Monday, March 27, 2017

I met a man who told me he had a father who ran scared from town to town. He'd take his kids in tow, a wife cryin' in the front seat, he'd race them down an interstate. The two lane blacktops are long gone, just like his father who died last year, finally a brave man in his death bed.

The man told me he tried hard to stay in one place. But he had his father's blood and he'd race in the streets; scared as he was, he'd take his boys and wife from town to town. His wife would cry sometimes. He would wipe her tears the best he could with the back of his hand touching her across a front seat. She'd turn away and sob: "You're just like your father, too afraid of one place."

I heard this story and promised myself I'd never long for the days of the two lane black top. That sometimes there are frightened and fast lives on an interstate. Like a million miles, a million stories, two boys in a backseat will never forget.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

I held the head of a dying man.
Watched the sunset of his eyes.
He lay in the cold alley between a bar and a church.
During the in between hours of night and day I would see the homeless, the mad, the drunkards, the crack heads. Often their lips too cold to call on an evening prayer.

I held the head of a dying man
Watched the sunset of his eyes.
I did not know his name. I smelt alcohol on his breath.
With my tired hands I would not let his fallen head touch the cold concrete.
Together we raised him in his death and rested him against the wall.
The morning voices of broken heart angels would sigh: Another soul vanishes --its promises never blessed between this bar and a church.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Hurting Lips
I drink black coffee and eat burnt toast, but it doesn't wash away the pain--deep down in my rib cage.

She's just a girl--just out of college, almost half my age.

Last night I fought him hard. Thought I could win her love; but he was as young as she and he beat me down like an ole' bag of bones. I got one eye blackened the other turned blue. My teeth knocked loose.

She's  just a girl
Oh just a girl
Hot coffee swells my throbbing lips
The back of my head hurts
A waitress says I'm too old to fight for someone so young. She's nice; eyes me for a second as she's done over the offering years.

But I can't help myself
--maybe I'm in a crazy suicidal dream stage

She's just a girl
Oh, just a girl
One eye's black, the other blue
I got pain on my hurting lips

Somebody hold me up!
The waitress pours more coffee and washes over me with her sugar eyes. Like a blinded fighter, I've taken a rest before my next round.

She's just a girl
Oh just a girl
I don't want to be your early morning remains
No, I don't want to be your remains

Who am I,
Who am I,
The waitress holds me up. Let's me lean on her woman's chest, and steadies me under a mauling starlight.

She's just a girl
Oh no, she's just a girl. 
Let me be with the forever one if I can just release her with my hurting lips. The waitress let's go and I turn to see kindness in her sweet eyes.

I know that once when she was young she was just a girl. Oh no, just a girl. With no heart for a man almost twice her age.

(Poem's inspiration comes from one of the Who's most underappreciated songs: 'Athena'