poemsongs


Sitting In the River Drinking Beer


We are sitting in the river
Drinking ice cold beer
Or, I'm the one who's
Drinking beer, I ought to say
The dogs are chasing woozles
They are woozle chasing poozles
But we’re sitting in the river
Drinking beer today

The first thing we saw
When we reached the water's edge
Was a great blue heron taking flight
He'd been fishing in a hole
Where our catfish line now is
But we do not really care
If our luck’s as bad as his
Because we're sitting in the river drinking beer

For a while I tried to sit
Up there upon the bank
The dogs would shake and drench me
Where the grass grows rank
The dragonflies are pretty
But the sand is rather gritty
So we're sitting in the river drinking beer

If a current sucks me down
If by chance I drown at
Least I won’t have
Tubes and needles stuck in me
And the distant, dreaming mountains
Just around the river's bend
Would be about the best last site
That one could see

KERPLUNGE!
Goes Anny’s body
As she plunges in the river
Has a more cheerful sound
Ever been perceived?
Ranger is more wary
He finds the water scary
He's much more of a desert dog
Than we

The apparel that I wear
Might cause some folks to stare
Or to quickly hide their eyes and look away
But my only sin is fatness
In fact, I'm rather well dressed
As the good Lord made me on my natal day

As the crawdads thrill our toes
And the sultry sun sinks low
We ponder why we don't come every day
But it's likely all the sweeter
That we seldom get to be here
Sitting in the river
Drinking beer this way


© July 3, 2009 Gair




Who I Am


I don’t carry a briefcase
I don’t get off the train every night at five-thirty
I don’t have adoring or rotten kids waiting for me
I don’t have a sexy
nagging
or servile wife either

What do I have?
All I have is this

About once every ten thousand years or so
A real goddess of love will grant me refuge in her temple

I will sing songs
fix her swamp cooler and roll on the floor with her dogs

I will sip wine and chop potatoes
She will create a stew more piquant than might any man’s
legal wedded doxy

Crickets will sing and stars will shine in through her screen door


© 1993 gair






I Don’t Believe It


I resent it when I’m told of realms beyond this life
By those who haven’t seen

But I believe that the millions in the crowded streets and roads
And billions in the world do not exist

They are just manikins and chimeras

And after all
There was only you and me


© 1990 gair






The Wheel’s Going To Spin


Place your bets
Place your bets

Hedge them if you’re able but you’ve GOT to place your bets now
‘Cause the wheel’s going to spin

It may crush you or caress you
But know it’s going to spin

EVEN if you stand pat you are forced to be a gambler
It’s a game you cannot walk from

But now’s the time for skill

For even NOW the wheel is turning

It may crush you or caress you
But the wheel’s going to spin


© 1999 gair






I Missed Haley’s Comet


I missed Haley’s Comet

There above old Silver City

Like the Boy Bandit King

I went to the bad (my biographers may write)

Away beyond the hills

In the back of my station wagon

I made love to a black eyed coquette

Throughout that whole blessed night

My nieces and my nephews ask me

How I could have missed it?

But I try to explain

That though many saw the comet

None saw a brighter flash that night


© 2006 gair






Youth And Love


Youth, youth – my vanished youth
However laced with hurt and shame
I miss you still

There were the nights of romance
The blues singers we rode way cross town to hear
The girls who would drink red wine and jump the cemetery wall
Where have they gone, those girls and folk singers?

Love, love – you’ve burned me with each brutal iron
My heart is just scar tissue that can never be what it was
And yet, for all the scalding tears
I miss my lover’s bed beneath the milky moonlight
When we kissed all night while trains and nighthawks called

Pity me

And envy me

For these things I have known



© 2/2000 gair






Words


Don’t you ever get sick of hearing words?

Thinking in words?

Being words?

When all words become animal bleats

Only the hills and the stars and the sea can save you


© 1997 gair






At The Becker Street Pub


At the Becker Street Pub

When the front door opens

Heads turn to see who’s walkin’ in

Most heads turn

Some don’t

The blue felt chalkies look up from their games to see

if any heavy hitters or easy chumps are entering

The desperately lonely rubber neck for potential lovers,

with undisguised

longing looks

The socializers look for scandal and clothes

The working people look for co-workers to blow off steam with

The real drinkers don’t look at all

It’s already in the glass in their hand

Some of them started out as above listed types

Then lost their amateur status

Most of us are running from something

Despair

Failure

Guilt

Nagging spouses

Rotten kids

Stress

and of course

Loneliness

It ain't a good life, but at least the

laughter all around us is not canned

Cracked and braying though it may be

We ain’t brain-wired to a

T.V. or computer for our kicks

I guess they’ll stamp us out in a few more years

We already have to go and freeze outside to have a smoke

The choices on the warmly throbbing juke box

are way more exotic than what’s on your satellite dish at home

Good luck finding Ferlin Husky or Patsy or Al Hurricane or Los Tigres del Norte

on the Ted Turner networks

And even if you did you wouldn’t get to play DJ with your quarters and hold

the other revelers captive to your whims

At the Becker Street Pub

When the front door opens

Most turn to see who’s walkin’ in

Or at least sneak a peek in the mirror


© 2007 gair






I Was The One


I was the one who slung the first jagged pebbles
That took the outcasts life
I was in the moiling mob as well

I was the pimp who beat those girls who dared to feel love
Round back of their necks so the bruises wouldn’t show

I worked the valves at Auschwitz – were you my helper?
Are there those who never once were devils beside me?
Of course, but mostly children who are dead and angels now

I know that it was I who did these things and that I am accountable
But as I see the scenes in my memory
They are like somebody else’s magic lantern theatre
And I only want to spill my last drops of blood
To merge with the torrents
That might drown the world
With love


© 1990 gair






Everything That You Feel!

