Common

Unique and distinguished

We yet share

Woe and distress

Common shame and suffering

That in shadows full of dread

We feel them larger and unweildy

Stronger and unyielding

Then they appear once in the light

There are some, it’s true

Who feel not life’s great and awful sadness

Inexplicable angst

Isolated troubles

Suffering of spirit

When life’s gone all awry

Every step is wrong

Rolling on the floor in writhing agony

Alone and yet together

All this pain of life we weather

Hoping for an end

For some peace

For something better

For anything at all to lift us out of sorrow

From the sages to the pages

Sayings written once or twice

Hang on to love

Be open hearted

One more minute

One more hour

When subjected to the fires

Flames upon each wound

A subtle transformation

A phoenix rising plumed

Hold on to love

Keep going

Take your rest along the way

Remember this is common

Part of life to grieve this day

As the tide returns to shore

One wave after another

Joy will find you in the moonlight

Joy will find you in the dusk

Joy will wake you in the morning

Joy returns little by little

In that flower startled beauty

In the clouds suspended there

In the laughter of your loved ones

In the twilight somber falling

Common sorrow

Common beauty

Will find you there upon the sand

Unique and still distinguished

Healing slowly everywhere

Unregarded

Unremarked and solitary

Did you find yourself unraveled

Are the trees whispering your name

When you walk beneath their branches

Are the birds still singing of your passage

There below

Do the chipmunks and the squirrels

Chatter on in playful sparring

Are the feelings in your breast drawing swords

And gone a warring

Does the battle rage within you

Under the blue and open sky

Waving grasses lightly browned

Do they bow as you walk by

Is the wind bringing you messages

To the spirit that you carry

Urging you to hurry

Do not linger

Do not tarry

In the coldest morning’s touch

Frosted lashes

Cold dark tales

Are you running toward a future

Are you fleeing from what was

Will you stop and see the beauty

Close your eyes and just step off

Too many ways to go along

Too many ways to stop

Can you hear the murmur there

Beneath the traffic and the noise

Unwrap the bandage from the wound

Let it seep and let it pour

You’re almost there

You’ve almost made it

Just one more rise to reach

To feel the sun

That shining balm

Central star

And come undone

In this quiet morment

Right before the twilight

And the dawn

Love is chasing down your heart

Love is waiting at the bend

Love is the path on which you run

Love is the stars at night

Love is the flaming dawn

Love is the shimmering

Glimmering

Light within you

Love has been there all along

Behind the Song: Bottle of the Blues

I wrote this song thinking of the line from Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know that goes “You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness,” and how even so, we seek out love and connection with others.

“Like resignation to the end, always the end”

Gotye’s song is, of course, beautiful and sad, and poignant, about endings and final words to lovers beyond our reach.

As Rosalie once said of Bottle of the Blues, “This is a kind of mood.”

Perhaps the addiction is to a darker shade of sadness, one with brittle cracks, and jagged edges.

It’s about beginnings, and connection even in the midst of pain and suffering.

This is a kind of mood, and not everyone will understand.

For those who do, I’m sorry.

Lyrics here

Imperfect Love

My heart loves perfectly

Wholly

Without terms and conditions

My heart is caged

Trapped

Within me

By mind and ego and scars

The past warps expressions

In the rush to emote

I trip over words

Phrased poorly

I am tactless

The worse it goes

The worse I make it

Stumbling and desperate

To give and share the perfect love I feel

The more I try

The more I fall

Stumbling over broken shards of truth

This healing is too hard, I cry

I squash the ego with humiliation

I’m sorry, I say

I’m sorry I’m broken

I’m sorry I wasn’t healed enough

I’m sorry I survived this way

I couldn’t find another way to make it

I couldn’t find a different way to live than this one

I contorted

To be loved

To be understood

I try to be what you need and what you want

Yet in the end I am just this

Mess of partially healed

Partially wounded

Partially wise

Partially healing

Partially damaged

Partially processed

Parts

I am a stew of emotions

I am a bird in flight in the rain

I am the limping wolf

The deer tangled in barbed wire

My heart is caught and wild and pure

If I knew how I would be only peace

If I knew how my words would only soothe

If I knew how my actions would only heal

If I knew how to be invincible

I would cease panicking

Stop suffering

End doubt

Even rocks are not invincible

The world itself suffers

All of life is a blend of love and pain

Light and shadow

I am a layered painting

I am a song of dissonance and harmony

And so are you

And so are you

Loving imperfectly like me

Being imperfectly loved like me

We muddle through it

Wading through this life

Knee deep in mystery

Bog sucking boots

Trying to find dry land again

We slog through the difficulties

Until we’re safe on the forest path

Filtered sunlight and dry trails

Our love growing more confident

Skewed a little more to perfect

A little further way from pained

And we walk joyous together

In the welcoming woods

Memory of Today

Each moment I hold on to light

Letting go and holding tight

Packing memories of today

With open wings for flight

I can’t lift off the ground

With all the ballast that I found

Cutting loose

Cutting loose

I let the moments pass me by

The memories fading as they form

Shapes in clouds and then they’re gone

What sweet impression had you left

Cut by cruelty I wept

A freedom only sought by daydreams

Ephemeral bargains never kept

One more tie to loosen

Ruffled feathers smoothed

The sky is always waiting

Always wanting me to choose

I soar above it all

Pain and love and strife

I look down to watch you

In the distance

Standing by the rope that’s cut

I watch you sheath your knife

Did I Mention

Would that I had told you

How the fire burns within

Little embers, little sparks

Lights that brighten up the dark

When I see you smile

And hear you laugh

The joy I feel when you are near

Did I mention that I see your heart

In every thing you do

How beautiful the colors cast

Reflect in every movement

To hear your voice is sweetness

Surpassing every sound

When I sleep and when I wake

It is your name said like a prayer

You are a sacred place

A quiet pond

A respite

From the worries that I carry

Upon your shore I lay them

For a moment fettered free

When you reach for me

The world bursts into blooms

Posted an Original Song: Clever Like This

This is part of my systematic effort to reduce performance anxiety, and share original music. I’ve played this song only for a handful of people prior to recording.

