Don’t Preach Me

Don’t preach me religion
like there’s something you can prove;
being good at treading water
doesn’t mean you can move.

Don’t preach me politics
from the safety of the status quo;
saying that you understand
doesn’t mean that you know.

Don’t preach me civic pride
like I don’t know much history;
acting like the bigger gun
makes the purer pedigree.

Don’t tell me to walk the line
when you’re circling around me;
I don’t believe your anything
has much to do with me.

Don’t preach me right and wrong
like there’s some space in between;
words like that make useful weapons
if you don’t know what they mean.

Don’t preach me morality
like some gold we’re gonna find;
being sane in a crazy world
don’t mean you ain’t lost your mind.

Don’t tell me to seek the truth
when your mouth is full of lies;
I don’t believe your anything
just because it’s super-sized.

Don’t preach me religion;
don’t preach me politics.
Don’t hand me your medicine
when you’re the one who’s sick.

Don’t preach me your civic pride;
don’t preach your right and wrong.
Don’t preach your morality;
I’ve got my own damned song.

14 JUN 2017

Does Somebody Win?

Doesn’t seem to make much sense at all;
win or lose don’t matter in the end.
It’s a race that seems too close to call;
finish line’s just up around the bend.

Doesn’t seem to change much day to day;
up or down, they’re pretty much the same.
It’s an endless cycle, anyway;
good or bad, the blues still run the game.

Doesn’t seem to be much of a choice;
nothing but illusions and disguise.
If you take a stand, or find your voice,
all you know or say ends up in lies.

Doesn’t seem to make much sense to me;
just another day to make it through.
Wasn’t what they promised it would be:
finding something meaningful to do.

Doesn’t seem there’s anything that’s true;
everyone pretends in something more.
What’s the point in simply playing through?
Who is left to count the final score?

Doesn’t seem to be a worthy cause;
after all, what matters, when it’s done?
Instinct versus artificial law;
both are losers, if somebody’s won.

09 JUN 2017

Idol

Don’t want to be an American idol,
good for a season and then tossed away;
held up like Jesus and the King James Bible,
blamed for the country’s future going astray.

Don’t want to be an American idol,
hawking potato chips and new Chevrolets;
starting out starstruck, ending up suicidal,
shriveled and spit out prematurely gray.

Don’t follow me thinking I’m headed somewhere
you’ll recognize on TV.
Don’t waste your time trying to be somebody
who only wants to be me.

Don’t want to be an American idol,
shrink-wrapped and candy-coated fantasy;
sold on the corner at a dozen a penny,
bootlegged in mixed degrees of quality.

Don’t want to be an American idol,
famous for being a celebrity;
pretending at a something somewhere near vital,
believing whatever I’m supposed to be.

Don’t follow me thinking that I’ve got something
to make life easy and free.
Don’t waste your time trying to be a somebody
who only wants to be me.

26 APR 2017

Let go, let go, let go

Cast your fears into the wind;
let go, let go, let go.
Release them and start again;
let go, let go, let go.

There is nothing out of reach,
nothing that will fail to teach,
nothing hidden in the speech;
let go, let go, let go.

Leave your troubles where you stand;
let go, let go, let go.
You don’t need them anymore;
let go, let go, let go.

There is something else for you,
something worth the doing, too,
hurry now, before you’re through;
let go, let go, let go.

Loose those demons from your dreams;
let go, let go, let go.
Nothing is quite what it seems;
let go, let go, let go.

Anything you want is yours,
if you let some love endure;
let what ails you seek its cure:
let go, let go, let go.

08 FEB 2017

Wake Up America (from Otherhood)

You’ve got to wake up, America, and face the facts
Your roads are built on broken backs
And there’s no way that you can track
The hypocrisy that against you stacks

There are storm clouds in those spacious skies
Of which you sing, but do you realize
Your purple mountains and amber grain
Will disappear in the acid rain

Of time, there’s no time, and the time is now
To turn our hawk-like swords into plows
And reap the seed that we have sown
The apathy that has destroyed our home.

You’ve got to wake up, America, and see the truth
There is no one standing in your voting booths
The people in this country who run your lives
Are free to find your back with their steely knives

You stammer, stammer and complain that there is nothing you can do
But you and I know that this is not true
We’ve focused our attention on the world outside
And now it’s time to take the board out of our own damn eye.

Oh, sleeping giant it’s time to rise
And wipe the sleep out, from out your eyes
You’ve enslaved your brothers to promote your creed
But you don’t know what it is, ’cause you can’t read

And your huddled masses yearning to be free
Are as tired and poor as they used to be
They’re dying of AIDS, selling or trying to score
Wake up, the future is right next door.

Around the world we act so proud
Americans, yes, and we say it loud
We rub our freedoms in everybody’s faces
But we let the media run presidential races

Freedom of choice is what is all about
So, make a choice, or be left out
If we stood for equality, life and truth
Then the flag we fly would be fire-proof

It’s our claim to fame, and our greatest shame
But we’re running out of fingers pointing out the blame
If you’re so proud, proud as you claim,
Pick up the pieces…and use your brain.

Wake up America, and read your history
So many have died for our democracy
But the facts are clear and can’t be ignored
There are strip mines where once eagles soared

It’s time we started listening to “Yankee go home”
And went through our problems with a fine tooth comb
Remember just like Patrick Henry said
Without liberty, we’d all be dead.

Excerpts from the Rap Opera “Otherhood”, circa 1985

When It Comes

When it comes,
the night don’t know no difference:
right and wrong
and that thin line in between.

In the dark,
you just watch for the lightning.
All the rest?
Doesn’t matter what you mean.

Simple truths
in the shadows become complicated:
black and white
both appear as shades of gray.

Choosing sides
beyond sight of the border,
where you find
it don’t matter anyway.

When it comes,
the night don’t know no difference:
You and me
and the darkness closing in.

In the end,
it becomes uncomplicated:
birth and death
and the sacred space within.

04 DEC 2015

Shut Your Mouth

Shut your mouth;
got to be careful, and nobody
wants to hear what you might say.
We’re going south,
so mind your p’s and q’s
and don’t disturb
the natives as they play.
Just keep your distance.
If you don’t get too close
they’ll never even notice
anyway.

Shut your mouth,
shut your mouth;
you may live to speak your mind
another day.

Shut your mouth;
words can be dangerous,
and no one wants
to spoil a perfect day.
We’re going south,
but never mind
because it’s never been
done any other way.
Just keep on smiling.
If you just nod your head,
they’ll never even notice
what you say.

Shut your mouth,
shut your mouth;
if you want to find a friendly place
to stay.

Shut your mouth,
if you don’t want to be
the one in every crowd
who stands alone.
We’re going south;
but does that matter?
Keep your thoughts
safely inside
the comfort zone.
Just keep pretending.
If you try hard enough
they won’t bother to tap
your telephone.

Shut your mouth,
shut your mouth;
if you want to get along
and feel at home.

01 JUL 2015