whip ugly stick

listening to hopkins whip an ugly stick
listening to hopkins whip an ugly stick
looking over mountains never seen

a lonesome dream intruding on the blues
a lonesome dream intruding on these blues
money crisis creeps across the world

people choosing to think that they are choosing
people choosing to think that they are choosing
which side they will elect to rule the losing

bird serenading to an empty nest
bird serenading to an empty nest
black bird singing to a whitewashed empty nest

one more time most of the people failing
one more time most of the people failing
to see the cliffs they are building to jump off

foreign worker needing nails to drive
foreign worker needing nails to drive
into the cross the rich man make him carry

free from your last spell you seek out another
free from your last spell you seek out another
can’t think about the things you made me do

dancing with my arms out like a windmill
dancing with my arms out like a mill
wondering what i’ll do if the music starts

hearing riffs and seeing candy dancers
seeing necromancers hearing stiffs
gandy dancers standing on my hands

slow tunes escaping from my weary head
slow tunes escaping from my weary head
bald as the goat found drowned at john o’groats

Somethings

The peroxide-blonde possum looks alien strange
but she says with the passing of the seasons she’ll change
into something, into something we know of.

She grins like a fool and wears styrofoam horns
that she picked from the litter thrown down from a dorm
like they’re something, a valuable something.

She climbs down the locust tree avoiding the thorns
and follows me home watching out for loose dogs
that hunt something, and to them she’s a something.

I put a bowl down on my porch and we share my Mac meal.
She eats like a starveling with tales to conceal
about something, a frightening something.

I ask her no questions, she tells me no lies.
I give her the rest of my milkshake and half of my fries
and we’re onto something, a companionable something.

I sit in the rocker. She sits under the swing
and we talk without words if that makes any sense
about something, a valuable something.

Then she leaves in a flash of upended blonde fur
and somewhere I guess she is half up in a tree
waiting for something, an I-don’t-know something.

Words to a Mood

Rolling it is now, and that is so nice,
think back on your first home; sunshine and rice.
Crouched in the shade gloom just out of the heat,
watermelon sliced red, salt on the sweet.

Chapped lips in winter, coal dust and ice,
bitter smiles cracking, slow bleeding hot spice.
The crunching of small bones, owls dining on mice,
the deaths of our mammas, those debts we pay twice.

Sex in a hammock, fights on the ground.
Thankful hosannas – palm sundaes abound.
Where is it all going? Where haven’t we been?
Before the song dwindles, Son, sing it again.

Sounded good (to me ) a few years ago when sung and played (impromptu) at Amsterdam’s Bavaria Hoek by Son McGauley, blues singer and piano, and David Brown, clarinet.

Beach Busker’s Ballad

Come visit me alone, for one’s enough
that any quorum lacks to vote defeat.
Come visit me in Cadaqués. We’ll hide
out basking on the baking rocks and poach
sweet views of pulchritude.
                           The octopus,
as sturdy as a horse except no bones,
inks out its living in the open sea,
and I eke mine on land.
                          It’s marginal,
my living, but, like me, sufficient here.

I catch up passing tourists with my song
and share with them their wine and daily bread.

Unlike the octopus’s prey, mine live
to warn the others, though they never do.
They boast instead they stole away my song.

They sing for years the tunes I have forgot.
I misspeak verbs in languages they learn

in later years, the better to esteem
the wisdom of the octopus we eight
or was it four flushed. Come visit me. We’ll hide.