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.

Inability

Sometimes the profound
becomes so lost
not likely to return
at any cost
but talking to myself
it’s no great loss
I’m still a little
suspicious of me
based on my inability
to answer questions like,
if I’m so smart, how come
I’m not rich? Or, if I’m so
cool, why am I sleeping alone?
But everything’s a phase,
these days,
and since I’m stuck
with me I’ll keep making the best
of a situation that’s not over yet.

Admission

I don’t want a lot
more than I want
but I don’t think much
about either
until a choice
presents itself
requiring a believer

avoiding pursuit
avoiding retreat
avoiding resistance
avoiding defeat
if simple peace
is your heart’s desire
God may keep you
from the fire
unless something
more important comes

which has to be beaten
which has to be won
and struggle becomes
your true admission
into the heart
of the human condition
and peace is acceptance
of whatever fate
leads you to
the Garden’s gate

Undone

In the wee hours
of the night
it comes together
or undone
perhaps when
you realize
there’s no place
left to run
Yesterday seems
a long time ago
tomorrow is just
a vague rumor
grown accustomed
to the heartache
like living with
a benign tumor
the moon is wearing
her resting bitch face
from her we’ll get
no sympathy
still we look up
and offer simple prayers
that somehow
she’ll set us free
what you thought
was your real struggle
is in fact your only fun
so you chuckle
and you whisper,
“come on, morning sun”

Peas in a Pod

He went down to the Mental Health
to pick up his medication
met a pretty little nut job
who understood his situation
wild-eyed glances were exchanged
a further meeting was arranged
co-dependence seemed
to be their destination
Is she crazier than him
is he crazier than her
even their best friends
weren’t really sure
They learned how to help each other
keep their demons at bay
if one of ’em got depressed
the other knew just what to say
when it came to dancing nekkid
while howling at the moon
they figured it was their back yard,
so it was okay
Is she crazier than him
is he crazier than her
even their best friends
weren’t really sure
are you crazier than me
am I crazier than you
it doesn’t really matter
if the love is true
this tale might be a figment
of my imagination
it might be the gospel
with slight exaggeration
but if you know two weirdos
who are like two peas in a pod
consider yourself lucky
tell them congratulations
Is she crazier than him
is he crazier than her
even their best friends
weren’t really sure
are you crazier than me
am I crazier than you
it doesn’t really matter
if the love is true

Keep Holding On

In a state of disrepair
might be easier to demolish
but a nail here, a nail there
a little spit and polish
won’t ever be as good as new
but better than being gone
when it’s all you know to do
keep holding on, hold on
In a state of disbelief
is this really real
a little comedy relief
might help the way I feel
a song bird at the feeder
or a rabbit on the lawn
when it’s all you know to do
keep holding on, hold on
Hold on to the beauty
hold on to the love
hold on to your faith
that there’s a God above
hold on
Is it cowardice or just wisdom
advertised to come with age
that has us pouring water on
the fires that feed our rage
and relying on the process
of karma to get it done
when it’s all you know to do
keep holding on, hold on
It might be your nature
to lower your head and swing
it might be your nature
to hold it high and sing
either choice is valid
if it gets you to the dawn
if it’s all you know to do
keep holding on, hold on
Hold on to the beauty
hold on to the love
hold on to your faith
that there’s a God above
hold on

Simple Complications

There’s no time like the present
for savoring the past
the future not being guaranteed
it all goes by so fast
if it weren’t for then
there would not be a now
you’ll never understand the why
if you can’t remember how

Simple complications
have your mind in a knot
failed graduations
leave your heart on the spot
nothing changes everything
quite like the tender glance
that filled up all the empty
and made you want to dance

in any and every circumstance
hold on and don’t let go
another day is looming, blooming
hold on and don’t let go