Night is down

Full dark
No stars
The mind is lost
Love is blind
The night is down
She took me to Venus
With tea in her room
I’ve tried to get to you
You tried to figure me out
She said she’s got to get out
a new scene
A new town
Everything changes
When everyone stays the same
Full dark
No stars
The night is down
New streets
New names
But you’re still you
Is it really better now
I’ve got to get to you
I’ve got to get to you
The mind is lost
When love is blind
Is it really better now
Is it really better now


These mountains (oh children)

I was young

So much younger

Younger back then

A four minute sermon

In that church in the valley

Struggling to keep the words from running away

Like my soul

So often will


See that young man

In my mind

I am still him

Selling things on the highway,

as a child,


The couple, they are fighting…

And she hands me a notepad

Asking for me to write words

That I can not find …

Love is a garden, and you can’t harvest what you won’t grow…


See the man

Trying to drown

All the pain in his eyes

My son

My daughter

My children


We were young

In that country

the storm’s rolling over

Putting words in these hands

The notebooks

And a broke piano

To keep them hemmed


Now the world keeps on changing

Emotions,they are re-arranging

And the high doesn’t last

She’s intrigued

And curious

She’s never met an artist

With a southern sound

the ability

To outlast her California high

But I’m afraid

That I can’t stay

For my mountains they call me back

It’s in the highways

And the valleys

It’s a grit from my families old stills

And I’m afraid

She doesn’t understand

Some things

You can’t grow out here…

my sons

My sons

Don’t give yourself away

Keep your grit

Keep your faith

Keep your eyes

On these mountains

Even while you are away

Let me see

Let me stand

Let me find

My heart in my homeland

The old moonshine country

Where we live what we feel

Where we outlast

What would kill

Oh my son

My daughter

My foolish youth

I wish I could shield you


How a heart

Caves in like the coal mines

Standing in your empty house

Where your dreams

Your ideals

Your heart beat

And your breath

Held its last

And you swore you would not become a tombstone

As you pack all the boxes

With fractured breath

It’s just memories

Of a love that slowly died

Go to stand

In the silence

Of your cemetery


All that feels empty

An ideal

This house once was a home

Like the distilleries from the past ….

Oh my son

Keep your eyes


Where a heart

Cannot drown

God bless the hands that built

All of those mines

Those stills

the homes

And these mountains

From the sand

Keep your grit

Keep your faith

Keep your eyes


On all

That still stands




When life tears you down


See that you stand

Like these mountains

With skies in your eyes





With a future and a life

And carry this grit with you

It will burn warm in the night


The moon and night

Her kiss
Stays in the lungs
Her touch becomes your shadow
This weather sticks
To your clothes
Earth to your shoes and the rain
Drives a drumbeat
Into this town
The wolves are circling
the blind, blind and innocent
Ready to feed
Ready to be
Believing as they see
Every self help receipt
As a homecoming
Are you
Ready my child
To be free
Self work
Is a hunt
The hunt
Isn’t cheap
Sun and Moon in my sky
The women in my life
They’ve touched deep
Keeping to the woods
Shaded by the potions they keep
Ohh my love
My love
My lovers
Can’t you see
The way
nature moves
Keeping with the night
A language
That must be taught
And yet discovered
My poetry
Runs deep
Like the water over this earth
Her potion
She keeps
Like hell and earth
A matter of means
But oh my my
The wolves are circling
Every thing is not
as it seems
There is the hunt
And the hunted
Keep the fires burning
Or let it die
But move my soul
Move move move my soul
Learn to call into the night
The language
Of the earth
And the body
These bones
Oh my lover,
She is not yours to own
She is not a trophy
To keep
But she has the night
And she will be
She will be free



The space for you…
The rituals
The beginnings
The books, the prayers, the happiness,
There are so many celebrations
For beginnings…
And yet
We stumble through
It can go on for years
Love letters
And cakes
Easter egg hunts on sundays
Turn to words
That shadow our thoughts
Like the echo of sirens in the city
There is hurt here…
That we all have felt
Ache and
But we are not alone
You are still you
You are still whole
You deserve a ritual for this ending
You are my relationship
This community share
She said she wanted to be happy and loved and not sad
She wanted all the things …
She had tried prayer
She had tried meditations
She had tried it all
Maybe, she said, maybe, sadness, is just as big in us, as happiness, maybe endings, are just as big as beginnings, knowing when to let go, when to be gentle, when to leave,
When to just sit with it…
Get to know it
And us
Like Jimmy Stewart and Harvey
Maybe we try to hide these parts
of ourselves, because …
It says there is hurt here
There is ache here
When, by all appearances
Things should be well…
Whatever that means…
She said
She did all the right things
And she still feels alone ….
We have children, telling us what true love is…
Religion telling us to wait
The physical act,
Something so powerful and so insignificant …
It keeps us from knowing such a deep part of ourselves…
And our daughters our children
Are loved badly
In the beds of lovers who don’t even know…

