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This River of Life
2015

Across Time
2010

Connected
2007

this river of life

Album artwork by Margaret Nes.
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THIS RIVER OF LIFE

Being On A Mountain
This River of Life
Soaring
In Times Like These
Bigger Than Me
Mind and Heart
Love Like That
Namaste
From The Lake
Love Song
May Peace Be With You
You Can Always Sing

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Being On A Mountain 

In memory of Scott Stanec (8/11/1965-11/28/2011), and in honor of Kris, DJ and Emme Stanec

Those who live near the mountains
Are aware of the allure
Shadows reach across the open plains
Beckoning to the hearts of the ones who come to explore.

The trail may be filled with obstacles
As the peak spurs them on to aspire
So the mountaineer through his joy and pain
Wends his way ever higher

Being on a mountain can be like heaven here on earth
Nature’s peace flows into you
Breezes bring rebirth
Being on a mountain can be heaven here on earth
And when you’re in heaven, may there be mountains to be like earth.

In life and in love, so often the same
In search of the warmth we get burned by the flame;
Joy and pain

Those who live near the mountains
Are well aware of the allure
As the shadows reach across the open plains
Beckoning to the hearts of the ones who come to explore

Being on a mountain can be like heaven here on earth
Nature’s peace flows into you
Breezes bring rebirth
Being on a mountain can be heaven here on earth
So when you’re in heaven, may there be mountains to be like earth.

Hey ah o, Hey ah o
And now that you’re in heaven, may there be mountains to be like earth.

This River of Life

For my dear friend, Sally Rothstein

This river of life keeps on rolling,
Whether we’re rowing or not,
Or just watching from the shore.
And in any moment, the magic or mundane
May drift on down—either one is yours to claim
It’s what you see in the water,
What you see in the water.

In the river of life, you’re plunging into the deep
To explore what’s waiting underneath its surface;
May it wash away what needs release from all you choose to keep,
And anchor your heart to where it longs to be.

This river of life—it sings out a calling
To the souls who are listening for the song
As an offer to begin.
Within any moment the current may divide,
Your course realigned
With an option to decide what you see in the water;
It’s what you see in the water.

In the river of life, you’re plunging into the deep
To explore what’s waiting underneath its surface;
May it wash away what needs release from all you choose to keep,
And anchor your heart to where it longs to be.

This river of life—it sings out a calling
To the souls who are listening for the song
As an offer to begin.
Within any moment the magic or mundane
May drift on down
Either one is yours to claim from the water
What will you see in the water?

Soaring

Inspired by the wisdom of flying geese and the shared mission of PPTS and how our flock supports one another.

We are on this journey together
…this quest that we share
Bringing peace and love
When and wherever we can ease the despair.

Soaring on shared wing; soaring as we sing!

One of us will lead…the rest will follow
Until she should tire
Then in her place we’ll fill the hollow
Fly on, and head higher.

Soaring on shared wing; soaring as we sing!

And across the sky, in our formation
We reach further than e’er before
For to our ranks–and our elation
We have added one more…!

Soaring on shared wing; soaring as we sing, as we sing, as we sing!

Bigger Than Me

It just is…and gratitude for times of awe.

Angular islands and emerald seas;
Glistening waves break the shore;
My paddle keeps time in this temporal rhyme,
Bridging the surface with fathoms below.

Jesus, or Buddah; Allah, the Light;
Krishna, Yaweh, Christ;
Great Spirit or science, the mystery—
All I know is it’s bigger than me.

An eagle glides silent; secure on her wing,
Keeping safe watch o’er the green;
Moss-carpeted stride, through the stillness I climb
Bridging this earth to the heavens serene…

Bridge…las…

Jesus,  Buddah; Allah, the Light;
Krishna, Yaweh, Christ;
Great Spirit or science, the awe of this sight–
All I know is it’s bigger than me.
What I know is it’s bigger than me.

In Times Like These

For everyone affected by the Black Forest Fire, the Waldo Canyon Fire, the floods…and anytime when there are just no words to express the feeling of the heart in times of loss.

In times like these,
When no words could ever say

What I mean to convey
That could ease, any pain…

I lean upon the song
Like the mountain here beside me,
Steadfast and strong—
May my voice ring out and hold you
Sing you through the night
Bring a bit of peace;
Help put you back to right.

And may you be lifted by this song
May it hold you up in every step
As you move on
May you be lifted by this song
May you be…

And when you wake
Though your world     is charred around you
And you feel the ache may go on–
See it’s dawn…

Then lean upon this song
Like the mountain here beside you
Steadfast and strong,
May my voice reach out and hold you
Sing you through the night
Bring a bit of peace
Help put you back to right…

And may you be lifted by this song
May it hold you up in every step you take as you move on
May you be lifted by this song
May you be lifted by this song that we sing
May you be. May you be. May you be.

