songs being sung

everything stopped

including me

about a day into the woods

stood in front a tree

six meters round

where the thin path

forked left & right

& I sat for a while

hearing the tree feel out the wind

insects in the grass below

& I could sing out

in my loudest voice

never heard before

but I didn’t

the songs being sung

here

were enough for me

it’ll come to you

somewhere out in the woods

by the thin river

I found the old man

sitting loose

leaning against a stump

whittling on a piece of tree

he smiled asked of me

you got any water son?

so I settled nearby

I’m making me a stick he told

to help me get out of here

ran out of water

kind of everything really

I thought I was easy

forgot I was no longer spry

the things they don’t tell you

about this getting old

is it all catches up on you

taking an easy walk in the woods

becomes a trial

something life threatening

y’know?

but I was young then

could only smile offer help

he took the water

& fell into step

as we walked out to safety

for him

while for me it was only

to a place I’d been

buddha

we were sitting round

passing the bottle

talking loud about buddha

& the old man slid in

said listen son

you got it all wrong

talking philosophy

as he reached for the jug

now is the time

be getting your house in order

get the job do the work

set the future in motion

then sit under the bodhisattva tree

look after your brother

the time will come you will

put your folks in the ground

after that you can meditate

have something to chew on

about the meaning of life

the answers you might’ve found

he grinned finished his drink

cackled some

burped a little

said thank you

I’ll be on my way

ink on my old tattoo

everything fades

ink on my old tattoo

& I’m sure I swore

to never let you go

but everything fades babe

initials carved in a tree

memories get grown over

those tears dry up

tracks are washed away

& you are long gone

to the arms of another

I guess I’m not strong enough

to hold onto nothing

from yesteryear

life goes on

comes up with new

for me as it did with you

Neely’s tree

we could always tell when Neely was drunk

see that tree? thass my favorite tree that iss

we’d be walking back in the early hours

mumbling to each other

on the events of the night

stopping to piss in the hedges

catching glimpses of deer

stumbling in the moonlight

hatching plans to put my ceiling fan in

four of us assembled to do this

she’d gone off to her mothers

some family crisis again

I had two bottles of red

& a bog green bottle gordon’s gin

I found the ladders opened a red

up went Neely took off the old light

we sat around the table thought for a bit

while I assembled the fan found bulbs

poured a gin for each of us

some wanting juice others touch of tonic

& up went Neely again after I’d isolated the switch

which for some reason we’d not thought of yet

the ladder got wobblier though we held on tight

though that may be because the wisecracks

so we stopped for a while had a beer or two

somebody had thoughtfully brought

the second red got opened more gin to chase

& Neely went up the ladder again

managed to fix the fan & lights

I went up after I’d drained my gin

couldn’t do this job one handed

put in the bulbs came down

to flick the switch & nothing

then we remembered we’d isolated the switch

fixed that with a congratulatory round of gin

noticed the bottles were empty

no more beers to share

decided it was time to go for a drink

& as we walked out Neely said:

see that tree? thass my favorite tree that iss

& looked at each other wide eyed in the moonlight

If Neely was drunk going out

what state were we going to get in?

Saudade 8

& somewhere

a tree I planted

bows on the wind

how else would I feel this way?

bending to brush my teeth

feeling wet in the corner of my eyes

some sudden sadness taking over

as I check my feelings

a rush inventory

taken in blindness this early today

has somebody somewhere assassinated

my shadow?

taken silent pot shots on this sullied

reputation?

a doll in a darkened room

taking on pins pushed in by petty rage

& as I flush the toilet

I throw in their rage age of pain

go back to where you came from

throw on my cloak of invincibility

cast the spell of away & bade it

do not come this way again