Who

WHO

Who knew that there is
No one there to understand
That you understand

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Sugar For Salt

SUGAR FOR SALT

May you ever travel peacefully
And with worthy companions
Be sure never to let your fear
Seed hatred toward others
May you ever travel peacefully
And with worthy companions

May you ever travel peacefully
And with worthy companions
If you’re not part of the solution
Then you’re part of the problem
May you ever travel peacefully
And with worthy companions

~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Crash On The Levee (Down In The Flood)

Crash on the levee, mama
Water’s gonna overflow
Swamp’s gonna rise
No boat’s gonna row
Now, you can train on down
To Williams Point
You can bust your feet
You can rock this joint
But oh mama, ain’t you gonna miss your best friend now?
You’re gonna have to find yourself
Another best friend, somehow

Now, don’t you try an’ move me
You’re just gonna lose
There’s a crash on the levee
And, mama, you’ve been refused
Well, it’s sugar for sugar
And salt for salt
If you go down in the flood
It’s gonna be your own fault
Oh mama, ain’t you gonna miss your best friend now?
You’re gonna have to find yourself
Another best friend, somehow

Well, that high tide’s risin’
Mama, don’t you let me down
Pack up your suitcase
Mama, don’t you make a sound
Now, it’s king for king
Queen for queen
It’s gonna be the meanest flood
That anybody’s seen
Oh mama, ain’t you gonna miss your best friend now?
Yes, you’re gonna have to find yourself
Another best friend, somehow

 

(Copyright © 1967 by Dwarf Music; renewed 1995 by Dwarf Music)

Self-importance

SELF-IMPORTANCE

“Now I understand”
We say, but it is simply
An understanding

Cathedral

CATHEDRAL

How wonderful this architecture
Down the centuries enduring
Inspiring, heartening, overawing
Expensive though these cathedrals
In more than market value terms
And still begging for more if you please
Cath as in cathedral not cathar – no thank you
Indoctrinating generation after generation

How wonderful this architecture
As Europe some kind of torchbearer
Enduring both they and we
Inspired, heartened, overawed
Its worshippers trailing in the dust
Each down our allotted years
Striding, limping, tottering
Let massacre surround us

How wonderful this architecture
How romanesque the sleight of hand
Preaching persecution and crusade
Tolling for privilege, for tithe, for death for heresy
Cleaving definitive paths, signposts
This Way Heaven; Purgatory; Hell
Servants or sinners, sheep or goats
How few left any monument, mark

Quietude

Well made, don’t you agree?

belas bright ideas

There’s a sound in the house,
a resonant thrum in the house
we reside in, the home we created,
a throb, a buzz, a tone which,
when absent, defines utter silence;
the nothingness present during times
when power lines cease their humming,
now the only competition with birdsong;

Refrigerator madness, the distant
din of day traffic, groan and gurgle
of water coursing through pipes,
of a neighbor’s television droning
at daybreak when sunshine floods
an azure sky, stretching golden rays
of warmth, light and brilliance;

The rubber band whine of small planes
flying over expansive fields, cascading
waterfalls that cleave lush verdant hills
in two, breasts of our mother, the earth;
contrasting with ropes of ebony lava
and gushing fire erupting on the
island’s furthest shore.

all photos ©Bela Johnson

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Damage

DAMAGE

Remember, clients
They wouldn’t be therapists
If they weren’t fucked up

The moment stretches backward
And then stretches forward too

Trouble Every Day

(With a wave to Shawn and Jennifer.)

~~~~~~~~~~~

TROUBLE EVERY DAY

Well I’m about to get sick
From watchin’ my TV
Been checkin’ out the news
Until my eyeballs fail to see
I mean to say that every day
Is just another rotten mess
And when it’s gonna change, my friend
Is anybody’s guess

So I’m watchin’ and I’m waitin’
Hopin’ for the best
Even think I’ll go to prayin’
Every time I hear ’em sayin’
That there’s no way to delay
That trouble comin’ every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin’ every day

Wednesday I watched the riot . . .
Seen the cops out on the street
Watched ’em throwin’ rocks and stuff
And chokin’ in the heat
Listened to reports
About the whisky passin’ ’round
Seen the smoke and fire
And the market burnin’ down
Watched while everybody
On his street would take a turn
To stomp and smash and bash and crash
And slash and bust and burn

And I’m watchin’ and I’m waitin’
Hopin’ for the best
Even think I’ll go to prayin’
Every time I hear ’em sayin’
That there’s no way to delay
That trouble comin’ every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin’ every day

Well, you can cool it,
You can heat it . . .
‘Cause, baby, I don’t need it . . .
Take your TV tube and eat it
‘N all that phony stuff on sports
‘N all the unconfirmed reports
You know I watched that rotten box
Until my head begin to hurt
From checkin’ out the way
The newsman say they get the dirt
Before the guys on channel so-and-so

And further they assert
That any show they’ll interrupt
To bring you news if it comes up
They say that if the place blows up
They will be the first to tell,
Because the boys they got downtown
Are workin’ hard and doin’ swell,
And if anybody gets the news
Before it hits the street,
They say that no one blabs it faster
Their coverage can’t be beat

And if another woman driver
Gets machine-gunned from her seat
They’ll send some joker with a brownie
And you’ll see it all complete

So I’m watchin’ and I’m waitin’
Hopin’ for the best
Even think I’ll go to prayin’
Every time I hear ’em sayin’
That there’s no way to delay
That trouble comin’ every day
No way to delay
That trouble comin’ every day

Hey, you know something people?
I’m not black
But there’s a whole lots a times
I wish I could say I’m not white

Well, I seen the fires burnin’
And the local people turnin’
On the merchants and the shops
Who used to sell their brooms and mops
And every other household item
Watched the mob just turn and bite ’em
And they say it served ’em right
Because a few of them are white,
And it’s the same across the nation
Black and white discrimination
Yellin’ “You can’t understand me!”
‘N all that other jazz they hand me
In the papers and TV and
All that mass stupidity
That seems to grow more every day
Each time you hear some nitwit say
He wants to go and do you in
Because the color of your skin
Just don’t appeal to him
(No matter if it’s black or white)
Because he’s out for blood tonight

You know we got to sit around at home
And watch this thing begin
But I bet there won’t be many live
To see it really end
‘Cause the fire in the street
Ain’t like the fire in the heart
And in the eyes of all these people
Don’t you know that this could start
On any street in any town
In any state if any clown
Decides that now’s the time to fight
For some ideal he thinks is right
And if a million more agree
There ain’t no Great Society
As it applies to you and me
Our country isn’t free
And the law refuses to see
If all that you can ever be
Is just a lousy janitor
Unless your uncle owns a store
You know that five in every four
Just won’t amount to nothin’ more
Gonna watch the rats go across the floor
And make up songs about being poor

Blow your harmonica, son!

Unseasonal Weather

UNSEASONAL WEATHER

You become winter
Stark naked or fully clothed
I still freeze to death

Microbes

MICROBES

The individual
The species
A microbe

The country
The planet
A microbe

The universe
The imagination
A microbe

Overview II

OVERVIEW II

Time an illusion
A tapestry unrolling
Fresh? …Well … yes and no

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