Cottonwood (2022)

 

 

 

 

 

1. Cottonwood Leaves

The sun slips over the edge of the reservoir dam
Your hand slips into mine
Fingers intertwined
Waiting in silence for a question
Waiting in silence for a question

Dragonfly skips the water like a skipping stone
The thoughts skip across my mine
Water and the shoreline collide
Floating on a wave of anticipation
Floating on a wave of anticipation

Cottonwood leaves shaking in the breeze
I’m standing here shaking in my knees
Cottonwood leaves shaking in the breeze
I’m shaking

The swallow skims the surface of a quiet lake
You skim through a book about birds 
Take a deep breath and then you turn
Scanning the sky for a hesitation
Scanning the sky for a hesitation

The sun slips over the edge of the reservoir dam
Your hand slips into mine
Fingers intertwined
Waiting in silence for a question
Waiting in silence


2. Use to Be

I’m trying to be quiet, I’m trying to listen
Trying to figure out what I’ve been missing
I listen for the thunder, listen for the night bird
Listen for a melody, Listen for the right words


Take me down Take me in
Turn me around Take me home again
I’ve been waiting, waiting to see
If I’ll ever return to what I use to be

I was a wild one, the color of a moth wing
I was the summer sun, I was heat lightning
I was a cold rain, I was a moon flower
I was a summer night, I was a meteor shower

Now I’m sweeping out the cupboards, trapping all the mice
Shaking out the bugs in the middle of the night
Digging through the boxes, pushing around the dirt
Sorting through the papers, I’m still looking for the words


3. When the Beach is Asleep

When the beach is asleep 
Under a blanket of snow
Long after the summer
When all tourists go home
I kneel down by the water
Pray my soul to keep
That’s when I start dreaming
When the beach is asleep

July was all sunshine
Swimsuits and tan skin
Selling cold beer and souvenirs
Yeah the money rolled in
September was a hurricane
It all washed up in heap
And I comb through rubble 
Now that the beach is asleep

The roads are all closed and
The ferry route is frozen
Charlie’s little bar is the 
Only place open
And we sit around the woodstove
Us few left behind
Eating boiled clams and oysters
Passing bottles of wine

When the beach is asleep
Under a blanket of snow
I close my shop for the winter
It’s all quiet in my home
And I tuck into the silence
Breathe a sigh of relief
That’s when I start dreaming 
When the beach is asleep


4. Snowplow 

You got your big snow plow, you’re headed for my door  
You’re shifting gears, you got the gas to the floor
Were you gonna slow down, stop and ask me?
Our were you gonna plow right past me

Take your snow plow and head uptown
You can find something else to push around

You talking to me through a crooked tooth
Telling me I’m the one who ought to let loose
But I was just enjoying some company
I didn’t want your hands all over me

Take your snow plow and head uptown
You can find something else to push around

Cause it ain’t me, I ain’t gonna be pushed around
It ain’t me, I tried to slow it down
But you just ran me over, now it’s over

So I called my momma just to have a good cry 
And to hear her say, yeah forget that guy
To hear her say I deserve better
I god I hope I can get a break from this weather

Take your snow plow and head uptown
You can find something else to push around
Take your snow plow right this minute
Take your snow plow. I'll tell you where to stick it.


5. Never Known

My mother was known for her sweet apple pie
My father was known for his suit and his tie
My brother was known for his green speckled eyes 
But I was never known

My house was known for being at the end of the lane
Big picture windows with one broken pane
And a tire swing hanging from a rusty chain
But I was never known

I was never here in this world long enough
I came in and and I left here alone
I was a spark that never grew into a fire
I was never known

My history was known on the old family tree
The roots and the branches grew strong it grew free
And there were names there were dates there was a place there for me
But I was never known

I hope to pass through here the next time around
Stay a little longer take a breath touch the ground
Until then I’ll be waiting in the big lost and found
I was never known 


6. Sister

Hunting morels, harvesting ramps
Me and my sister out at the camp
The first week of May we come and we stay for a while

Spying on birds up in the trees
Listing for warbles as the little birds sing
A flash of yellow through the green and we smile

Well she only comes once a year
But it’s the very best time of year
When the warblers the wildflowers and the waterfalls
And my sister are here

Catching a tadpole, kissing a frog
Searching for life under a log
The world is alive and nothing can hide from us now

Counting the flowers we tiptoe around
The colors and patterns that cover the ground
The world is exploding exposing her beauty somehow

Through the long dark winter grey 
We talk on the phone thousands of miles away
And it’s a comfort to me
But I long for the day


7. Ecstacy

We were doing ecstasy under the desert sky
In the sand dunes on the 4th of July
We were watching fireworks, trying to figure out how things work
We were staring at the colors in eachothers eyes

And I want to see you look that way again sometime
I want to see you look that way next time maybe without the drugs next time