Song

(From the Special Orchestra Dance Musical)


I don’t speak… with the same words you do

But everything that you feel….I can feel too


Yeah, I can feel it, feel it, feel it, feel it too!


I can’t hear….all you’re saying to me

But we’re the same…

We want to be happy and free


Wanna be, wanna be, wanna be, happy and free!


And if you’ll look into my soul’s window, look into my smile

I can tell you all about me, you can learn to read my style…

And everything… that you feel…

I can feel too…

I can feel too…

I can feel too


I don’t ride…. in a fat limousine

I’m not on the cover…of a glossy magazine

I don’t live…in the south part of France

I don’t pose for photos

Wearin’ just my underpants


What do I have?    Just this!    Just this!    Just this!

What do I have?    Just this!    Just this!    Just this!


I’ve got a voice and I can sing

I have hands and I can play

I have feet and I can dance

I’ve got something you might need if you just give it a chance

I’ve got a heart …..And I can love

I’ve got soul…and I can feel…

Everything that you feel…

I can feel too…

I can feel too…

I can feel too


© 2009 gair






Carol


On the inside, Carol is a night in early August
Beneath the magic moon’s milky splash
Damp grass laughing between your toes

On her outside, she is the cool sunrise in the desert
Her smile glowing softly through lavender mists

What fool would debate which side of Carol is more beautiful?


© 1993 gair






Angel’s Tears


A child dies in springtime

The ancient perfume tree,
massive,
black and twisted,
looking about dead itself,
is covered in white blossoms -

Fragile as a morning dream

For it is May and it has returned to pungent life -

Watered by an angel’s tears…


© 2006 gair






An Omnipotent God


An omnipotent God
Saw he was alone
And so he made physics
And history
And trillions of souls
And cast himself as one of them unknowing

Yet the loneliness remained and instead of being omnipotent
He didn’t have a clue


© 1990 gair






Divine


When my mother died

The desert bloomed in every color

For hundreds of miles in all directions

Like it had not done

Within any living person’s memory

This was not a coincidence -

My mother was divine


© 2006 gair






Fiesta


I don’t go down to the church fiesta any more

When it comes around on its cool

Saturday evening in September

I’m too old and crabbed up, by in large

To go round and dance and drink and eat like I once did

Too many friends are gone

Too much time has passed

Too many dogs sleep in the graveyard out in back

But after vespers, I keep an ear out for the bell to ring so clearly

Through the brittle autumn air

And for the polka band to start it’s happy beat

(Thank God, that in these jaded days there are still a few polka bands left here and there)

And at about eight–fifteen

When the sounds do waft across the town

And down the acecia ditch

And over the fields to me

Part of me uncoils

For we have brooked another year, somehow

And by our survival we are reborn

Autumn

To me

Is the same as

Spring


© 2009 gair






Pretty Stories

Song


Pretty Stories
For why we feel such pains and joys
Pretty stories
For why there’s suffering for even little girls and boys
Dreams of heavens and creators and devils and stuff
They’ll sure come true if you believe strong enough
Plush fur? or dead skin
If I wrap myself in
A pretty story

Pretty stories
Some sound so sweet I really wish that they were true
Pretty stories
Some with gods too cruel for me to bow down to
What came before this life?
What’s comin’ in the next?
I don’t know why people gotta get so vexed
A mystery seems better to me
Than pretty stories

Blessed are the righteous
For they will shine
Like the stars in heaven
Don’t need no ticket
We’re already on board

Pretty stories
So I’ll address my prayers: “To Whom It May Concern”
Pretty stories
At the shrine of love my candles I will burn
Compassion and forgiveness
I’ll worship as divine
But I’ll respect your beliefs and hope that you respect mine
There’s too many wars have been fought for pretty stories
A mystery seems better to me than pretty stories
Plush fur? or dead skin
If I wrap myself in
A pretty story


© 1992 gair






Free To Run No More


And when at last the quarry’s heart
has flown its final flight

And the hound’s teeth spill the warm blood
from the wildly fluttering throat

Then, that lifelong hunted heart
will be free to run no more


© 1990 gair






New Mexico Waltz

Song


When the wild horses come down the canyon
And the desert is smoky and blue
When the sandhill cranes come home for winter
That’s when I’ll be dreaming of you

When the red, red wine
Runs through the valley
And the niños dance
Under the stars
I’ll remember how
We used to be so happy
How we danced to
These same guitars

When the wild horses come down the canyon
And the desert is smoky and blue
When the chilies are ready for ristras
That’s when I’ll be dreaming of you
That’s when I’ll be dreaming of you
Dreaming of you
Dreaming of you
Dreaming of you


© 1990 gair






Back In The City


I’m back in the city tonight

So long I’ve been away
off behind the hills
That this place I know the best
seems new once more

Not this city in particular

Just the call of the nighthawks over the buildings
and the cicadas in the trees
and the electrical wires flowing through their branches
and the soft traffic noises and the hot sidewalks and the
fireworks in the distance over the stadium and the
achingly beautiful college girls with their books of
poetry and their short hair and cigarettes, who might
love me if they knew me
but can’t because they don’t

