& says the Jesus

the devil is waitin’

though where & when

is not clear yet

I guess the answer there

lies in the details

& the pastor told me

I can put off that day

his friend Jesus

he surrounds me

all I got to do

is surrender

take on the life

I should’ve taken

a long time ago

& all I ever wanted

was peace

some money

a place to rest my head

in living the devil

makes that easier

& says the Jesus

can look after me

maybe when I’m dead

healing

I’d been searching

always for something

could heal me

hoping to find

the cure for this itch

might give me

a little peace

of mind

& she came in

foxed me with her beauty

promising everything

had that smile

of riches to come

like she knew my hunger

could get that job

over & done

& instead took

whatever she could

leaving me behind

thinking at least

I’d had my healing

until just maybe

the next time

a sweet smile

on a pretty face

could get that hook

swung on a line

comfort & peace

there was always something

to run away from

run run running out of danger

everywhere adults handing out violence

ungendered punishments a kick a smack

well aimed insult to tear the insides

at the age of eight I needed

a good long holiday on the beach

under cool palm trees just to get my breath back

to escape the violence & pain of being

everything I liked loved got stolen away

broken or lost when I wasn’t looking

impermanence seemed everywhere when

I tried to find comfort & peace

& I knew clear as day my mind wasn’t straight

except in reading I read anything I put eyes to

in there I found solitude & sensibility

but dare not tell them this

in case that too

was taken away

shamans blues

they come for me middle of the night

bearing down

taking memories

experiences different from theirs

mine are current

theirs finished

& there is no exchange

gifts of wisdom

hints of the bigger plan

& this one here at my shoulder

says tell them we mean no harm

only wish to live again

& they never understand

I don’t want sleepless nights

them taking bits out of my head

standing looking over

disturbing the peace I once had

as I try again to shut them out

keep them pointed to the light

indoor coward

those winter days

rolled through slow

times I couldn’t afford the gas

stayed under the covers for warm

& wondered if today was the day

to let it all go

end the pain

there were pills there

being an indoor coward

I feared the rope & kicking

pills & booze & wait in hope

there was enough to do the job

& waking up the next day

the next day

understanding finally

the loneliness had found a home

it was time to make peace

the surprise

the surprising thing about nice people

the folks who hold themselves

to be decent sorts

is what great haters they are

hiding their insecurities

jealousies behind the facade

of their sweet front of niceness

people don’t like to see you fly

when they struggle with walking

pacing the pavement day to day

your confidence is a challenge

when they feel fear failure again

that happiness you push out

feeling the sun heat your back

the air fresh in the morning

sky blue birds across the clouds

whistle on your lips peace at last

these victories they fail to grasp

preferring instead to see you in pain

struggling to make ends meet

then the nice people will love you

& you will see their smiles

again