I Ain’t Got No Home

Birthday tribute – Woody Guthrie!
(July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967)

I ain’t got no home… m’luck has finally stalled.
Just a willing worker… i go from job to job.

Cops make it hard… wherever i may go.
And i ain’t got no home in the world any more.

Brothers and sisters all… are filling up this road.
A hot and dusty road… where a million feet have trod.

Landlord took my home… and drove me from my door…
And i ain’t got no home in the world any more.

Worked the late-night shifts… scrubbin’ tile floors.
Paycheck in my hand… and out the mailbox door.

The plague found my partner… the clinic’s over full.
And i ain’t got no home in the world any more.

I detail pre-owned cars… i cleaned the hotel rooms.
Took the angry calls of extended warranty fools.

I worry all the time… like i never did before.
And i ain’t got no home in the world any more.

As i look around… it’s mighty plain to see.
This world is a strange… and funny place to be.

Owners are rich… the workers are poor…
And i ain’t got no home in the world any more.

I ain’t got no home… m’luck has finally stalled.
Just a willing worker… i go from job to job.

Cops make it hard… wherever i may go.
And i ain’t got no home in the world any more.

Someone Else’s World

 

Across the sea… someone else’s world… soldiers fight… soldiers bleed… someone else’s world. Across the sea… someone else’s world… mamas cry… babies die in someone else’s world.

Another day… someone else’s world… shots are fired… a sophomore’s down… someone else’s world. Another day… someone else’s world… papas cry… babies die in someone else’s world.

But on the bus no eyes make contact… even though a moment’s shared… and through our lives… we keep repeating… it’s not me… c’est la vie.

Across the street… someone else’s world… lovers fight… lovers bleed… someone else’s world. Another day… someone else’s world… babies cry… c’est la vie… it’s someone else’s world.

And on the bus… no eyes make contact even though a moment’s shared… and through our lives… we keep believing… it’s someone else’s world…

It’s someone else’s world…
It’s someone… else’s… world.

 

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/1000-migrants-returned-libya-year-200114132748736.html

Human Beans


 
The fronts are building now… there’s a cold wind blowin’ through. And good folks everywhere talk about the chosen few. They can’t help themselves… it’s only human beans… to cling tight to their notions… and that’s just what they do.

A piece of dirt both sides… they claim for themselves. They swear by God someday… justice will prevail. They can’t help themselves… it’s only human beans… to want more than is had… well… nothing fills the pail.

I know… it’s a cold cruel world… I know… you gotta make do for yourself. I know… people never satisfy. I know… disproportion breeds hatred. I know… the gap of disproportion grows. I know… nothing ever stays the same………

Every living breath is a part of us all. Makes sense to extend a hand. Are you sure you want the whole world bearin’ down on you… are you sure you want the call?

The fronts are building now… better dig your graveyards proud. ‘Cos good folks everywhere… well they’re ready to throw it down. They can’t help themselves it’s only human beans… to fight for love and pride… in the rain… they gladly drown.

I know… it’s a cold cruel world… I know… you gotta make do for yourself. I know… people never satisfy. I know… disproportion breeds hatred. I know… the gap of disproportion grows. I know… nothing ever stays the same.

I know…
I know…
I know…
I know.

 

Danger Town


 
Forever fight for peace… war at home. In silence you may speak… ’bout war at home. And air contagions breed… war at home.

And you won’t know but you’ll fight the war at home!

Everywhere you go… you hear the dogs… it’s all the rage on the Internet blogs… and no relief soon to be found… breathe the toxic fog of your Danger Town.

Punks and freaks embrace… war at home. And Mom and Dad belie… war at home. And crafty media oozes toward… war at home.

But the children shout revolution… waging war at home!

Everywhere you go… you hear the dogs… it’s all the rage on the Internet blogs… and no relief soon to be found… breathe the toxic fog of your Danger Town.