And the coffee house where we will always come to
Here in every city
With the beautiful ebony boy
with sides worn thin guitar with spliced and borrowed strings
that he plays just like Calypso while he sings like Belefonte
Though it won’t get him laid any more
than me tonight, probably, but that’s O.K.
We’re used to it and that’s why he can sing this way
It’s probably the only way it could have ever been and
we’re just glad that we can taste
the fragrant sting
of night
once more


© 1990 gair






Jeanie


My Jeanie,
My darling girl
All I can give you are words on a page

But I love you, even though some say it can’t be much or
I wouldn’t let my selfishness keep us apart the way I do

But they never could take the pain I’ve learned to stand


© 1990 gair






How Much Longer


How much longer must I wait my love
Till I can be with you

How many more times must I hit the pavement hard
Break my teeth on gravel

How many more times must rapacious life pull us so far apart

The greed and pride are all around me
The greed and swollen pride are inside of me
Swollen like a bloated black corpse with staring eyes

How did I get this way?

Maybe death will be my cure


© 1990 gair






A Sweet Sixteen Sonnet For Indi From Her Doting And Charismatic Uncle


Miss Goozle–oozle-oozle, is sweet sixteen today
Miss Goozle-oozle-oozle, is sweet sixteen today
The folks out west are missin’ her…
The boys want to be kissin’ her…
‘Cause Miss Goozle-oozle-oozle, is sweet sixteen today

Miss Goozle-oozle-oozle, is sweet sixteen today
Miss Goozle-oozle-oozle, is sweet sixteen today
She’ll be behind the wheel;
Brakes and tires will squeal
‘Cause the frisky young Miss Goozle, is sweet sixteen today

Miss Goozle-oozle-oozle, is sweet sixteen today
Miss Goozle-oozle-oozle, is sweet sixteen today
She’s almost too danged charmin’
Her Mom finds it alarmin’
The alluring mistress Goozle, is sweet sixteen today

Miss Goozle-oozle-oozle, is sweet sixteen today
Miss Goozle-oozle-oozle, is sweet sixteen today
When she’s in the infield,
Base runners have their fates sealed
She is so long and lanky
They try no hanky panky
The demoness of the diamond, is sweet sixteen today

She’s kind to critters, big and small
Adored and loved by one and all
So to the world, sound the call:
That Miss Goozle-oozle-oozle
Is sweet sixteen today!

Happy Birthday oxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox


© 2003 gair






My Trees

Song


They came and cut my trees down, while I was away
There in the V.A. hospital - they cut them while I lay
I planted them in ’39, two years before the war
Hauled water out in buckets – from the pump behind the store
And Rosa and the boys, they kept those twigs alive
While I crawled ‘cross Iwo Jima – shot to pieces – left to die
But when I got back from over there, we saw the desert bloom
Like a treasure in a ruin
Those trees our proudest room

Well, Jack, he went to Viet Nam but never had my luck
Then Pete, he disappeared one day - just drove off in his truck
And when my Rosie died last spring
Well, there was only me
But still our trees grew just as high
As all the dreams we used to dream
And the cops, they said they cut them down
‘Cause drug boys came there now
That they hid their stuff in the branches
And the mayor plans a road anyhow
And I can’t say I understand it, but I don’t get much these days
There’s no tune now to the music - none that I can hear, anyway
And those pills the doctors gave me
I think of taken’ ‘em all at once, some days
Maybe that’s what they intended
But I wasn’t raised to die that way
And somehow a spring has come again and I need every day
There’re trees I’ve got to plant once more
So I guess I’d better stay

But Rosa and the boys
They kept those twigs alive
While I crawled ‘cross Iwo Jima
Shot to pieces – left to die
And after everyone was gone and there was only me
Still those trees grew just as high as all the dreams we used to dream
Still those trees grew just as high as all the dreams we used to dream


© 1996 gair







El Cadejos

Macabre poem of Costa Rica


Night after night
Until first dim light
When the howler monkeys come down
Joaquin at cantina remains and remains
Drinking cacique from the tall sugarcane
Awash in cacique from the tall sugarcane
Till the black howler monkeys come down

The coffee spoils in the bushes
As Joaquin sleeps away the daylight hours
The small ones cry in hunger
As Joaquin sleeps all through the daylight hours

What a dishonor! rails his father
Borracho! Parrandero! Jugador!
May you roam as un perro
By the lake’s haunted shore
As the very black dog that you are!

It was there that he stalked me
In that eldritch forest
When the howler monkeys came down
I'd been drinking cacique
From the tall sugarcane
It was there that he ran me
With his red eyes and slack jaw
Demon Dog in pursuit of those who remain
Drinking too late in the volcano’s shadow
Drinking cacique from the tall sugarcane
Awash in cacique from the tall sugarcane
Night after night
Until first dim light
When the black howler monkeys resound


© 2006 gair






La Segua

Macabre Poem of Costa Rica


Jade green eyes
Before a jade green sea
Long, long hair
Long, long skirt
Hips that sway
With the jade green palms…

From the balcon
Up over the bistro
He watches her movements
Down there on the beach
Through the glass vaso prism
He watches, he watches-
He watches her hard…

After more drinking
He goes out to find her
But the water’s turned gray
Not so different from lead
The siren and seagulls have vanished or fled

