Tag Archives: maturity

High School Reunion Musical

Someone told me once we never grow
beyond the point we turn the age eighteen:
what insecurities we carried then
still manifest themselves throughout our lives.

That makes those speeches every June
(you know the ones that say life’s just begun)
much more than naive lies, and still the truth:
depends on just how much you would believe.

I wonder if it’s like the weakling boy
who overcomes his limited physique
by spending endless hours in the gym
to change the image in the mirror,
but never runs quite fast enough to flee
the sickly shadow he would leave behind.

Could be the “eighteen” theory’s full of shit;
What would the world be if we never grew
beyond the high school notions that we held
to be so absolute and crystal clear?

A playground laid out on a global scale,
with territories marked in black and white,
a constant “them” and “us” dividing up
the haves from the have-nots, and so forth.

We must evolve.  I’d like to think we do,
although it often takes ten years or more
to come to terms with who we thought we were
(in contrast with what we had yet to prove).

How many of us reach the other side
with anything but memories left alive?

14 SEP 2009

With an Unarmed Foe

You call those claws? Withdraw those nubs,
and come back when your talons grow;
I have no time to make retort
against the feeble likes of you.

You say the world agrees with you?
Well, that just proves the world a fool,
that would admire a steaming mass
of horse manure, long as it’s fresh.

You say you’ve friends to state your cause
in fisticuffs and bloody games;
I’m not surprised. Who was it said
of violence, “dullard’s last resort”?

Call off your hounds, your hawks, your shrews
(they bore me beyond reason’s edge),
unless you mean to (and you don’t)
give me respect you have not learned.

05 AUG 2007

Here is the Crossroads

Here is the crossroads where you finally know
you’re too old to say you’ll die young.
It’s early summer; fall’s on the horizon.
Your spring has most definitely sprung.

It’s not about giving up on your wild days,
but some dreams must wither and die.
Sooner or later the moving parts wear out;
to think otherwise is to lie.

What was appealing in the hope of vanity,
the religion of your youth,
just lingers on as weary, sad echo;
embarrassing, to tell the truth.

You will get older; or else, the alternative:
cease to get any at all.
If you’re not into the dog days of summer,
there’s no way to make it through fall.

Here is the crossroads where you must decide
for the future, or cling to the past;
let the illusion you’re living youth’s fantasy
go, or else you might not last.

26 APR 2007

‘Til I Die

Maybe I’m a dreamer, but I sure don’t want to be
one of those two old guys sitting in the balcony:
a grizzled, bitter muppet who makes fun of everything
and never gets up off his ass, and on the stage to sing.

Maybe I’m a geezer, but I’ve got a youthful heart
that’s ready, anytime, to get on stage and do my part;
could be that I’ll look foolish, but I’ve done that bit before:
been some kind of a fool for almost thirty years or more.

‘Cause I can play the guitar and sing circles ’round a song;
the feeling that I get on stage can’t possibly be wrong:
that you can change the world with music, if you only try.
I’ll be an old musician, ’til I die.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I learned back in the day
that every kind of music’s good, in its own unique way;
from Lawrence Welk and Hee-Haw, and the Porter Wagoner show
I figured out there is no song that you can’t make your own.

Maybe it’s kinda crazy, but I wish you’d take a chance
on an old guitar picker who’s too old to learn to dance;
together, we could play some things that are worth listening to,
and change the world, if only for a brief hour or two.

‘Cause I can play the guitar; hell, I’ve played for thirty years;
that should be worth some to you, at the start of your career:
let my voice of experience assist you while you try.
to grow as a musician, ’til you die.

Maybe I’m a dreamer, my whole life spent out of sync;
why ain’t he rich or famous, I can hear some of you think.
You’re right, to some degree, but money ain’t the only thing.
Sometimes, the prize is that you get to sing.

