There was an America here, United and strong, curious about its neighbours and hopeful for its future. This was before fear and loathing, before anger and bitterness and conspiracy and chasing ghost and faceless enemies…

There was an America that was before the towers fell, it feels like a lifetime ago, and it feels like it is gone…

I was 11 years old…but even I saw the young man that was our president as he realized in real time …whatever his ideals had been for the future, they were changing…

There is a world before and a world after…and they are two very different things…

There was a loss here, that continued on…with the heroes fighting for their lives and their faces aged before their time…

We have a new moment in America….
In Alabama alone, we have lost over 12k in a pandemic that is ongoing…

It doesn’t feel so far away anymore…
It seems as though every day we lose something or someone once familiar, once close to our hearts…
And we have to find our footing so we can continue…

We have those brave heroes working and fighting everyday…

And like the heroes from 20 years ago…
These are putting their lives on the line…
they have faces, they have names, they have families…
And they will be changed…
And there will be a generation
Who grows up
From time
And there will be a generation after this …
Asking for the stories ….

There was an America here,
An Alabama,
And it feels like it has gone …
But we continue on…
It is here
Through us…

We maintain our place …
With dignity and humbleness
And courage for discipline and greatness
And refusing to give in to fear…
We continue
And we will tell the stories
And we will keep the courage
To build. To remember. To continue.
For all of us …
For all of our heroes…
We are one.

Broken glass

You called me and asked if I believed
In PTSD for frontline workers
And I said absolutely
And you said you just couldn’t do it anymore
And someone quit just to sell things on eBay
Little firefly white flags of surrender to the universe…
I don’t have the answers
But I can say
That I wish it wasn’t this way…
wasn’t it just a few months ago
We had spent a few years not talking to our families and breaking up because of politics ?
Now we have quarter of a million dollar retail days
And we are all so numb and so so young
And how do we raise our children
How do we be good partners ?
How do we stand on our two feet and face each other after this …
During this …
How can we love each other
Hold each other
If I’ve learned anything
From life
It’s stand
And trust your voice
Is it safe ?
To write ?
There’s a price in staying the same
And there’s a price in creating
In writing
In building
But stand…
And build
Do what you can where you can
While you can
And forgive
Everyone has a story
Everyone is a novel
And we are just
Not even chapters
So forgive
And accept that people are not going to change…
And you can’t change them…
But you direct your life …
Someone told me they quit drinking
“It’s so easy” they said …”to get carried away…”
Me too…
We stared into the parking lot …
that’s what we say
About substances
But it’s so easy to become a habit and a lifestyle…
Don’t let that happen…
Your anxiety and your sleeplessness
Will be so much easier
Trust yourself …
Real liberty
Real freedom
Is building your own life
And it’s also
I get it
Me too
I’m afraid
I’m numb
I’m struggling
I don’t know exactly what I’m doing
But I’m building
I’m not staying here
There’s not another year here
I have a responsibility
I can’t stay here …
We are all numb
And we are all on fumes
But we are building
We are mourning
And grieving
Change and loss hurt
But we are
Right now
All we have is time
You called me…
And someone quit just to sell things on eBay
Little firefly white flags of surrender to the universe…
I thought about how much we’ve grown
How much we’ve changed
How much further we have to go…

The jump

Everyone has the ability within them to do bad things…
You fool yourself with self righteousness and you surprise yourself in the end…

I hope, you let yourself off the hook..

there’s a thing in the sports world of freestyle motocross…
When backflips were coming on the scene…
Every rider had to master this or fade out…constant progression…
You saw a moment of grace in the air, turn into terrible silence, hundreds of feet and 200 lb bikes and bones crunching into the dirt in seconds …
Shattered bones and ribs time and time again…failed landings…
If it ended there, it was a tragedy…
But they continued to come back after 9 months in the hospital and recovery, facing down the same jumps and the same demons…until they overcame them and landed them not only landed them but rode them out…
Turning them into
Double backflips

I hope you continue
I hope you get back up…
I hope you find the ability and warmth like sake and champagne
Within yourself
Where you are ok with the way you have been and the way you are…
And you finish
You face your demons down
And you continue …



The world is hurricane
And brass
This burning library

This emergency room
This funeral parlor
With death angels
And poets and priest

This moment ….waiting for the next moment to take the torch and finish the race…

It has been the poets
Who meet you –
With the morning
With your coffee and tea…
While the news barrages you
Social media harasses you
Your cousins don’t understand you…
Wall Street
And the business falls around the accident in the street,
You tuck words in your pockets
You read them and you feel that you have a new friend
With the ambulance lights around the accident, Where life became too heavy and too real…
These poets…
Always present,
in the corner of every emergency room
Every grocery store,
Handing out prescriptions and recipes for whatever season of life you’re in…
It has been the poets
Who meet you in the morning…
Words in an abstract line…
Mined from this thing called life…
But always with you…
With empathy and understanding…

“This is one moment, / But know that another / Shall pierce you with a sudden painful joy.”
T.S. Eliot


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



We paint things
With hash tags
And love songs
It was just
Two people,
Someone loving,
The other being loved
Someone giving, adoring,
The other, receiving and being adored.
And they called that love
And when she grew tired of it
Cold and empty
They couldn’t understand why
Because everything from their side had been great.
I held her in my arms
And she stayed there for a moment
And asked me
Why is it
That we always seem to arrive too late …
Dashed against the earth
Like reality
All the colour
All the pain
We never wake up…
Until it’s too late …
I said I wasn’t sure
And for once
I really wasn’t
Or maybe
I didn’t want to be


Everything under the sun

You know I’m no good

there’s still time for me

To change


Every-thing under the sun

Just stays on repeat

The weatherman says

The world will implode

And the business man said

It’s about to snow


It seems to me

We should have kept those steel oats ….

Winter is short


Summer is long

I’d buy you an island maybe a beach

But you wouldn’t be happy hun

Maybe next year will be better

We’ll see….


The way you walked in the room

I thought you were looking at me

I guess it was just that saloon song

You know I’m no good

But there’s still time for me to change …


You know the world was no good

Until you walked in the room

Now it’s fire works and the fullest moon

I was drinking gin

But I switched to champagne

They say everything under the sun

Just repeats itself

That’s how the world was won

I keep selling to myself

That nights like this

Make a man dream…

I hope it repeats

Until I’m walking on the ceiling

Through to the moon

Shaking hands with the holy host

Write my name in the book of most

Maybe it was the saloon song

Maybe it was your kiss

But I think it’s time for a change