Tag Archives: depression

Come Out, Come Out: terzanelle

Come out, come out! It’s only rain;
the world has not dissolved as yet.
The clouds will loose the sun again.

It sometimes seems hard to forget
that darkness does not rule all things;
the world has not dissolved as yet.

And after all, rain showers bring
new growth, and wash away the grime
so darkness does not rule all things.

To waste away seems such a crime;
use these slow hours to energize.
New growth will wash away the grime.

Do not despair the stormy skies!
Come out! come out! it’s only rain.
Use these slow hours to energize;
the clouds will loose the sun again.

06 JUN 2017

Not Those Kind of Blues: blues sonnet

There is no need to holler or to shout,
no need to raise a holler shouting out;
those ain’t the kind of blues I’m talking ‘bout.

The world is in a worry, sure enough,
the world is full of worry, sure enough;
if you don’t like it, man, that there’s just tough.

Ain’t nothing much to say, and less to do,
not all that much to say, nothing to do,
won’t make a difference down at me and you.

Don’t make commotion, sure don’t raise your head,
make no commotion, better bow your head;
might raise it up and find it lopped off, dead.

When darkness lies so heavy near the ground,
sure ain’t the time to think you’ll stick around.

19 JAN 2017

This Place

Everything about this place just tends to bring me down;
I look into the mirror and see one more hopeless clown.
The people on the street have a sad tendency to frown
and no one wants to be the only soul left hanging ’round
this little bit of nowhere that some joker named a town,
who’s happier to be long gone and six feet under ground.

Everything about this place was meant to be just so:
straight white picket fences and fake shutters in a row,
with people shut up inside watching television shows.
Nobody wants to be outside and watch the flowers grow
along the winding street that follows where the river flows
but still seems to get nowhere, and why, no one really knows.

Everything about this place is waiting to expire;
folks waiting for apocalypse or when they can retire.
The people on the street seem unimpressed and uninspired;
nobody wants to tell the truth or cross beyond the wire.
It doesn’t seem to matter much who’s honest or a liar —
either way you’re wasting air trying to light a fire.

Everything about this place is tied up in the past,
secured in little boxes tied with string and stitched up fast,
going through the motions like bad actors in the cast
of a show still in re-runs, like a flag flown at half mast
in praise of some great compromise that ends the war at last
with an uneasy silence interrupting the broadcast.

Everything about this place falls down around my ears
in echoes of an irony that will not disappear:
sad people on the street seem to accept heartache and fear;
nobody wants to be the only one left when it clears
and leaves each of us naked with our ledgers in arrears
as the sad charade is ending and the day of judgment nears.

Everything about this place just makes me more depressed.
I look into the mirror and admit I’m not impressed:
can’t stand my sad expression and can’t stand the way I’m dressed,
but thinking about changing only gives me added stress;
and anyway, it really doesn’t matter, I confess,
’cause everywhere is nowhere in it’s own way, more or less.

06 NOV 2007

The Undertow

Halfway up to Shreveport
driving to outrun the storm
I knew somehow there’d be no going back.
There was no sign yet of water
and the breeze was soft and warm
but the skyline in the rearview mirror was black.
We had a hunch that morning we should go;
thinking that we’d just be gone a day or so.

We spent all day Monday
with an eye on the TV,
watching as the worst seemed to go by.
Listening to the talking heads
outside on Bourbon Street
who kept the cameras pointed at the sky.
But when we heard the levees busted through
we didn’t need a photograph, we knew

All those years of living were a span of borrowed time,
and it really doesn’t matter which was yours and which was mine.
It don’t make no difference where you want to lay the blame
’cause the score ends up with both sides at zero
if you don’t watch the undertow.

We drove back to Natchitoches
to sleep at a hotel,
the lobby filled with countless refugees,
each one of us in limbo
under some strange kind of spell
thinking life should offer up some guarantee.
But it never really happens quite that way;
all you really ever have is just today.

And the headlines in the paper
went from bad to even worse:
seems the uglier, the more it lingered on.
With the worst part the denial
from those safe and dryly perched
that the place we thought was home was really gone.
It took a while before the truth sunk in:
that we had no choice but to begin again.

All your years of living are a span of borrowed time,
and it really doesn’t matter what is yours and which is mine.
It don’t make no difference where you want to lay the blame
’cause what’s up ends up in pieces down below
if you don’t watch the undertow.

28 APR 2006

Downhome and Blue

The mockingbird sitting out in the oak tree
Is trying his whole repertoire out on me:
from bluebird to chickadee,
freight train to snake in the grass.

The afternoon’s fading slow into the night
casting the back porch in dappled sunlight,
where substance and shadow each
dance while the moments go past.

Break out your banjo, that old mandolin;
I’ll pull out my guitar and count us all in.
We’ll start with some old ones
I’m sure we all know half way through.
Add in that fiddle and that tambourine;
settle in mellow. You know what I mean.
Just it flow, let it go for an hour or two…
play me some downhome and blue.

Pour you some coffee, or fresh lemonade;
find you a comfortable spot in the shade.
There’s plenty of room on the porch
if everyone wants to sprawl.

The cool of the evening won’t bother us none
once we’re warmed up and the music’s begun;
we’ll heat up the night some, all right,
having ourselves a ball.

Break out your washboard, that old pair of spoons;
I’ll pull out my dobro and start off a tune.
We’ll start with some old ones
that maybe our grandfathers’ knew.
Add in that fiddle, accordion too;
settle in mellow. You know what to do.
Just it flow, let it go for an hour or two…
play me some downhome and blue.

12 APR 2006

Gray Days #4

She’s waiting on the deputy, but he never comes;
got her finger on the trigger, sucking silent on her thumb;
and the ninety ninth caller has just been struck dumb:
like an old pair of stockings he just turned to run.

She’s waiting on the postman, but he’s just got advice;
got her hands on the counter, stirring tea in her spice;
and the TV show hostess is colder than ice:
like an old pair of shoes, she tries everything twice.

She’s waiting on the milkman, but he’s running late;
got her lips on the coffee cup, dripping stains on her plate;
and the radio spokesman has just sealed his fate:
like an old book of matches, he scratches the slate.

She’s waiting on the savior, but he never calls;
got her mind turned to worry, her eyes on the walls;
and the Jehovah’s Witness  sounds just like Lou Rawls:
like an old rusted needle, the pressure just falls.

She’s waiting on the preacher, but he’s been sent home;
got her hair in her fingers, pressing it to the phone;
and the roving reporter is standing alone:
like an old saint at twilight he’s trying to get stoned.

1997

Me and My Shadow

Inside me is a shadow
that waits for days like these:
when small things blossom into
catastrophes, its seems
to swallow up the sunshine,
and linger, like a fog
there on the steps beside me
as my feet slowly move
into this house, where love lives
and life is sweet and good.

It follows me in silence
and fills my mind with fears:
that I am not worth loving
and will just disappear.

And then, it bites in anger
at my protesting self,
sapping my strength and motive,
so I can barely think.

A dark, foreboding takes me
from this fair world of light,
and in its grasp I flounder.

No hand hold to be found
nor peaceful thought of beauty
there in that place of woe.

I lay no blame on others
for this, my wretched state —
it comes upon me, sometimes
and will not dissipate
until its passion passes,
and leaves me, sore and tired.

There is no rhyme or reason,
save I am uninspired.

And is this lack of sunshine
the fault of those I love?
No, it is just my shadow,
half of what I’m made of.

28 AUG 2003