Tow Truck Song

Two long hours on the side of the road,
waiting for the man who will help me get towed,
the sun is shining through the windowpane,
I guess it’s high time to write a song.

If you were here, you’d be changing my tire,
and you’d be gritting your teeth like a real live wire,
instead I’m here laying down these words yet again,
and the towing man is coming along.

The road is long and the road is hazy,
and the trucks driving by are getting closer than crazy,
their big engines rattle in the back of my brain,
and the afternoon is gathering on.

And hey wait a minute there’s gold in the trees,
and the wide open windows spill a warm little breeze,
the way the clouds are gathering, it reminds me of rain.
They say the tow truck is ambling along.

Supposed to be somewhere, supposed to be there on time,
but now I’m killing hours on this long white line.
If I had to do it over I might do it again –
it’s the way you look at something makes it wrong.

So next time you’re sitting on the side of the road,
do something nice with your mind while you waits to get towed.
If you had to do it over you might do it again –
when you’re feeling right, it can’t be so wrong.

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Blue Pillows

When I miss you, she says,
I make pillows, says she,
I sew your name
with the colors I see,

and when she comes home
she gives them to me,
blue pillows, blue pillows
and stitches.

Our lives are not
what we thought they would be,
and your face it says it all
when the words escape me.

Darling, dry your eyes
we got all that we need,
blue pillows, blue pillows
and stitches.

Passing Through

I see a man
on the side of the highway,
his backpack leans
just like his gait,
and what he shoulders,
it’s from a lifetime,
the road is heavy
beneath his weight.

I see the prison,
a crystal skyline
sets fire the valley
despite the rain,
and thirteen prisons
they line this byway,
I hear their shackles
inside my brain.

I’m driving home,
I’m driving home,
it’s way past midnight
I’m wide awake.
You’re all alone,
You’re all alone,
and that is something
I just can’t shake.

The night is thick
with weary travelers,
each tiny light
under the moon,
and we are lonely,
our pockets dusty,
yes we are only
passing through.

And from the lamppost
a banner’s waving,
beside the barbwire
and guard tower city,
as I drive under
it says please come back
for more good fun
in Canyon City.

Dublin Sunrise

It does not matter that you
had not met before,
you know each other now,
and like the River Liffey
that flows blue
into the Irish Sea,
so have you come together
from your many
scattered sources
to this wild night, dark
and damp beneath
the waning crescent
of a disappearing moon,
and you would stay,
yes you would stay
with these fine
familiar souls
as song and lilting story
dance you round
the fire’s bones
until the Dublin sunrise.

Sestina of a Storm

Inside the pane, snowflakes resume falling.
She watches a screen diagram blue radar ripples,
a cyber shore-break of storm stacked on storm,
and dreams she is swimming inside the snowy house,
between the cresting drifts, searching for a memory,
the echo of a song.

It reminds her of him, this song.
She leans into sleep and soon she is falling
into the sea of cortex and the memory
of a voyage through blue hemispheres and tidal ripples.
He lived on a sailboat then, his vessel house,
thirty feet of fiberglass to take them through the storm.

This was not his first storm,
so he soothed his progeny crew with a shanty song
full of sailors’ words not allowed in their mother’s house.
The boom swung, and they clung to rails of polished teak, falling
down the prow into the centers of concentric ripples
expanding and expanding like the beginnings of a memory

that stretches beyond memory,
past the grey matter of a Pacific storm,
and deep into the undersea ripples
of a lifetime or more, where if a girl is lucky, a pirate song
might send her mind a’ falling
through the temporal house

of her own innocence, so that perhaps within the blue house
of her adulthood, she will recall how to fashion a sturdy sail from a moonlit memory
and winch the halyards tight, even now, as the mercury is falling.
To trust the wind is to fathom the subtlety of storm,
so she sights her sextant with a song,
humming softly beneath ripples

of cloud and sky, celestial ripples
turned to diamonds over a winter’s house,
battened down this night with a mother’s song –
the newest pebble in a pool of memory,
as Polaris glows softly through the storm,
by the moon forever falling.

Stories make ripples like skipping stones, and memory
surrenders, like a quiet house, to each passing storm,
while the waves play their endless song, and the snow just keeps on falling.