Mind And Heart

…a reminder I must sing to myself…

Throughout this life there’s always work that’s got to be done
Sun-up until it’s down each da

Might be the kind for which you see a real good reason
Could be your chores, or what you do for your pay.
Down at the office or just down your stairs
On the job or in your mind
A thing you can count on is the need for repairs
Of the material or the human kind.

What you do, do with love; love what you do
See your intentions come true
Try to love what you’re doing; then you’ll feel it, too
If you can do it with love, then it will come back to you.

Get your mind and heart working together
See what could happen when they’re both on board
Mind and heart working together;
What you will capture will be your reward

I wouldn’t ever be someone who’d tell you what to do
How to live or get along
See it’s to me I’m talking, but if it fits for you
A simple reminder, to be thinking this song.

What I do, do with love; love what I do
See my intentions come true
Try to love what I’m doing; then I’ll feel it, too
If I can do it with love, then I’ll love what I do.

What we do, do with love; love what we do
See our intentions come true
Try to love what we’re doing; then we’ll feel it, too
What we do, do with love, then we’ll love what we do.

Teachin’ the children (do it with love)
Diggin’ or buildin’ (love what we do)
Foldin’ the laundry (do it with love)
Feedin’ the hungry (love what we do)
Shovelin’ snowfall (do it with love)
Anything at all (love what we do)

When we do what we love, then we’ll love what we do,
Do what we love and let our light shine through.

Love Like That

Hafiz said it all.

Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, “You owe me.”
Look what happens with a love like that! It lights the whole sky!

Namaste

English needs an equivalent.

May the light that shines within me
Greet the light that shines in you
May life’s shadows fade,
As dawn slides in to new day
May the light that shines within you
Greet the light that shines in me
On the journey on we walk, Namaste.

May the heart that’s moved within me
Reach the heart that moves in you
May you feel its pulse, however far away
May the heart that’s moved within you
Reach out to the heart that moves in me
On the journey on we walk, Namaste.

May the light that shines within us
Kindle light to shine anew
As the sun creates fresh blossoms for display
May the light reflected from you
Illumine the path to find a way
On the journey on we walk, Namaste.

May my light shine–From within me to you;
May our light shine
To illumine what it is we need to see.
Let your light shine–right back to me;
Let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine.

From The Lake

After I fractured my wrist at a family reunion and couldn’t play guitar, my musical outlet became one-handed piano. This is the resulting reflection on the gift of family, especially on retreat, and the stories the lake could tell as witness of eons of tribes by her shore.

In the twilight she folds in the stories
To the ripples that lap near her shore
Recording another day’s passing
And the tales that will add to her lore.

In her cool depths lie legends of bravery
Wherein true love or great spoils were at stake
Quests for success and the losses
Of the tribes who once passed through her wake

Chorus:
Generations have come to commune here
For the sport or the tranquility
To rejoin hearts in sweet recreation
To share in the moment–with you–just to be

Bridge:
Do you remember the loon’s plaintive call?
How we showed we unite should one of us fall?
How the dragonfly multitude filled up the blue?
How so easy the laughter, whatever we do…

Now the lake’s scribe has archived our story
All the episodes etched in her tome
Captured our love and adventures
And though all far away, we were home.

Love Song

This one was written by Lesley Duncan and mine is a re-created version of Elton John’s.

The words I have to say
May well be simple but they’re true
Until you give your love
There’s nothing more that we can do

Love is the opening door
Love is what we came here for
No one could offer you more
Do you know what I mean
Have your eyes really seen

You say it’s very hard
To leave behind the life we know
But there’s no other way
Now it’s really up to you

Love is the key we must turn
Truth is the flame we must burn
Freedom the lesson we must learn
Do you know what I mean
Have your eyes really seen

(Do-doos…)

Love is the opening door
Love is what we came here for
No one could offer you more
Do you know what I mean
Have your eyes really seen

Do you know what I mean
Have your eyes really seen (repeat and fade)

May Peace Be With You

Inspired by my work singing at the bedsides of people who are dying, and a hope for all who are living. This was originally a 3-part a cappella tune, and is sung by quite a few Threshold Choirs across the country and beyond.

May peace be with you;
Peace be with you now.
May peace be with you always;
Peace be with you now and always.

May love be with you;
Love be with you now.
May love be with you always;
Love be with you now and always.

May grace be with you;
Grace be with you now.
May grace be with you always;
Grace be with you now and always.

You Always Can Sing

After you’ve tried everything else, you might as well! Or move it to the front of the line…at least you’ll likely feel better. I wrote this after attending my first Threshold Choir Gathering at Bishop’s Ranch in Healdsburg, CA; it was inspired by Kate Munger’s practice of singing for all.

