The old places

Another Friday night
And he’s sitting at the bar again
drink at hand
If you caught him after
He’d look – is it his eyes or his hands that stop the shakes??
You’d hear him say
It’s not the drink he thirsts for
It’s a life of purpose
Somewhere he feels he lost himself
Or his way …
She makes her rounds
Cigarette in hand
She welcomes all the men from the city
And there’s a band on stage
Reminding you we’re all doing what we can …
And there’s the chosen golden few
Who smoke or drink outside
Believing they are somehow separate and different
But between the bars and the chord change
They feel their wheels spinning
As if to say hometowns and sin are something we all have in common
Like the broken artist
Bleeding out into his drink
To anyone who will listen
About a life he could have had
If he just had courage
And if we just had hearts
Now we are rushed on time
Trying to get ahead
Only downtown
it’s already flooded
My hands are tied
I need to get away
To the water
To the mountains
To a place in mind
Where I remember growing up
Though the memory isn’t too clear
They muddy the water
And the water keeps rising
I wish for more time
And I get sick in the gut
From writing the lines
Me me me
I and I and I
What is courage my son
But to eat when you are hungry
To sleep when you are tired
To know the Lord when you are hurting
To know the heart is right
If the heart is right
You don’t have to worry about the rest
But the holiness inside of us
Somewhere we forgot who we are
We don’t build and we don’t repair
The old places are in ruins
What an opportunity to rebuild

She said I am two different people
And she can see between the lines
God said the walls are coming down
And we are out of time


Poetry (beginnings)

What is poetry?
It is your beginnings …
It is understanding….
It is empathy for your brother and sister…
Not pity but empathy, a silent understanding and knowing…a shared experience that comes from living…
What is poetry?
It is your mother handing you a Bible and asking you to go outside and read a psalm and a proverb because you’re in a bad mood…
It is the way the dirt, the earth turns to powder (not dust) when chickens have scratched it there…
It’s gardens in the summer
And carrying buckets of water and fertilizer for the tomatoes and the handles cutting into your hands because they are so heavy…
Poetry is your beginnings
It’s the stories that make us – us
It’s the love letters in the beginning
And the fights at the end
It’s the knowing when love arrives and when love has left the table
It’s struggling to make it
And it’s finally having enough bread …
It’s the food banks
It’s telling your story
And listening and watching for others story…they are always telling.
Poetry is your beginning
It’s the courage to continue
It’s humanity framed with art
It is us.
It is you.


The courage to continue

President Kennedy was living daily with so much pain, from his Addison’s disease and colitis, along with back pain from a deteriorating spine and back surgery, that it took over 12 medications and seven injections a day along with a back brace, just to keep him going …

He couldn’t even bend over to put his shoes on…

The fact that he even got out of bed was a miracle …

I often find my self thinking about how he projected youth and vitality and strength and change…

This ability to challenge people to be better…

He refused to wear an overcoat on his Inauguration Day

Needing to project youth and strength…

He understood probably better than any of us the power of images and what they do

And the power of

Media ….

This was before an assassination

And before America lost touch with itself

And lost faith in itself

We know how the story ends

We know all the things that he started

However he is forever fixed in our minds as he worked so hard to be fixed …

Young and filled with hope.

