Ranch Poem- “The Soloist”


The Soloist

Teary-eyed on jail pay phone
trying to be strong
to be positive
in the distorted face of
A year of searching
the existential cracks of
one’s saddened heart
for belief in a life
that exists in memory
and in hopeful plans
Pains untreated
Smiles depleted
Family, friends, love
Despite the suffering
these are noble desires
that tear asunder
the soloist
standing alone among strangers
swirling lost and chained
tearing layers from lips
with sore teeth
wondering to no avail
about “them”
and what they really think
about me
Are they already afraid?
How will they know me?
Am I changed?
Taken down a peg
Joining the disadvantaged
Waving goodbye to old habits,
evil deeds, and invincibility
But what about what made me happy?
Will I have to wait much longer
to know them once again?
Wireless outernet disconnection
Dubstep in commercials taunting
convict conversation reruns
This isn’t quite me sometimes
with the constricted choices
trying to pick the middle way
fighting unsatisfactoryness
Jail sangha somehow tough
Is this the base camp for the summit?
Springing forward tenderly
December’s twenty-first
Who, what, when, where, why, how
will I be?



Ranch Poem – “Tie-Dyed Life”


“Tie-Dyed Life”

My uniform is polyester cotton blend and solid blue,
monotone, replicated.
While down with my personal effects,
my t-shirt waits
hidden like it was beneath the heavy tweed hold
of the charcoal striped suit I wore to court.
Deep purples orbit and push greens and blues.
My colors.
First Dead shirt from a Phil and Friends show,
Bank of America Pavilion back in 08′
before all the cycles softened and faded
the roses, the wagon wheel, the Dragon.
“On the Road” in script, ornate and arched across the back.
There through the rapture, loss, fear, madness
and torrent of shame.
Never leaving the grip and tug
of my shaking hands.
A part of my tie-dyed life, always.



Ranch Poem – “Back to Serve”


“Back to Serve”

Took the high road, always knew I’d be rewarded
Returning to a life fast-forwarded
Watch me go, better than before
I’ll shatter that steel ceiling, open that glass door
Take me in again, I’m as I once was, I’m all new
Show me your loving and I’ll show you some truth

Maybe it was a long dream or it was a nightmare
More like a chance to feel something rare
Stuck in a detached dimension
Where space is light and time weighs a ton
Wake up each morning; know I may not see the evening
But that won’t change these words that I’m singing

Stuck round here long enough, tomorrow may be returned
I’ll watch for traps n’ tricks, I won’t get burned
Just stick up for me, when some push me around
Destiny is tangled tight, it must be unwound
Superbowls, premieres, birthdays, deaths, election seasons
Profound some how, I’ve found, there must be a reason

I’ll go to church on Sunday; take it just that one day
Got lots to tell the people, not sure what I’ll say
Wanna catch that break I deserve
One cowboy exile, back to serve
You just wait outside with a Silver Harp and a smile
and I’ll play a tune and it will have all been worthwhile