When you’ve sent your money
And you’ve said your prayers;
You’ve pleaded, begged and bargained for
Restored health or repairs.
You have wrung your hands red
And how you have cried.
Every effort you imagined, you have tried.
When it seems that you’ve exhausted
Your all and everything,
Just remember: You always can sing.

Sing to the hearts that are suffering,
When they’ve lost love so dear,
For the town that’s recovering,
From wildfires and flooding this year.

Sing to a soul who is lonely,
For a child who is sad,
Part of a family left homeless,
And lost whatever they had.

Sing, oh, sing,
Remember, you always can sing,
Oh, sing, you always can sing.

Sing to yourself when you’re happy;
To your friend when she’s blue,
Then to the sun as it rises above,
Just sing whatever you do.

Sing, oh, sing,
Remember, you always can sing,
Oh, sing, always remember:
You can sing.

across time

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ACROSS TIME

Where Does The Time Go?
Pair of Old Shoes
As One
Starlight & Moonshine
New Arms Race
Secret O' Life
Day in the Canyon
On the Shelf
The Water is Wide
Eye of the Storm
Never Imagined
Across Time

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view the lyrics

Where Does the Time Go?

Judy Collins sang about it a long time ago
She asked who knew where it went
A minute spins into a season or more
How did all of those seconds get spent?
She wondered if anyone knew,
Knew where the time went.

Jim Croce thought he’d keep it in a bottle, you know,
So he could sip from the days of his past
Drink up the best of the moments he’d had
The liquid of life—make it last.
Sip from the liquid of life to make moments last.

Oh, where does the time go?
Oh, where does it go?
Oh, where does the time go?
Oh, where does it go?

(Some) people have circles or stones as their guide
To measure the slide of the sand
Others never notice the grains dropping through
While time simply slips through their hands.
Oh, the time — simply slips — through their hands.

Mom always said the more seasons you had
The quicker the next would appear
I had my doubts, but since my years have all blurred
What she told me back then now is clear.

What she told me back then is today so perfectly clear.

Oh, where does the time go?
Oh, where does it go?
Oh, where does the time go?
Oh, where does it go?*

(Repeat chorus) *Last time: I’m sure I don’t know.
(Where it goes—I don’t know—where it goes.)

Annie Garretson

September 1, 2008

Pair of Old Shoes

You and me been a pair for so long,
Still I can remember when
We first fell in love—and I’d do it again
Beside you’s where I belong.

You in red leather Reeboks–such a surprise
My-oh, I could barely believe my eyes,
Hard to imagine, but this is true
In fact, I was wearing ‘em too.

(Chorus) You and me; a pair of old shoes
So comfy and a perfect fit
When and wherever, the duo I choose
You and me, babe, still hitting our stride
Left and right, together, side by side

See, I’d been with a couple a sneakers
They gave me the run around
Flip-floppin’; sayin’ they loved me
Slip-pin’ away to their girlfriends in town.

But once I found you, they were history
I gave the boot to that old ennui
Since then two-steppin’ our way through time
You and me, life-partners in crime.

Spent a lot a time in the closet
It was cold and dark on the floor
Soul-searching, and tapping our toes
‘Til we strapped on our boots and came out–of the door.

(Chorus) You and me; a pair of old shoes
So comfy and a perfect fit
Rarely, if ever, even feelin’ the blues
You and me, babe, still hitting our stride
Left and right, together, side by side

Hard for me to fathom ‘til I look in the mirror
We been together for so many years
Half of something else has never crossed my mind
Cause you and me we’re two of a kind.
Me and You we’re two of a kind; You and I we’re shoes of a kind.
Any way you want to say, we’re two of a kind.

Annie Garretson
February 24, 2010

As One

Two hundred forty thousand looked on as one
And millions more watched from afar
Embracing their loved ones; some they’d just met
On a night ripe with promise out under the stars

Swelling momentum, like waves out at sea
As the surf presses on to the shore,
Propelled all the hopeful in anticipation
To unify unlike they had ever before

They stood as one
A patchwork reflecting their colors
Stood as one
Tied by the vision of another world to come
They stood as one

It’s hard to imagine spring when it’s fall
Or birth in the midst of decay
But as everyone stood on the threshold that night
Dawn shone through dark to create a new day

We stood as one
The patchwork reflecting all our colors
Stood as one
Tied by the vision of another world to come

We stood as one; let us stand as one*;
May we stand as one, be as one.
*(Despite times when we disagree
Or my vision is not what you see
There’s a chance, if we believe, we’ll be as one)

Annie Garretson
November 21, 2008

Starlight & Moonshine — in Memory of Laura Sanborn

As the galaxy spun overhead
We stood in the moon shadow just before bed
Craning our necks so we’d hear what you’d say
‘bout all of those specks that were light years away
The message was clear in the time with you there
Safe and secure in the clean mountain air
As we learned to be who we would be
As we watched you be you

