An In-Their-Own-Words Tribute

Inspired by Tim Grimm’s riveting song “Dreaming of King Lear” as well as creations from other artists now passed. Thank you, make that bless you, for your musical illuminations

They weren’t entertainers, artists of life if you will

all about humanity’s truths and universal mysteries

their scriptures often complete stoppers of time

being terms of enrichment to those willing to hear

 

Al Grierson served as fire, fuse and muse

his ashes the flowers of the flames

always for the roses and the bread

and a non-pareil roller away of stones

 

Bill Morrissey being of that kind of mystery

peering into eyes and living forever

publishing reports from music heaven

with so many things in his life being unchosen

 

Dave Carter’s borderline of death and resurrection

where a kick-ass Walmart tie wasn’t de riguer

his songs the only sacred ground some knew

as we carried burdens in the cradle of his grace

 

It was Jerusalem mañana for David Olney

with eyes that were never blind

to the oak trees blossoming roses

and Barabbas only living for today

 

John Prine never had nothin’ to say

let’s kiss his ever so wry ass aloha

for offering a plaintive ‘hello in there’

even when Daddy’s arm had a nasty hole

 

Stan Rogers never booked a Northwest Passage

nor a life as a humble keeper of the lock

those being chains to some, life anchors for others

his work not to be lost to the knowledge of man

 

Terence Martin may or may not have been waterproof

but who knows ’cause that’s the way it didn’t go

yes, the problem is certainly in the human

it’s that damn graffiti in the chambers of the heart

 

Eric Taylor traveled in sacred circles

so when the boatmen stole the Africans

did God ride or row

with the Angelina River always at his back?

 

Jack Hardy kindly offered to come by

if he ever passes this way again

to remind all who have gathered

that it’s not the singer, it’s the song

 

They weren’t entertainers, artists of life if you will

all about being, humanity’s truths and universal mysteries

their scriptures often complete stoppers of time

being terms of enrichment to those willing to hear

Alphabet Soup

Picked up a couple of foreign words who were out hitchhiking

puzzled when they inquired how they could compensate me,

I finally said “two syllables apiece, yes, that would do just fine”

“We only know milky cows” they exclaimed, “no silly bulls”

 

They disagreed with me that phonetics was a Nokia etiquette app

and that syntax wasn’t the financial result of a Baptist/Catholic merger

Fortunately, our tête-à-tête was set aside for a musical interlude

as we sang a saucy rendition of “you say tomayto, I say tomahto”

 

One turned crimson when I brought up the basics of conjugation

replying “make nouns, not me, the subjects of your prepositions”

I responded angrily “your synonyms are my antonyms”

as we resolutely failed in developing any lingua franca

 

Arguing over adverbs being the driving force in commercials

I punctuated my vehemence with “pronouns aren’t for amateurs”

we eventually came to conclude it best to call the whole thing off

and, for a more copacetic journey, we switched to sign language

The Sound of One Hand Writing

I’m still on my John Prine-ish (if that isn’t heresy) binge. Let’s call this a music-less song rather than a poem.


I got a woodpecker in my pants

some mistake it for a fer-de-lance

it makes my legs sway to and fro

although both my feet flatly say no

 

I’m stuck with a pair of alligator arms

don’t worry, they’ll do ya no harm

And the eyes I own aren’t the same size

On the beauty way, I’ll win no prize

 

(Chorus) We have our bodies til death do us part

I think mine was assembled a la carte

 

My disks are each fully fragmented

still in place, yes, but slightly dented

biting into moon pies makes me giggle

when I get up, my thighs they wiggle

 

I need to minimize my gluteus max

ain’t all diets a personal sin-tax?

lost count adding up my multiple chins

Let’s call it a maximizing of all my skin

 

We have our bodies til death do us part

I think mine was assembled a la carte

 

My nose knows what’s fingerlickin’ good

food tasting should be my livelihood

Throughout my boyhood I just misunderstood

Not too many spark plugs under my hood

 

We have our bodies til death do us part

I think mine was assembled a la carte

 

You know my toes, they refuse to twinkle

when it come to snorin’ I’m Rip Van Winkle

my pecs been the victim of some kidnapping

I’m a piss poor candidate for chromosome mapping

 

The few muscles in me are the slow twitch kind

I’m disinclined to ever seek peace of mind

nobodys ever asked me to pee in a cup

cause my human algorithm has never added up

 

We have our bodies til death do us part

I think mine was assembled a la carte

The Past, the Present and The Future

Introduction:

Not final thoughts, call them edible words

written hard in mind and put away wet


Evil is, yes, the world’s purest desire

and humans will never break from its twining

it’s a backwater oozing enchanting siren songs

laden with devil hybrids and soul strip mining

 

Long before this nation’s so-called founding

chains were placed heavy across human hearts

call it the original-est of mankind’s sins

the scars on the Blacks in order to tell them apart

 

Death freighters sailed across the dark seas

Lower in the water, burdened with heavy hate

the ticket-less cargoes bound for King Cotton

timeless auction blocks still the South’s soulmate

 

Label them holy shrines or places of the damned

hellholes of Wallace, Maddox, Connor and that filth

the reality is there’s a new generation always bidding

the latest now nattily dressed in suits and ties of silk

 

Oh, come one, come all to the public lynch

it’s a swing and sway of the three-fifths faction

for when it’s a state’s right to maim and then kill

you cannot emancipate solely with a proclamation

 

Call it an alignment with the status quo gospel

brewed and marinated in feral and fetid DNA

always remember, ‘it’s Mr. James Crow to you boy’

for the genocidal will never stop seeking prey

 

Yes, human giants climbed many of the mountaintops

alerting and and warning about fires of five alarm

challenging the plaintive ‘we’ve always done it this way’

battling malignant foes laden with a love to harm

 

