Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It was like so long ago that i posted anything here. I am lost on some planes of existence and found on others. It occurred to me today that i might just post something every night before falling asleep, no matter what it is. So much coincidence and so much opportunity to connect. I am not advertising. I am singing to the stars from the top of a high hill. This is my song.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Song on My Space

OK, on the other blog, Small Boat Sails into Big Mystery, I said I was going to mothball this blog and just use the small boat for all my blogging compulsions. But it's been over a week since I posted the last chapter of the novel and so far only one blog comment, one verbal comment and one email comment. Not enough to satisfy this hungry ego. I want that last chapter to appear when my fans first open the blog, at least for a little longer.

So I posted a new song on My Space. Please go and listen to it. It's called Spirit and Truth. Here's the link:

Here are the lyrics:


Calling all you nameless travelers
All you homeless nomads of the road
Calling all you motherless children
All you sons and daughters of the great and final overload
Calling all you pilgrims, bewildered and sore
Searching for Jerusalem

(chorus)The time is coming, in fact it’s even here
When you won’t have to climb this mountain
Or go down to this temple to see God
For God is spirit, and God is truth
And those who worship God must worship God in spirit
And in truth

Calling all you scribes and Pharisees,
All you bold protectors of the soul.
Calling all you four star generals
All you brave footsoldiers on the past and future honor roll,
Calling all you pilgrims, angry and sore
Fighting over Jerusalem


In the rising light of dawn I saw
Something moving on the sea
In the air a panoply of birds
And the heavens opened into the arms of eternity
Then I saw the pilgrims, a million or more
Streaming out of Jerusalem.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

dirty bird

I posted a new song on My Space. Here's the link to the whole page, which includes the new song and five others:

It's not brand new, about a year old. It could be about an actual bird or it could be about someone you know. Here are the lyrics:


You come around in January with a new wife in tow
Looking for a crumb or a drop of water
I say, weren't you here just last year?
But I really don't think you know.
You're just passing through with all the other squatters
O, you're a dirty bird.
O, such a dirty bird.

You got suet dripping from the corners of your mouth
O, you think you're such a fancy talker
You hang around my kitchen after all the other birds have flown south
With the magpie an the mocker.
O, you're a dirty bird
O, such a dirty bird.

Little birds gathering at the waterfall
Exchanging stories of the sky.
When the sun descends behind the canyon wall
They clean their feathers and they fly.

You come around in January with your waxwing and tails
Looking like Jim Dandy's younger brother
I know you try to catch my eye but your judgment fails
You look first one way and then the other
O, you're a dirty bird.
O, such a dirty bird.

Little birds lined up on the telephone wire
Seven easy pieces in a row.
First note of dissonance from the upstairs choir
They flap their little wings and they go.

I've seen you circling in the clear morning sky
O, you look like Icarus of the swallows
I wanna know why you sink so low when you can fly so high
Through the night so dark and narrow.
O, you're a dirty bird
O, such a dirty bird
O, you're just a dirty bird.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Today's Mood

Claire with a cold so I went to Airplay by myself last night and had a bad time. I took the Casio and signed up for open mike but there were so many people signed up we only got one song each. It took so long to set up the keyboard I felt rushed and didn’t find a groove. I sang I Dreamed I Saw Bob Dylan with the rhythm track. I didn’t do all that bad really, but sitting by myself afterwards I got into the Loner Loop, everybody else sitting together at tables talking and laughing. Finally I just picked up my keyboard and left. When I got home I realized I had forgotten the stand so I had to drive all the way back to get it. I was driving the blue Volvo and the oil light started coming on. I got stuck for about ten minutes behind a slow freight train on Stark Street. Back home, Claire was immersed in video games and feeling miserable. We went to bed and I dreamed all night long that I was losing my mind.

Now I’m awake on another chilly, sunny morning. I haven’t caught the cold yet. Maybe I won’t. Those gnawing self-doubts are almost like a virus themselves. At the open mike there were a few loners with guitars who made awkward appearances, sang troubled songs, and disappeared shortly afterwards into the night. God may love us all, but not everyone finds love and fulfillment in this lifetime. I should have paid more attention to other people last night, I should have talked to them. But even then I was thinking, I should pay more attention to other people, I should talk to them. The force of the mood was too strong. Eventually I decided the best course was to retreat.

God, today give me more love for others in equal parts with more love for myself.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

My dear Claire bestowed upon me this lovely award on conditions that I list 7 things I love and send the award on to seven other blogs, also placing links to them on my blog so you can check them out easily.

