Effects

These are the things you left behind
in no particular order or array
that I keep in desperate safety
the clothes are neatly put away
shirts and dresses hung in careful closets
panties folded in deliberate drawers

Your coffee cup, that I hold in my hand
the pink one with the black cats
that reminds me of who you are
so much I can almost hear you breath
as I measure the creamer to just
the amount you liked

Cosmetics in a pink case
your makeup always just so
but sometimes you came with none
and were still so beautiful that I always sighed
your hairbrush sits untouched
although I have grown my own now

The things that you gave to me
and the ones I gave to you, kept here
in secret by us in our love, now there are more
I had bought for your birthday and holidays
I keep those too, in precise boxes
with cards and chosen words assigned

Photographs and messages and memories
as I see and read and contemplate
bluest eyes stare back at me
and I read the words of desire and adoration
we fit like puzzle parts in perfect alignment
body and heart and soul

These are the pieces of my broken heart
shards unswept from the unhealing wound
as brittle as my voice has become
no amount of glue will make this whole
that you could mend in an instant
while I stare at the fragments on the floor

These are the things you left behind
and I cannot bear to part with them
in the hopelessness of the downcast
I would but they were grave goods in some lost time
to comfort in eternity’s cold aeons
but I breath and walk and ache for the things you left behind

Would

I would plant you a garden of the pinkest roses
a place to sit in fragrant abandon with hands held tight
I would give to you those cards and letters
written in my messy hand with grace my guide
I would praise your beauty as I always did
in word both writ and spoke, in song, and in art
I would bring you breakfast in bed, with hot coffee
and some delight I made
I would hang on each word you said
as ever your listener with compassionate understanding
I would take your pain, as I always did
within my touch the healing hands you knew
I would show in a hundred little ways, with each new day
the esteem of love’s benevolent embrace
I would again bring you to the height of ecstasy such
as we only felt together
I would drum your name with every heartbeat
as I do still to this day
I would love you as the sun rises and as it sets
with the strength of the new day
I would love you in the tangle of limbs so well remembered
and the soft sweet kisses of passion
I would make my work your happiness and joy
in which I find my own, your smile my reward
I would love you to the end of my days
and I will, anyway

Blue light lackey

I should thank all those who out themselves
in the blue glow on their porches
that symbol of white supremacy
a public show of support
for sycophantic authoritarianism
each light lit a renouncing of compassion
a civil gesture of meaning that damns
Black lives
Brown lives
Queer lives
Muslim lives
Jewish lives
Latinx lives
Native lives
all lives that are not the mayonnaise
of white ascendance
each light lit a statement that
minority lives are of lesser value
and they prefer the status quo
cobalt incandescence a proclamation
of their own sense of superiority
and their fear of a changing world

Here in the U.S. lights of various colours are often lit at night to show support for various causes. Blue lights are ostensibly in support of law enforcement. But of course there is more meaning to them than that. Law enforcement in this country are a bastion of white supremacy, systemically treating minorities with violence and condescension. Those who display those blue lights (and there are many) are also displaying their own tacit support of that violence, condescension, and corruption. Their support of the status quo of white supremacy in America

Inumbrate

One of us should have a good life at least
and it will not be me, with nothing left to strive
but this despised existence in grey shadow
and the ragged dullness of apathy
incipient gloom and the caress of thorns
painted in shades of ashen sorrow
as I sink
sink
sink
no more to rise to surface breath
renunciation of being and joy in every heartbeat thud

Such a simple cure could be found if you
should but find your heart to provide the antidote
to this ravening distress of spirit and drear eye
instead, I am the sacrifice on which you build your life
a trifling thing of no great import or loss
as easily forgot as a word from a stranger
as I fall
fall
fall
no more to fly on light wings
repudiation of all sense of life and delight

Becoming the empty space inside, where
used to reside the soul you took in an offering to yourself
dry as ancient tinder in forgotten ruins
awaiting only the spark you could bring
forever takes a long time to come and go
in austere reminders of love-lit bliss
as I fail
fail
fail
to find determinant optimism
your abandoned dreams still haunt my vision

Kiss

No more shall these lips kiss those of another
for none should compare
where once pink tresses lay on pillowed glory
now nightmare sheets of touchless torpor


These fingers will not caress nor hold in joy or passion
and none shall hear a laughter peal
nor the sounds of mirth be made
the silence is the death of delight


No more shall hearty friendship ring
for those were tossed aside in grief’s storm
and in solitude’s stark glare
the deliberate alienation of all souls


The are no fresh blooms nor shall there be
just dust rings on unpolished wood
dead petals form a graveyard of hope
and dreams lay dying in the remnant of memory


Forgive me then my lack of cheer
in the bleak miasma of an aura grey
cold embers of what once roared in warmth
in blue-eyed gaze and tender whisper


Still I fall into the darkest depths
with despondent desperation of sorrow
growing each hour still, and time heals no wound
grim comes on rusted wings

Permafrost

Snow falls in frozen tears to the icy ground
where once hallowed footsteps fell
the sun has fallen from the frigid sky

Spring will not come, though it may warm
not growth nor scent of bloom
shall make way past this chill
the birdsong melody mere harshness