A new contempt pervades in business class… and religious militia enforce their holy will. With luck they’ll crown their pious king and crush the people’s will to flock. The tanks are in the street… the troops around the dome… a creeping coup de tat.

The sides no longer hear… war at home. And rancor can endear… war at home. And bileful hasty claims… war at home.

And angry shouts cannot douse the war at home!

Everywhere you go… you hear the dogs… it’s all the rage on the Internet blogs… and no relief soon to be found… breathe the toxic fog of your Danger Town.

Cheap Shots

 

You say you’re not happy… with the way things are. You say you want a return to the good ol’ days. So you look for someone to blame… but you don’t look too far. You want them to remember your name… from your…

CHEAP SHOTS! Shoot down the fool. CHEAP SHOTS! Fire at will. CHEAP SHOTS! Nail their jock to the block… just don’t forget to kick ’em when they’re down.

He cuts a silhouette in the streetlight’s smoky beam. His laser tipped weapon cocked and locked. His boots are tightly cinched around the cuffs of his fatigues. He’s gonna keep the peace on your block… from your…

CHEAP SHOTS! Shoot down the fool. CHEAP SHOTS! Fire at will. CHEAP SHOTS! Nail their bra to the wall… just don’t forget to kick ’em when they’re down.

Greed in the halls of power… ignorance on the streets. With all the know-how in the world… you’d think we all could eat. Sad but true… until we do… we’ve got to live with hate. The less we know… the further we go… here we go again…

FIRE!!!!!

Now here’s a crazy thought… surely it won’t fly. What if we adjust priorities? And set aside the things that won’t matter when we die? Reevaluate reality!

NO MORE CHEAP SHOTS! Shoot down the fool. CHEAP SHOTS! Fire at will. CHEAP SHOTS! Nail their jock to the block (bra to the wall)… just don’t forget to kick ’em… don’t forget to kick ’em… don’t forget to kick ’em when they’re down.

LITTLETON, CO - APRIL 20: Visitors bring flowers and spend time at the Columbine Memorial on Monday, April 20, 2015. Today marks the 16th anniversary of the deadly shooting at Columbine High School which left 12 students and one teacher dead. The school was closed for the day, as it has been every year on this day since the shooting occurred in 1999. (Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post)

Goodbye Stony Creek

 

Sun comes up, another a new day… for the neighbors of Columbine. From Waterton Canyon to Chatfield’s dam… balloons are pepperin’ the sky. And Jim makes off in his khakis and lunch bag… off to his daily tech war. And Bill and Gene are working for Jesus… on the streets of Ward 24.

Goodbye Stony Creek… I’m finally escaping your sorrow… fare thee well till we meet again… don’t you cry… I’ll be fine.

Alec is sick… gonna stay home from school… his momma says she don’t mind. She got three interviews and a schedule to keep… Alec will manage just fine. And Debbie says there’s too much noise… she can’t get no relief. Lay your pretty head down on the pillow dear… maybe you’ll finally sleep.

Goodbye Stony Creek… I’m finally escaping your sorrow… fare thee well till we meet again… don’t you cry… I’ll be fine.

Some of us deal trump to our demons… others are wishin’ we could. And some of us are finding our own way to carry on like legends would. And none of us asked to be here… no… no. Many would gladly trade places… to the rock of Coal Mine Avenue… home sweet Stony Creek.

Sun comes up, another a new day… the best of the summer so far. And Carrie’s found some peace on her own… on the hilltops of Clement Park. And as for me, I’m hitting the road… hauling everything to Baltimore. And Bill and Gene have been replaced by some sisters on the streets of Ward 24.

Goodbye Stony Creek… I’m finally escaping your sorrow… fare thee well till we meet again… don’t you cry… I’ll be fine.

Somewhere over the rainbow way up high…
Birds fly over the rainbow why oh why can’t I?

