Yesterday’s Moon

This was meant to be a hopeful happy coming home love song. Turned itself into an “I’d love to stay but you know I’m a traveler” song.

Lyrics

yesterday’s moon sleeps behind the hills far away
I’m chilled in the dark, the sun’s not yet risen today
hungry and tired but no matter, I carry on
around the next turn is the home where you wait with the dawn

these traveling ways are the only life that I know
in spite of the leaving and all the while missing you so
maybe this time I’ll have all I need here with you
and I’ll settle down and we’ll share a sunset or two

tomorrow night’s moon will soon peek over the hill
red setting sun is giving way to night’s chill
it’s warm here with you but I’m hungry to carry on
to see what’s around the next bend beyond the next dawn
to see what’s around the next bend beyond the next dawn
to see what’s around the next bend beyond the next dawn


Losing the Focus

Finally read the writing book “Writing Down the Bones” and one of her ideas is to write about memory, to just start sentences with “I remember . . . ” and every time you get stuck, start another line with “I remember . . . ” and plow through.

I’ve often wondered what makes our brain choose what goes into retrievable long-term memory, what gets tucked in back to play hide and seek, and what goes away without leaving a trace. I’m having a slight case of longing for the good old days, which I know full well weren’t nearly as good as right now.

Best Beloved was upstairs recording a podcast so I went out in the garage and sat in the back seat of my Juke to record this so I wouldn’t disturb her. You may want to note that the back seat of a tiny car is no place to play guitar, even a tenor.

Lyrics

I remember my dad turning dirt with a shovel
to put in a garden out back
I remember the grass as the yard tumbled down to the lake
I remember the fish on Saturday night
catch and eat and repeat
and the sound of winter geese flying south as I lay awake

I remember the waves kept knocking me down
and I never had the nerve to surf
I remember the peace of the bay on the other side
I remember bonfires at night
and roasting whatever we had on a stick
falling asleep on the deck on the incoming tide

I didn’t know then what would stick
what my mind would keep
the pictures I’d take
what went deep
I remember the smallest things from then
What will I remember from now?
I want to choose the memories
but I don’t know how

I remember the house on the beach was so cold
it was warmer when I went outside
I remember I didn’t go home when that tiny trailer sold
I remember the red motorcycle and a tiny grey car
and the cork tile roof of my bug
and my friend Ross and all the goofy jokes he told

I didn’t know then what would stick
what my mind would keep
the pictures I’d take
what went deep
I remember the smallest things from then
What will I remember from now?
I want to choose the memories
but I don’t know how

the apple tree, an old grey barn
piece of glass stuck in my foot
afraid because the bike was too big even though I was 8
the piano and the car we left behind
the stars in the mountains
and always wanting something and always being told I had to wait

I didn’t know then what would stick
what my mind would keep
the pictures I’d take
what went deep
I remember the smallest things from then
What will I remember from now?
I want to choose the memories
but I don’t know how


19 Questions

An old friend hasn’t been speaking to me and when I asked why, the answer was confusing. I asked again and it got more confusing and distressing. I finally suggested that maybe we weren’t good for each other and should move on to less complicated friendships and they said “Sounds good!” (Including the exclamation mark.)

I’ve accepted that it’s not always me, that I’m not necessarily a blundering oaf socially, but I’m sad today, about this friendship and one I’d wanted to write about this year which gets rolled into this one as part of the same bundle of hurt.

Lyrics

how do you know what someone wants?
what does it take to be loved?
what can you do to make them stay?

who gets to take? who needs to give?
why is it so? when does it change?
what can you do when they’ve gone away?

how can you see it coming on?
what do you do to see the truth?
who do you trust if not a friend?

why do we bother? what’s the point
when does it end? where do you go?
who do you turn to in the end?

and how do you know that’s true?
and what can you ever do
to stumble past the last miscue?
how do you move on from two
now they’re them and you’re you?
I ask cause I don’t have a clue


Here Before

It’s one of the 5 gloomy days of the year here in southern Arizona and that makes me gloomy. Coming home from airing up the tires in the van I was struck by the deceptively disconnected details in “All Around the World”, the last song on Paul Simon’s “Graceland.” These pictures came up on their own, images from a hard time in each of my lives which I combined into something that never happened, but it feels like it did.

Lyrics

Winding through a tiny sliver of West Virginia
It was late and we needed gas in the worst way
Between Ohio and Pennsylvania lost in the dark
We got in at 11, had to leave before the break of day

I’ve been here before and I got through
maybe because I didn’t know what else to do
it’s a shame
no one’s to blame
that’s how it’s always been for me and you

so sick I was hallucinating
tingling all over and sweaty, I was a mess
desperate for something, I still don’t know what
and I cried out for you, and then I fell asleep I guess

I’ve been here before and I got through
maybe because I didn’t know what else to do
it’s a shame
no one’s to blame
that’s how it’s always been for me and you

instead of asking me to leave you left me here
alone and empty, lying on the floor
and I’m lost in the dark and sick to death
but we both know I’ve been here before

I’ve been here before, I’ll get through
maybe because I don’t know what else to do
it’s a shame
no one’s to blame
that’s how it’ll always be for me and you


This Great Adventure

I’m often bemused and occasionally amused by the way some people approach travel and adventure. Growing up in south San Diego when my father worked in Tijuana I got used to other cultures and taking things for what they were instead of what I expected.