You were tripping on lsd at the big rock show
You were doing the twist and the bump you were really letting go
You were jumping up and down, spinning round and round
You were kicking heels up so high

And I want to see you dance that way again sometime
I want to see you dance that way next time maybe without the drugs next time
                                                                   
You were always out there, so far out there 

You were on a morphine drip after your big accident
You were on some pretty strong drugs you took them like a sacrament
I was sitting by your hospital bed you said you could see inside my head
And on you face was a big ridiculous smile

And I want to see you smile that way again sometime
I want to see you smile that way next time maybe without the drugs next time


8. Rolls Away

He’s the prince of the pins
He’s the king of the lanes
He’s the head of the team every thursday 
And he’s bowling for the win 
And he’s bowling for the quiet
And he’s lost in the sound of the crash and the fall

And it all rolls away It all rolls away 

He steps to the line 
And he pulls back his hand
And the weight of the world falls away and it lands 
He just lets go and it rolls

Cheap beer in plastic cups
Two friends who don’t know him enough about him 
To bring up anything uncomfortable 


9. Fever 

Woke with a fever, Woke with a fever In the wilderness
I’ve been digging up roots, Living on bark and moss And bitterness

And I’m not the same woman that I once was
I’m not the same
And I’m not the same woman that I once was
I’m not the same after all

I cut my skin Down to the bone And my hair is turning white
I saw the flame Flicker of my soul Nearly burn out in the dark of the night

After all that I’ve been through will you still love me
If you look into my eyes will you still see me

I hope you’re waiting I hope you’re waiting For me to come back home 
I’m coming to you I’m crawling to you But I’m afraid you won’t recognize me anymore


10. Andy

Andy you’re as tall as the sunflowers
Steady as the summer sun
Quiet as a mouse

Andy I remember back in second grade
All the other boys were pulling my braids
You were staring at the birds

Andy I’ve been watching you growing up
I’ve been growing up too

Andy with your books and your papers
Sitting up in an oak tree
Looking out at the world

Andy you were down in the creek bed
You found yourself an arrowhead
In the slate and the shale

Andy I guess I never really noticed you
The way that I noticed you 
Last Saturday night

You were standing all alone by the window
Everybody else was dancing 
You were staring at the moon

Andy I want to know what you’re seeing 
Wish you were looking at me
The way you stare at the trees

Andy I’ve been watching you growing up
Have you been watching me growing up
Pay attention to me


11. Fickle

She is fickle She is fumbling
She is finding her way
Through the puzzles, through the crosswords
Through the thoughts in her brain
She always writes in pencil
Never permanent ink
She is fickle She is fumbling
She doesn’t know what to think

She is careful She is cautious
She is catching her breath
Through the ropes, through the tangle
Of the knots in her head
She studies all the turns
Never rushes around
She is careful She is cautious
She never gets too tied down

And I love to watch her move
And I never know where she’s going to

She is playful She is patient
She is placing her bets
On the hand she’s been dealt
On the cards in her deck
She laughs at her chances 
And she makes her bet small
She is playful She is patient
She knows she can’t win them all


12. Fast Johnny

Johnny drives a race car, he speeds down city street
He’s running all the red lights, he’s catching all the heat
He’s got a glove box full of tickets and a danger in his eye
And if you get into his car there’s a chance you’re gonna die
I said hold on

Johnny drives a speedboat, he roars across the river
Yeah he’s cutting through the quiet, he’s splashing all the swimmers
And if you’re gonna ride along you’d better hold on to your ass
There’s only one speed Johnny knows and that’s really fucking fast
I said hold on

Johnny you’re just a big streak of blue
How am I ever gonna catch you

Johnny had a date last night, he came to pick me up
He pulled up in the front in a supped up pick-up truck
And I was lacing up my boots, I said I’ll only me a minute
He said “girl, time is of the essence”, he drove away without me in it
I said hold on I said hold on!

Johnny you’re just a big streak of blue
How am I ever gonna catch you

Johnny drives a rocket ship, he’s shooting to the sun
He’s blasting through the atmosphere, so long everyone
He’s got the thrusters they’re engaged, he’s got the boosters at full blast
There’s only one speed Johnny knows and that’s really fucking fast
I said hold on, and he said so long

Johnny you’re just a big streak of blue
How am I ever gonna catch you
Johnny you’re just a big streak of blue
Guess I’m never gonna catch you


13. Wish I Knew

I wish I knew what you were thinking  
Everytime that you were drinking 
Everytime that you were sinking
Into silence

I wish I knew what you were saying
About the debt that you’ve been paying
About the game that we’re all playing
How we’re all hiding

I wish I knew you as child
When you were free and you were wild
Before you lost that easy smile
I wish I knew I wish I knew

I wish I knew what you were feeling
When you were staring at the ceiling
But you never would reveal
You’d just turned out the lights