(Chorus) Starlight and moonshine
A backdrop for memories of moments with you
Starlight and moonshine
In our hearts we will always have you

Out in our jammies that cool summer night
We struggled to grasp what was far from our sight
Though we were young we were given a sense—
Of the wonder of life in a world so immense
And the message was clear in our time then and there
To quietly tread on the earth with great care
And we learned to be who we’d be
As we watched you be you

(Chorus)

(Bridge): We all have grown; we all have tried
To find our own way in this world far and wide
But sometimes we need to sit ‘neath the stars
And wonder—and remember—and reopen our hearts
And then soak up a shower of:

(Chorus)

In our hearts we will always have you.

Annie Garretson and Pat Malone
February 23, 2009

New Arms Race

In gyms across America, women are enlisting
The gauntlet has been tossed; and they are rising to the call
Beneath the squeal and hulk of their huge machines’ resisting
They push, pull, heft, and stretch in ways that may enthrall

(You) won’t believe the vigor that they put into their mission
From boxing drills to lunges cross the mats,
Curls and cardio and squats plus diet and nutrition
Each and every exercise to boost their “tone” stats – – – –

They’re after those Obama arms, Michelle Obama arms
As any aspiring-buff-woman knows–who wouldn’t be?
Hers are perfectly defined; full of power, yet refined
And she carries off the sleeveless look so gracefully.

It’s the arms race; the new-clear arms race
To free the world of dimples, dents and wayward triceps
The arms race, the new arms race–
Got to get Michelle Obama arms.

You may be a candidate—just give an arm this test
Give the salt a shake and see what happens next
If a muscle should appear, there’s no need for you to fear,
But if it boomerangs you may want to join the gang…

In the arms race; the new-clear arms race
To free the world of dimples, and those wayward triceps
The arms race, the new arms race–
Got to get Michelle Obama arms.
(Go on and admit it you’d like to have those arms.)
Yes, you can earn the right to bear bare arms.

Annie Garretson
May 27, 2009

Secret O’ Life

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time
Any fool can do it
There ain’t nothing to it
Nobody knows how we got to
The top of the hill
But since we’re on our way down
We might as well enjoy the ride

The secret of love is in opening up your heart
It’s okay to feel afraid
But don’t let that stand in your way
’cause anyone knows that love is the only road
And since we’re only here for a while
Might as well show some style
Give us a smile

Isn’t it a lovely ride
Sliding down
Gliding down
Try not to try too hard
It’s just a lovely ride

Now the thing about time is that time
Isn’t really real
It’s just your point of view
How does it feel for you
Einstein said he could never understand it all
Planets spinning through space
The smile upon your face
Welcome to the human race

Some kind of lovely ride
I’ll be sliding down
I’ll be gliding down
Try not to try too hard
It’s just a lovely ride

Isn’t it a lovely ride
Sliding down
Gliding down
Try not to try too hard
It’s just a lovely ride

Day in the Canyon

You’ll just have to see what lyrics come to you on this one!

On the Shelf

Most everyone has stuff we don’t want to see
We put up on the shelf and close the door
Gear from past vacations, out of season decorations
Photographs and relics left from years passed long before

Deep within the closet; and far from on my mind
I seldom even know the stuff is there
Like smol’dring embers waiting; almost suffocating
‘Til a gust bursts through a window and lets in all the air

Chorus: After all the years up in the closet
It’s time to lose the baggage on the shelf
Toss out all the ghosts and all the grudges
And see a fresh reflection of myself

It just takes a thought to creep in, to lead you to the door
And there you’ll be–bewildered by the blaze
Flashing through your mind; scenes thought left so long behind
Reminders that it’s time to say good-bye to yesterdays

Bridge: Like the times I should have given more & thought about me less
Or should’ve spoken up and didn’t speak
What I might have done, or how I could have tried
Could’ve shown my strength, but I was weak

Deep within the closet; and far from on your mind
You’d rarely even know the stuff was there
‘Til smol’dring embers waiting become a flame illuminating
Once hidden stuff that now you can’t help but be aware

Chorus: After all the years up in the closet
It’s time we lose the baggage on the shelf
Toss out all the ghosts and all the grudges
Beginning by forgiving ourselves—

Yeah, you and I could both begin by forgiving; Forgiving ourselves.

