Stubborn So

You know I am stubborn
and so is my tongue.
My gains grow like clouds then
are sadly for you sung
into streets of rain.

You know I am stubborn
and so is my righteousness.
I lie and I lie there
into next year next to you
wanting to take you.

[chorus]
Gritty, humming like granite,
stubborn, so lasting,
never asking for
limits.

You know I am stubborn
and so is my emptiness.
When we met I was hovering
over the semblance of a cliff.
Jump or not you said.

You know I am stubborn
and so is my love.
Through hurricanes of acronyms,
through advertisements of
falseness it is true.

Gritty, humming like granite,
stubborn, so lasting,
never asking for
limits.

You have seen me and made me
as stubborn as a fence
that has lost its wire
and barb but still holds a stance
left behind by you.

[verse]
G / Am / Bm7 ///
G / Am / Bm7 ///
FMa7 /// G7 /
G7 / Am / Bb6 / F / C /
F / BbMa7 / Am / Fdim7 / Em7 /// ////

[chorus]
G /// //// D ///
C /// CMa7 /// D ///
Am /// Bm /// F#m7 ///
FMa7 ///
[NV] G / CMa7 / Bm7 / Cm7 / Am7 /// ////

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Kids Are Dreams

Saturday is contemplating
someone else’s kids
and I don’t mean goats
or pets or customers

but children being immature
sweaty in public places
rude as peanut shells
all over your carpet

leaving exuberant blue
traces on all our faces
bits of where they’re headed
without us

as kids play
smell of a green chance
dances unsteppishly
until it’s figured out

they are what you and I
were once and never
could be aren’t they
little dreams

what we all are in private
as we fall asleep and
as we wake up to
an adulterated future

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When Then Is Always

The first word in a sentence
might come out at the end.
The first inkling of a dream state
formulated itself before lunch.

Best bet sunset
once labor takes its break
once thirst takes two sips
once long is too long but not
sharp enough to cut the good day short.

Still light sky high
as planets peek through blue
as far stars fly near
to spy on our careless thoughts
those that make tomorrow break its shell.

The first word in a sentence
might come out at the end.
The first inkling of a dream state
formulated itself before lunch.

No mind is clear
at midnight when goblins
act on what they think
drugged by changes drunk on hope
pregnant for those hours before awakening.

[chorus]
Am / E / Am7 / E7 /
Bm7 / A / Dadd4 /// ////
Gm7 /// //// D6 /// ////
Gm7 /// //// [NV] E9 /// ////

[verse]
[4/4] G / Bm/A / D / Aadd4 / [NV] Cm7 / Bm7 / C#m ///
[5/4] GMa7 ////
[5/4] Bm // D / [NV] A ////
[5/4] G7 //// [4/4] Bm7 / EbMa7 /
[4/4] Am7 / F / F#dim7 / C9 / B7 /// ////

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Covid Train

(after the old blues song Mystery Train)

Covid Train, sixteen coaches long
Covid Train, sixteen coaches long
Some said it was nothing
couldn’t have been more wrong.

This train we’re riding ain’t going anywhere
This train we’re riding ain’t going anywhere
Can’t see the sunshine
cannot breathe the air.

Covid Train, where did it start, where will it end?
Covid Train, where did it start, where will it end?
Started here, went there
now it’s coming back again.

Science created a whole lot of morbidity
Scientists spread a whole lot of morbidity
all it took was a little
too much stupidity.

Who’s on the train? Your daughter and my son
Who’s on the train? My daughter and your son
never know what happened
only how it was spun.

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Just Justice

[verse]
Big and littlish, rich and poorly
what do you want other than your due?
Do you want a dab of extra
butter on your bread?

Whether male or maybe female
can you pull some strings to make it happen?
Mention daddy’s name and magically
make it all better?

[chorus]
More equality
fattening a fatter man’s appetite. No
nobody
wants just justice.
We want much
more than just
justice.

[verse]
Read the papers, study history.
Who is on top of the garbage heap?
It’s the few who take and do not
reciprocate.

[chorus]
More equality
fattening a fatter man’s appetite. No
nobody
wants just justice.
We want much
more than just
justice.

[intro – very freely]
C Am Fm Em7
CMa7 Abm7 A11 G11

[verse]
Cma7 /// FMa7 ///
C6 /// G6 ///
A7 ///
CMa7 / B / D9 ///

[chorus]
Am11 ///
Em / C9 / ////
Am11 ///
Em ///
Dm ///
Fm ///
CMa7 ///

[NV buffer]
G7 /// Am7 /// Bm7 /// ////

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As the Past Becomes the Present

[verse 1]
Half of your memory almost half of it
comes from the make-believe world of sentiment
drawn from the fire and ice of reaction
from what you felt and not what was really there
wanting to take some stand
passionate love turned to sand
all the feelings you got when
school was starting every September.

[chorus]
On the foundation of sense
is built the house of mind.
When you look back on it all
no telling what you’ll find.

[verse 2]
Half of my legacy as I figure it
looks like a portrait of everybody I
gave myself to in part or totally
or gave themselves to me incompletely.
I am a tree in the wind
I am a branch shaking
as the birds land and leave
as the past becomes the present.