But this ill extends far beyond the southern seceders

to constituents professing kinship with the Golden Rule

but when human innocence is profanely slain

the thirst of all is quenched by the vilest of cesspools

 

Have black lives ever really mattered?

only in the futures market of the enslaved

angels yes, but among us there are no better devils

much history is home sweet home for the depraved

America the Dysfunctional


It’s said this is a most Christian nation
but acting Roman is our supplication
idol worshiping money’s lurid gloss
while justice is bang nailed to the cross
why isn’t wrong wrong as well as right right?
it’s the crux of humanity’s never-ending fight

Chorus:

O beautiful for brownish skies
for modified waves of grain
for clear cut mountain majesty
above the parched and barren plain
America, America,
god what they have done to thee
and crown thy populace via dominionhood
from sea to rising sea

Manifest destiny always holding sway
exceptionalism the sole American way
timeless fables telling that familiar story
all preaching the emancipation glory
free to buy the milk and cereal we want
while freedom’s blueprint sheds its font

Chorus

Those welcoming tragedy for opportunity
dollar sign profits but all they can see
accrual by vanquishing the dispossessed
experimenting on humans, more or less
if a god shed some sort of grace on thee
was it for the despoilers to be all they can be?

Chorus

The most distinguished jurists in all our land
simply bought-and-paid-for with open hands
granting corporations full human rights
extinguishing Lady Liberty’s historic lights
advancing predation for the monied class
leaving hell to pay for all the lower castes

Interpretation

Side One: infiltrating the mindset, of the evangelical/Tea Party political movement

While waiting out faithfully for Jesus to return
we’re conveniently ignoring his being foreign born
because we know dark and dirty ain’t going set us free
the preachers have promised us that could never be

Now our Lord doesn’t believe in government taxes
but some swear of his emailing and sending faxes
we know he righteously did heal and then tout
“I’m a miracle worker, all because I lack doubt”

That crap about his rolling with harlots and whores
it’s a campaign of hate by poseurs and bores
from those Beezlebub purveyors of the 666 code
come Judgment Day they’ll burn and explode

Crowds will swarm the bonfire, making it most large
reveling in the special appearance by Madame DeFarge
but for heaven’s sake ’cause there’s no good reason
Lord, please make it a-f-t-e-r the football season

Flip Side: A stream of consciousness

The Fox folks at their extra best idiot savantin’
while the radio fatboy spouts pure Oxycontin
they’re all parading around like virgin whores
who long ago played the quit card in keeping score

Yes, the drawing and quartering of commonsense
a perimeter of ignorance led by the willfully dense
declining sharpening tools for their dullest of minds
continuing to belly up to the buffet where haters dine

As war is now a status quo component of modern life
with huckster marketers waving the profitable flag of strife
as bodies appear double-stacked in the old tombstone corral
more enemies are created to boost our slipsliding morale

Now some are saying corporations are just like people
and they can’t wait for the Sunday sermon prequel
causing the hounds of whoredom to eagerly bay anew
as our religious speakeasies divest of the Golden Rule

The dirty little secret not taught in our purest of schools
challenging conventional wisdom – no that wouldn’t do
it’s ‘apostate heretics’ fighting to change the ties that binded
but was it Gailleo or the Church oh so woefully blinded?

Late Brother MLK brimming full of sacrifice and desire
sparking the kindling, setting off the holiest of fires
yes the powerful must eventually stand solitary nude
despite the rush to clothe them by the apologetic lewd

yessiree, of thee I do sing of the need for a USA spring

O Say Can You See It’s All About Me, Me, Me

narcissimI’m a rainmaker, just pissing all over yours and you
a money whore galore, hey that’s just how I roll
A gentleman farmer, growing a bumper cash crop
I’m at the top, ain’t gonna drop, with no plans to stop

I fix matters fortuitously fruitful
betting on despair is just part of the plan
looting coffers and avoiding all blame
Barons of robbery know no professional shame

Impunity, immunity, it’s about the I’s and no U’s
whatever I desire is going to be mine, mine, mine
go big and go large and go deep and go long
I can’t go wrong ’cause there are no words to that song

You call me the rapaciously evil devil of the vault
label me a dollar bill Caligula or a close derivative
I live so fine for simply making figures align
I’m a financial whiz, there’s no her or his, just mine

When Too Much Is Not Enough

At the top o’ the heap by rigging the rules
keeping the money flowing to their favorite political tools
discarding the bereft like yesterday’s trash
after fleecing ’em out of their homes and cash

It’s full bore patriotism to the almighty dollar
but never ever is heard any painful blue blood holler
from the wallets of our very own kith and kin
the elite steal from early and often

CHORUS:

They win or lose on whichever path they choose
but triumph or fail, they always will prevail
’cause they’re calling the dance at the predator’s ball

The rich and powerful sup at the trough
they’re brilliant, they deserve it — cough, cough
junk bonds and derivatives crosses of the alter
financiers as deities, surely none will falter

It’s a no product, nothing built, sleight of hand
just vast paper castles built on quicksand
with the tap of a key, so easy to perform
no muss, no fuss, just economic porn

CHORUS

Profit on the guaranteed demise of others
sacrifice for the low level sisters and brothers
but just when is enough and at what cost?
and to what degree of our paradise lost?

What about he who finishes first, shall be last?
it’s fundamental scripture — the die is cast
but in a country worshiping grandiose greed
Caesar and mammon are the twin masters’ creeds

CLOSING

Yes, they package and trades things invisible
insulated from the fickle ol’ bear and bull
insured from calamity by the full faith and credit
of the ordinary folk who will never ever get it
they’re simply too big to fail or take down
they’re America’s terrorists, they own your town
salute and subjugate to the new holy crown