Annie Garretson
June 22, 2009

The Water is Wide (Traditional)

The water is wide; I can’t cross o’er
And neither have I wings to fly
Give me a boat that can carry two
And both shall row my love and I

Oh love is gentle and love is kind
The sweetest flower when first it’s new
But love grows old and waxes cold
And fades away–it can fade away…

I leaned my back up against an oak
I thought it was a trusty tree
But first it swayed and then it broke
And so my false love did unto me

There is a ship and she sails the sea
She’s loaded deep as deep can be
But not as deep as the love I’m in
I know not if I sink or swim

 

Eye of the Storm

Funny how the world spins, but we don’t fall off the side
And oceans never seem to spill a drop
Shouldn’t be surprising—it was that way by design
We skirt the edge but somehow come to a stop

Work is hard to come by; bills are tough to pay
The wolf has made his camp outside the door
The raft has sprung a leak and the oars drifted away
And yet we end up safe upon the shore

Chorus: In the eye of the storm
Shelter awaits;
Retreat to where it’s warm
Take a rest from the chill
Ease your mind; calm your heart
And be still.

Bridge: Sometime life’s dark clouds will gather
Just as your course is set toward the wind
Take refuge by finding the stillness
You create as you calmly breathe in (ritard)

(to)…the eye of the storm
Where shelter awaits;
It’s peaceful and it’s warm
Take a rest from the chill
Ease your mind
Calm your heart
And be still

Ease your mind
Calm your heart
And simply be, simply be
Simply be, simply be still

Annie Garretson
April 25, 2009

Never Imagined

(Dog) Nights were growing longer;
In the air I felt a chill
Nothing else was different–
Just life within the mill
I watched the world go by me,
Day and day again;
Didn’t know what I was missing,
It was the only place I’d been.

Immune to my condition,
Loneliness, and thirst;
Endless hours locked in a cage,
But hunger was the worst.
Unknowing of a better world;
Numb, as time stood still,
Devoid of all affection;
That’s the life within the mill.

So I never imagined the life I’d have before I met you
Romping through the forest, and howling at the moon,
Keeping pace beside you, and sniffing mountain air
No, I never knew a person who could care.
Never knew a person who could care.

(Woman) My life was not so interesting
I mostly watched TV
With family gone the quiet
Sometimes got the best of me
Days seemed long, but nights were worse
As if the time stood still
My friend thought I should get a pup
A rescue from a mill

And now we are a family
My furry friend and me
From the moment that we met
We got on easily
Though he leaves his hair most everywhere
And won’t pick up his toys
I never imagined a life with so much joy.

No, I never imagined the life I’d have before I met you
Romping through the forest; howling at the moon
Keeping pace beside you and sniffing mountain air
I never imagined just how much you would care.

So now we are a family my new-found friend and me
From the moment that we met we got on easily
As I’m keeping close beside you, so very sure it’s true
That I couldn’t imagine a day, couldn’t imagine a day
I can’t imagine a day—without you.

Written for National Mill Dog Rescue
Colorado Springs, CO

Annie Garretson
October 31, 2008

Across Time

Coming home to hummingbirds
Eased good-bye
In the canyon twilight
Feel peace with a sigh

Embers of sweet memories
Gently fanned into flame
Dear old friends reunited
Hearts still the same

Across time, across miles
Spirits joined together by time in the wild
Thread to thread; braided strands
Woven in the blanket of love for the land

High atop the mountain outcrop
Toast to the sun
Tucked the moment in my pocket;
Life re-begun

As aspens fall I still recall
The days rekindling the past
Golden leaves like cherished memories
Fade though we’d love them to last

Across time, across miles
Spirits joined together by time in the wild
Thread to thread; braided strands
Woven in the blanket of love,
Woven in the blanket of love,
Woven in the blanket of love for the land

Annie Garretson
September 28, 2008

connected

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to hear the sample.

CONNECTED

Standing Tall
Gravity's Bringing Me Down
Never Too Late
Bike Ride
Connected
SuperMan
I Wish For You Light
Bell to Bell Blues
Star
Whistle
Sands of Time
Another Turn, Turn, Turn
Peace Piece

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Standing Tall

You find yourself in the thick of your book
Spine’s unbroken so you take a second look
Sure enough, as the pages unfold
It’s a mystery yet, since the story’s untold…

But I see you standing tall, reaching high
Standing tall with your heart up to the sky
Standing tall on the mountainside
(with) Your spirit open wide.

The void’s not a vacuum as you scrutinize
Territory’s charted out through your mind’s eye
Destiny is written as you choose to believe
Create existence as you wish it to be

So you’ll see you standing tall, reaching high
Standing tall with your heart up to the sky
Standing tall on the mountainside
Your spirit open wide.

Conquer any issue, use mental tai chi
Regrets turn back by your energy
As you vanquish any demons may you come to see
That your strength lies within your vulnerability

The past has left its scars but onward you go
Must have been lessons that you needed to know
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, they say
How invincible you must feel as you start everyday

And I see you standing tall, reaching high
Standing tall with your heart up to the sky
Standing tall on the mountainside
Your spirit—let your spirit, may your spirit—open wide.