I wish I knew what you were holding
Some heavy burden, Heavy scolding
A fire that keeps on smoldering 
But it never ignites

I wish I knew you as child
When you were free and you were wild
Before you lost that easy smile
I wish I knew 
I wish I knew how to open up a box
Without tearing off the top
Without breaking all the locks
I wish I knew

I wish I knew how to let go
Of that aching desire to know
And the need to throw a rope 
Each time you’re sinking

I wish I knew how to give it space
Look myself in the face
Leave with a little grace
Before I break

I wish you knew me as a child
When I was free and I was wild
I had such an easy smile
I wish you knew
And I wish we knew how to open up this box
Just go tearing off the top
Breaking all the locks
I wish we knew
I wish we knew


14. Fall Down

Oh what a relief to fall down 
I’d been hanging on there such a long time now
Oh what a relief to fall down

Oh what a glory to change 
I was born a little green but there was gold in my veins
Oh what a glory to change

Oh what a joy to take a rest 
I’d been turning sunshine to sugar all year I tried my best
Oh what a joy to take a rest

Now I’m laying in the grass on an autumn day
Here comes a north wind to blow me away
Laying in the grass on an autumn day

Oh what a relief to fall down 
I’d been hanging on there such a long time now
Oh what a relief to fall down



Waiting (2020)

 

 

 

 

 

1. Middle Of The Morning

The sun is rising like fire thru the trees
And I’m on the porch with a steaming cup of tea
A bluejay is singing out a chorus and a warning
And I find myself in the middle of the morning

The sun is shining off a glisten of last night’s rain
The whistle’s blowing in the heart of a distant train
Little reminders that the world’s gonna keep on turning
I might find forgiveness in the middle of the morning

In the middle of the morning I think about you
So far away
Maybe you’re driving some empty backroads
Maybe you’re speeding off down the highway

The sun is drying out the mud on the tractor tire
The bluebirds are lining up in a row on the telephone wire
And I’ve got work to do and a whole lot of learning
I think I’ll start right here in the middle of the morning
A great time to start again in the middle of the morning

 

2. Waiting on the Wind

She hangs the laundry on the line
Turns her eyes to a clear blue sky
She is waiting, she is waiting on the wind

That lonely oak tree in the field
She knows how it feels
She is waiting, she is waiting on the wind

She ain’t getting dressed up, she ain’t going into town
She’s standing in the prairie grass just hanging around
Hanging around, hanging around
That girl is waiting on the wind

She wears her jeans and her flannel
Drives a farm truck with the old wooden panels
She is waiting, she is waiting on the wind

All the asters and the lupine
They’re trying to catch the bees and butterflies
She is waiting, she is waiting on the wind

She ain’t getting dressed up, she ain’t going into town
She’s standing in the prairie grass just hanging around
Hanging around, hanging around
That girl is waiting on the wind

One day he’ll drive down from the mountain
And she’ll untie that flowered apron
She is waiting, she is waiting on the wind

He’ll blow in right across the prairie
And shake the pollen from the oak tree
She is waiting, she is waiting on the wind
She is waiting, she is waiting on the wind


3. Rock & Roll

So close to Mexico, right above the border but right below the checkpoint
A little broken down RV under a mesquite tree just where they said he’d be
He was sitting outside on a sunbaked couch, Hand-rolled cigarette stickin out of his mouth, Cranking up a hand-held radio
Rock and roll

He cracked me a beer and he asked me my name and he looked at me twice and said that was the same
As a daughter he lost back in ‘93 and she was probably just a year older than me
He said “you should stay a while, lend me a hand, hell you can camp forever, it’s all public land from here all the way to Calexico
Rock and roll

He lost he license so he couldn’t drive but when he needed propane I would give him a ride
Down abandoned tracks. He showed me where to go, dusty cow fields, forgotten dirt roads
And he’d bring his beer in a travel cup, he’s litter the desert with cigarette butts
We’d fill the propane, buy the beer and head back home
Rock and roll

Tobacco stained fingers on a scrabble tile, he’d play the Q on a triple with a hidden smile
Yeah, he would always beat me except for that one night he got too heavy in the whiskey
And I played a good game, I had a good hand, but it didn’t feel like I won cause he could barely stand up on his own
Rock and roll

For ten years I’d stop and visit that man, I’d sing him a song, I’d lend him a hand
He’d tell me a story, he’d write me a limerick, his mind was sharp but his body was sick
He said “I’m drinking myself right out of my liver, hell I smoked myself right out of my gizzard, girl someday you’ll come back and I’ll have to go”

One night I awoke, I couldn’t even smell the cows cause the winds had changed, and down by the canal
The lemon trees were blooming 5 miles away.  I could smell them right then, I still can today
And when I went in the morning his body was there, but his soul was flying away on some invisible airwaves of an FM station on a cranked up radio
Rock and roll