Judgement


 
Turning on a spit…
Don’t forget to save a hit…
For the child inside a pit…
All alone without a bit…
of strength with which to split…
Extra words of twisted wit…
For the king and all his shit…
And all the things that make us quit…
The transcendental seizure fit…
A flight bound to slip…
Through a dimensionary tsunami of love.

Oh the judgment of God…
will be harsh… will be swift.
Movin’ down through the stratosphere…
to the folly of man. And we…
the righteous agents of God…
have got to face the awesome truth… 
Sometimes redemption requires discipline.

The stone will roll…
And mockingbirds will toll…
For whom the bell sings droll…
simple steps on patrol…
Where kindness creates a hole…
Where blackness takes the soul…
Where winding river’s scroll…
Through the universal hole…
For jesters to control…
The ultimate goal…
Unleash the earthquakes of war.

Oh the judgment of God…
will be harsh… will be swift.
Movin’ down through the stratosphere…
to the folly of man. And we…
the righteous agents of God…
have got to face the awesome truth… 
Sometimes redemption requires discipline.

I AM the dark tower of gold…
I AM the story told…
to children eons old…
For withered words sold…
masses follow pipers told…
Firebirds dripping droppings bold…
Mean sharing bounty cold…
Cash drawn from workers hold…
Power in their hands… sight behold…
The miracle of ONE voice ONE indivisible fold…
Of labor to the power of all but none as the
random judgment of GOD.

…the judgment of God…
will be harsh… will be swift.
Movin’ down through the stratosphere…
to the folly of man. And we…
the righteous agents of God…
have got to face the awesome truth… 
Sometimes redemption requires discipline.

“I’ll see you on the other side
of the judgement of God.”

Bad Day in the Rocky Mountains

 

The plan was simple. Lisa, our mutual friend Tim, his brother Tom, and I would go for a nice quiet road trip through the Rockies — something we often did for grins and giggles. This time we planned to visit Tom’s college buddy in Grand Junction. We would stay Friday and Saturday, then drive home Sunday in time to watch the Broncos game on TV.

By the time we made it halfway through the six-hour trek, pangs of hunger could no longer be ignored. We pulled into the next town, Glenwood Springs, for a bite. Not able to find a fast-food restaurant, we chose the first eatery that looked casual. It turned out to be a barbecue shack, and the ribs hit the spot. As we savored the last few bites, Tom, with a toothpick in the corner of his mouth, assumed a sober tone and began telling stories about his college buddy. He recounted several tales of drugs, guns, and dubious visitors speaking mangled Spanglish. This inspired a panorama of expressions from Lisa’s face, and she repeatedly commented how little of that sort of thing happened in her hometown, Pilger, Nebraska.

“Don’t worry Lisa, Tom’s pulling your leg,” Tim said, not altogether convincingly. “He loves to embellish. Actually, his buddy did some time for possession of marijuana in the seventies, but I’m sure he’s done with that nonsense by now.”

Lisa looked relieved, but I was beginning to wonder just how well Tim knew his brother.

The final leg of the drive was relaxing. As we reached the mesas and orchards of the area, the sun looked to be in perfect position for a spectacular setting. I was cursing myself for not bringing the “good” camera when Tom, from the co-pilot seat, called for a left turn.

“Only ten miles,” he said as the sound of rubber on gravel began to mix with that of the radio.

“I thought he lived in town,” Lisa said with a distant note of worry.

Tom turned to face her in the back seat, “Fear not,” he said with a crooked smile. “Jasper is wealthy, and he’s actually down to earth. Besides, you like horses so much, I figured you’d enjoy the ranch.”

Lisa looked unconvinced, so Tom continued. “Lighten up my dear. Beautiful this time of year. The parties are fun.”

I think Tom fancied himself a Zen poet. Lisa, however, did not appear amused.