Written for Barb-Bob and inspired by a yoga pose
November, 2000

Gravity’s Bringing Me Down

Today I looked in the mirror and what did I see?
Some middle-aged woman lookin’ back at me
I did a double take ‘cause what’s she doing there?
With some resemblance to me, but salt & pepper for hair?

So familiar was the countenance, I had to see more
But I had to get my glasses so that I could explore
The creepy image staring at me from the glass on the wall
With her beady brown eyes and her apparent gall.

And upon further inspection I was mortified
To discover the invader whom I’d vilified
Was none other than the one you’re hearing now in this space
But she was graying, she was wrinkling–she was wearing my face!
Gravity’s bringing me down.

(Bridge:) My once acceptable appearance now has thrown me a curve
Morning aches are telling me I need to conserve
Body parts are droopy from my feet to my crown
‘Cause I just can’t avoid the simple fact:
Gravity’s bringing me down.

You know I find it so strange this happened overnight
Just yesterday my muscle tone was really all right,
But since my 30-something image now has slipped down the drain
A scientific fact is what I need to help me explain:
Gravity’s bringing me down, (repeat 2x….) (How LOW can you go???)..,

It’s true…and I know you may be skeptical, but I used to be six-two.
…and furthermore, I have a theory that I postulate will be accepted as scientifically sound once the neurological research has been conducted. You see, when gravity exerts its force on the hippocampus, brain cells, under tremendous pressure, compress and lose their capacity to complete synapses, therefore contributing to memory loss–maybe minor; perhaps profound. In the extreme, ideas, once perceived as absolute knowledge—black and white concepts—deteriorate (as one ages) into thoughts, which register only in shades of gray. Gray—gray matter. You know what I’m saying? Hmmm….What WAS I saying?? Oh–matter…What’s the matter?? Gravity’s bringing me down. (repeat 3x)… (How LOW can you go???)

October 3, 2006

Never Too Late

The two had lived separate lives
To one another unknown
When loss of their loves
Left them each on their own.
Tormented by grief,
Heartache and void
Their worlds that they’d known
Had been completely destroyed.

But it’s never too late for love
You know there’s still time
To be thought the world of
It’s never too late for love
No, it’s never too late for love.

Brought together by loss
Was it fate? Was it chance?
Whatever it was,
It was more than happenstance.
And as the months passed
Came a flicker of light
Then passion ignited
And the flame burned bright

So never give up on love
Hang on to hope
You’ll find the fit like a glove
Never give up on love
No, never give up on love.

When you’re thinking you’re lost
And alone in the world
And you’ve got no one holding you dear
Just keep your heart open, your spirit alive
Once you’re in the right space
Your new love will appear

Never give up on love
Though you think you might need
A little help from above
Never give up on love
Don’t you ever give up on love.

It’s never too late for love
You know there’s still hope
To find that fit like a glove
It’s never too late for love
No, it’s never too late
So never give up,
No it’s never too late for love.

For Herb and Myra
August 19, 2002

Bike Ride

The drone of the bass string might help you imagine the cadence of pedaling

2005-6

Connected

Billy’s really on the pulse, he’s in-sync in every way
Heading downtown in his Audi to his favorite net café
He’s dialed-in to his broker through the Treo on his dash
Then twirls through an ATM where he extracts his wad of cash

Plugged in to his laptop, he checks email, writes a blog
Seamlessly connected, like a greasy wheel and cog
Pays his bills on-line and sips a tall café au lait
Googles through some sites then he goes shopping on E-Bay

(Chorus): Billy’s got to be connected
Every minute on the clock
Keep the techno gadgets charged-up,
The iPod in its dock
Gotta always stay connected
Can’t miss a nano-sec
The cell phone’s in its holster
To be drawn and send a text

Billy thought he needed vacation so he bid on an RV
The microwave came standard, as did satellite TV
A flat screen blares a program as he sails on down the road
Wouldn’t want to miss a moment of the new Scrubs episode

(Chorus): Billy’s got to be connected
Every minute on the clock
Keep the techno gadgets charged-up,
The iPod in its dock
Ever since he was “E-infected”
Billy’s had to have it all
The cell phone’s in its holster
To be drawn and catch a call

Bridge: But later on that night, he parked way off the grid
The generator stalled, his cell phone signal quit
The TV screen turned dark, Play Station Three went dead
The stillness settled round and he was filled with dread

…What if he wasn’t connected?
Was he out of touch or had he been freed?
Alone and in the middle of nowhere
No more virtual reality…
But it seems that everybody’s connected
Every minute on the clock
But if there were-n’t any gadget distractions
What else would they do?…what?…talk?