Seven things:

1. A surprise minor chord in the middle of the song.
2. When the sky is suddenly blanketed with a sheet of migratory birds.
3. Mounds and dolmens built by the ancient people so long ago they look like part of the landscape.
4. Coming across a place that feels holy and leaving a small cairn there.
5. limestone caves, especially those that haven't been commercialized
6. Coyotes
7. To be caught up in a new song or story.

The practice of coming up with seven makes me think I could come up with seven hundred more.

I'll pass the award on to these blogs:


The Nimble Owl
The Adventures of Ms Emily Vedaa
Salt Light Tomatoes
Where there are no chickadees
Minstrel Girl

please check them out!

Friday, February 13, 2009


I wrote a new song, which is always a happy-making event, and one that doesn't come along as often as it used to. I'll put the lyrics here. If you want to hear the music go to:

The song may not appear in the field because it's new and the new ones seem to get put on the bottom. Scroll down, it's there.


After the rain and the wind comes the quiet.
You catch your breath, face your death, say:
"Bring it on, let me try it."
Show me a man untouched by sorrow,
I'll show you a man with no vision for tomorrow.

Midnight in Bethlehem, deep into winter
Travelers arriving, world-weary wanderers.
What will be born here?
What wonders lie waiting?
What will arise from the ruins of our longing?

I wish it were otherwise, my life in safe-keeping
I wish you were near me in my arms gently sleeping.
I wish it were childhood on a warm night in summer
Lullabies, fireflies, the cool breath of camphor

Midnight in Bethlehem, the moment before us
The gathered expression of our heartbreak and our gladness
What will be born here?
What new revelation will rise from the ashes
And the anticipation.

Others have passed on this road we are traveling
We call on their spirits as the dark night is gathering
They left us their stories and their songs sweet and mellow
And moved on to the mystery into which all of us will follow

Midnight in Bethlehem, the word is not spoken
It lies on the mountain, broken and open
What will be born here? What son or what daughter?
Will it fall from the skies or rise from the water?

Midnight in Bethlehem, the moment before us
The gathered expression of our heartbreak and our gladness
What will be born here?
What new revelation
Will rise from the ashes and the anticipation?

Midnight in Bethlehem, deep into winter
Travelers arriving, world-weary wanderers.
What will be born here? What wonders lie waiting
What will arise from the ruins of our longing.

Friday, January 30, 2009


A few more miles out to sea and the shoreline is still visible in the distance. Because of this I feel a remnant of the sorrow and remorse I was so immersed in last week. There is a grieving and a longing to go back to something that is no longer available to me. And there is a lot of fear about the dangers of the waters ahead.

But last week for the most part that grief broke down the dam and flooded out of me in a few short hours and at least ninety-six tears, leaving me clean-washed and hushed in wonder- you could almost say “born-again.” At the end of Friday’s counseling session I said, “I feel great right now but I sense is a snarling beast just outside the door, ready to break down this thin measure of protection.” She said, “The work you have done today is permanent. But it doesn’t mean there isn’t more work to do…”

In the last five years of the corporate job from which I was recently fired, I was beginning to buy into a mind-set. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t a bad job. It was about protecting the environment, to the extent that a corporation can do such a thing. But I was beginning to like the solitude of hotels, the anonymity, the freedom from community. I am introverted, to a fault. The fact that I was on the road nearly half the time safely exempted me from my responsibilities to friends, family and garden. And although I paid lip service to the ideal of a lifestyle of nonconformity, in practice I was doing very little to support this.

I used to work as a lab analyst in a sewage plant. Every day I would bring in a stack of CDs. Even before that, I would bring in a stack of cassettes. The speakers were carefully set around the lab for maximum separation. When somebody asked me what I did for a living I would say, “I listen to music while performing lab tests.”

The question is, can one make a living doing what one loves? Of course from a Zen standpoint one should love what one does, regardless. And, as I’ve blogged before, I don’t ask rhetorical questions. Perhaps it’s a sense of middle-class entitlement that makes me wonder these things. I wonder these things because the next chapter is unwritten, the sea ahead is dark and uncharted, and yet amidst the insecurity and anxiety I am beginning to reconnect with an older, deeper-seated bliss, one that flows through a stream all the way back from childhood.

I am beginning to think the answer lies in opening outward, sharing the gifts I have and receiving the gifts that others have to offer me. The breath of creativity is drawn in solitude, but it can’t stay there, in those lonely hotel rooms. Since I lost my job I have experienced an unbelievable resurgence of connection with my friends, wife and community. It has sustained me. Because of it I can keep sailing. I realize I am not the only “poor boy” in this boat. I am a full participant in the human condition. Everyone has something to struggle with and something to offer. Nothing is certain.

Well, no, not exactly. The future is uncertain, but there are many certainties, all falling under the blanket heading love. Finding the words and the melodies for these certainties- there’s a worthy goal for the voyage ahead.