Change is something uncomfortable

Courage, Virtue and faith is something vital to our existence …

As Joan Didion said the center is not holding…

It seems we’ve lost ourselves

And our faith

We don’t trust even our own instinct

From my side of the mountain

After struggling with Crohn’s


Moving and changing careers

Getting sober…

I can only say

I’m writing this on the side of new beginnings

And the shadows we fight against

Just within ourselves

The urge to run

To just forget about the cost

To just forget about the thing

To cop out…

The ability to rebuild yourself

To trust yourself

To reach for change

To stay true to your convictions

Is courageous in and of itself

But it is a future worth fighting for

Worth staying for

Worth getting up in the morning for …

So keep your hope

And build

Brick by brick

And line by line

Create a future

And a home

You would like your children to come home to…

Because it’s worth the fight

Even if you hide your shadows and your struggles

Your pain…

You can still build …

It is the courage to continue in the face of everything ….that counts…

The Devils square

They said the devil broke loose
John was on his trail
Elijah too
But it took one bounty hunter from way down south …
He said it took more than being baptised in the water
You had to be born in the fire
Walking out of the ashes across that mountain….
Drink that moonshine
Walk that line …
All that glitters ain’t gold
Beauty queens all get old
And 99 problems son …
Well, you know…
Hell hounds won’t go past the mouths of these caves
There’s 15 and 22 just over the way
You can come inside if you dare
But there’s no living creatures inside of here
There’s no fairy tale no make believe
Just the deaths of you and me
Just the demons you carry inside
Just the chaos inside of your own mind
The darkness behind your eyes ….
Just around midnight
The devil appears
But the hounds and the good book too
The fires from the mountains
And the bounty too
They gunned him down at the crossroads
Now you only hear him
Now and again
Running his cards at the table
Drinking his rounds
But it was an old time religion
A different breed
A southern son and a full moon…


Manic Hearts

You can take the fields of gold and silver,

Blue skies too,

We started out so young and full of potential,

Now we are broken and bruised,

You can take your hard earned pay checks

Your twisted words to save the deep end of the wound,

But this won’t save you from the rafters

Of the manic heart

The soaked lightning fuel to fire

From the anxiety in a room

The deal makers

And the users

The madmen make deals with death

Hoping for more time

Building cities on a stack of cards …

We buy a new car today knowing we will be told it’s used in 12 months

We have 52 weeks of fashion

Compelling us our scarf isn’t good enough

And we must be bored in silence

Go go go out and find something new

How do you protect the manic heart from the beating of the storm

He said he used to have hobbies

Now he didn’t know himself anymore

She said she used to be beautiful

But that was before the light left the room

Admiration is not a human need

How do we fight against the children screaming to be the next

Influencer online

Idle chatt

No prayers offered to gods

Just mice swiping for the next big hit

I feel myself

In her arms

And with her asleep on my chest

I feel

A little less alone in the dark

All the light is building from a candle

On the table

And it keeps us warm through the night ….

One candle can fight off the coldness from a storm …

Open arms that calm

The mind that races in the rafters of the manic heart …

– E

Weather (Mother Earth)

The earth
Doesn’t stay in any one season all year
It changes
It rests
It is hot and cold
And it is still whole
It is still complete and it is still its very own…
You can change,
You can rest,
You are still free and you are still you…
I don’t know what hurt did to you…
I don’t know those rooms
I don’t know who told you you were crazy
Or that love was supposed to hurt
I don’t know those parts of the frame we all try to hide…
I know this …
We are still here…
Yes we were hurt
But we are still trying and that says more about our humanity than any hurt …that we still try…
It’s ok to not be ok…
It’s ok to rest and to be overwhelmed …
To ask for help
To go to therapy
To take medication
To seek solitude
To start again …
This is your first time here…
You’re still new
You’re still you
This is our lives …
Job scraped his own boils with broken pottery trying to find a moment just a moment of comfort …
Samson begged the lord for a moment just a moment of strength again…
Christ wept and sweated blood …
You don’t have to be perfect
You don’t have to be anything at all
You can change
You can stay the same
You can be anything you want
You are you
And you matter
Right now
As you are
Not some future version of you
But you
Right here
This is us
We are still living and loving
And this is our power
This is your power
Nothing would be the same without you…


Love on the line

When the stars come out tonight
No one is gonna deny the moon her right to shine …
No one is gonna love her in private
She’s gonna sit up there in the heavens
Chandelier in the night
Burning with all her might
Rather be a warrior in a garden
Than a garden in a war
High patience to the throttle
You’ve got the cards but you’ve got to play them just right
You want to get it fast
I’d rather make it last
That kind of love takes seasons
That kind of love takes time
We drink a little bit of the mountain
Give it back with our blood in the soil
We all had to struggle
But someday
We have to take inventory of how we spend our days
I know you’re used to
Good ole boys
Kicking down your door
With high velocity love
Drinking by 9
Punching holes in your heart around midnight
Numbing their minds on smoke and whiskey
And blaming your car alarm heart
For the way they choose to live their lives
and I know we all could have been the dead beats and the losers
Standing on the side lines
When the stars come out tonight
No one is gonna deny the moon her right to shine …
No one is gonna love her in private
She’s gonna sit up there in the heavens
Chandelier in the night
Burning with all her might