How Heavy the Burden

Hate by design is too heavy to carry
 
The strongest of strong men and women try
and are toppled by it’s burden
 
Those who know hate
do not carry it
it washes from their back
 
The hate you carry
will ride you
 
Or worse
come from your mouth
in the form of a whisper
a scream
silence
and ride someone else
 
The only way to know hate
is to drop it from your back
and look upon it with love
 
Love will look you in the eye
 

Play

Four Wheels Away


I’ve seen mountains and oceans
Valleys and plains
Through the windows of a car
 
Slums and skyscrapers
From the seat of a traveling vessel
 
I’ve had conversations in the front seats
About the mysteries of the world
 
Passion in back seats
That would have shaken the earth
If shocks were not suspending me from the ground
 
Fill it with gas and point it in a direction
 
The car doesn’t care who you are
 
The car has the ability to make someone who lives inAmerica
Into an American
With a little time
And a change of scenery

Play

Lucky


I was talking to this lady the other day. She had a walker, and explained how she had fallen and broken her hip. She told me of all of her troubles, and all of her ails. Told me how her “old man” had left her because she couldn’t fulfill his sexual needs with a broken hip, and how she had come to the conclusion that all men were pigs.

On most of her points I said I agreed, and shook my head and nodded. Mostly out of respect, or maybe boredom.

“You know,” she said “I’m lucky to be alive.”

I said, “We all are.”

It wasn’t until after I said it that I actually realized what I had said.

“Do you think so,” she said.

“Yeah,” I said.

And now I realize that I really meant it.
“We all are.”

Play

Not That I’m Scared of Getting Wet


It’s raining on me
Not hard
 
I would kind of like to pull out my umbrella
 
Not so much to protect my head from the rain
More because I like the sound of the rain drops
On the black dome
The rhythm is comforting
The varying pitter patter of the drops
Different sizes making different tones
Melodically taking away thought
And allowing my mind to rest
Almost to sleep
Even as I walk
In the dim
It is gray and dark
But what can gray and dark do
If you have music
 
It is only a short walk
 

Play

Amazing

Lying on your back looking at the stars
It’s hard not to wonder where you are

Not even to mention how big is bigOr how far is far

Lying on your belly in the sandThe sun on your backGranules sifting though your hand
Thousands of grains pouring down

Not even to speak of how many on the beach
And all over the ground

Play

This Too

Open your left hand. Look at your palm.  Now look in yourself, find all your regrets. Pull them out and place them in your hand, organized or in a bundle it doesn’t matter.  Now look at them, learn from them, study them.  Don’t fear them, don’t hate them, don’t try to define what you could have done differently.

Now relax your mind, close your eyes, and let your fingers curl up and settle into a fist covering the palm of your hand.  Hold your regrets firmly for a moment, knowing they are in the palm of your hand. With closed eyes take a deep breath, allow your fingers to uncurl and blow these regrets from the palm of your hand.

Now you are free to move forward.

Play

Along For The Ride

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/olivebranches/oob-025-alongfortheride.mp3]
Never do I hope to see
The longing for jealousy
I am who I am
This is me

If I stand in a bottomless pit
I will raise my hands
And I will claim it

If I build a house
A home
Of the finest wood
The finest stone

I will bow my head
And I will smile

If I have laughed
If I can smile
I know I have lived
If only for a while

So who are you
Do you live in the same world as I do
Where are your ups and downs
Do you stand with your feet on the ground

Where do you find yourself
Where do you hide
Do you ask yourself questions
Do you go along for the ride

Are you a friend of the gods
Do they persecute you
Do you raise your hands
And fall to your knees
Praising the mirror in front of you

All people are different
This I have seen
Are you someone similar to me

Play

That Line

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/olivebranches/oob-024-thatline.mp3]
I try to be a saint, I’m a sinner just the same

I’m walkin down that line

I give all my bread away, and ask for it the next time

I’m walkin down that line

I met a girl, she knew me
We got together and set each other free
We wanted it, but it couldn’t be

I’m walkin down that line

Give an inch and take a mile
Would a stab in the back make you smile

Where do you draw the line

Is this an issue of black and white
Ying and it’s relation to yang
Is it clear, or is it a fine line I walk

I’m walkin down that line

Play

In The Days

[audio http://traffic.libsyn.com/olivebranches/oob-023-inthedays.mp3]
I’ve seen days that were better
Then again I’ve seen days that were worse
Sometimes life can be down
Feel down right like a curse

Raise your head in the morning to fall asleep at night
Day dream about tomorrow
And what could be
And what might

When I wake up in the morning
I want to know everything is all right
When I wake up in the morning
I want to be
And do
And not fight

All are lives we live in
We do with what we will

And if we would like to make it better
We will have to wish
Then we will have to will

 

Play

Shelter in the Night


The boy was a street kid, probably had some kind of home but his parents didn’t care a whole lot, or maybe he just had one parent at home, and this parent worked a lot, or had some kind of addiction.  In any case he was dirty and he was needy.  Need, and longing and feeling helpless make people do bad things.

I’m not giving any excuses for the boy’s behavior but I am explaining why she loved this boy.  Because he’s just a boy, and boys do things that they shouldn’t, and this boy at least knew when he had been beat.  Because he had been beaten before, and she could tell because he gave in and resigned himself to his lot.  He knew he had done wrong, and he knew he deserved something.  He didn’t know the woman but he knew he was in the custody of someone braver and wiser than he.

The woman was strong in character.  She knew the boy, weather he knew it or not.  She had seen her brother, and her father and the son who she had lost in him.  She saw the innocence that even the boy who at the age of twelve had thought he had lost.

The woman was strong and brave and had spent much time alone on account of it.  When someone spends brave time alone they see others and they look in themselves, and if their not hardened by it they grow soft, and her large softness had made her heart grow big.  She wasn’t surprised when the boy grabbed for her purse (not as surprised as he was when she grabbed him), not because she had seen him coming, because she had not.  She was not surprised because she knew it was coming.  She knew one night walking that street that she walked so often that this would happen.  At first she was gun shy, even with her wonderful bravery, when she walked down that lonely night street lit up and speckled with night people, she would see out of the corner of her eye this boy.  Not this very boy, but this boy.  She would tell herself “that boy there is lonely,” and “that boy is needy,” or “that boy is hungry,” and in this way, over time, she had softened herself with her hardness.

This is why when the boy, this very boy came, she was not surprised.  She took him in, and she fed him, and she would even find herself at times wanting to keep him, but she knew that she could not.  Because when she looked at him she saw her brother, and her father and the son she had lost.  Because of all of this she was glad to feed him.

 

Play