better
and stronger if against our wills
the only way to repay the debt
that is our memories

Adieu

I will not mourn
your going hence
oh my Teacher
I will endure the inevitable

I can only praise
something like God
that you came hither
to heap such an abundance
of ripeness on our sere
and sometimes sordid souls
continually leading us
out of our darkness

And when an hour goes by
without my moving a hand
I will consider that you have
moved upstairs to the suite
next door to Hank Williams
and again I will sing
Hallelujah.