Ranch Poem – “The World of Self-Reliance”


The World of Self-Reliance

When you look at these
people on the street
some slide on ice
some spread like fire.

You can see it
in their eyes.
The bluish discoloration
under that puffy
wrinkle of the previous
night spent altering
heart rates or
indulging insomnia,
only to wake from some
muck of a bed they made
to try and dress

You can feel it
in their grip.
The tight clench
of a developing country
made-European named-
(always) briefcase bag
filled with compiled
copies of decent writing,
bills piled up to be
put off till they reach 30,
and their third iBook
replacement of 2008.

Most of us walk like
the world is a lonely place,
where atrocities are forgotten
like the names of ex-congressmen.
The world of self-reliance
for the self’s sake.

Some will shift their
footing, keep their core,
and know that we-
a lovely landfill of
fridges and radios
and dildos and teddy bears-
are the heirs of
that revolution
based in the past
slowed by the present and
made for the future.




Ranch Poem – “Blue Hipster” and “Laughing Dry”


“Blue Hipster”

How can this middle aged hipster be
comfortable wearing his bronze sunglasses
look-at-me-blue pants and reptile
skinned soft souled shoes
sly grinning his way into a shared
cigarette and positivity polite
funny talk with a recently came
of the laughing age dame
when he should probably be sharing
his lack of soul patch or faking
foreign french accents and possibly
using the 7 days to move
back into ready reality?
A large blue jean suit
clad man just exited the
can and he forgot to flush.




“Laughing Dry”

He knew himself
that dawn and
tall glasses would break
for hours without the jump
start he had stored
in clasped oak chests;
alongside his best shots,
talking trite highs,
and open bow-ties.
Together they grew
mind wrapped maps
to locations which would
expand his social breathing
and pissing.
Leaving him coughing
and laughing dry.



Ranch Poem – “Stuffy Struggle”


“Stuffy Struggle”

I meet each green day with a roar
composed of all that’s come before.
The chair I sit in is the lion throne
and it’s the truth I wish to know.

Got a tightening grip on my phone
when that song plays painful and slow.
Long sighing through an arid throat,
I download things I feel and know.

Condemned to the perpetual
insomnia of controlling controls.
Open sky space underneath,
everything calling you at once.

The only clear eyes on the train,
red and puffy are their minds.
They lag and refresh to escape
the hunger beyond hunger’s pain.

In mad sick sniffling smog night,
the girls with their onyx tights and
malachite handbags and garnet boots
are looking for some recognition.
The boys with their kyanite jeans
and ruby ties and tourmaline hoodies
are dodging tradition.

Little children awake past bedtime
act out their Nintendo worlds with
spinning sword slashing leg sweep
combos,battling our lingering
demons too close for us to know.

Heading to where it’s going down,
I’m walking as fast as the clouds.
Streetlights blur into long streams
as I blow words like a puzzle.
Sometimes the syllables fit snug
sometimes its a stuffy struggle.


Ranch Poem- “If you think you can, you can”


If you think you can, you can

Wandering ’round these unhinged streets
with some qualms in my pocket.
When will this ink wash out?
And why are they all so sick?

I had to reassemble recently,
sometimes its all just a shambles.
Our social status ain’t too pretty.
Cracks in self worth, gaps in empathy.

And if we think we can’t, we can’t
And if we think we can, we can
And if you think you can’t, you can’t
And if you think you can, you can

All that searching and networking,
you had better make a plan
to change the fabric of your own
and make it manifest man.

Seen this old friend living on the street,
he’s out of options, an addict for hire.
I always have five dollars for him,
happy that his life hasn’t expired.

And if we think we can’t, we can’t
And if we think we can, we can
And if you think you can’t, you can’t
And if you think you can, you can

We rap about addiction like its Vietnam,
no family untouched, a draft in full effect.
We need to rethink this war
‘cus the whole system is suspect.

