For Starlight: cancione

I cannot claim to know her;
at best, I’ve mapped the surface:
those little nooks and crannies
that she feels like revealing.
More knowledge would not help me;
to understand more deeply,
would take a lifetime’s effort
and skills beyond my grasping.

But what she deigns to show me,
that small part I can handle,
in just over a decade
has become sun- and moon-rise:
my alpha and omega.
There is no life without her,
no breath, no flowing current;
she is my one and only.

They say that men are simple;
we eat and sleep and venture
so few steps from our comfort,
content in our small fiefdoms,
but crave the complication
of woman’s advanced nature
to give our lives their meaning,
some sense of awe and beauty.

I can’t refute that logic;
and for myself, I wonder
where I would go for solace
if she were not here with me.
I know I cannot claim her;
more truthfully, she owns me:
and I live in her service,
my payment is her love.

24 NOV 2010

What has the Earth to Do

What has the earth to do with air?
They seem a most unlikely pair.
Just look to the horizon, where
they touch for miles, but cross nowhere.

What has the sky to do with land?
The ground will never understand;
it may find heights, but none so grand
as air seeks without thought or plan.

What has the earth to do with air?
Look to the fields and roadways where
when mixed with diligence and care
their children grow beyond compare.

What has the air to do with earth?
It gives it life and fire and mirth;
and just beyond the sight, gives birth
to flowers that cost a penny’s-worth.

20 JUN 2007

Cajun Woman

for Starlight Dances

Looking for an answer, waiting on a clue,
making myself dizzy thinking up new things to do.
My cup runneth over; now it’s spilled out on the floor.
Making messes, I can do for sure.

Asking more fool questions, needing to know why,
making myself crazy searching for an alibi.
My life’s far from empty. Now, that much is true.
What’s the point in worrying, when all I need is you.

Cajun woman, what’s that cooking? It smells good to me.
Nothing else we need to do, nobody else to see.
All the spice we need in this life is right here at hand;
what else do we need to understand?
Cajun woman, kiss your lover man.

Searching for a guru, wanting some grand scheme,
making myself nervous somewhere unknown in between.
My front lawn needs mowing, that I guarantee;
What else right now could my purpose be?

Wanting ever after, somehow cheating death,
giving myself indigestion trying to hold my breath.
Who cares what might happen when my time is through?
Right now, baby, all I need is you.

Cajun woman, what’s that cooking in your bright red pot?
What do we care what the world thinks of the things we’ve got?
Everything we’ll ever need is right here in our hands;
what else do we need to understand?
Cajun woman, kiss your lover man.

02 AUG 2006

You and Me Against the World

You and me against the world?
Well, damn them folks to hell
who think that they’re the passioned ones
and we’ve nothing to sell,
nor anything worth sharing
except grand ideas and talk;
I say, let’s keep believing in ourselves
and walk the walk.

Who cares if they all shy away,
afraid to step outside
the narrow confines of their raising,
ignorance and pride?
The world is more than any of us
can hold in our hands;
I’d rather be thought a great fool
than say I understand.

So, you and me against the world?
There’s not a better pair;
for both of us seek for the truth
that is out there, somewhere,
not in a single grain strewn on
some vast and endless beach,
but right here, where our feet are resting,
toes pressed each to each.

Let’s do just as we please, my dear;
remember that the rest
will either think us quite insane
or bound for hell, at best.
So long as we’ve each other,
there’s no telling what we’ll do.
Let those who try to mock our joy
find their own scapegoats, too.

20 APR 2006

Country Style

for Starlight Dances

What’s your hurry? Take it slow.
We’ve got time, and don’t you know:
there’s no place else I’ve got to go;
take the phone off the hook for an hour or so.

No point rushing; we’ve got all night.
If it’s worth the doing, it’s worth doing right.
Let all those worries slip out of sight;
Relax, and don’t try to fight it …

Let me drive you a little bit crazy
with a love that’s smooth and a little bit lazy;
let’s lay back together and cruise a while —
you and me, country style.

What’s the hour? Who really cares?
Let’s slip off and head upstairs.
The neighbors need not even be aware
about our afternoon affair.

No point racing; it’s hot outside.
Let’s slow down and make it more a pleasure ride.
The rest of the world can stay in overdrive.
Why rip and run when it’s so fun to slide …

Let me drive you a little bit crazy
with a love that’s smooth and a little bit lazy;
let’s lay back together and cruise a while —
you and me, country style.

The work will always pile up, the calendar fill,
there’ll always be a dish to wash, an unpaid bill,
a mountain to be made out of a little ol’ hill;
but that can wait a little while. C’mon, let’s chill …

Let me drive you a little bit crazy
with a love that’s smooth and a little bit lazy;
let’s lay back together and cruise a while —
you and me, country style.

11 APR 2006

Cottonmouth

My girlfriend saw it first: against the railing
that runs along the length of the back porch,
a greyish shadow slipping from the steps,
behind the potted plants toward the light.

As it began to turn toward the back door
I brought the dull blade down upon its neck,
my body a safe hoe’s length stretched out from it;
it coiled to strike until its sense was dulled.

But even then, until its head was severed,
it seemed to flex in warning; and its jaws
had fixed themselves on a deck plank, and hung on
as if that anchor could prevent its death.

Tonight, as we drag on our smokes, the porch lights
are on full blast; our eyes keen on the rail
that separates the deck from yard and woodland,
the border of our cottonmouth patrol.

06 APR 2006

Lucky Number

I’m thinking about the Bakersfield sound, and a song by Merle Haggard in particular — “I Must Have Been Somebody Else You’ve Known”, which as far as I can tell is only available in a version by the International Submarine Band (Gram Parsons’ outfit pre-Sweetheart of the Rodeo and Flying Burritos). Thinking about Buck Owens, too, and that brother act / close harmony from Appalachia married with Western Swing, and also thinking about how lucky I am to be in the relationship I’m in — a gamble that has paid off in dividends beyond my wildest imagination.

For my lucky number (#25)

Love’s always been a lottery as far as I’m concerned
You lay your money down, you roll the dice, and you get burned
A sure thing Friday night’s all right ’til Sunday comes around
And you find out the race was fixed; one more lost weekend down.

Where lady luck’s concerned I’ve struck out nearly every time
My credit’s gone to hell and I’m down to my last worn dime
While other guys get lucky I’m the one shot down in flames
But I’m back every weekend just the same …

I’m hoping that you’ll be my lucky number, ’cause I’ve got everything I own on you.
You’ve got all my wheels spinning, feels like I just might be winning
and my losing streak will finally break in two.
I’m hoping that you’ll be my lucky number, and that I’ll end ahead this time around;
Oh, seven come eleven, won’t you be my slice of heaven
and I’ll end my gambling ways and settle down.

Love’s always been a game of chance where all the money cards
seem to escape my hand, my plans die fast and they die hard;
A solid bet on some coquette turns into morning rain
A fleeting song, goodbye, so long and I’m alone again

Where passion sparks, my matches are soaked through with bitter tears
I’m left holding a worthless stub when the racetrack is cleared
While other guys are finding love they probably don’t deserve
I’m at the low end of the romance curve …

I’m hoping that you’ll be my lucky number, ’cause I’ve got all my hopes tied up in you.
You’ve got all my wheels spinning, feels like I might be winning
and this losing streak I’m on will soon be through.
I’m hoping that you’ll be my lucky number, and that I’ll hit the jackpot finally;
Oh, seven come eleven, won’t you be my slice of heaven
get lucky with a poor gambler like me.

19 DEC 2005