This song was built around a chord progression and drum groove that Rick Greene and Derek Baughman put together, actually for someone else, and I took it and ran with it!
January 14, 2007

SuperMan

Faster than a speeding bullet, it flew
Just what was that up in the sky?
A bird? A plane? No, it was Superman–
Leaping buildings stories high.

The power of a locomotive proved no match
For the man behind the “S”
His solo force could turn the tide in every contest
While bouncing bullets from his chest.

Chorus: And he flew across our spacious skies
For truth and the American way;
Fighting all the forces of evil,
And for their crimes, perpetrators would pay.

With nerves of steel he entered any altercation
And saved the victims from distress.
Truth and justice would prevail across the land;
Then Metropolis could rest. (Repeat chorus)

Bridge: But in real life we heard of your accident; the tragedy of the fall
How on earth could it happen to the invincible image for all?
Chris lay in the hospital, technology aiding each breath.
What kind of existence…? Could it be any better than death?
Then entered his family; caring children and wife
And in an instant he made his decision—it was clear—and he chose life.

And again he flew across the spacious skies;
Not for truth or the American way,
Nor to thwart the forces of evil,
But for love and for life and for today.

Yes, flew across our spacious skies;
Not for truth or the American way,
Nor to thwart the forces of evil,
But for love and for life and for today.

Yes, he flew; how he flew;
Oh he flew, he flew anew
And on the tails of your cape others will, too
‘Cause the real SuperMan was you.

For Christopher Reeve, what an incredible man
March 3, 1996 (originally recorded at that time, but re-recorded 2006/7)

I Wish For You Light

We skipped the small talk, cocktails and wine
Bypassed the customary “How are you?” “Fine.”
Straight to the heartache, love and the loss;
Emotional mine fields we’ve all had to cross; we’ve all had to cross.

A sepia photo of one handsome lad,
Heart ring in diamonds shows passion you had;
A trusty ol’ knife that he kept in his robe,
Ties to the past, but symbols of hope, symbols of hope.

Chorus: And I wish for you light
In the times when you wake in the deep of the night
I wish for you light
May it shine on you always

A silk scarf from France in those beautiful hues,
Funny cane decked with the toys and pink shoe,
Cherished mementos of those that we love;
Heartfelt reminders we’ll never let go of, don’t want to let go of.

St. Francis stands watch from his post on the hill,
Pink flamingoes kindle memories still;
The coverless cookbook, well worn and stained;
Treasures of love to lessen the pain, kept to lessen the pain.

Bridge: Your daughter, her husband, their father, his wife;
My mother, her sister, your lover our life;
The mobile’s unbalanced with loss of our kin.
It may be right one day, though it’s hard to say when;
It’s so hard to say when.

The long days unfold into pathways of time
Mountains of “will nots” and “cannots” to climb;
Though shadows dapple the road, which we tread
The sunshine will break through up ahead, the sun’s just ahead.

For the survivors at Pikes Peak Hospice
November 11, 2001

Bell to Bell Blues

You can’t make me
I don’t want to
I ain’t goin’ anymore
With bell to bell instruction
School is nothin’ but a chore

All day long there
We are focused
On the objective on the board
Drill and practice to get to proficient
Take a test and then it’s scored

My CSAP scores aren’t lookin’ like I’ll make my AYP,
Despite the interventions, RTI and LMB.
Doubt that I can manage even one more strategy;
Don’t make me go,
Don’t make me go. (Break)

I said, “Mom, I got a problem…
Seems that I cannot make the grade,
And I’ve been missing my time at recess
Since the principal began this crusade.
And though I’ve been working up to my potential
There are goals there I can’t quite reach.”
She replied, “Honey, you know I’m so sorry,
But you’ve got to go now ‘cause you’ve got to teach!”

My reaction to some major changes happening in the way the system is asking us to teach our children.
October 26, 2006

Star

More than forty years ago, when Peter Pan went flying through the air,
Mary Martin envy made me want to be up there
In tights and turned up slippers, I’d spring from bed to bed
With dreams of Never-Neverland so vivid in my head

Chorus: I was gonna be a star
In my room I knew I’d make it to the far side of far
I’d dance and sing, I’d do it all;
And any day soon I’d get that Hollywood call

Then Julie Andrews twirled herself and made the hills alive
The sound of music filled my heart when I was two times more than five
I’d do my gig in front of mirrors—a new Von Trapp recruit
While dressed up in my Mary-Janes and navy sailor suit (Chorus)

Mary Travers harmonies were the next I’d try to emulate
Singing “If I had a Hammer” every morning, noon or late
Her every part I learned by heart ‘til I was really fine
I was ready if they’d want me, but she never did resign. (Chorus)

So I admit it now—the leotards don’t fit well anymore
And my dancing hit a plateau; two left feet don’t make it on the floor
But I’ll pick on my guitar most any mood I’m in
If you’ll listen, I’ll be there and you just need to tell me when

I guess I’m never gonna be a star
And I will never catch the sights from the far side of far
But in retrospect the view I see is a move in my mind
That shows me that I’m where I’m s’posed to be…
…but maybe I could go for a ride in a stretch limo sometime?

