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Phoenix Dust (2009)

Play in the sunshine, laugh in the car

Sing in the shower, dance on the bar

Fly on the plane, but you’ll never get far.

Light a candle, and put forth your thoughts;

Bend them in circles and throw them like darts.

I flew to close to the sun and got burned,

I laid my heart bare, but alas, it got spurned.

I opened it up and let it bleed out,

Opened it up; insecure, full of doubt.

I lay in the ashes, the coals and the dust,

Bruised, battered, and beaten,

Crumbled in pieces like iron into rust.

Arise from the ashes sweet phoenix inside,

Let go of the pieces alive in my pride,

Sing the eulogy, weep, as I died.

A feather, a wing, a talon take flight,

And soar through the moon in the bitterest night.

It beats and it thrums here inside of my breast,

The beat of the drum right here in my chest,

I’m alive and I’m flying,

My heart ever dying,

Someday, forever will rest.

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Life Demands

There’s always the pull away

The take away

The outtakes

There’s a breathless wonder

An intake

The exhale

There’s street signs

Or a map

Or you wander lost

Forgotten

Among the details

Life demands

This yearly accounting

Life demands

A participation

Life demands

A change of direction

The sudden absence of love

The laughter extinguished

A heart pain

Life demands

The inexplicable return

A chuckle turns into a guffaw

The sun breaks free from the clouds

The unexpected flash of joyous bouyancy

Harken then

To the demands

Line them up and cross them off

The pain and joy ebb and flow

Waxing and waning

Sit with the pain

Embrace the joy

Life demands life

Life demands living

Rebel against the inexcusable

Rebel against the squandering

The clock ticks

Inexerable

All you have is now

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At the Wishing Well

They poured wishes into the well

Dropping copper dreams into clear water

Waiting for a feeling

A change

Something

Like all good things

Time was required

They turned away from the well

Left their wishes behind them

In the forest and woods

They romped and played

Frolicked and fell

Tumbled and turned

They sang to the birds

Told stories to the frogs

Headed home when the sun began to set

For months they returned to the well

Looking down to see if anything grew there

Deep in the water where dreams come true

And they grew

Years passed and they rarely visited the well any longer

Maybe they forgot even what they had dreamt

What they had wished

So much time passed that when the dreams showed up quietly

They went unremarked

So it is with wishes sometimes

Coming true when the wisher is no longer looking

The dream returning while the dishes are being washed

And the dog is being taken for a walk

In the autumn leaves they walked again

To the wishing well

He observed that her wish had come true

She noticed his dream had finally been realized

And they laughed together at the distance travelled

The difficulties managed

For a moment they thought they heard

The laughter echo from their own voices across time

Songs and stories given as gifts to the birds and the frogs

Coming back again to their hearts

As they walked home

In the twilight of fall

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Top 10 Posts 2022

I definitely did not post regularly towards the end of the year here.

Writing happened – I opened and closed my Patreon account. Been shuffling my deck of cards life has dealt me and trying to get some workable structure to my daily routine. Some of it comes down to having a lot of simultaneous paths I pursue – music, poetry, stories, art plus when do I eat, sleep, shower, exercise?

On top of that, there’s the hustle to earn money. I sidelined the podcast towards the latter part of the year as well. I put in over 500 hours of words out there, and have earned just over $2 from them.

Evaluating when to quit and when to grit – as the saying goes – means choosing between activities and pursuits while paying the bills. I’m sliding into the new year with some good news – one of my art pieces will be in a gallery exhibit here in Bloomington, IN in January. I have a music gig scheduled for February, and an upcoming album release that I’m super excited to share with you soon!

I’ve started a monthly poetry discussion and word play group at the local library, and that’s been a lot of fun. I take my guitar for it. Just begun, and the next three scheduled!

Here are the top Poetry blog posts for the year starting with the least of them and working the way up to the most popular:

I See You, Magnificent

Black and Grey

My Bones Fell Out

White Privilege is White Expectation

You Never Wandered So Far

Freshly Brewed Excerpt (Poem)

By Moonlight

Wild Roses

Freshly Brewed (Poetry Book Excerpt)

Weapons of Soil

Thank you everyone who has stopped by here, the words of encouragement, the shares.

I appreciate you. Thank you.

May 2023 bring you more of everything good, and a reduction of the toils and pains that come with being alive.

