poetry

Owls on magic floating branches…

So here we are again looking at owls.

I had worked most of this painting out to be in “scientifically accurate” colors (see also shades of brown) but halfway through I changed my mind. 

Some nights when I know it’s going to be hard to find sleep I think about bird painting.

Exclusively. 

“What if I made the owl in shades of blue/gray?” 

“Shit, I hope I remember this when I wake up”

Well I did. (mostly).

bluegray process1

A night in the woods sitting on a tailgate looking up.

Sitting on the tailgate watching the stars emerge from their hiding places in the sky.
Between the branches they come around one after another.
Like disorganized fire ants at a picnic.

I watched their tiny circus act till my eyelids were too heavy to hold up.
My concrete bridges over Fox river eyes.

I slept on the bed liner and woke the morning to a pair of squirrels playing target practice with pine cones.
The first making its mark on the hood of my truck, awakening me with a start.
Only to end in laughter when I saw the guilty parties scurry away.

Some good days begin with laughter.

A poem with stones and rocks in it.

I wanted to write you a note and put it in a bottle.
I got as far as the pencil before the radio turned on and the music played.
There are still songs I hear that you can’t be shaken from.
They take me to a golden sienna morning either long ago or that maybe never happened.
There’s a pitcher of water on the table by the door.
The lyrics in your eyes beckon a smile from under the rock pile that is my days since you left.

It’s different here now. I wouldn’t know how to explain it. Though if I had the chance to talk, I could think of better things to discuss.

Like water, dreams, poems, and maps.
Through the incense of nostalgia and the rosy haze, a truth rolls towards me like a stone wheel.
Slowly grinding.
You live now only in my heart and in the notes of these songs as they make their way through the fog.
And that is all right.

A poem written on a sunday morning

She called me on the phone to tell me about children’s puzzles.
Connect the dots and word searches till dawn.

I called her back to convey the illustrations necessary for the book she planned to write.
The editor sent back my drawings with red pen marks in the margins.

A usual sight when seated next to me in the car with shaky wheels like my life here on the west coast.
No matter its criticism taken in my usual cool mannered stride.
See it through to next week and no matter with the rest.

She sits back down at the piano and I at the drawing table ours one in the same.
Bring it all right back home
In the pouring rain.

Other days between.

We cooked hotdogs on the coals of the bridge we lit up the night before. I ain’t much for ballpark franks but that was a beautiful morning.
It was my turn to go fetch the water from the river. And I did so with a smile. Laughing about the absurdity of the year.
The sun sat golden in the branches like a glowing vulture feasting on dawn.

I don’t know what else I can tell you about that day. It was good.

Glow with the gold of sunshine.

Hours after the final notes faded from Santa Clara, CA. I’m pondering what it means to me that the boys from the Grateful Dead won’t be playing together anymore and settling into their own final flight paths.
Questions and ideas begin to come to my mind and some get answered, other were all ready many years ago.
Who will help me decipher the whispers of the highway?
Who will translate the despair to beauty?
It’s the reading of the last page of a book read for the first time and the heart ache that comes with it.
While we can always open the book to previous chapters.
it’s a painful walk back to the bookshelf where nothing else seems to measure up.
And it would be selling ourselves short not to look.

There’s plenty there.
Read, listen, and love.
But how to move without the wheels of fragile thunder?
Who will hold their hand out for the rain to pour?
The anticipation of summer on the golden road.
Holding off the relentless to truly laugh our pasts away.
How to make it just one more day?
With the future in one hand and a basket of songs in the other.
 stagenight2againfor
My questions are infinite but the facts are plain. They walked barefoot in the snow and gave the best they had to give.
How much?
We’ll never know.
A huge thank you to all who have accompanied me on this trip down the highway. My friends and the band. The strangers who stopped just to shake my hand.
bobandphil

In the thick of the evening, when the dealing got rough.

Last night while riding my bike down Telegraph in Oakland I looked up and saw an absolutely giant shooting star. I thought somewhere in the back of my mind I was forgoing moments like that by moving to a big city. It was a nice reminder that not all is as it seems and indeed once in a while you can get shown an actual light in the strangest of places.

You just need to look up.

Sometimes/everytime.

Sometimes I write a letter before I know who I’m writing it to.
Sometimes I sit at a desk with a pencil in my hand and just stare at the wall for an hour, then I put the pencil down and walk out of the room while asking myself “what was I doing…?”
Sometimes I write poems about row boats and ponds in northern Illinois
Sometimes I say normal words wrong like bagel and milk.
Sometimes I untie my shoes wrong and they get all knotted up
Sometimes I untie my mind wrong and it gets knotted up too.
Every time though I get them unknotted up.
No direction home.

No direction home.