Upon arrival, to my surprise, we found Tom was right. Jasper’s house was beautiful; a sprawling ranch with an outdoor pool and hot tub in the backyard. The green apple and peach orchards stretched beyond the stables as far we could see. Also, a friendly bevy of merry-makers was by the pool, and topping it off, Jasper proved a congenial host.

“Welcome, welcome!” he sounded earnest. “I’ve been looking forward to meeting you,” Jasper said after Tom’s introductions.

Just then the sun was beginning a grand exit and most everybody, for a brief moment, seemed spellbound. The moment was stunning, and after sighs and wows faded, the porch lights came on, and the party began with a vengeance.

This is where I should have pulled back and found a way to get us out. These people seemed to be of a different universe from what Tom had described, and it was apparent that they were deep into a collective cocaine binge. I could tell because their conversations were way too energized and the guys were accompanying each other to the bathroom (a practice that is reserved for girls where I come from). Something was nagging in the back of my head… it just didn’t feel right. After a while, I was able to loosen up and, a few beers later, found myself carried by the kinetic mirth of the moment and that’s when the trouble began.

Someone standing next to me saw them first. Three motorcycles idled in past the parked cars and into the backyard. When the metallic-blue gleam of the guns came into view, the entire crowd broke into panicked chaos. The rapid firing seemed to go on forever, and when the shooting stopped, the motorcyclists rode away.

Jasper’s backyard could have been a turkey shoot, but the gunmen caused no physical injuries, other than scrapes and bruises diving for cover. Mentally, however, I was changed for life. In the short time for the assailants to empty clips, I saw all; my failures, my family, and all the beautiful things that routinely get taken for granted. I imagined myself paralyzed and wheelchair bound. That was the scariest thought. Not that I might die, but without any health insurance, being shot and hospitalized, I would suddenly become a crushing burden to my family.

After the dust settled and everyone calmed down, I began to browbeat Tom for leading us into such a mess. He apologized abjectly; he didn’t think there’d be any hassles. He did admit to knowing of Jasper’s continued involvement in the illegal drug business but never dreamt of exposing us to anything dangerous. Jasper, he thought, was a prudent man in choosing friends and business associates.

To me, that seemed like the central lesson of the day. Yes, these are maddening times; choose your friends wisely.

We drove home that night; fled like spooked horses. We were glad to be no worse for the wear, but no one could sleep, and none of us would ever be the same. “I can see it now,” Tim said as we crested Lookout Mountain. It felt as though we’d never get far enough from that scene, and a heavy sigh of relief came over me as we did. At the time, I felt a great antipathy for the city, “Yuppie-town” as we not-so-affectionately called it, but on this night, as we gazed down at the twinkling lights of downtown Denver, no sight could have been more beautiful.

Ashes in the Dirt

 

I’m a runaway… a runaway fool and I’m a dreamer… a dreamer too… ain’t got the answers… I think I’m running outta time. There’s a question ringing in my ear but now it isn’t… no… it ain’t too clear… ain’t got the answers… I think I’m running outta time.

Dust on the path coat my boots. Smoke in the air sting my eyes. Dry bones in the fire… leaving only ashes in the dirt!

Ain’t been to Paris… or Istanbul… ain’t been to Bogotá… or Kathmandu. So much to do now… I think I’m running outta time. Well… there’s a question ringing in my ear… but I’ll never know if I stop here… ain’t got to worry… I’m always running outta time.

Dust on the path coat my boots. Smoke in the air sting my eyes. Dry bones in the fire… leaving only ashes in the dirt!

Yea… yea… yea…

I’m a runaway… a runaway fool… I’m a dreamer… a dreamer too. Ain’t got the answers… and always running outta time. I better hurry… and don’t get caught… keep it real now… and don’t get bought. It kinda bothers me… I’m always running outta time.

Dust on the path coat my boots. Smoke in the air sting my eyes. Dry bones in the fire… leaving only ashes in the dirt!

Aaaaaaaah haaa…
We’re only ashes in the dirt.