4. Back Home Again

Bittersweet coffee in styrofoam cups
We’ve got the morning news, windows rolled up
My hands on the wheel and the box in your lap
And we’re headed back home, back home again

We had to check with the cops, had to clear your parole
Your gas station job didn’t want you to go
But we’re free for the weekend and 300 miles
And we’re headed back home, back home again

You stare out the window when I look at you
Your green speckled eyes and your prison tattoo 
I haven’t seen you since 2010
And we’re headed back home, back home again

We don’t have to put it back together, we don’t have to make it all fit
Lets just find peace with the pieces that we’re left with

That old county line in my new Cadillac
My hands on the wheel and the box in your lap
And in the box there’s the dust and the ash and the bone
Of the man who once brought us into this world
Of the hands that brought up this boy and girl
And in our own way, aren't we all headed home, headed back home
Back home again

 

5. I Love You

I love you like the house is on fire
Like the wind is ripping off the roof
Like the elevator cable let loose
I love you like it’s all over

I love you when the river breaks the floodwall
As the car hits the guardrail
When the train engine brakes fail
I love you like it’s all over

I love you on the edge of disaster
Not knowing what comes after
Just holding on

I love you like it’s all over
I lay my head on your shoulder
I just hold you closer

 

6. You Are The Moon

Headlights bouncing up the driveway
Dance through my window and across the floor
And I am restless in the bedsheets
And there’s a knocking at my door

You are the moon in the dark
You keep me awake, You are the moon
You are the moon in the dark
Staring at your face, You are the moon

White wine and roses past my bedtime 
Watercolor and poetry
Now I’m up you’ve got me climbing
To the top of the magnolia tree

You are the moon in the dark
You keep me awake, You are the moon
You are the moon in the dark
Staring at your face, You are the moon

All the stars I’ve counted while you were away
I can’t recall a single one
But I know that they’re still there and they remain
But you come and go
You come and go
You come and go

 

7. Dreams I Don't Remember

The dreams I don’t remember they are hanging in the air
In the morning when I’m waking I still think I feel them there
Then they suddenly slip through my fingers
The dreams I don’t remember

The dreams I don’t remember they dry up like the dew
They are rising in the steam coming off my neighbor’s roof
As the morning light meets the cold December
The dreams I don’t remember

The dreams I don’t remember
They are slipping thru my fingers like grains of sand
Drifting to the ocean on the tide
And drifting back again

The dreams I don’t remember I was born already dreaming
They were passed down from my mother in a blanket she was weaving
That goes back into the past then on forever
The dreams I don’t remember


8. Church Bells

The church bell’s gonna ring everyday right at noon
But I just can’t predict everything
You said you’re gonna call me someday real soon
But I just don’t know when it’s gonna be

You’ve been leading me on you’ve been leading me out
Down the road, up the trees, to the sky
I’ve been thinking about you, You’re showing up in my dreams
But I still sleep alone at night

Well the mail’s gonna come between 10 and 11
And the door’s gonna close right at 5
And I’ll sit in the bar and drink whiskey till 7
Just hoping that you might stop by

You’ve been leading me on you’ve been leading me out
Down the road, up the trees, to the sky
I’ve been thinking about you, You’re showing up in my dreams
But I still sleep alone at night

The band’s gonna play on Saturday night
And if you don’t show up by sundown on Sunday…

Well the trash man picks up every Monday
And the newspaper boy’s never late
And the city bus runs every hour going both ways
So how long do you think I can wait

You’ve been leading me on you’ve been leading me out
Down the road, up the trees, to the sky
I’ve been thinking about you, You’re showing up in my dreams
But I still sleep alone at night

Well the church bell’s gonna ring everyday right at noon

 

9. Take Your Time

Cuckoo bird singing at the break of day
Feels like summer’s gonna fly away
So we’re slowing it down, camping on the Old Muskie
Take your time, take your time with me

The sun’s so hot but the water’s cold
Take off your shoes, dip in your toes
Ease on in, there’s no need to hurry
Take your time, take your time with me

Over down by the water
Over underneath the Sycamore tree
Take your time with me

We got a hammock hanging in the shade
We’ve got some ice and some lemonade
We’ve got each other, we’ve got no place else to be
Take your time, take your time with me

Over down by the water
Over underneath the Sycamore tree
Take your time with me

Honey I hope in twenty more years
We’re still gonna be coming out here
And holding hands under the Sycamore tree
Take your time, take your time with me

Take your time, take your time with me


 


Like a Canyon (2017)

1. Like a Canyon

Color me like a canyon when the sun is hanging low down in the west
Color me like a canyon and let the red and green and blues run down my legs 
Color me like a canyon 
Color me like a canyon and keep me in your eyes 

