Songs

Sleeping Lie

shirtsleeve wipe the window grime
your bark weaker all the time
don’t see you but you’re out there I can tell
shaggy coat too far away to smell

back and forth, closer every pass
you think you see me looking through the glass
shadow of coal pacing hot
you think you’re gonna take me but you’re not

hand on the doorknob, I know

I won’t turn my back
I won’t turn my back
I won’t turn my back
for you
today

I don’t pace I don’t shake I don’t freak out
once in a while I can’t help but peek out
you’re not close enough to bite
you’re still there prowling my night

I lean against the door, I know

I won’t turn my back
I won’t turn my back
I won’t turn my back
for you
today

I hit the light your eyes glow red
you whimper and cower and duck your head
thought you’d come to me to get fed
I’ll laugh out loud when I know you’re dead

you used to knock me down, get on my back
work your fangs to hear my spine crack
worry my neck like you were killing a rat
you and I we’re way past that

kick that door open, now I know

I won’t turn my back
I won’t turn my back
I won’t turn my back
for you
today


Fancy Tie Knot

thought I was a snappy dresser
then I met you
eyeful of your natural style
nothing I could do

your fancy tie knot
sharp lapels
pocket square design
Italian loafers
razor creases
man you’re looking fine
your fancy tie knot
Rolex watch
studded pinky ring
thought I was a snappy dresser
but I don’t know a thing

my double-Windsor silk Garcia
hid inside my coat
your double-breasted mohair suit
really got my goat

your fancy tie knot
sharp lapels
pocket square design
Italian loafers
razor creases
man you’re looking fine
your fancy tie knot
Rolex watch
studded pinky ring
thought I was a snappy dresser
but I don’t know a thing

some tie a fancy bow
or stick it with a pin
but when they see your fancy tie knot
they take it on the chin

your fancy tie knot
sharp lapels
pocket square design
Italian loafers
razor creases
man you’re looking fine
your fancy tie knot
Rolex watch
studded pinky ring
thought I was a snappy dresser
but I don’t know a thing
thought I was a snappy dresser
but I don’t know a thing


Count Our Days

count our days search for wisdom put it in our hearts
sail our ship from star to star following the charts

as long as we can call it today
as long as we can call it today

count our days search for truth filling up our mind
sail our ship from star to star treasure what we find

as long as we can call it today
as long as we can call it today

find that precious pearl
treasure in a field
count our days to wisdom
patient till the time comes to be healed

count our days search for wisdom share it as we go
sail our ship from star to star carry seeds to sow
count our days search for truth filling up our mind
sail our ship from star to star treasure what we find
count our days search for wisdom put it in our hearts
sail our ship from star to star following the charts

as long as we can call it today
as long as we can call it today
as long as we can call it today
as long as we can call it today


Another Shore

It’s dark out on the horizon
The sea and the sky are blue and gray
Behind me there’s a glow above the hills
I’ll be gone before the break of day

Used to be a darkness in my life
Soul stuck in a long dark night
Maybe somewhere past that horizon
Is what I hope will help to put me right

I’ll take that ship wherever it goes
where I’ll end up heaven knows
nothing wrong with where I am but I’ve seen it all before
so I’ll take that ship and sail away
and find another shore

The world is round, everyone knew
From long before Columbus rode the foam
Circles have no end and no beginning
No matter where you head you’re heading home

I’ll take that ship wherever it goes
where I’ll end up heaven knows
nothing wrong with where I am but I’ve seen it all before
so I’ll take that ship and sail away
and find another shore

vagabonding, wanderlust, or travel
whatever you call it’s all the same
restless rambling trek toward that horizon
to see the world without a picture frame

I’ll take that ship wherever it goes
where I’ll end up heaven knows
nothing wrong with where I am but I’ve seen it all before
so I’ll take that ship and sail away
and find another shore

Some folks are content to stay at home
Some of us can barely keep still
Some of you might want to come along
Down the road and over that next hill

I’ll take that ship wherever it goes
where I’ll end up heaven knows
nothing wrong with where I am but I’ve seen it all before
so I’ll take that ship and sail away
and find another shore


The Only Other Diner

I don’t believe in destiny
I don’t believe in “has to be”
I don’t believe there’s only
one true love for anyone

but ever since I met you
it feels like this was meant to be

you’re the only other diner
in my little restaurant
you may not be the only one there is
but you’re the only one I want

menu’s so confusing
you blanch and put it down
lettuce sit together
and I’ll show you around

grill me all you want
about what’s on the fare
I’ll clarify it so you know
I really knead you there

you’re the only other diner
in my little restaurant
you may not be the only one there is
but you’re the only one I want

I’ll never mince my words
if you promise not to stir
and if you’re in a pickle
I’m your restaurateur

I’m fondue your dressing
it suits you to a tea
if you want to caper some
just tell me hominy

you’re the only other diner
in my little restaurant
you may not be the only one there is
but you’re the only one I want

I’d really stew if someone tried to poach you
When it comes to bussing I can coach you
We could stay out late
Sharing a blue plate
Or going a la carte
Your eyes, your lips, my heart

you’re the only other diner
in my little restaurant
you may not be the only one there is
but you’re the only one I want


Biochemystery

I gave up coffee and chocolate and tea
to see if it might help me get well
10 days of headaches, kitten weak
there wasn’t any difference I could tell

so I had a cup of pricey Irish tea
it tasted like cardboard in a cup
eased my way into a pot of decaf
the icepick in my head wouldn’t give up

you think it’s logical and simple
like tuning up the engine in a car
start messing with the biochemystery
it’s glad to show you just how wrong you are

the cocktail of meds I take each day
warn about mixing them with drinking
the effects, they say, might be amplified
and yes, I know exactly what you’re thinking

make your heart rejoice with half a glass of red
but what really happens isn’t much fun
without overindulgence or waiting till the morning
take my hangover to bed, ’cause I’m done

you think it’s logical and simple
like tuning up the engine in a car
start messing with the biochemystery
it’s glad to show you just how wrong you are

when I was a kid I was skinny as a stick
distance runner, and played baseball
bought my graduation suit from the children’s section
wasn’t long until I outgrew it all

half a century I’ve been trying to eat right
I don’t drink soda; rarely touch red meat
big old salad is my favorite lunch
but biochemystery has me beat

you think it’s logical and simple
like tuning up the engine in a car
start messing with the biochemystery
it’s glad to show you just how wrong you are


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