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The Alphabit

A needed B to C

D combined with E to stretch

F never quite made it all the way to G

H ran into I

J went down to the K

L turned on M who stopped at N and O jumped clear

P looked at the long Q

R gagged S to stop the sound

T sat and thought and steamed

U won’t believe this story true

V doubled itself and called it W

X factored on the spot, but wondered Y

Z never rounded back to start again

Or even try

So this has been a brief alphabit

I wrote it just for you

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Libraries and Laundromats

She hums to her knitting at the table near the window

Suds circling and the hum of dryers

It’s too bright and the doors open and close letting in the cold

He wears a hat

The next one does not and opens a book

There are hats and hats and hats against the cold

Clinking of coins down the shoot

A woman is talking sternly to herself

If you want a house or a car, you got to work for it

She works figures in a notebook with a pen and yellow highlighter

Knitter knits and hums quietly

The laundry lady talks to another lady about the schedule and the snow

The hatless man turns another page reading silently

I wonder what’s going on at the library

People coming in out from the cold to read a book or a magazine

To use the computers and there are few places left where people mingle

Outside their strata

The tall woman looks at me with relief but I’m not part of her set

Whatever she thinks

I nod to her as I did to all

$15 dollars of laundry – the sheets and towels and jeans because they

Don’t wash easily in my bucket with the socks and shirts and underwear

There’s no good place to hang them, but I do anyway

The heavy things

They are only laundromat dry

I saved a dollar by spreading them out over furniture for an hour to finish

When I got home

What gratitude I felt to enter my home

There were presents in the mailbox and I opened them and began to cry

It’s all so hard sometimes

Where did my life go?

I look at the beautiful wooden picks for my guitar

And a book about living the music

I don’t make many plans any more

I do each day what needs to be done

Run the vacuum, make some food, sing some songs

Write down some thoughts and more thoughts

Wash my clothes in a bucket and hang them over the baseboard heater to dry

Maybe next week, go to the library and see who walks in out of the cold

Who looks at me in relief, and who passes by unseeing

And wonder what the figures on the paper mean

And did the knitter finish the knitting

And did the hatless man finish the book

And do we all circle around each other warily or looking for shelter

And do we ever find anything at all

In libraries and laundromats

In life or in death

Is there ever an answer to the question

What is the song of the suds and coins

Or the turning of pages

Or of entering a new day

And can we sing it beautiful this time

black and white clean housework launderette
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On the Same Page

Aligning

Gathering

How scattered we become

Driven apart and wedged into narrow runnels

Broken down

Beaten up

Spread over courses and decades

Leaving and abandoning ourselves along the way

Gripping tightly to what’s gone

Treading worn paths

Singing sad tunes

Working at odds against ourselves

Misaligned

Snap to a new page

Bringing home every lost bit of soul

Suturing together the self into a patchwork cloak

Shelter from the raging storms

A little bit of love

To grow it all together again in a vat of hope

Bathed in light

Who can be on the same page as another

If the self is scattered and distributed among lost loves

Lost homes

Lost hope

Blinded by the past

The first challenge is to get the self

All onto the same page

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The Bird and the Trumpet

Flowing water swept away the expression

Smooth tranquil ice chilled in the winter cold

An exodus a trampling a song

Ideas exchanged and never meeting

Meeting and never changed

The end is near

They cried and ran and flailed

But they peeked over shoulders

Hidden under covers in the dark

The earth trembling from the stampede

A sound hailing a shake-up

The trumpeting noise

Disrupting the flock into flight

Some land on the pachyderm

Others in disharmony

a cacophony of opinions

Some run counter to the rest

Never getting off the ground

And this is how

Great changes come about

A shake up and a resettling

A restructuring building something new

With tools honed over the unfolding

That went before

The trumpet blew

The birds flew

Where we land is a place

We never knew

three black handset toys
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Updates

Some exciting things have been unfolding, which is why I haven’t been posting much.

My friend and collaborator, Rosalie Robison, came for a week’s visit and we worked on updating some songs off of the Patchwork Blue album, and on three new songs for an upcoming EP! I have been working hard to build upon the basic structure of these three songs.

I found a blank art wall at a local library branch and hung 10 art pieces there where they will hang in public view through the first of January!

I ordered some business cards, and post cards for a book signing I started to organize which has turned into a sort of poetry reading thing called The Word Garden, and I’m not sure what that’s going to end up being like, but I’m really hoping it’s not just me sitting in a room reading poetry aloud to myself while sadly strumming a guitar.

I just sold another book on Amazon today, so that’s very encouraging!!

I’ve been doing odd jobs here and there to try and make ends meet while avoiding taking a real job, but I may have to try and get some seasonal work to make it through the next few months. This is frustrating when I feel so close to being able to generate some income from the projects and creative works, but it is a common obstacle when building presence and generating sales on several fronts.

I voted.

I’ve played some open mics.

I’ve written a new single I’m very excited about and trying to finish up the production of that.

November is here and it’s a historically difficult month. This is why I hung my paintings to share out there in the world. Maybe someone else who is having a rough month or two through the holidays will gain some comfort from them. I was surprised how sad I became when I went to leave the library after having hung the paintings on the wall.

Thank you for reading.

Hope your November has some moments of joy and peace.

Appreciate you!