Color me like a cottonwood tree on the driest days right before the monsoon 
Color me like a cottonwood tree lookin brittle and broken but I’m just waiting for the right amount of rain to bloom 
Color me like a cottonwood tree 
Color me like a cottonwood and keep me in your eyes 

You could see all of my colors 
My shadows, my creases, and my folds 
And if we just keep looking at each other 
Heaven only knows 

Color me like the New Mexico sky when the ebony and the lavender collide 
Color me like the New Mexico sky and cut holes with your razor blade to to let the light shine thru from the other side 
Color me like the New Mexico sky 
Color me like the New Mexico 
Keep on tearing holes in the sky 
And keep me in your eyes

 

2. Little Birdie

Whatcha gonna do little birdie Whatcha gonna do all day 
Are you gonna eat some berries and crack some nuts 
Swallow some seeds and dig a worm up 
Build your nest out of sticks and leaves 
Sing a sweet song in the morning breeze 

Whatcha gonna do little birdie Whatcha gonna do all day 
Are you gonna fly away? 

Whatcha gonna do little oak tree Whatcha gonna do all day 
Are you gonna drink some water and stand up tall 
Change your color when it turns fall 
Stretch your branches way up high 
Dance in the breeze when it blows by 

Whatcha gonna do little oak tree Whatcha gonna do all day 
Are you gonna grow so tall? 

Whatcha gonna do little rock Whatcha gonna do all day 
Are you gonna hold somebody’s memory 
Skip across the waves headed out to the sea 
Be the firm foundation of somebody’s house 
Lay in the ground so the plants can sprout 

Whatcha gonna do little rock Whatcha gonna do all day 
Are you gonna lie so still? 

Whatcha gonna do little children Whatcha gonna do all day 
Are you gonna eat some berries and crack some nuts 
Swallow some seeds and dig a worm up 
Build your nest out of sticks and leaves 
Sing a sweet song in the morning breeze 
Are you gonna drink some water and stand up tall 
Change your color when it turns fall 
Stretch your branches way up high 
Dance in the breeze when it blows by 
Are you gonna hold somebody’s memory 
Skip across the waves headed out to the sea 
Be the firm foundation of somebody’s house 
Lay in the ground so the plants can sprout 

Whatcha gonna do little children Whatcha gonna do all day 
Are you gonna fly away? 
Are you gonna grow so tall? 
Are you gonna lie so still? 

Whatcha gonna do little birdie Whatcha gonna do all day

 

3. Late 70s Ford

The party’s dying down could you give me a ride? 
I’ve been looking for a reason to get inside 
Of your ‘78 Ford Ranchero 
You said ‘c’mon honey I can take you home’ 

Well there’s no headliner, thing sounds like a tin can 
And we’re riding real slow across the desert sand 
And the moon so bright it’s like a black and white movie 
You said ‘c’mon honey slide closer to me’ 

Rusted out late 70’s Ford 
Reminding me what the bench seat’s for 
I’ve got a foot on the dash, got a foot on the floor 
Of a rusted out late 70’s Ford 

Momma always said be careful out there 
But on a night like this man I just don’t care 
Cause you’re shifting with your left hand, steering with your knee 
Cause your right arm feels so right around me 

Chorus 

Sayin’ goodnight must of took two hours 
Between the moon and the stars and the creosote flowers 
And the dust and the rust and the sweat on the vinyl 
And the foot on the dash, foot on the door 
Fogging up the windows yeah we’re falling on the floor of a 

Chorus

 

4. 53 Years

She said ‘you fit me like a glove’ he said ‘you fit me like a mitten’ 
They ain’t always been in love but tonight they’re feelin smitten 
It’s been 53 years since they walked down the aisle 

When she was just a little girl she dreamed of a handsome prince 
But she ended up with Earl and she hasn’t looked back since 
Since it seemed convenient she just stuck around 
He kept her laughing, she fell in love with what they found 

And now the fire’s down to embers but it’s hot just the same 
And the mountain’s slowly crumbling to the sea 
And the stars are burning out way up in the Milky Way 
But new stars are being born everyday 
I hope it’s always gonna be that way 

Now he’s still whispering the lines that use to always make her blush 
But she’s heard so many times it doesn’t give her quite the rush 
That it use to, but she still likes to hear 

Their hair is gray with speckled strands, their eyes are sparkling in the light 
They still go walking hand in hand, they’re still kissing goodnight
And it’s been 53 years since they walked down the aisle 
It’s been 53 years, he still loves to make her smile 

Chorus

 

5. Adaline

Adaline why are you facing the wall 
You took your sweet time and then you took it all 
I broke down in the kitchen when you made the call 
Adaline why are you facing the wall 

Adaline I’ve been a lonely lost man 
But you danced with me on the Virginia Beach sand 
And I led to the left buy you pulled to the right 
Adaline where are you sleeping tonight 

