When I Was Ten

I was already wondering

why do we live the way we do

in a society where everyone,

anyone we encounter,

will have needs,

will want to feel the value

as anyone else who might want

the same things.

 

I kept hearing about love and flowers,

while watching the names scroll

across the evening news,

and then MLK and Bobby were dead.

I’m not really sure where the time

has gone so that today,

I stand here wondering if we have

made any changes to our lives at all.

 

We still know how to hate one another,

to load a burden of shame upon each

principled confession of humanity

we encounter on a given afternoon of days.

I sit among everyone that I have known,

there are simple avenues of memory,

and we each know the value of remembering

just when it was we began to feel fear.

 

I’m listening to Joan Baez in the background,

maybe Judy Collins later on, or Emmy Lou,

there’s a voice from my distant past reminds me

of that love thing we all seemed to grasp,

but only when tragedy spoke to our hearts

it was only then when we ripped apart our eyes,

and settled into a new way of thinking,

one that no longer contained the love of time.

 

Love of time rather than knowing the right time,

the moments that arise in our lives that compel

our souls to acknowledge the humanity of truth,

we are that lost beacon in the night extinguished.

Until the renovation, until the unearthing, until

somewhere in a time capsule we can see reality,

and once again, to know love is to feel our hearts

are an organic spokesperson for the beauty of love.

Let My Tears Remain

Please do not offer me solace,

help me forget the pain I feel,

imagine a different world too soon,

in order to find a peace we all …

 

We’re crying I hope,

I would like to imagine every household,

each quiet ride in a commute,

listening to reality rather than fiction,

I would wish the tears might offer a response.

 

Please be angry, sad, contemptuous, scared,

thoughtful with audible concern.

 

Remember all those conversations about love,

how it is truly a bliss,

a wonder to imagine,

something we cannot ever pin down,

just know we do understand we want to believe

we can all share in that true essence,

yet, we have never really defined love.

 

Soulmate, sister, brother, companion, lover, best friend,

mentor, sage, elder, favorite aunt, chance encounter,

all those opportunities to help us define

our own personal

Amazing Grace

We can live together you and him, and she,

and that bunch across the road,

those people, them imposters,

the new neighbors,

our whole fucking damn society,

wherever we are and however manner we wish

to exist.

 

Yes the conversation has got to begin.

Yes, don’t you dare wipe away my tears,

Yes.

I Chose Joan Tonight

I chose Joan tonight to finish my words,

I was looking for some way to return to where it is

a struggle always ensues

my mind playing tricks on my heart,

that is an organic thing I suppose – trying to ascertain

between logic and pain.

I listened to Diamonds and Rust and watched her life scroll by,

so familiar to us the fans, so unfamiliar to anyone who didn’t

want to know just how easily words could define our lives.

I’m in tears right now as I continue to try and understand

just what it is I missed in my life, where it is I might go in the morning,

if that is a place that still welcomes this aging body.

Diamonds and Rust

Don’t Try Again

I decided it might be pointless,

though I’d been told that so many times

before while always refusing.

I just kept searching for that moment,

when tears would just come,

nothing forced, only real.

Then came the pause,

when we think about is it really the cry,

or instead are we wondering just why,

there seems to be a need to cleanse our soul.

That’s what it is I believe,

whenever I get close to understanding

just how happiness floats around my mind,

well, it often seems it is then that I

do falter again, and ask for more.

See as I write these words tonight,

I suppose you might think they’re about you,

and one time they were, a long time ago,

yet, damned if I couldn’t have known then

how simple my freedoms would be now.

I’m listening to Judy Collins,

she’s singing Amazing Grace,

and I haven’t any reason why,

but I will cry. I will want to cry.

Old Songs

Old lyrics, old words, same outcome,

I could listen to Janis Ian all night long,

talk about being ‘seventeen’ growing up,

she brings tears to my eyes,

I can’t exactly tell you why,

perhaps it is a memory,

maybe nostalgic,

there are so many lives I’d wish to live again,

and music,

like Carly Simon talking about marriage,

I seem to feel there was something there,

something I always yearned for.

Now years later,

I still delight in the search,

the finding of meaning,

that is what we all seem to need,

from time to time,

I can recall,

there was a special time,

when I felt like things were,

just alright,

you and I,

laying on your couch and skipping school,

we were being adults then,

I was playing with love.

I wouldn’t guess I could go back,

find it, find that, place, find you,

I wouldn’t find the same moments again,

I’d only stand in the room, trying to reenact the energy,

because that truly was the mystique,

the energy we shared together,

to create our optimism … our love.

So tonight I’m listening to old songs,

I do that when I’m feeling sad,

actually, even as a happy man,

a good melody …

Joni, Joan, Judy,

well, they all seem to grab at my heart –

strings …

‘Imagine!’