What price is paid for our ideals?
Capital and Tradition and Possession.
Resisting revolutions just to stay this way.
Disassociation is the sad obsession.

And if we think we can’t, we can’t
And if we think we can, we can
And if you think you can’t, you can’t
And if you think you can, you can
you can, you can, you can, you can
And if you think you can, you can



Ranch Rant – Anniversary of Freedom

“Costs a lot to win, even more to lose. You and me bout to spend some time wondering what to choose. Goes to show you don’t ever know, watch each card you play and play it slow.”

I was gambling for 6 good solid years before I decided to give sobriety a real try. As of today, March 25th 2013, I have been alcohol free for two years and drug free for three years, I am a few months away from starting my 25th year ranching around. And damn it feels good to be FREE. I’ve been subject to a few degrees of imprisonment, as we all have at one point or another. A cycle, no, a web of substance abuse is no longer one of them. The only dragon I’m chasing is happiness. Now, there is no escaping my reality, my feelings, my troubles, my past, my shortcomings or anything at all really. Can you dig it?

Meeting all this life and the unaltered moment head on, now that’s as weird as it gets, that’s the real trip. Pain, worry, disappointment, fear are no longer strangers but instead become teachers. And without the often destructive ramifications of binging and frying ones circuits, things prove to be a whole lot less scary and fucked up. Before you know it, a bad luck streak can become the most successful year of your life. A bus full of strangers looks more like people then monsters. Apologies are easier, mistakes are fewer, dishonesty is harder. The great idea you had that could change the world is one that you remember in the morning. Clarity in all it’s forms replaces the detached hustle of working against one’s own natural current. Whereas for years it seemed like I was always trying to match really shitty incidents with really amazing ones and often failing; these days the positive news and goodness manifests and compounds one atop the other. That is how I’m getting high, by living up there atop comfortable clouds of contentment.

Enlightenment is really only being shown the light, the truth in a fog of uncertainty. And I can say today that I no longer walk within the haze of ignorance or indifference to the realities and risks and repercussions stemming from the misuse and abuse of drugs and alcohol  I was able to give up my “everything in moderation” attitude and get educated on what is really going on within my body and my reasoning center when I consume any  substance in any amount. Understanding is key to surviving, I think that much is clear. And people living in our society today, must learn to survive, not on the battlefields against an evil regime, but in our own homes against the woes of addiction. I denounce the risky business of raging way too hard and forgetting that we have fragile minds that require a certain amount of consciousness in order to not crash and burn.

I for one am not afraid to remember the lives of Austin Stewart, Willie Ford, Britt Walker, Austin Peralta, Charles Cooper, Heath Ledger, Amy Winehouse and many other souls I’ve come across in one way or another in my life, who left theirs’ too early because of an unaddressed or misunderstood addiction to drugs and alcohol. Everybody wonders why these horrible accidents happen to such good people and I say it is to be a reminder of how much effort we need to give to be mindful of what we are consuming and how and when and WHY, and to see the power you have to help others when you see a problem or a dangerous addiction that they can’t understand themselves.

If you are lucky enough to have big dreams and to have something that you love deeply about living, than there is no reason to wait around for some comfortable and opportune time to give up using a particular substance that just hasn’t been working out in your favor or to ask for help to combat the messy quicksand of addiction. Pride swallowed, ego checked and mind open to a new perspective and different way of living that is always better than before. There need be no allegiances to habits, brands, strands, lifestyles that have proven destructive for you. Our energy and obsession should be channelled into ideas, people, choices and experiences that create light and beauty in our lives. Not an easy task, but important decisions shouldn’t be easy. Most days I have to ask myself if sobriety is really what’s right for me, not even because I am tempted, but because it has payed off so well for me that I am not willing to compromise it. Here’s to knowing what actions you took in the past that had zero meaningful, lasting effects on your life and never do them again. Thank you prefrontal-cortex, I owe you one.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me these past few years, big things lie ahead. Thanks to my friends who continue to have my back and watch out for me and accept me as the sober rager that I am. Thanks to the nameless people I’ve met at meetings and out in the world, whose honestly regarding their own recovery has provided me with invaluable insight. Thanks to my Dad for setting a good example, learning from his mistakes and always giving the best, most humbling advice. We always keeps it movin’. Rocking into the future. Blessing UP. Going further. Staying shpongled, weird and LostinSound. And of course, Using Our Heads.

