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

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

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

Space (song)

She told me I was her handsome man
but I didn’t see the pistol hidden in her hand
laying next to me with her skin so sweet
whenever we met I was shaking like a leaf
my insides were churning with love
but she played me for a fool and wore me like a glove

Devil has kept a space for me
he says I’m going nowhere without some relief
but I’m too broke to break these chains
gonna bathe in the fire and live with the stain

She told me I was the only one
but I didn’t see the hand that held the gun
kissing me soft in pillows and sheets
holding hands when we walked out upon the street
my heart soared whenever she was near
but she played me for a fool never meant much to her

Devil has kept a space for me
he says I’m going nowhere without some relief
but I’m too broke to break these chains
gonna bathe in the fire and live with the stain

She took my ring and she took my breath
but I didn’t see the way she was bringing me death
holding me close and whispering words in my ear
telling me that I had nothing to fear
my body quaked in the presence of her
but she played me like a fool or a captured bird

Devil has kept a space for me
he says I’m going nowhere without some relief
but I’m too broke to break these chains
gonna bathe in the fire and live with the stain

I would still belong to her heart
cain’t be nobody else and the world is dark
dreaming she is telling me the things she said
wishing she weren’t thinking she’d be better with me dead
I ain’t going nowhere without her love
just giving to the devil all the thoughts that I’ve had

Devil has kept a space for me
he says I’m going nowhere without some relief
but I’m too broke to break these chains
gonna bathe in the fire and live with the stain

Another guitar based song.

White (song)

I break to often
I break to soon
is to damn easy with a needle and a spoon
I break so easy
but I don’t bend
drinking from the bottle like my body never ends
I must be sleeping
I can’t tell
whisper to myself in a voice straight outta hell
ain’t no poet
ain’t got pretty words
ain’t no goddam thing ‘cept what you heard
Another cigarette
and another bottle of booze
held in these chains by my lost muse
when I sleep
dream of better times
when I am awake there’s only one on my mind

I been going crazy, ain’t got no sense of real
I been getting hazy, can’t think I only feel
I was lost for all those years, now I’m seeing I’m lost again
running out of ways to pretend that I can stop the pain

I run so damn hard
I run so damn far
but I was drawn like a moth to the light of that star
I ain’t different
but I’m not the same
feels like I been blinded and maimed
can’t wake up
from this prison cell
gonna get fucked up and sit here for a spell
mind ain’t ready
for what comes next
hitting it again to stop from feeling the effects
of whatever went wrong
and this I know
I am living by the creek and drowning in the flow
head feels heavy
heart feels cold
but I can’t stop wishing for that fool’s gold

I been going crazy, ain’t got no sense of real
I been getting hazy, can’t think I only feel
I was lost for all those years, now I’m seeing I’m lost again
running out of ways to pretend that I can stop the pain

I break to often
I break to soon
is to damn easy with a needle and a spoon
I break so easy
but I don’t bend
drinking from the bottle like my body never ends

Written for guitar, vox, bass, and drum.

Letters

These are all the letters I have not sent
these are the clothes she left behind
I said some things that were not meant
as my broken heart made twists in my mind

These are the places we used to walk
with hands entwined and smiling eyes
these are the words we used to talk
as we lay together it all seemed so wise

This is the empty place in my soul
where she was the only thing that mattered
now I’m lost
in this place with everything shattered

These are the poems and songs
pages on the floor scattered before me
she changed to right all that was wrong
her healing touch brought comfort and peace

Her blue eyes and her long hair
alabaster skin and softness of form
heard angels sing when she was here
now their music is ragged and torn

This is the empty place in my soul
where she was the only thing that mattered
now I’m lost
in this place with everything shattered
This is the growing hole in my heart
this is the lonely beat of a distant drum
this is the piper at the end of the road
I am so cold
I am so cold

I wrote this for solo piano. It’s something I need to do a bit more of (classically trained pianist). I’m still working out if it needs anything more, maybe some gentle brushed drum but little else. I’m (obviously) moving more into songwriting as I go forward. It’s an old skill that I’ve left abandoned for a long time but it’s starting to come back and I’m getting good feedback from people I know.

Dead end blues

Five and dime got a glass of wine
got a bottle of tequila and I feel real fine
round here all the work has run away
and there ain’t much left to make the young folk stay

Drinking from the bottle and taking the pills
ain’t nobody laughing life ain’t got no frills
picking up food from the dollar store
trying to pay the rent and it looks like war

Landlord coming and no money to pay
end up on the street as a lonely stray
heat turned and off no way to pill the bill
trying to hide the cold in these stolen pills

that’s us
we’re living on the edge and we’re sinking like while we cuss
that’s us
we’re driving to the end of the world
that’s us

My wife is staring hard at me
kids are going hungry no way to relief
was love now it’s only survival
neighbours looking less like friends and more like rivals

banker man is mailing me
telling me to pay what I can’t see or believe
when the work closed down had nowhere to go
and the government don’t care they just put on a show

sad songs, trying to make ends meet
dreams of better days are bittersweet
Cheap liquor and gas station booze
trying to keep away the dead-end blues

that’s us
we’re living on the edge and we’re sinking like while we cuss
that’s us
we’re driving to the end of the world
that’s us

We’re driving to the end of the end
that’s us
we living on the edge and sinking while we cuss
that’s us
that’s us

Music to follow. I’m trying to avoid writing hiphop because I feel it might well be cultural appropriation. This isn’t traditional blues by any means. It resides in that darkl place of the southwest of the US

Snippets

She said our love was forever
apparently, those words meant
something different to her


The fire two nights ago, just up the street
triggered my PTSD and I shake
the nightmares stay while awake and asleep
as I struggle to get through the day
unbidden horror memory of my daughter
while she was still with us


I’ll spend the new year, in solitude and tears
with a forty of tequila and a bottle
of Vicodin forgetfulness
amidst the wreckage around me
I hope to be asleep by 10pm


Broken heart shattered my mind
in ways I could not understand
I pick the pieces from the cold floor
to build again a man of sorts
resembling in shape and form some human
thing with no core


I was baptized in blood and fire
now that’s all that remains
blood and fire and bleeding skies
and broken promises of better days


I’m busted inside
there ain’t no place I can find
solace from this suffering or empty decline
so I drink away the pain
until nothing remains
except the feeling I miss everything from your loving gaze


I keep trying to put myself back together
like a 1000 piece puzzle
with no picture to guide me
but some of the bits are missing
and the ones I have won’t fit together
the middle is empty


As I try and get over the effects of the fire up the street the other night, I start to understand just how vicious the effects of PTSD are when triggered. It isn’t just the panic and anxiety, the hyper-vigilance and nightmares (both awake and asleep). You lose your sense of self and being when it happens. You become nothing more than a ‘thing’ that reacts to stimuli and just wants it to stop. Almost an automaton, although one that can form sentences.

Having multiple events, and C-PTSD, can make this even worse, as they tend to feed off each other even if totally unrelated. Back when I was learning to fly, we were taught about the ‘graveyard spin’ which tends to be caused by multiple conditional factors coming together at the worst possible time (usually under IMC conditions). A loss of sense of the horizon, of level flight, and the reactions it causes. Your instruments say one thing but your body and mind say another. This is somewhat similar, and probably the best analogy I can come up with to describe it. The spatial disorientation in a graveyard spin when flying is, I think, reflected in the emotional spin that occurs with PTSD triggers.

Just a thought


I love you still