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



When it feels like darkness
may over take you
light a candle and sing you a song
when you don’t really want to
but they manage to make you
laugh it off and sing you a song

If no one seems to care
what you have to share
say oh well, and sing you a song
when it seems like you’re never
going to get there
keep going, and sing you a song

Sing a song that says
you’re still on your feet
sing a song that says
you haven’t been beat
sing a song that says
you won’t stop trying
you may suddenly find
that you’re flying

If you want to bite someone
but you’re short on teeth
thank goodness, and sing you a song
might have been a lawsuit
you’d be buried beneath
shrug it off and sing you a song

When the world suggests
that it’s not your day
flip the world off and sing you a song
you cannot win if you do not play
take a chance, sing you a song

Sing a song that says
you’re still on your feet
sing a song that says
you haven’t been beat
sing a song that says
you won’t stop trying
you may suddenly find
that you’re flying

Hard Way

The broken king crouches
beside the fire near the rock face
blackened by smoke under
leafless trees giving
no protection from the
cold moonlight.

It is a small fire
suggesting only the memory
of warmth, a vague promise of light,
but yearning for other times and
places does not improve
the current situation.

Night birds add insult
to injury, their carefree
warbles completely unconcerned
with the kings distress

The addition of fuel
and the passage of time
may bring the hermit king
to a more familiar pleasanter place
or it may not. This predicament
is laughable out of necessity
under the heading “just desserts” .
Chuckling at one’s own tragedy
is a skill only learned the hard way.


Certainly uncertainty
is destined to accompany
me on this fractious journey
limping toward eternity

Can’t say I do though
I know I should
too many epic fails
at doing good
have cost me sleep
and peace of mind
when I never wanted
to be unkind

Perhaps the heroes of fables
had simpler choices: How much
easier to recognize the enemy
when they have snakes for hair
or big horns in their foreheads.

Guess I wasn’t made
to run into the fire
dive into raging floods
build some empire
be put out to stud
when it comes to these
I’m mostly a dud

But I try to bear witness
to the beauty I see
and the valor of those
much braver than me
I cry the pains
and sing the triumphs
and pray in the end
it is enough

More Minutes

Waking to the warble
of a bird at the feeder
gentle reminder
that the world goes about
its business without my help
luckily largely ignoring me

a number of things
I’d rather not do stand
between me and that
which I’d rather. Those
disreputable friends
our parents warned us about,
procrastination and indecision,
add a smirking peril
to the situation.

the blankets feel good
and history suggests
only a neglible difference
in the long run between
best efforts and no efforts.
What could a few more
minutes hurt, asks the devil.
But so much can happen
in the blink of an eye
I throw back the covers
and get up, with a sigh


The fragile peace fractured
by chain reactions
too many people
got no satisfaction

God knows the reason
God knows the cause
wish he didn’t make me
with so many flaws

Guess it’s too late to
ask Him to change His mind
just wish a way forward
was easier to find

If I don’t find it
it will likely find me
but it isn’t easy
to just wait and see


Each teapot knows its own tempest
the salt shaker is unaware
the frying pan has its own sizzle to handle
and doesn’t really care
they suppose that it is just
whistlin’ a happy tune
but someone turning off the heat
cannot come too soon

it seems sometimes our function
is to be permanently in distress
and our main goal is to act
unaffected, more or less
so many shiny teapots
boiling secretly
keep moving along, folks
there’s nothing here to see