He's fast up the mountain
Sunset behind him
Like blood or red wine…
Around a sharp corner
He comes on the woman
Her thumb in the air
Standing by the roadside

She tosses her long hair
With a motion that fires him
He asks where she's headed
Where you are heading, she says
As he turns more sharp corners
She's thrown close against him
Her bare arm against his
Hotter than flame


She says that she watched him
Sitting above her
Back down on the playa
Back under the palms

And that she has been waiting
For tu, solo tu

As they come near the summit
A white moon is rising
Beso me ahora
Please kiss me now…
He slows his machine
He hastens to please her
But his lips barely touch hers
When he's ripped from himself…

The white moon reveals
The head of a horse skull
Eyes shot with blood
Deep in decay
Black lips pulled back from grinning teeth, yellow
Whickering laughter
Laughter or brays

He spins hard the wheel
No mind where it's heading
The truck leaves the mountain
Long it does fall
Deep into the chasm
Deep into the rocks
Long to be found by only the moonlight
Long to be found there
By just the white moon

Jade green eyes
Before a jade green sea
Long, long hair
Long, long skirt
Hips that sway
With the jade green palms…


© 2006 gair






Addicted


To the idiot siren songs
To the mermaids singing from the rocks

If I weren’t addicted you would be beside me now

We’d watch old movies on your beat up black and white T.V.
the way we used to

You’d cook us cabbage and sour cream and we’d
maybe have kids to try to make happy which would
make us happy – that’s how it works, isn’t it?

And we’d go to sleep with the souls of our
bare feet against each other

Or like spoons….


© 1990 gair






Hard To Please


I get one girl
I want another

I leave one woman
then I want her back

Am I sick or just another type of animal
in the human zoo?


© 1990 gair






Paralyzed


The wind howled today so long and so hard that
I was afraid to leave my house

Afraid of everything

Afraid to leave my bed

I was paralyzed with fear

I called in to work and felt guilty ‘cause I said I had a stomach ache

But I was paralyzed
              paralyzed
              paralyzed

With fear


© 1990 gair






No Artist Ever Painted


No great artist ever painted

No great singer ever sang

Genius is only being in the position to let it flow through

To let out what has come in

Some are born to it and can let it happen right away

Some have no talent at all – only passion and if a few thousand failures and

decades of disappointments don’t wring out their guts

These ones might finally do it too

In both cases incidents of fatality are high


© 1990 gair






Sunset

Song


What makes the sunset
The saddest part of day?
Her poignant colors
Would warm each heart you’d say
But for the lonely
They burn cold fire instead
The coming darkness
Brings only deepest dread

I had a sweetheart
We once would kiss all night
While freight trains sang songs
Beneath magic moonlight
But love can go wrong
Even when it’s most real
And what was beauty
Now cuts like coldest steel

Because the sunset
Once was our sweetest hour
It shut out hard life
From it’s roseate bower
Now as the crimson
Fades into purple night
So fade my fond hopes
Till they are gone from sight

What makes the sunset
The saddest part of day?
Her poignant colors
Would touch each soul you’d say
But for the heart broke
They burn cold fire instead
The coming darkness
Brings only deepest dread


© 2/2000 gair






The Fat Old Poet


The fat old poet

And the beautiful young poet

Have one thing in common:

They insist on being adored


© 2003 gair






To Die


If to die is what it takes

To make the hurting stop

Then that is what I want

Even if the pain is caused by myself

It doesn’t hurt any less

And I only want to die


© 1990 gair






Perfect Heaven

(Special Orchestra Theme Song)


This is not a perfect world
This is not a perfect life
You know
I know
If we want a perfect world
If we want a perfect life
We will surely cry
We will surly cry
But if we find a little love
Wherever it may be
Water it like a flower
Tend it like a tree
Maybe for an instant
Perfect heaven we will see

Eyes and arms and legs can fail
Dearest ones can slip away
Sometimes it can seem like
Even god has turned away
But if we give a little love
We can touch what is divine
And maybe for a moment
Perfect heaven we can find
Maybe for an instant
Perfect heaven we can find


© 4/1999 gair






Not Quite Yet


We climbed the mountain one day
my dog and I

Up through a deep arroyo

There were carpets of cactus, boulder slides and scree
and snakes with slavering fangs

And ever above, each time we’d rest our tortured
lungs and gaze aloft, the cloudy summit would
laugh down upon us

As the sun began to set, we were forced to hurry down
We built a driftwood fire and drank juice of
prickly pear fruit to survive the night

So we never did quite reach that notch above the clouds

To peer into the golden valley on the other side

But I can see now that the reason was that it was
not quite yet
our time to die


© 1990 gair






Hell and Paradise


Hell and Paradise are now

Now and always somewhere

Like the Bible speaks of

But not later

NOW… somewhere at this moment…

NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW

It’s happening to someone, somewhere

You or I may well be next be next be next be next be next be next be next

But Hell and Paradise are not later

Hell and Paradise are NOW


© 2006 gair






All Figured Out

Song


You don’t have to bust yourself up farmin’ anymore
It’s all figured out, all figured out
All you’ve got to do is read their books and take their tests and work their stores
It’s all figured out, all figured out
You don’t have to see the sunrise, just get there on time
You can still get high if you only drink their wine
And your kids can have the privilege of being like you
It’s all figured out, all figured out