I was never there to see you worry, you were worried 
But I’m not the kind who worries anyway 
And I’m not a man who tends to hurry, never hurries 
But I’m rushing home today 

Adaline why are you facing the wall 
You took your sweet time and then you took it all 
I broke down in the kitchen when you made the call 
Adaline why are you facing the wall 
Adaline why did you love me at all

 

6. Eli

Oh Eli it seems we’ve got some things in common 
At least we’ve got some ground to build on 
Cause we both come from the great state of Ohio 

Oh Eli being with you reminds me of my family 
Takes me back to places I use to be 
Maybe we could spend some time together here in the middle of nowhere 

File it in my memory somewhere between coincidence and me and you 
File it in my memory with hometowns and brothers and a corner booth 

Oh Eli don’t you want to meet me at the party 
You could brings that stray dog and stand in the corner 
But I saw you bust it loose last Saturday night 

Oh Eli don’t you want to come and take me dancing 
Maybe you’re just too young for real long romancing 
But I sure appreciate your enthusiasm 

File it in my memory somewhere between coincidence and circumstance 
File it in my memory between roller blades and ping pong and a swing dance 

Oh Eli remember that night we were in hot water 
You tried so hard to stand your ground 
But that man he would have killed us if we didn’t run 

File it in my memory somewhere between coincidence and someone I use to know 
File it in my memory with next time just back out real slow

 

7. Fishing Line

Well I ain’t got much but I’ve got time and I keep the bait on the fishing line 
Sitting down by the river by the shady pine, honey you can find me there all the time 

Oh they say there’s a price to pay for everything under the sun 
Oh I pray that some fine day my paying time is done 
Well I ain’t got much but I’ve got time and I keep the bait on the fishing line 

Well I plant me seeds row by row, I tend my garden but the crops won’t grow 
So I pray for the sun and fear for the snow, I work in the rain with a shovel and hoe 

Please watch over my garden I don’t want to see it fail 
I put so much of my heart in and I really want to eat that kale 
Well I ain’t got much but I’ve got time and I keep the bait on the fishing line 

Well I went to the kitchen, what was there, opened up the cupboard and the cupboard was bare 
All we found were the tortoise and the hare, a little bear cub, and a broken chair 

Mary Mary quite contrary how can this all be 
I called for my pipe and I called for my bowl but nobody brought it to me 
Well I ain’t got much but I’ve got time and I keep the bait on the fishing line

 

8. We are Rocks

Back bones and xylophones, a sidewalk sewer grate 
Tombstones, your funny bone, calcium carbonate 
Fingernails and tulip snails and boats on the Puget Sound 
Empty rain pails, if all else fails I’ll see you in the ground 

We are rocks, we are rocks, we are rocks we are water and soil and air 

Copper pennies for a mountain top to burn the coal at any cost 
Gold nuggets not to let it stop to look away while a life is lost 
Cut the trees shoo the birds and the bees so we can drink from a soda can 
Aluminum is deep and diggin’ ain’t cheap can you think of a better plan 

We are rocks, we are rocks, we are rocks we are water and soil and air 

Iron rich blood shed, another body full of lead, drillin’ for a little oil 
Them old dinosaurs turned into new wars and fightin’ on a sandy soil 

We are rocks, we are rocks, we are rocks we are water and soil and air 

Silver flute, the tin man suit and matchbox cars and steel strings
Gold medals and bicycle pedals we’re all made of the same things 

Back bones and xylophones, a sidewalk sewer grate 
Tombstones, your funny bone, calcium carbonate 
Fingernails and tulip snails and boats on the Puget Sound 
Empty rain pails, if all else fails I’ll see you in the ground 

We are rocks, we are rocks, we are rocks we are water and soil and air

 

9. That's Enough

The day before christmas I got a box in the mail general delivery up in St. Clair’s Pier 
An alpaca sweater the colors of a winter sunset and it might be the only present I get this year 
And that’s enough 

The lights out on main street are flickering 
The children in the church pew are snickering 
The mothers and the fathers are all wondering if that’s enough 

I don’t know if my ex-boyfriend loves me anymore but I’ll take responsibility for my part 
I don’t know if he still loves me anymore but I’m no longer afraid for the safety of my heart 
And that’s enough 

The lights out on main street are flickering 
The children in the church pew are snickering 
The preacher ten minutes into his sermon is wondering if that’s enough 

Christmas eve, it’s 5 degrees below and you’re the only one in this town I halfway know 
And the snow is piling up on the doorsteps and the sidewalks and the wind is blowing a piccolo thru a crack in the window 
And there’s a sofa in the living room by the fireplace but there’s a big bed up the stairs 
And we lay together under the comforter, under the canopy and you run your fingers thru my hair 
And that’s enough 

The lights out on main street are flickering 
The children in the church pew are snickering 
The bodies in the bedsheets are entangling 
The snow’s falling soft like dancing figurines 
And everyone’s wondering if that’s enough 