The stars have all quenched their light
in the depths of the deepest seas
amidst the cold bones of the lost and heartbroken
where lay the not-yet-deceased in bitter ordeal

Summer’s heat will not assail this gelid soul
nor bright shine colour the pallor
where ghosts of kisses still haunt
and the echo of laughter wounds abysmal

Let winter remain, and in its glacial embrace
no glow shall provide comfort
she has become the winter itself in cold
ice, but only I am subject to her whim

Body (song)

left a body in Arizona, underneath the shifting sands
left a body in some corner of some foreign land
left a body in Oklahoma, in some shallow grave
left a body in san antone, where the air is thick and heavy like a wave

left a body up in Pahrump where the skies are bright and clear
left a body in Alberta, where the snow will cover it all year
left a body in Alabama, among the swamps and the trees
left a body back in Memphis, on the streets in Tennessee

left the body of a man, who thought it was his right
by way of toxic masculinity and hiding behind
his thoughts as black as night

left a body in a spot in a parking lot
left a body on the steps of a church where I shot
left a body in the trunk of a cadillac
where I left the bodies I ain’t ever going back

left the body of a man who wouldn’t take no
for an answer when he heard it
now he’s bleeding down below

left a body where they told me that their god
left bodies in a place but he got applause
left a body in the sea where the fishes swim
left a body riding where the waters skim

left a body in the sound of a winter’s chill
left bodies in the places where nobody goes
left bodies in the reasons for the killing floor
left bodies in the cry of a open door

left the body of a man who wouldn’t believe
that everything he did
was lost without any reprieve

leaving bodies in the streets of this quiet town
ain’t no use pretending I am all the way down
I won’t leave until I know for sure
that the body before me is a casualty of war

Last body I leave will be the one that is mine
been far too many years and it looks like time
if you remember me at all then remember who I am
I’m a straight up devil, a broken lost soul, or I am just a man

composed for guitar and vox. It should come as no surprise that I don’t actually have a trail of any bodies behind me, it’s just a song 🙂

Brimstone (song)

I’ll save you a seat by the glowing fire
where you can keep your cold bones warm
just disregard the screams of the tortured souls
that you did wrong

I’ll sing you a song by the firelight
that’ll rattle your bones in their cage
just ignore the sinking feeling and the people who are screaming
for all you did this is your wage

and the laughter is loud, the shouts from the crowd
as we descend into the fiery sea
the restitution is paid, the bills are all put away
as we plummet to the end of our being

I’ll get you a view to see the crucified man
who died with your name on his lips
a benediction in this sulfurous land
the cry from your parched eclipse

I’ll sit where you can hear all the sorrow and the tears
from the souls that still suffer here
where the wind will always howl and the fire will always burn
and the torment never disappears

and the laughter is loud, the shouts from the crowd
as we descend into the fiery sea
the restitution is paid, the bills are all put away
as we plummet to the end of our being
I’ve saved you a seat beside the fire so warm
in the darkness of this still night
I’ve saved you a seat where you can see the harm
that you did when you were still alive

I’ve waited twenty years for you to join me here
I’d wait another thousand more
the crucified man still waits in agony’s van
blood dripping on the floor

and the laughter is loud, the shouts from the crowd
as we descend into the fiery sea
the restitution is paid, the bills are all put away
as we plummet to the end of our being

Composed for guitar, bass, drums, and vox

Another

light another cigarette
take another smoke
left me hanging here
from the piece of rope
light another candle
swimming in the creek
ain’t nobody waiting
for the kind and meek

take another drink
from the bottle by your side
lonely as you sit
nobody in your pride
singing those songs
your voice a whispered name
still screaming in silence
memory is not the same

take another swig from the bottle
take a hit from the foil
take another toke on that endless weed
choose another life if you can

fake another smile
where nobody can see
fake another reason
for you to believe
pretend that this ain’t happening
don’t know who I am
ain’t no lion but I ain’t no lamb
woulda torn the stars from the sky
if only you’d have asked
give me a reason why

take another swig from the bottle
take a hit from the foil
take another toke on that endless weed
choose another life if you can

Music and words for guitar and vox

Seas

I’ve traveled the far-flung seas over years
I’ve lived in the deserts and the ice-cold lands
Read of every religion I could, philosophy and poets
just to try to and get by and understand

When I first arrived in this small town
found no answers wore my sorrow like a crooked crown
then that magic appeared at my door left me gasping for more
and I believed in her – I found peace on her shore

Hers is the face that launched my ship
a million dreams a million reasons to sing
her breast her thighs and her blue eyes
the sound of her voice meant everything

These are the things she left in her wake
the clothes and the scent and the images she left behind
haunting my dreams like a personal ghost
still seek her with awe and wonder in my mind

When I first came to this country place
darkness took until I saw her face
but her wings shone though she could not see
and in winter’s cold, spring bloomed all around me

The day she came to my door and smiled
my heart took flight and it never stopped
in moments we knew how this would take hold
she took off her clothes and made my heart pop

When I first came to this lonely street
I felt her sweet embrace and loving for me
now I’m lost back in the places in my mind
but never giving up the love that she was okay to leave behind

I wrote this on the piano, for piano and vocal