If you get to feelin’ sick you get a doctor with a FIX
It’s all taken care of, all figured out
If your friends turn away, they’ll get you new ones real quick
It’s all taken care of, all figured out
If you want to see beauty, you can look at painted dolls
If you want to feel glory, you can watch boys play with balls
And the cold and the wind can’t touch you in your walls
It’s all figured out, it’s all figured out

You’re free to vote for either party of your choice
You’ll qualify for treatment if you find your own voice
And your kids will have the privilege of being like you
It’s all figured out, all figured out…



© 1998 gair






Down To Mexico


Down to Mexico we went
Across the ditch that keeps the world half slave, half free
and into old Juarez

                “Hey boys, here’s a good
                 place to eat some pussy
                 or something…”
But it was Sunday morning
and we weren’t interested.
I bought a pink drink
with strawberries floating

                 “What’s this made from?”
                 “Rice,” I think the vendor said
                 “Your stomach might be in for it now,”
                 said Douglas
I bought a silver (or nickel) belt
buckle such as any boy would envy
I bought two pairs of castanets
I bought six bullfighting posters
The old men in the shop told us that if
we would go to the library we would learn that
it is not a cruel sport
They’d been playing dominos when we walked in
I bought a blanket with birds
Doug picked up two bottles of Kailua
and some Indian masks
We would have stayed longer, but we’d sustained
a major bender the previous night in El Paso


© 1990 gair






Lupita


Lupita is Guadalupe Tafoya
She lives in Cottage Nine
She weighs one hundred and seventeen pounds and is gaining
She knows this because the Developmental Disabilities Technicians
(a fancy title for the chugs who have to lift her a little
to change her diapers) won’t let her forget
But she is a trickster, my little Lupita is
“You’re gettin’ old!” or “You’re puttin’ on weight!” she’ll tell
them to make ‘em even madder, even though she
might not get coffee for a week
We have a game, we two, when I am a
substitute teacher in her class
At the funny school Lupita lives at, we are still called
teachers even though we don’t teach students -
We “program clients”, such as she
We have a game we love, Lupita and I
I casually rest my foot on the front of her wheelchair
“You know, Lupita,” I say, “my work is awfully hard…”
“Yeah?” she answers, leaning forward
“Yes, why my feet get so tired, what with all the walking
and lifting and – Hey!!!”
Lupita laughs and shakes till tears come as I pretend
to thunder and storm at her for untying my shoelace
I rant and rave and she says between helpless chortles, “Look what you did,”
and I rave louder
But nobody likes our game except she and I and some of the
other clients
“Not age appropriate!” they fume (Lupita is thirty five years old).
They took our puppets too
But we know it’s the laughter that bothers them
So we’ll go to the canteen or somewhere on the sly
to play the forbidden game
that makes us feel so good


© 1990 gair






Lucky Number

Song


Honey, you are…my lucky number
Sent to me…from the stars above
Aphrodite…she looked down on me
And she sent me…somebody to love

I was a bluebird…trapped in a glass house
I’d torn my wings…against the pain
Till you came to me…and you set me free
And I could sing and…fly again

Honey, you are…my lucky number
Thought I was ment …to live alone
Sad tale of only…friends and lovers
But never one to call my own

Darling, you are…my lucky number
I’d really reached my darkest hour
Then you came to me…and you made me see
The brilliance of you lovin’ power…


© 1983 gair






Mirror Behind The Bar

Song


I’ve been tippen’ into clubs       So I’ve been tippin’ into clubs
I’ve been drinkin’ gin and sprite  I’ve been drinkin’ gin fast
There isn’t any hurry              If something doesn’t happen soon
All I’ve got is all night          Don’t know how long I’m gonna last
Driftin’ in and out                Driftin’ in and out
From underneath the stars          From underneath the stars
Lookin’ for your reflection        Lookin’ for your reflection
In the mirror behind the bar       In the mirror behind the bar
                                   Lookin’ for your connection
I traveled through Paris,          In the mirror behind the bar
And I traveled through Greece      Lookin’ for your reflection
Had a motorcycle accident          In the mirror behind the bar
On the road outside of Nice
Riding towards the sunset
It was not my fault it’s true
I was riding towards the sunset
Towards west, towards you

I’ve been tippin’ into clubs
I’ve been drinkin’ gin straight
There isn’t any hurry
When your rendezvous with fate
Just driftin’ in and out
From underneath the stars
Lookin’ for you reflection
In the mirror behind the bar

I stumbled onto dance floors
From Amsterdam and back
Woke up in bed with satin sheets
Rode distant railway tracks
And I guess I should be satisfied
With the pleasures that I reap
But still I call your name out
I call your name out in my sleep


© 1981 D.S. Catlin/gair






An Icky Dog Poem


My dogs are the cutest

My dogs are the sweetest

Cutest living poozlers

Sweetest waggling woozlers

Poozle-oozle poo poo people

Talkin’ ‘bout my poo poo dogs

My dogs are the bravest

My dogs are the grandest

Iffa dog and

Whitey boy

And black Antigone


© 2006 gair






Enough To Make Me Hate Creation


I Loved Linda since we were children

Long before she popped a woman’s body that wiggled in a yellow bikini

Turning my brain to mashed bananas

When I heard she played strip poker with some boys

It was enough to make me hate creation

I soon set sail for other singing siren’s songs


© 2006 gair






Across The Chupidero


When you are sitting on the edge of six hundred miles of desert

And the wind that starts somewhere way back over there in the bowls of Texas

Comes Across the Llano Estacado

Across the cap rock

Over the Chupidero

By the time it gets to you

It can shake a house of mud and stone

It’s the kind of wind that makes Dutchmen hang themselves


© 2006 gair






Rounder Man

Song


I’m a rounder man
I am the rounder man
I take it where I can
I’m the rounder man

I don’t want your sweetheart
I don’t want your wife
But if you treat them cruel
Their hearts will steal away to me at night
Because I am
I’m the rounder man
I take it as I can
I need a place to land

