a tuneless song

she gets up when she wakes up and
she wakes up when she will;
the snow, a crystal chalice there
upon her windowsill –
she gathers up her coffee in
a cup to big for one,
and hums a tuneless song that is
for everyone
and none

she wanders through the wasteland that’s
a day that she enjoys;
the winter, like a blanket, warms
and muffles most the noise –
she has another coffee, since
there’s coffee to be had;
and hums a tuneless song that
isn’t good, but
isn’t bad

she feels his hands upon her when
the day’s been put to flight;
as light upon her shoulders, winter
settles in for night –
she rinses out her coffee cup, as
thoughts begin to steep:
and hums a tuneless song, that
every night
puts her to sleep

she’ll dream of cats and shiny things,
and bits that glow and fluff –
and hear a tuneless song, because
the words are not
enough

A Perfect Night

[A song, written for my wife before our wedding, circa 1999. – Owen]

Stars up in the heavens
Shining clear and bright
Lights across the water
No one else in sight

Just to say, “I love you,”
And to hold you tight —
It’s loving you that makes
A perfect night

It might be in Paris,
In Boston, or in Rome,
In a fancy restaurant,
Or staying here at home

Just to have you near me,
And to hold you tight —
It’s holding you that makes
A perfect night

I never thought
That I would find someone
Who fills my nights
The way you do

And if I’m blessed
With twenty-thousand more
I’ll spend each night
Loving you —

If tonight the crowds were cheering,
All chanting my name,
And I beheld the glories
Of power, wealth, and fame,

I wouldn’t want to have them
Without you by my side,
For it without you
There is no perfect night

It’s holding you that makes
A perfect night

It’s loving you that makes

A perfect

Night

for you

the day is made of flowers
within these high steel walls,
the city breathes
a busy sort of sigh —

and though i walk for hours,
amid the carts and stalls,
i seem to see you everywhere.
and why?

for you
i sang a different kind of song,
for you
i walked the angry streets
and brought my heart along,
for you
i turned the winter into spring,
for you,
you were my hope,
my everything

there is a kind of mem’ry
that’s realer than real things,
the presence of someone
who isn’t there

it’s absolute, and plen’ry,
and each new day it brings
a realization that is
ev’rywhere

for you
gave me a different kind of song,
for you
i walked the hopeful streets
my soaring heart along,
for you
the lonely winter seemed like spring,
for you,
you were my heart,
my everything

for you,
you’re still my hope
my

everything

A Carol By The Sea

The morning comes in misty joy,
Although I wake still holding on to sadness —
But this is life. The ride, the trip:
Where all our sanity is tinged with madness

The waves are wide and call my name,
Although it’s not the name that I’ve been using;
For treasures are where treasures lie,
Although there’s no denying it’s confusing

We share,
Because we’re born to share,
We laugh,
For we were meant for love,
We dwell,
But only for a time,
We live the wide,
And ride the long above

There is nobody out here now,
Yet everyone is here that’s in my feeling —
I cannot understand the sky,
But know that it no longer is a ceiling

The waves are light, but fathomless,
Their sound is like an ancient incantation:
Acceptance is the only truth,
For there are lies in human acclamation

We share,
Because we’re born to share,
We cry,
For we were meant for grief,
We dwell,
But only for a time,
We live the deep,
And struggle with belief —

We share,
Because we’re born to share,
We laugh,
For we were meant for love,
We dwell,
But only for a time,
We live the wide,
And ride the long

Above

In Circles

“So why do you obsess about
What you cannot control?
You can’t foresee the future,
Cannot peer into a soul —
Why do you keep worrying
With nothing left to do?
What is it that
Just so takes hold of you?”

And she said

“Yes, I go in circles,
I surround the ones I love;
I’m there to ward off danger,
From below or from above —
My heart, it stays in circles,
Like the ripples on a pond,
To everyone I’ve ever loved,
And some who’ve gone
Beyond.”

The pattern of a life might be
The shape of who we touch;
And if that’s true, there’s more to you
Than very, very much —
I wish you knew the way I did
The music you contain;
My ears may fail, but still that tune
And lyrics will remain —

“Yes, I go in circles,
I surround the ones I love;
I’m there to ward off danger,
From below or from above —
My heart, it stays in circles,
Like the ripples on a pond,
To everyone I’ve ever loved,
And some who’ve gone
Beyond.”

A Simple Thing

[These are lyrics to a song I wrote when I was in my mid-twenties. They are exactly as originally written. – Owen]

They say that love’s a simple thing, well
That I know is true:
The love that you can freely give
Will come right back to you,
Will come right back to you

I give my love the purest things that
I know how to give;
But she can give me so much more
All she has to do is live,
All she has to do is live

But pain can take you anywhere
And Heaven’s for when we die –
And when you love, you kill your self
And there’s no asking why,
There is no asking why —

I’ve heard that love’s a simple thing, well
That I can’t deny;
You find someone to give your love,
And then, you say goodbye,
And then you say goodbye –

And then

You say

Goodbye

Love

Morning Song

Good morning mirror
I see you’ve made a change
You took it on yourself
My face to rearrange

Good morning caffeine
It’s been one of those years
We can discuss the twisted
Perfidy of mirrors

I want to sing
But I do not want to be heard
I have a point
But I’m afraid that it’s absurd
I’d make some noise
But hesitate to make a sound
For everybody loves me, but
No one wants me around

There is a kind of sort of
Tension in the air
Like I’d been fighting with
Someone who isn’t there

And like a story where
The twist just leaves you lost;
I’ve kept accounts of everything
Except what it might cost

I want to sing
But I do not want to be heard
I have a point
But I’m afraid that it’s absurd
I’d make some noise
But hesitate to make a sound
For everybody loves me, but
No one wants me around

I want to dance
But I do not want to be seen
I fight with mirrors and
I talk to my caffeine
I’d change my life if I
Could get the thing unwound
And maybe people love me, but
They’re shocked I’m still around


 
(“Morning Song” – 1-30-2015)