Lyrics

I’m riding on the back of an elephant
Please forgive any typos you may note
The video I made is still uploading
You’ll have to be content with reading what I wrote
The drive here from the airport was so short
The Jeep’s heated seats barely got warm
No vegan choices at last night’s big buffet
And our tour guide wouldn’t cancel the rainstorm

Never thought when we bought this great adventure
We’d be subjected to conditions like these
Can’t even get a half-caf low-fat cinnamon soy latte
Don’t think I’m so very hard to please
How do the locals live each day with such indignities?

Our guided tour of the jungle was a bust
My iPod battery died and I was stuck
Listening to the guide drone on and on
About the okkabeest and wildebuck
I tried the WiFi on our flight over the veldt
It’s free but then of course it’s awfully slow
Can’t recommend the side trip’s extra cost
You’ll see it clearer when they make the tv show

chorus

The entire country is redolent of wildlife
Someone should take steps to deal with the smell
I’m sure the concierge would make amends
If only I could reach them on my cell
How can one enjoy the blooming sunset
When it’s purple instead of pink and orange?
And now my phone’s battery is dying
I’m afraid I won’t be finishing—


Fibethos

When Fiona was a baby her sister would put her finger in the middle of the baby’s eyebrows, push down, and make the baby’s face into an evil scowl. She claimed it was the little one’s evil twin and named her a contraction of the kid’s first 3 names: Fibethos (fee BETH ohs)

It’s more ridiculous than it sounds.

Since these lyrics are a bit of a parody of what she’s like as she approaches 14, I figgered naming it after her evil twin would be appropriate. And then explaining it to death.

Lyrics

She always comes and says good morning
At least the days she’s up before noon
And her mom asks her how are you
She doesn’t answer; too soon, too soon

Then it’s back upstairs to her room
Where the creature is reanimated
In an hour or so she’s back in the kitchen
Where her breakfast patiently waited

Our seventh child is a little bit odd
That’s how some peppers grow
She laughs when I’m funny
She don’t cost much money
She reminds me of someone I know

Her sister is her very best friend
When they’re together who knows what goes on
Singing and laughing and making art
They’re rarely asleep before dawn

chorus

Her supper is 1 ounce of chicken
And eight or nine, maybe 10, peas
In the morning I discover overnight she’s consumed

  • A package of Ramen
  • A bowl of apple and cinnamon instant oatmeal
  • Four granola bars
  • A slice of toast with strawberry jelly
  • An apple
  • A banana
  • Half a sleeve of Ritz crackers

And a cup of microwave Mac and cheese

chorus


Destination Irrelevant

We’ve traveled a lot, and Fiona loves waking up before it’s light, piling in the back seat, and watching the stars as she falls back to sleep. These are her memories of all the trips we’ve taken, all the places we’ve been, and the things she loves about traveling.

She is still very shy about singing so she recorded this sometime in the wee hours of the morning. I played with some reverb, ducked my vocal behind hers, and love love love the staggered fade ending with just her dreamy little voice echoing at the end.

I love that I have two daughters with amazing voices. (Now if I can only get their mother to sing more, since she’s where they got their voices.)

Lyrics

a million stars are shining
imaginary dawn
dark and light together
before the stars move on
head against the pillow
pillow on the door
snuggle in the back seat
fall asleep once more

we love to go, away we went
on a drive to the next surprise
destination irrelevant
follow stars to a grey sunrise

gas station’s quiet
fill up the car
get juice and sandwiches
before we get too far
but still we’re on the way
before the sky is light
imaginary dawn
spilling from the night

chorus

who are all these people
up before it’s day?
where are they all going
slipping through the grey?
do they love to travel
always moving on?
we won’t ever tire of it
imaginary dawn

chorus

welcome rest stop barn
exhibits and a snack
always something new to see
whenever we come back
birds and bugs and meadows
historic marker plaques
run across the grass
read the nature facts

chorus

Tea HQ and Tucson
Best waffle you ever ate
Yellowstone and forests
nearly every state
will you travel all your life
alone or with a friend?
the imaginary dawn
is a journey with no end


We Are Water

Had the idea to steal the Bo Diddley beat and then take the vocal as far away as possible.

I don’t know what this is about. It started out as science, since we are mostly water, then turned into being at one with nature and our fellow humans.

Don’t take it too seriously.

Lyrics

we are water
we belong to the sky
we are water
and I know why
feel the bird on the breeze
smell the leaves on the trees
we are water

we come from dust
we belong to this place
we come from dust
we share every face
see a light we both know
hear a love we can show
we come from dust

we live eternal
we come from dust
we are water
we share a trust
touch a face let them know
love the light let it grow
we live eternal

we are water
we are water
we are water