I was born in ‘fifty three along with rock and roll
If you take me home
I’ll show you hidden corners of your soul
Because I am
I’m the rounder man
I take it on the lam
I take it where I can

I ain’t especially pretty
I ain’t especially smart
But I’m an artist, still
And lovin’ women is my art
Because I am
I’m a rounder man
I am the rounder man
I’m a rounder man…


© 2000 gair






Not Too Late

Song


It’s not too late
I promise you
There’s a rain that can
Wash all away
A spark remains
A spring is here
It’s not too late
We are still here

It’s not too late
The past can die
We can’t buy back
Those tears we cried
Except to know
That all the while
The only truth
Is in a smile

It’s not too late
We’re gonna see
The birds come back
Again, you’ll see!
And those we’ve lost
They still are here
In us to live
Another year

It’s not too late
I promise you
There’s a rain that can
Wash all away
A spark remains
A spring is here
It’s not too late
We are still here
It’s not too late
We are still here
It’s not too late
We are still here


© 4/1993 gair






Until I lost you, Father


Until I lost you, Father

Death was a fearful thing

But now the slimmest chance

That we might walk and talk again

Causes me to embrace my end

Because when I am rolled out with the dice

Perhaps we’ll be together….

Till then

We bide as surely in my heart


© 2006 gair






Radha


I’ve tried to write poems and songs to you as my angel thing –

Deity of love


Also, in verses with rainbows and wildflower hats, as symbol of

the happiness we’re all such slaves to attain


But you aren’t really these things any more than I am –

You aren’t even a women as I am not really a man and as Lucky and Pinky

aren’t really dogs and cats

Just splashes of God in animal bodies


© 1990 gair






My Big Brother Had It All





My big brother had it all and then lost it

How many times I would shout at him while he was riding high

                     GRAB IT!  GRAB IT!
                     HOLD IT!  HOLD IT!
                     DON’T LET IT GET AWAY!
But he would only laugh and take it as his due and live life to the hilt

While I went on to strangle mine


© 1990 gair






Never Doubt It


I love you my friend but I can walk away
Never doubt it

I’ve walked before from those I’ve loved most

You see I’ve never had the character to love anything or anybody
more than I have loved myself


© 1990 gair






Deeper Shades Of Blues

Song


There’s deeper shades of blues
When you despair of being alive
There’s deeper shades of blues
When you despair of being alive
When that train whistle blows across the river
And you are fading with its cry

Just to love and to be love
Once was all that I asked for
Just to love and to be loved
Once was all that I asked for
Too many lying hearted babies
Burned my love out long ago

You could take your blues down to the doctor
Beg him to take away your pain
You could take your blues down to the doctor
Beg him to TAKE away your pains
But I’d rather live with these blues
Than let them cut into my brain

There’s deeper shades of blues
That seem to settle in and stay
There’s deeper shades of blues
That seem to settle in to stay
No little girls, champagne or reefer
Could make those bad blues stay away

Oh yeah…


© 1997 gair






I Hated My Old Man


I hated my old man when he hit me for hating his world
Even though I loved him

And I hated my mom when she pulled in to the
driveway of Nancy Lownsdale’s that night when I was seventeen
because it was eleven thirty

The kids were all dancing to records in the basement
and Nancy was gonna let me make out

But now I wonder how, if their lives were over
mine could continue


© 1990 gair






Mixed Up World

(Song)



Well, I’m a mixed up sort of guy

In a mixed up sort of world

But I’m lucky, still, ‘cause I…

Have got a mixed up sort of girl

Even though we sometimes wish

Life was little bit more clear

Still, I’m her lovin’ daddy

And she’s my little dear



She’s got a kooky little house

And a real neurotic cat

Sometimes we wish that we could move

Sometimes we’re happy where we’re at

But we both hear distant music

It’s been callin’ all our lives

Sometimes that far off music

Cuts through us just like knives


Still we stay together

Through every thin and thick

We got the kind of lovin’

That makes me think we’re gonna stick


In spite of all the troubles

On the big globe as she twirls

Round a mixed up sort of guy

And his mixed up sort of girl


(Bridge)

We shoot pool on Friday evenings

She drinks Pepsi, I drink beer

If we make it to the dance floor

I always let her steer


In spite of all the troubles

On the big globe as it twirls

Round a mixed up lovin’ guy

And his mixed up lovin’ girl


Yeah, what we have’s more precious

Than diamonds, rings and pearls…

To a mixed up sort of guy

And his mixed up sort of girl


© 2008 gair






Yearning and Longing


When I was thirteen I heard the girl sing

Of yearning and longing


She sang of all that I was

She sang of all the world


Come winter, downtown and at church

The Christmas carols played

Yearning and longing

Yearning and longing


Now, as a soon (perhaps) to be old man

I burn candles and listen to Puccini, Saint Saens and Verdi

Operas, the plots of which I know little

No matter

Again and again I am back

To the yearning and longing

As they scathe me and they sooth me with their deepest, cruelest cuts

In languages not my own, I feel once more

The perfect love of my mother and father and

I despair that the world should not know such love…


But it was all right there - in that Supremes’ song

That came out of the tinny transistor radio

When I sat beside the Shaw High pool

Praying for a girl friend


© 2009 gair






The Death Of Wanda’s Sister


My little girl cried today
They put her sister in the ground
They opened up the coffin once more for her to see
and my little girl, who’d been so brave since they’d
told her yesterday, couldn’t
help herself and all their pretty lies of heaven
were forgotten