January, 2002

Whistle

Birds singin’—it’s a sunny day;
Leaves are fallin’, but they’re fallin’ my way.
Got nothin’ pressin’ so outside I’ll stay;
I wish I could whistle; I wish I could whistle.

Chilis roastin’ and the grill is aglow,
The grass isn’t growin’ so there’ nothin’ to mow.
The view that’s showin’ could be one for Van Gogh;
I wish I could whistle; I wish I could whistle.

If I could just whistle out a simple melody
My heart would then be filled with the sound.
When I can’t recall any lyrics at all
My whistlin’ would bring ‘em around.

I feel like whistlin’ when I think of you–
Beyond blissful knowin’ you love me, too.
And if I could you know just what I would do
You know I would whistle,
You know I would whistle. (WHISTLE!)

That’s all I can whistle.
I wish I could whistle.
For you I would whistle.

September 28, 2003

Sands of Time

Sands of time slipped softly through the hourglass
A myriad of grains to make a score
Earth’s revolutions must’ve twirled in veil of darkness
And lay the course of history down forevermore

Caught in the whirlwind of life’s everyday occurrences
A tree, but not the forest may a appear
But back away to see the insight in the painter’s way
And the message in the picture becomes clear

It shows the edge of the horizon in the dawn before the blue
And the cusp of sun a-risin’ the gateway to the view
On the pulse you sense it waking; emergence of the spring
And the birds take flight in chorus—it’s the next awakening

Don’t wait—the day is calling you
Don’t hesitate—the path is clear/near
Your new premiere; it’s time for your next debut

In the dusk we pack away the treasured memories
Shared perspectives from the trench that made us smile
And in your wake the strength and spirit that you fostered here
Is destined to endure a long, long while

So don’t wait—the day is calling you
Don’t hesitate—the path is near
Your new premiere; it’s time for your next debut—
But we’ll be missing you

You’re on the edge, before the blue
And on the cusp, into the view
And on the pulse, into the spring
And taking flight; awakening.

For Aileen and everyone who needs to move on…
May, 2006

Another Turn, Turn, Turn

Something tells the wild geese when it’s time to go
Something tells the gardener when it’s time to sow
Maybe it’s the day length; maybe it’s the breeze
An innate sense of rhythm handed down for centuries

A time for every purpose under heaven here on earth
A time to reap the harvest, then await the seeds’ rebirth

To everything’s the season and everything will turn
Toward the light that spurs us onward; to the path on which we’ll learn
A pasque flower plows her way through crust of stubborn snow
While a black bear stumbles into spring; up and moving slow

A time to teach the children, and a time for them to fly
A time to gaze up in the stars with a floating question—“why?”

Or why not seek beyond the well-worn, rutted road?
Climb through the overgrowth to risk the view
Enlightenment’s the next horizon

Something tells a spirit when it’s time to go
In the wind if one’s attuned to it, the telling breeze will blow
And the breeze has blown the candle out; the friendly flame is gone
Yet a flicker in the firelight says it’s right for movin’ on

A time to build the future and a time for looking back
And a time for taking stock of life to fill in what we lack

Something tells the wild geese when it’s time to go
Something tells the gardeners when it’s time to sow
A time for every purpose under heaven here on earth
A time to reap the harvest, then await the seeds’ rebirth
A time to teach the children and a time for them to fly
A time to gaze up in the stars with a floating question—“why?”

Something tells a spirit when it’s time to go
In the wind if one’s attuned to it the telling breeze will blow.

May, 1999…when I was moving on…

Peace Piece

At the end of each day may you feel peace,
And to yourself you have been true.
Find the strength from within, and then release
That which you cannot undo.

May your loved ones bring you comfort,
And through your struggles, soothe your pain;
As an oak, steadfast and strong, despite a storm;
Ever growing, yet unwavering, still remain.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem; dona nobis pacem.

May you find answers to the questions that you seek,
When earthly explanations can’t provide.
Renewed in spirit in the moments you feel weak;
Self-doubts and reservations all subside.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem; dona nobis pacem. (2x)

In our lifetimes may the fighting come to an end,
And hatred caused by differences cease.
May I be always mindful of my part in making amends,
Then at day’s end perhaps we’ll live in peace.

Dona nobis pacem, pacem; dona nobis pacem. (3x)
Dona nobis pacem, pacem—give us peace—Amen;
Give us peace—Amen; Give us peace—Amen.

March 3, 2007