The day after Christmas I hang the spare key on the nail and my boots hit the concrete 
I’m all wrapped up in the warm colors of a sunset sweater and they’re taking the lights down on main street 
Cause that’s enough

 


A Sense of Place (2015)

1. Yellow, Red, and Gold

I’m lying in my bed the room is getting cold
The sugar maple leaves are turning yellow, red, and gold outside my window
I can hear the wind blow
 
And woah is me, I need to walk away from this place
 
Hang on tight the moon is bright and the crops are in a row
and if we work all thru the night we’ll harvest everything we’ve grown
for so long the days are shorter and the nights are not so far away from
Taking the days over and when it’s over we just can’t stay her anymore
 
And woah is me, I need to walk away from this place
 
I’m lying in my bed the room is getting colder
The sugar maple leaves, their color keeps getting bolder till it all turns brown
Till it all falls down
Till it all falls down
Till it all falls down

 

2. Cincinnati

You always dreamed we'd build a raft and float on down to Mississippi
Like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn
It never seemed quite attainable to me but you said
"Baby, let's just start building"
 
But I could never see that far away
And you could never stay that close to me
 
I built a boat and I sailed on down the river
You built a boat, you took it all the way to New Orleans
I built a boat but I got stuck in Cincinnati
Well I'm never going to be your Mississippi queen
 
Well I got a job and I've been working in a little cafe
Overlooking the waters of the Ohio
Sometimes I'd like to hear the blues down on the bayou
Sometimes I think maybe it's my time to go
 
But I could never see that far away
And you could never stay that close to me
 
I built a boat and I sailed on down the river
You built a boat, you took it all the way to New Orleans
I built a boat but I got stuck in Cincinnati
Well I'm never going to be your Mississippi queen
 
I could never live your dreams for you
You could never make mine come true
You sold me a ticket but you never really had me
Cause you know I kind of like Cincinnati
 
I built a boat I got stuck in Cincinnati
Never wanted to be your Mississippi queen
 
Cause you had the dream we'd build a raft and float on down to Mississippi
Like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn

 

3. Bakersfield

I’m passing thru Tehachapi and I’m headed down to Mojave
I left Bakersfield by the morning light thought I would stay forever but it didn’t feel right now
Barstow’s just down the road, it’s always been a place I thought I’d like to go
Apple Valley ain’t so far away, I gotta find a place where I can stay
 
Chorus:
Cause I ain’t going back to Bakersfield
I can’t feel the way she wants 
And I can’t feel the way I want to feel for her
 
We use to stay up late, we’d stay out all night, And hear the Bakersfield sound under the neon lights
Merle Haggard was playing those heartbreak songs, we were so in love but then something went wrong
And I don’t know why but I just broke down, like a steel guitar in that lovesick town
Now every country song that made me feel at home started to make me cry feeling so alone
 
Chorus

 

4. Into the Desert

Don't follow me into the desert, there's no water way out there
And I have brought myself a canteen, but I did not bring any to share
And when the sun goes down at night you're going to want something heavy to wear
Don't follow me into the desert, cause I won't be there
 
My love cannot be bought, sold, traded, or found
My love, don't tie me down
 
There is a bird's nest that contains my heart, it's hidden tangled in the ironwood tree
Crafted from the thorns of a cactus, so you must enter so carefully
But when you settle in to find it, when your eyes are adjusting to see
I will have hatched and I have grown, and I'll be flying free
 
My love cannot be bought, sold, traded, or found
My love, don't tie me down
My love
My love
 
Don't follow me into the desert, there's no water way out there

 

5. Carry me Away

Carry me away, carry me away
Take me down to the water, to the river
Carry me away, carry me away
Take the sins of this poor girl, lay um down, and just forgive her
 
 
I ain’t been livin’ like I should I’ve been holding back I’m tired and my heart is bound
I ain’t been diggin’ deep enough, in fact I’ve been drying out on this solid ground
Oh you know I hope you’ll be coming around so you can
 
Chorus
 
We’ve been carrying that ball and chain we’ve been working too hard we’ve been clocking in and out
That boat’s been tied to the dock, it’s just dying to rock, think you know what I’m talking about
Well I think you know what I’m talking about, why don’t you
 
Chorus
 

6. Seeds

I plant my seeds down an old dirt road
Walk away for a year and I wonder if their gonna grow
Maybe they will die without my loving care
Or maybe they will root in and take hold be growing everywhere
 
Hey you never do know when you let things go
If  they gonna root if they’re even gonna show
Hey you never can tell when you walk away
What you’re gonna find if you come walking back someday
 
Chorus
Maybe we should daily tend our garden
Or maybe we should just throw seeds in to the wind 
Maybe after the rain I’ll be less hardened
To the thought of you blowing away again on the mercy of the wind
 