And she
wept and I was also
scalded by her
caustic tears

And had anybody
seen me lurking, watching
from beneath the old trees
at the cemetery’s edge
They’d have not imagined that she
is my little girl, my pretty
darling, darling little girl


© 1990 gair






BLUES TOO MUCH FOR ME

Song


Blues…too much for me

Darling, why can't you see

You're all there is for me


Blues… too much to bear

Oh, why did to my heart dare

To think that you could care... about us….


For too long, I'm drifting, drifting

On this sea of hopelessness

And even now the sands are shifting

Towards what end, I dare not guess…


Blues, too much for me

Darlin’ why can’t you see

Without you, I can't be…


© 2005 gair






To The Birds


To the birds that steak across the mountains in the breeze

We are just a nuisance to be endured

Neither Troy nor Hiroshima left them much impressed or too concerned

If our race should quit the earth the birds would carry on without a blink


But if we awoke one day without them

To lift us with song and flight

Then the poet in each heart would perish

And the window to the soul could pass no light


© 1996 gair






Piss Drunk At 11:00 A.M.


I rasseled my friend for his keys a few times
Stayed up late some nights doing it
I sent him in through his front door only to have him reel on out through the back

Got in trouble myself at work
Was repaid with abuse

By and by I had to quit
I don’t let people treat me that way
I can’t make people change

I saw him yesterday pouring gas into his car
Shitfaced at 11:00 A.M.
He drove off like an infantry soldier charging straight into enemy
machine gun entrenchments


© 1996 gair






Until The Break Of Day

Song


To awake and think you heard her footsteps - ringing on your porch below
Only to remember that she’s gone for good this time - to return to you no more
And to think of how the way she hurt you, how she lied and lied
How when you made her go, she still could have cried and cried and cried

And the tears that blind me
And the fears that bind me
Dance on dancer, to the dawn of day
Play on player till the darkness goes away
As shadows come, let the shadows go
Dance on
Till we taste no more sorrow

Streetlights cast an X-ray on the city that was meant to be so fair so long ago
Hey cab driver – please – turn the dial to the blue end of the radio
Take us to the place where there is laughter gay and life’s a dance
Take us to the place where even broken hearts could stand a chance

From the tears that blind me
And the fears that bind me……

To awake and think you heard her footsteps - ringing on your porch below
Only to remember that she’s gone for good this time - to return to you no more
And to think of how she’s in some other city, you couldn’t find her if you tried
And you know it was what had to be but still it hurts so bad inside

Dance on dancer to the dawn of day
Play on player till the darkness goes away
As shadows come, let shadows go
Dance on
Till we taste no more sorrow


© 1978 gair






When You Are In Love

Song


When you are in love
When you really are in love – you know
It can feel so good that sometimes
It’s hard not to be afraid
When you think of what would happen
If your baby was to go

When you are in love
An old movie on your beat up
Black and white T.V.
If you are together, then that’s even better
Than opening night at the Paris grand opera would be

And a love song is
The hardest kind
Of song that you could try to write
‘Cause words like heart and soul
And want and need
Have been used in more love songs
Than stars are in the night
But when you are in love for real
Your whole life is sad, sweet poetry
And when your darlin’ smiles it’s like
A field of sunflowers on a summer day would be

When you are in love
Fried rice and egg rolls from the Chinese restaurant down the street
If you are together, then that’s even better
Than pheasant from uptown at Delmonico’s would be
When you are in love
When you really are in love, you know
It can feel so good that sometimes
It’s hard not to be afraid
When you think of what would happen
If your baby was to go


© 1986 gair






The Valiant Ones


I won't fight, I said

Oh, you'll fight all right, said he...

You'll fight or I'll kick your teeth out through your guts and

Then I'll kill you

And he began to do just that to me

And that was when I began to see

That all we are and hope to be

We owe to The Valiant Ones...

Their blood courses through you

Know it or not

Everything we have and are

We owe to the Valiant Ones

They brought us to the Promised Land

Every note you sing or clap of your hands

Every word you speak

Every kindness you give

The light in the grass on a summer's eve

I say

We owe it all

To the Valiant Ones


© 2009 gair






Another Morbid Poem


I wake up this morning thinking and thinking of cool cool
gun barrels pressed against my fevered temple

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures
He leadeth me beside still waters

I need to go back to sleep but can’t

Is this self-pity?
Or self-hatred?

Is there a difference?

Where is my medicine?