[verse 3]
As time becomes a curse instead of flying
high like it used to do, like a trampoline,
thought wavers between then and upside down.
Too many incidents, all too innocent.
Adding it up cannot be
done with a young psyche.
Keeping track of the trail takes
being there before you get there.

[chorus]
On the foundation of sense
is built the house of mind.
When you look back on it all
no telling what you’ll find.

[verse]
[4/4] Am /// G6 ///
Am /// G6 ///
Bm /// ////
Am /// G6 ///
[3/4] Cm // F#dim7 //
Bbm / Edim7 //
[4/4] G6 /// G69 ///

[chorus]
Bm /// D6 ///
GMa7 /// C ///
Bm /// D6 ///
GMa7 /// C ///

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Central Dilemma

[verse]
Smoke rolling through from the northwest
drought and monsoon from down south.
Almost nothing here
comes from here
and still we stay.

I live in a city not yet a place where
not much is pure beyond the air
where beautiful differences
can have no faces
except yesterday’s.

[chorus]
From this hill I can see the edges
of what I cannot see.
From this hole in the ground if I’m lookin up
stars abound and shine.

I’ve got tools for cleaning my tools.
I’ve got trucks for hauling my trucks.
I’ve got fools to follow
and they are following me
up and down Luck Street.

Who is in charge of being in charge?
We don’t know and they don’t either.
Hard rules rule the wise.
The weak lead the strong.
Been that way too long.

[chorus]
From this hill I can see the edges
of what I cannot see.
From this hole in the ground if I’m lookin up
stars abound and shine.

[verse]
C /// ////
G /// ////
Bb6 / Am / D ///
Bb6 / Am / D ///
C#m7 /// GMa7 /// Bm7 / Am7 /

[chorus]
C /// FMa7 /// Am7 ///
Ab6 /// Gm7 ///
C /// FMa7 /// Am7 ///
Ab6 /// Gm7 /// [NV] Cm7 / Bm7 / A7 / G7 /

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Love In a Tea Cup

[A]
In the early morning after
grim dreams have disappeared
before worries shift to high gear
steep, stir a cup and sip
remember your first
contrast with your last
in between love grew up
from trying to be smart
to practical art.

[B]
Close your eyes closely
distance fades
a parade of passions
like parrots fill the air.

[A]
Back in nineteen sixty something
infatuation ruled
more a fascination than real
less whole than sex appeal
sometimes all about urge
some days incorrigible
each girl sang a song
I didn’t know.

In these afternoons of watching
love miss the marching mark
warmth from all around the equator
soothes young and wizened souls
takes and gives a bowl
of strength and weakness both
are required for curing
lack of proper caring
for each other’s aches.

[B]
In between moments
not quite now
the settling and settled
tea leaves tell of the future.

Kisses are exchanged
false for true
the ten-ton, the gale-force
chaos begins to break through.

[A]
A /// ////
A /// ////
A /// ////
A /// ////
D /// D69 ///
A /// B7/F# ///
G / E / Am7 ///
G /// Cm7 ///
Bm7 /// D9 ///

[B slower]
[3/4] A6 // C6 //
[3/4] Ab7 // A6 //
[4/4] A6 /// C6 ///
[4/4] D7 /// C#7 ///

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Followed Their Haywire

Transcendent clouds were on gray fire.
Hopeful stray dogs followed their haywire.

Denizens of the eternal forest
chopped trees down on each other’s heads.

Those following the mayhem of the hairbrained
make the cackling of the chickens sound sane.

Strolling down a manufactured memory’s lane
validates the swollen fabric of your dreams.

Bands of overly traditional gypsies
built big buildings on soft mysteries.

Middlemen digging out wax from ears
could not hear the swineherds’ arias.

Blowing on coals to hatch gray fire
disciples in leashes followed their haywire.

[verse]
DMa9 /// //// C /// Bm7 / C6 / Bm7 / Gdim7 /
Ab7 /// G7 /// Am7 / G13 / Cm7 / C#7 D7 E6 /// A ///

[buffer]
[5/4] Bm7 // D9 / Bm7 // A / E7 ////
[5/4] Bm7 // D9 / Bm7 // A / C#7#9 //// F#13 ////

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Not Just Green

Everyone is a scrapbook with a hardbound cover
odd contents stuck in to be organized later.
The simplest and best story consists of broad strokes
details like feelings forgotten or amputated.

I am a chipped tooth in the mouth of the grand canyon,
a slam dunk on the asphalt court that abused me.
I am a small word that makes all the difference between
fancy, long, latinate words that just take up space.

Under a smokey sky two bright clouds have formed
above the lake surrounded by hot black highways.
I take an alcoholic sip and my memory opens up
to football fields at the junior high smelling like hay.

Summer celebrations alternate with wintry ones
the colors de jure, the traditions ad nauseum.
Harvest hail falls on the blossoming apricots
as a square dancing tisket meets a tango tasket.

Say the word that appears before closed eyes
whisperlessly pregnant until written down
lonely for playmates to be parsed and sung with
growing toward true meaning year by year.

This morning I was the sound of last night’s cricket.
Halfway through the day I am French for ‘ennui’.
By the time hunger comes I am an adjective
derived from a noun, like emerald or sage.

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