Love and gratitude,

Richard William

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Ranch Poem – “Fall and Rise”


Fall and Rise

Walking freely on the streets
Seems oddly precious for the first time.
Typing with cold and bare hands
I think of these lives then think of mine.

How fortunate I have been through it all.
But I could use some Spring time, since ill be gone.
The pavement and snow piles sparkle.
But I push the budding trees to hurry.

A crowded world, crowded jails, crowded ideas.
But there is still so much distance between us.
Some prefer to rise while others fall.
I wish there was a place for us all.

Some never stand up.
Others are one and done.
We will fall and rise
until we remain in heaven.

The powerful keep stealing under
The guise of saviors and governors.
But these social networks expand faster than any empire or caucus.
Love and creativity treated as a joke.
What is wealth when a world is broke?

Some never stand up.
Others are one and done.
We will fall and rise
until we remain in heaven.

As the eye blinks the mind travels miles
And yet so many remain stuck still.
They shake down our schools and unions, as they always have.
But the student and worker can no longer pay elitist debts.
Type, write and act more, think less.



Ranch Poem – “Against Shadows”


“Against Shadows”

Today I feel afraid.
Sitting in jail, I rarely feel fear.
There is a powerful dark energy
of confusion and panic
the likes of the comic book world.
Our world is where an anticipating audience,
unsuspecting and alive and good and
lucky to hold tickets to the midnight opening
on a July night to see the new Dark Knight,
packed into a loud and dark theater
can be preyed upon like expendable targets
by a young man of my age.
An aspiring neuro-scientist
slash villain psychopath murderer
who managed an appalling collection
of firearms, ammunition, body armor, smoke grenades.
Who simply surrenders in the parking lot
like he just lost some level in a game
to put down his controller and persona
after some hidden demon loosed mayhem.
It’s shit like this that convinces people
that they need to keep gas masks and 9mm’s
on them wherever they go,
as if they could somehow anticipate chaos.
Anxious to arm themselves against shadows.


Fort Hood Shooting

Ranch Poem – “Heavy Thoughts”


Heavy Thoughts

I’ve been waiting for so long to hear of my fate.
Trapped between my salvation search and the mess i’ve made.
Things are better now, clean and humbled.
But it’s not the punishment the system prescribes.
County this and Federal that, the fear instilled.
It is my will to be the do-gooder, they will not break my will.
The world’s beauty will not fall to its ugliness,
but we are sacrificing some light everyday.
When will the norm, society, home and here be safe
to practice and live purely for loving energy?
I see folks abandon that which they love to search
for some place to exist as their heart demands.
Seclusion, escape or foreign land.
Their community is not their sangha, their teachers are not their guru.
But why not?
There is not enough belief in one another, darkness is the certainty.
Trust has become a yarn they weave, resentment the mud they heave.
Some souls are broken and helpless but only in their minds.
Nights of squalor or sorrow poison their hope for tomorrow.
Encourage each other, accept humanity’s faults. They need you.
Find grace as often as possible. Do not get discouraged by yourself.
I fill my head with music, scan pages of books, eat too much.
In our neighborhoods there are those who can not understand music.
In our neighborhoods there are those who can not read to learn.
In our neighborhoods there are those who can not pay food’s price.
Feel sorry for the less fortunate and pledge to help.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed, to be diagnosed, to piss yourself.
But despite all that we can still reason and pray.
Think about living from the soul, not for your ego’s dismay.
Think heavy thoughts because there is one life and its trying to float away.