Gather Wood

Gather Wood

(A Dirge)

go gather wood for your fires boys; gather wood to burn | don’t pick wood that’s wet or rotten, or it will not burn  ::the cherry trees stand withered the orchards bare and dry | the grass parched and dying from a scourge sent from the sky

the leaves eaten by the sun; the water line is clear | the lake is showing rooftops of a town once disappeared  ::it rains and rains for days on end; so the fires burn out | the sun shines from the sky; suddenly it’s a drought

there’s flooding in the valley, chaos in the hills | the roads washed out by the creek that once ran deep and still | the river swollen to the banks, the farmlands turned to swamp | the city center’s four feet deep of a rage that just won’t stop

the government is sending troops and sandbags by the score, but the angry skies won’t listen; tomorrow—another storm | the national guard stands ready with its soldiers and their guns | but the thunder’s roll is louder; the battle has begun

Written during The Southern California Wildfires and The Great Mississippi and Missouri Rivers Flood of 1993



Rankled Doll


Rankled Doll


in a corner
of my lonely room
lies a doll rankled and torn
she don’t know what’s going on
but she’s sure these wounds won’t heal

rankled doll; I saw you fall from
the shelf to the floor | rankled doll
they heard your call and did
nothing for you at all

her heads been twisted; her eyes are cracked
her arms are broken | her face and
dress covered with soot
she sits crumpled
on the shelf

they kicked her
‘cross the room
threw her away
and forgot; how
they once played

the rankled doll now
sits up against the wall
with eyes that show no tears
she don’t know what’s going on
but she’s sure this time
it won’t heal

papa shouts;
the room turns to blue
and the windows shatter | she
wants to cry but the tears don’t come
something’s desperately the matter

the rankled doll
sits on the wall; with
eyes that show no tears
she don’t know what’s
going on but she’s
sure these

Tristez’ Azul


Tristez’ Azul




cuando pienso
de la vida que deje allá perdida
en mi bonita isla ‘bajo el sol
mi aliento se ahoga
y las lagrimas brotan
en mi corazon un gran dolor

en mi ventana aquí arriba
de este piso cuarenta’y segundo
oigo el ruido de la gente alla ‘bajo

me asomo a velar
pero solo veo un mar
que me imagino en mi

aquí en este pais
donde nunca estaré feliz
si pudiera regresar allá a mi playa
no me sintiera tan triste y azul

ay Tristez’ Azul
para mi bella isla y tu
si pudiera regresar a la playa
hoy no sintiera tan
triste y azul



when I think of the life
that I’ve left on my beautiful
island in the sun

my breath chokes me
tears burst from my eyes
with a pain deep inside my heart

from my window way up here
on this forty-second floor I hear
the busy people on the street below
I lean out to look but in despair only imagine
an ocean for as far as I can see

out here in this strange land
where is the happiness I once had?
if only I could go back to my island
I wouldn’t feel so sad and blue

oh, Sad ‘n Blue
for my beautiful island and you
I feel so sad and blue

Beneath an August Moon – Chorus






It was not so long ago that I fell in love with you.
I didn’t realize I was entering a world of broken-heartache blues.

I was so young I couldn’t see
the fool I would become when you told me
“Love is like a flower, and must be picked
while it’s in bloom.”

I cried the nights away, and choked on misery,
while you went riding with your angel out of hell,
and away from me.

Oh, how could one man take so much pain;
and not end up scattered on the sidewalks
in the pouring rain?

I got the spontaneous heartbreak blues;
when you opened the door and handed me my shoes;
and an ear full of second thoughts
and sweet adieus…

I  got the spontaneous heartbreak blues;
and a barrel full of uncountable shoes;
with holes in the bottoms
from walking these riverside rues.

And so the story goes;
like all sad stories I suppose.
I could not see how one man’s dreams;
the facts could slap him in the face so cold.

I  ran up and down the streets calling out your name;
I stammered and stuttered and shuddered in shame;
and I climbed that bridge to the waters of escape,
but I knew it could only bring
tears of joy to you.

I  got the spontaneous heartbreak blues;
and I  shook my fist at that big yellow moon;
that hung like a bare light bulb,
above this August loon.

The Carnival – Airplane Mahogany: Reprise



Airplane Mahogany
come riding down
while sunset strips of Fellaheen gold
laced the crystal peak mountains
with countless horizons
of woe.

We sat in the back
of my new pickup roadster
and knocked the gear shift out of whack;
while the alcoholic blare of the AM band
blew holes in my eardrums and splintered and cracked
the bottoms of my new two-toned shoes.

And Glory! Cried Orly
the Greek from the Geek Show,
as though tied to my ribbons; Don’t you know,
somebody’s got to believe; In what? Said I;

and lied to the sky,
tho’ it knew my intentions,
it wasn’t that sure who I was.
Nothin’ doin’! said Chewin’ The Fat;
as we sat in the back
of my new Ford pickup roadster.

And Golly! Said Wally,
Don’t stall anymore;
Why don’t you write them your song?
When along came a flare! From who knows where?
And shattered my brand new windshield!

Crack! Splash! Sprinkled glass—

And that was the last I heard
Of Wally, Orly or Chewin’ The Fat; as we sat in the back
of my new Ford pickup roadster.

And now, Airplane Mahogany
don’t shine like it used to;
it glitters like gold from the five-and-ten store.
And no one will meet me in the back anymore;
when I come with a scoreboard of chances;
and try to tell them the score.

And sometimes
I hear footsteps behind me and look
for Wally and Orly and Chewin’ The Fat;
but that don’t seem like a likely experience,
they’ll never be back this way again.


And Airplane Mahogany
don’t shine like it used to;
Airplane Mahogany don’t sparkle like wine;
and Airplane Mahogany no longer sparkles
my mind.


On the Road to Satori – The Ru’nes of the Colorado

route 66 by mezaka

The Ru’nes of the Colorado

the End of the Dream…

we rode underneath a fire-red sun
the heat waves rose from our wheels
the desert was hot and dry as we drove
in our dusty automobile

the sun ricocheted into the horizon and oblivion
the air crackled dry with sagebrush and dirt
squashed by the burning sun

we rode the desert in search of satori
but ended our quest with roast beef on rye
and beer to quench our thirst; as we made our way West
from one roadhouse to the next

five hundred horses
pulled our wagon through the dunes
left no fear of dying as we drove through
the canyons and the ru’nes

palm treed groves that look
like Eden welcome you to Los Angeles
they are a relief from the desert and the grief
across the burning desert sands and
the desecrated Indian lands

now we sit
tip back tequila
on San Pedro Bay

we followed the sunset
from the east coast to the sea
and watched it fall away

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