© 1996 gair






Beautiful Day

Song


It’s a beautiful day
Outside the sky is blue
Spring’s love is in the air
No one should have a right
To feel unhappy but I do
It’s a beautiful day
Clouds are drifting by
And birds are singing too
But somehow I cannot hear them
‘Cause there isn’t any you

About separations
I will never understand
About separations
That let love
Slip through your hands

It’s a beautiful day
Life is a short, sweet song
There is no time to cry
Like fireflies on a summer’s evening
Our lives flicker by
So I’ll try to forget
A happiness so true
That it could make a day
As lovely as today seem sad and blue
Without you
And it’s a beautiful day
Beautiful day
Beautiful day
Beautiful day…


© 1986 gair






Valley of Danger


Jackals defile

Demons murder

Enter your sanctum

To pillage and rape

The valiant are not gone

The gallant are not vanquished

Indeed, their day is come


© 2006 gair






Rainbow Boys


Because those boys

Got rainbows round their shoulders

Because those boys

Got mistletoe in their hair

The songs they sing

Are what the whole world yearns for

They plumb the depths for treasure

They are the rainbow boys


© 2006 gair






Pathetic Excuse For A Poem


I am just a poor being who tries each day
Not to be overcome with hatred for his species
I sometimes think it would be best if the Ebola virus went on a tear
Eradicating all of us persons of color
Pink, brown, yellow, and red
Bipedal erect troublemakers

My dad and I watch the crystal ball and see boys laced with shrapnel
Begging not to have their legs amputated
Children raped in gods name by soldiers while their parents are forced to watch
Then we speed off to the ball game


© 1996 gair






Little Cat


Little small cat you are going to be a mother

I guess you’re in my house because you’d rather have them here

I wonder if you can see ahead, of what you now are in for

But I can

And that is why

You’ll be having them out there


© 2006 gair






Blink And it’s Gone

SONG


I…didn’t know it then
But the days I spent with you would be the best
I’d ever see

And I…couldn’t see the truth

That the pleasures that I searched for
Were only traps for me

So if you find a little happiness with someone
You’d better grab it, grab it
Hold it and hang on
‘Cause real love comes just rarely in a lifetime
Then blink, and it’s gone…
You blink, and it’s gone

I…didn’t know it then…
But the rapture of the sunsets
Came from seeing them with you
And I never really knew…
That without my darling, all the rainbow’s colors would be blue

But in memories and dreams at least you’re with me
Rapacious life can never break that bond
Like a dragonfly whose whole life lasts one summer
You blink… and it's gone…
Blink… and it's gone


© 1998 gair






LUCKY WITH MARY


I got lucky at love, late in life

With my Mary

I was a gambler till I drew the Queen of Hearts

And her name was Mary

I hedged bets with the Jane of Spades

Who, wouldst me bury

I wagered all on Ann of Diamonds

Who, wouldst me marry

But at the card house

I no longer tarry

For my heart dwells only

With my Mary


© 2006 gair






Hiding and Forgetting


My dad died thinking he was Dutch or Swiss

He didn’t know that he was a Revolutionary Son

Insurrection in his veins

Our branch of the family had long lost track of how great-great-great-grandfather

Had sailed the stormy seas

Had fought with Washington at Brandywine

Had been a leather stocking pioneer

Land grant signed by Franklin

In just 125 years, we were working a rented farm,

Hiding our glorious ancestry

So we’d not be dirty huns - niggers of the time

Hiding….and then forgetting….


© 2006 gair






When The Trees Are Bare


When the trees are bare, the blue mountains become visible

When the trees are bare there is such beauty in their leafless limbs

That my fears of winter are assuaged

I saw Satan – he was I

I prayed to the Lord who was in me too and my soul was restored

I honored the suffering who prayed to die but had not that choice

I honored the pure and young -

Shot dead in their motorcycle saddles before ever riding up the coast

Past Monterey and Big Sur

And I will honor myself and the Lord, that my soul might be restored


© gair 1998






No Pesos, No Besos

(Ranchera)


When I had dinero

I was your caballero

But now that I have zero

I’m not even your perro

If you ain’t got nothing

Don’t be looking for no loving

Si no hay pesos......

Pues no hay besos......

My cash she misses

So no more kisses



Once she used to love me

But only for my money

I think it’s kind of funny

That now she ain’t my honey

Thought she loved me heart and soul

But now I’m in the hole

Si no hay pesos......

Pues no hay besos......

My money’s missing

So no more kissing

(She wants the bucks

So no more f…frijoles...)


© Gair 2008






Hard, Hard World

Song


If you're gonna hang around

In this hard, hard world

You’re gonna feel life’s sadness some day

Because hurtin’s very common

In this hard, hard world

You can't hide from it forever, sad to say, oh no

You can't hide from it forever, sad to say

Once I had a sweetheart

In this hard, hard world

But we let misunderstanding have its way

Now she's gone and fallen

Into another’s sway

I never thought I’d miss her, this-away, this-away

I never knew I loved her anyway

So if you're going to hang around

In this hard, hard world

You'd better learn to give and take some love some day

‘Cause love is all that matters in this hard, hard world

If you can get you some you'd better make it stay, oh yeah

You'd better never let it slip away


© gair 2006






Every Poem


In the course of this thing we call existence

We often feel like we are walled up inside of a tomb

Very little wiggle room

We have to remind ourselves that at least we are alive

(Even if we wish we weren’t)

We want to branch and flower like beautiful trees but we keep getting

Bombed by defoliants and

Chopped away at with saws

Struck by lightning, devoured by beetles

Every poem is an attempt to crack the stone walls that confine us

To send a small green tendril up through the slabs

So that it might feel the sun


© 2008 gair


 

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