We make our love on the open road
Walk away for a year and I wonder if its gonna grow
Maybe it will die without my loving care
Or maybe we will carry it in our hearts maybe we can take it everywhere
 
Hey you never do know when you let things go
If  they gonna root if they’re even gonna show
Hey you never can tell when you walk away
What you’re gonna find if you come walking back someday
 
Chorus
 
Maybe there’s a reason some seeds have wings
Maybe you were meant to fly across the sea
Maybe after the rain I’ll set you free
And maybe someday you’ll blow back to me
Blow back to me 
On the mercy of the wind…
 
We make our love down the old dirt road
Throw our seeds into the wind and we see what grows

 

7. It's Alright

Well pour me some coffee sit down at the table
Hey d’ya hear about our good friend Mable
She gone to school Now she’s got a job back here
 
While you and me are just losin’ our minds
We been sittin’ round here just wastin’ time
Or sittin’ down at the river drinking beer
 
And I don’t really know where to go from here 
But it’s alright
 
It’s the first day of spring so why don’t I feel it
Wanna take of my jacket, stretch, and reveal it
But old man winter it seems he wants to stay
 
Well I want to wake up want to warm my hands
Want to search those far off distant lands
Well I know there’s going to be brighter days
 
And I don’t really know where to go from here 
But it’s alright
 
Cause once I was broke down on the side of the road
And up pulled a man he didn’t have any nose
It really put my perspective into place
 
Cause I’d rather be stuck with a broken tire
Than find that all my times expired
Or lose any kind of organ off my face
 
And I don’t really know where to go from here 
But we’re alright
 
Now we've still got sunday's paper scattered on the table
And I heard about our good friend Mable
She hates that job she’d rather be hanging out here
 
So we’ll call her up when she’s got the time
Maybe you and me we could ease her mind
Go down to the river and drink ourselves a beer
 
And I don’t really know where to go from here
Back down to the river just to drink a beer sounds alright
 
And sometimes just alrights okay 
And that’s okay
 
Yeah sometimes just alrights okay 
We don’t have to save the whole wide world in just one day

 

8. Roger

Oh Roger, you painted pictures til the day you died
Saw the pattern on the wing and the ring around the eye
They thought you’d live forever well atleast you tried
 
Oh Roger, so much in the life of just one man
With a love in your heart and a paintbrush in your hand
Well you could change the way we’re gonna see this land
 
Chorus:
I want to see the world thru an artist’s eye
See the pattern on the wing as a bird takes flight
And go peacefully in the middle of the night
 
Oh Roger, you left a flycatcher with a colorless wing
Put your paintbrush down for the night, such a simple thing
You didn’t know that you wouldn’t be finishing
 
Oh Roger, when I take to the field and I step in to the sun
I’ve only got so much time in this life, I just got one
Well I better get started or I’ll never get done
 
Chorus
In this life there’s so much to do
Well you kept your eyes open just to see it thru
Kept your back to the wind and away you flew

 

9. My Galaxy

I tried to write you but the postman won’t deliver
Outside of this atmosphere so I wish you’d reconsider
Coming back to town, coming back down
 
So I set up the telescope out in the backyard
I’ve been checking out the Pleiades, Venus and Mars
But I don’t see your face, anywhere out in space
 
And you use to be So close to me
You use to sleep in my bed
And I didn’t need a telescope to see
If you were in my galaxy, anywhere close to me
 
I look thru the eyepiece, I’m finding Orion
And the nebulus and Sirius and space debri flyin
And the satelites, they all seem so close tonight
 
Then I turned the glass two degrees to the south
Just to catch you in the distance walking right out
Of the milky way, 24 thousand light years away

 

10. Upstairs Apartment

In the time when the sun and I were high
It grew to sweltering for you and I
In that upstairs apartment so we’d sneak down to the lake of hope and have a swim
Come back to town when the lights grew dim
We might have burned to death that summer with the heat risin’
We burned the eggs, out of distractions                
We broke that futon with a passion
 
I’ll tell you one thing for certain that was there and then
And I’ll never go back and I’ll never be the same again
It’s where I met Marley and mushrooms, hand-rolled cigarettes
Public radio, Blues Traveler, double city sunsets
Where we’d watch from the road and say good-bye as the sun sank past the horizon line
Then climb up the cliffs to the east and watch it one more time
Watch the sun going down over a sleepy college town , goin’ down
 
We watched the fireworks of the Fourth of July   
Sat on the roof, you tell me close my eyes  
Can I see bombs falling all around me
You say this is what the whole world has to hear everyday so we can be free
 
I wanna hide, wanna go inside
Of the nest we made, in the place we played
to the room we stayed, in the bed we laid
We did not own it, we just out grown it
We did not own it
 
I’ll tell you one thing for certain that was there and then
And I’ll never go back and I’ll never be the same again

 

 

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