I thought about how l have surely hurt
Trying not to hurt …
How I’ve held to words that hurt me …
And tried to be colder
Because it is all so legal
The ending…
Cut down to a signature
And a transaction …
And in other ways so religious
But none of it human
None of it
Just says
Here, I feel you,
I’m here with you,
And when you mess up trying to navigate this, I will still be here…
I wanted a love that was giving the last warmth …
The last ember…
on the coldest night …
After a lifetime of knowing me…
Of knowing there is nothing left for me to give…
There is no surprises hidden…
No potential…
No lessons left for you to teach me
How to “be.”
“Oh you’re interesting.
Oh I’ll show you all about this.”
I wanted to be a safe space
Where you can rest…
Where you can end
Where you can begin again…
You are whole
You are still you
It may feel selfish
To cry
To say goodbye
But how grand it is
To know,
That you have danced
That you have given space
For someone else’s dance
For someone else’s prayer
And breakfast
For someone to rest
And see their god
From your porch
For someone
To be able to say goodbye
So they can begin again.


Live what you believe

It’s national poetry month,
I’m thankful,
For so much,
I think the older I get,
The more I understand the need for quiet peace
For solitude
I’m thankful for writing
For art
I’m thankful for friends
I’m thankful for a career
That enables me to pursue my art
And supplies associates like me, with the tools we need to level up.
Not only with benifits but with off time, Vacation time,
Vaccines, healthcare, raises, retirement, training and goal setting,
I got vaccinated today,
I work in a major city,
I’ve seen everyone so burned out
I just hope
I hope
I hope you level up
I hope you reach your goals
I hope you dream in art
I hope you make the art you dream of
I hope you continue
I hope you continue
And winning
But mostly
Living and loving
I hope
You win
I hope we all do
And why shouldn’t we?
What else is there?

256 (kicking it )

She says she’s getting out
She’s had enough
Every week
We work from sun up to sun down
Try to hide these scars
Here in the 256
Just trying to get enough
enough of you
It’s real
To live on and live without
We’re real
It takes whatever we have left
Back roads and memory
Dream and a nightmare
Coming back in
She’s Kicking it in the 256
The train slows
Just trying to get by
Second hand help doesn’t reach down here
It’s just us
Reaching for these skies
Have you ever heard the mountains cry?
We’re on fire tonight
It’s just us
In the valley tonight
We will survive
We will survive
Kicking it out here in the 256
Written at vintage 1889

Star signs

I’m leaving the table
These star signs
Didn’t leave me anything
I’m casting my cards
In the fire
All that’s left
Is smoke and desire
And maybe
All it feels like is
I can’t drink this away
Our best days are ahead of us
I’ll stake my claim
My name
I walked in here
With this pain
This hurt
This curse
This shadow on my back
I’ve had enough of that
I’ve had enough of that
I know this curse hurts
The worst
I’m leaving the table
Cast these cards in the fire
Smoke and desire
What words ?
What words did you want me to say?
I’m not some Holy Ghost
But there is a third party here
I’ll be dammed
If it’s not fear
What words?
Did you want me to say?
Our best days
Are ahead of us …
Still ahead of us…
I walked in here
I’ll walk out
With my name
My zip code
My best days
My best days ….

Written at vintage 1889


I pulled the root out
I burned the ends of the rope
I carry the words
That hurt
The memory
Like compost
Made of cigarette ash
Inside of me
I try to think long term
To make a plan
To have a vision
Back and forth
I scrolled
With my hesitation
Like a newsfeed
Years slipped like sand
Into eternity
I watch the storms
I settle here
Like the earth
I sleep
To just be
Something other
than this
This fractured –
I hate this – ache
This selfish – pain
This – hurt
I walked in here
I will walk out
I will not be here
I will not die here
I will sit with myself
What is it I am trying to say
What is it I am feeling
What is it
I want to leave behind
What is it
Who am I
Never again
Never again
Never again
The single note
From the piano in the attic
It echoes
One note


Bring all of the broken pieces to light, are we doing alright?
Empty inside….
Like all of these open roads…
Religions said to deny what’s inside,
Culture said conform and get in line…
We can’t feel what’s left to –
We all keep –
Empty vessels ….
Out on these open roads
There has to be some kind of beauty
Some kind of lines worth writing
Were we not shaped by light?
Held by truth?
Grown by love ?
By love
My love
My love
Around these open roads
This house is burning
all of these broken pieces …
We used to be fighters but now
We feel so empty
Detached from any identity
Any kind of sense of self
Worth saving…
Were we not shaped by light
Held by truth
Grown by love
By love
My love
My love
All is fair in love and war
Hold to me through your night
Until you’re doing alright
It’s just open roads
It’s just memory
And sensory
It’s just time
In that jar of sand
You are light
You are eternity
And everything is passing
But you are beginning
You matter
You are all the borders to the ocean
You are the depths we haven’t seen yet
The quilting to the universe
You are identity
And hope ….
You are beginning….
Just beginning…