18 JAN 2007

The World is a Small Town

Don’t want much, but that’s all right
Nothing much happens here on Saturday night
Get laid, get drunk, get in a fight
Maybe all three
Maybe at the same time

Don’t need nothing, but that’s OK
Nothing much here to speak of, anyway,
Get up, get old, collect your pay
Maybe all three
Maybe if the sun shines

This little town can sure get you down
Hard to find a reason to keep hanging around
Sure ain’t no doubt the old rural route
is not the quickest way if you’re hellbent to get out
Little town dreams, and little town schemes
keep us separated, too much space in between
But don’t let the welcome sign turn you around
The world is a small town.

Don’t say much, but that’s just fine;
Nobody really listens to me, most of the time;
Get riled, get hot, get out of line
Maybe all three
Maybe if I’m tipsy

Don’t ask much – that’s just as well;
Nothing doing here – it’s either flood or a dry spell.
Get set, get wet, give yourself hell
Maybe all three
Maybe the way it should be

This little town can sure get you down
Hard to find a reason to keep hanging around
Sure ain’t no doubt the old rural route
is not the quickest way if you’re hellbent to get out
Little town dreams, and little town schemes
keep us separated, too much space in between
But don’t let the welcome sign turn you around
The world is a small town.

22 DEC 2006

If You’re Not Growing

Some of my old friends
seem the same year after year:
just like they were in high school,
at the start of their careers

They talk in careful circles
around where they ought to be;
and most of them still don’t
understand me.

When I look in the mirror,
where I was at seventeen
is covered up and buried
by the miles come in between …

Old trucks, slow trains,
cool nights, and hard rain:
the little things worth
more than buying.
New love, a fast car,
hot sounds from a guitar:
it’s the little things
that keep you trying …
if you’re not growing, man,
you’re dying.

There are just two choices:
growing old, or dying young;
it seems to me no toss-up
to decide.

It seems far too crazy
just to give it all away
before you’ve even given it
a ride.

When I look in the mirror,
sure, I miss what used to be;
but I’d much rather know
that the face I see is me.

Old trucks, slow trains,
cool nights, and hard rain:
the little things worth
more than buying.
New love, a fast car,
hot sounds from a guitar:
it’s the little things
that keep you trying …
if you’re not growing, man,
you’re dying.

21 MAY 2006

Midlife Chrysler

Some dreams are meant to fade away with age;
starting another chapter means you’ve got to turn the page.
What seemed the promised land back in your youth
becomes a lawn to mow, and it’s the truth:
it’s hard when you start watching from the side
when you remember how it felt to ride

It don’t get good mileage, doesn’t have too much appeal
The tires are going bald, there’s a loose screw behind the wheel
When we’re on the street I’m sure that people stop and stare
Don’t where we’re headed, but I hope that we get there
We keep getting old, but not much wiser
Welcome to my Midlife Chrysler.

Sometimes its hard to try and act your age;
just ’cause you’re getting old, doesn’t mean that you can’t rage.
But battles won or lost don’t make a war,
when you’ve got more to lose now than before:
Yet it’s hard to let that feeling slip away
when the balance of your life is yesterday.

It don’t get good mileage, doesn’t have too much appeal
The tires are going bald, there’s a loose screw behind the wheel
When we’re on the street I’m sure that people stop and stare
Don’t where we’re headed, but I hope that we get there
We keep getting old, but not much wiser
Back in the shop … my Midlife Chrysler.

You may call it vintage, but it’s not the same as wine;
Past a certain point, you end up tinkering all the time.
Then the parts start wearing out that are hard to replace
and all that mileage shows up on your face.

You can’t put a wild beast in a cage;
and there behind the curtain, you’re still standing on the stage.
The pace is slower, but the view is grand;
we can watch the young fools, hand in hand.
This ol’ ride’s still rolling, and there’s room enough for two
No telling what this crazy heap can do…

It don’t get good mileage, doesn’t have too much appeal
The tires are going bald, there’s a loose screw behind the wheel
When we’re on the street I’m sure that people stop and stare
Don’t where we’re headed, but I hope that we get there
Sure we’re getting old, but somewhat wiser …
Hop on in my Midlife Chrysler.

28 APR 2006