There are other new posts up on my YouTube Channel, some of which are mildly amusing, sporadically informative, randomly entertaining, and insightful as to why something that might take 15 minutes will digress into singing, extemporaneous playing, and exploring the nature of sound.

This video stays on track though (miraculously).

Things You Never Told Her

In dusty musty boxes

In the basement corner near the back

Papers yellowing with age

Edges curling crinkled

Ink is smudged and

Pencil smearing

Cardboard soft and slightly limping

Are the words that choke you

In the middle of the night

How the sunlight dancing through her hair

Is magic when she lifts her face to laugh

Because she had a thought which pleased her

So she glanced over her shoulder

When her eyes met yours you felt it

Underneath your bones

Electric

How her presence in the darkest nights

Her even softest breathing of her sleeping

On more than one occasion anchored you to life

When her hand brushed up against yours

Fingers intertwining

Held you steady as your fears came creeping

That her touch banished them from sight

How the glimpse of her turning dancing movements

As she measured out a song while she was cooking in the kitchen

And her voice would sing along

That the joy arising from her gave you one more thing to love

About a life that had been dark and wary

Stressed and sacrificial

Maybe she never knew how she was balm to healing pressures

Maybe she never saw her worth beyond a budgeted refusal

Frugal and self reliant

She fixed and healed and tidied

Maybe she wept at times for lack

Maybe she questioned every penny of her worth

Maybe she longed for one more word of kindness

Maybe she wished for a hand which reached her heart

Maybe she knew

How every day you counted her first among your blessings

Some pages in the boxes stuck together

Moldering in cardboard splitting at the seams

Bending breaking open

Spilling letters onto concrete in the basement of your heart

The words running together

In wild fantastic herds

They have galloped across the plains into the forests

Grazing underbrush of lines growing thick

Around the trembling trunks of trees

All the poetry you feel is falling floating down

Drifting in paragraphs

In autumn colors just like leaves

As you trace the patterns on her hands

Watching wrinkles crinkle careless at the corners of her eyes

As she gazes at the antics of the chipmunks just outside

Maybe her smile is warmer, brighter when her glance meets yours

Maybe she reads each unsaid word there within the light

Glowing from within the silence of the corner boxes

In the basement near the back

Spontaneously combusted in the twilight of your life

As the flames dance and spark there

Behind your eyes

All the things you never told her

Flickering tendrils in the darkness

Became her hearth and home

person standing on brown wooden floor
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Detritus

There is no composition

Without decomposition

We break down

Broken down by fates and whims

The sun shines

The wind howls

The rain falls

The rotting and decay

Spirits falling and flagging and flailing

Components revealed

Bleached bones of old structures

Half buried by what used to be

Gone

Our youth

Gone

Our pride

Gone

Our strength

Molecules become atoms

Reforming into new molecules

Reprocessed

All the material at the ready

For composition

We write our stories in time

One decision after the next

Seeds splitting open to sprout

Recombining the secret patterns

Into glittering webs of life

We sing hope into the sky

Bright streams of glorious light

One note after the next

A chorus

A melody

A symphony

From that pain and joy

Wringing something new out of the earth

Until we are so far away from the detritus

That we forget

Have forgotten

That it was born from utter destruction

Of what had been

Broken down through time

Rocks became rubble

Oceans rose and fell

Fires flamed and fed

We turn

We turn

We turn to stone and

When the butterfly lands

On our shoulders

We return to life

To grow and glow and shine

Hearts open and eyes bright

Pinnacle

It’s a trope, you know

The aging man with the bad mustache

Looking back at the height of life

Throwing pigskins to a cheering crowd

Just before the homecoming dance

I am he grasping back to a wild success

that failed

Failed to hold due to forces beyond my control

All the forces are beyond me

I like to think I am self determined

I like to think I have wherewithal

I like to think I can

Except on days I can’t

It’s too hard to dream anymore

Too hard to believe

Too hard to try

It’s too much sometimes

To even open up my eyes

It’s too difficult to see

Ambition runs right out of my veins

I am deflated

I am defeated

I haven’t heard the pistol

Nothing has begun

I can’t get to the starting line

I don’t really want to run

I amble back into the forest

To watch the sunshine through the leaves

I don’t want that to be the pinnacle

That can’t remain the top

Of all I have accomplished

I don’t really want to stop

My passions are more muted

The edges have been rounded

Smoothed down by time and tears

The fire burns more broadly

The fuel is hardwood not the soft

This flame is more longlasting

I still can reach the top

A slow climb

A steady step

Already I can feel the changes

A return of something wholesome

I make beauty every day

My gift is heart as much as skill

I don’t need to win a ribbon

I don’t want to be

Here I am still breathing

Love with every breath

I let the future do its thing

It does what it wants to anyway

I just do this thing before me

In that senseless, timeless way

Listening always to the heartcalls

That keep me going

Every day

brown and black cut away acoustic guitar
Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com