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Like working families all across the state, we must find a way to make government live within its means.

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All Across The Nation

All Across The Nation,
Is Hunger And Starvation.

All Across The Nation,
Is Racism And Discrimination.

All Across The Nation,
Is Poverty And Overpopulation.

Why Don’t We Stop This Pain?
There’s A Lot More We Can Gain.

Why Not Help Each Other?
Instead Of Killing One Another,

Actions Speak Louder Than Words,
So Lets Do Something About It!

August 2004

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All Across The Sands

Bones of an impressive romance
Scattered all across the sands
A secret safe with all the world
Too vain to seem so capable
Can you hear it calling
Do you feel warmer
As the hired hands exposed
How can a pretty painted shell
Send them all packing off to hell
A freight train laughs and rattles by
You kissed the girls and made them die
Can you hear it calling
Do you feel warmer
As the hired hands exposed
And Ill never come here again
And we will never come here again
And we will never play here again
Again
Can you hear it calling
Do you feel warmer
As the hired hands exposed
After her call
After her call
After her call
And she calls

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All Across The Sands

Bones of an impressive romance
Scattered all across the sands
A secret safe with all the world
Too vain to seem so capable

Can you hear it calling?
Do you feel warmer?
As the hired hand's exposed

How can a pretty painted shell
Send them all packing off to Hell?
A freight train laughs and rattles by
You kiss the girls and made them die

Can you hear it calling?
Do you feel warmer?
As the hired hand's exposed

And I'll never come here again
And we will never come here again
And we will never play here again
Again

Can you hear it calling?
Do you feel warmer?
As the hired hand's exposed

After her call
After her call
After her call
Didn't call

Can you hear it calling?
Do you feel warmer?
As the hired hand's exposed

After her call
After her call
After her call
As she calls

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All Across The Nation

Somewhere in the city
Theres a struggle going on
Someones making money
Someones doing wrong
Everybody searching for a little piece of gold
(power play? )(fix a face? ) never grow old
Its a shame
Whos gonna take control?
Its a game they play
Whos gonna save your soul?
And theyre never gonna stop
Till they reach the top
All across the nation
Fever takes control
Money is temptation
Money saves your soul
One thing I can tell you
Of this there is no doubt
The rich man needs his comfort
And the poor man does without
Everybody loves somebody
All around the world
But everybody knows
Its the rich man gets the girl
-chorus-
Look at all the little people
(cowering? ) from the rain
Standing at the bus stop
Dreaming bout spain
Here comes the rich man
Driving his car
When he was poor he was sure
He was gonna go far
-repeat chorus to fade-

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On A Stage All Across The World (album Mix)

Suddenly it's friday night
Answering the question why we're here tonight
We're the band thats going to rock and roll the crowd
So can you tell me how to get to the stage in town?
We're the poster "live on stage"
We gotta hurry up it's absolutely late
Can I take this picture with you?
But just in case I would rather take two.
And then straight on to the hotel
See you here at 10 o'clock down in the hall
take a rest in a while we gotta go
Cause tonight think on another show
It's time get ready to play
No matter how we try in the end we're always late
20 minutes on the clock
But we'll give it all that we've got
On a stage all across the world
And another concert begins
Soon they'll tell us its time so let's go
People applauding
Jumping at the dance and roll show
And we'll have a great time while we're riding
On the highway and overseas
There is someone at home that's waiting
for you to come back
after the publicity
But it can't be over now
Look at all the people that are getting down
There's a lady that is waving a CD
Can you sign it for my daughter?
She's your big fan
And what a hostile (...) backstage
We've gotta change cause we have a minute free
Just a question for Radio (...)
Could you smile for our local TV?
Finally we can sit for a bite
Go for the lasagne that is always right
And there's someone who doesn't know why
We decided for Eiffel 65
I'm uncertain where do we go?
There's a club where there's another show
Where a DJ plays tonight
And we'll dance to his morning light

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Across The Border

Ive been workin so hard, baby,
Tryin to get to you.
Im gonna be there soon because
In the heat of the day many miles away
When the sun is beating down upon the main street
Ill be waiting here at the station,
I gotta move down the line.
Theyll be dancin and singin and doin their thing
And theyll be rockin and rollin until the day is done.
You know I got to make the deadline.
I gotta get that southbound train tonight, ooh.
If I dont get to the border then Ill write.
The mardi gras will be blowing strong
And the people dancing all across the city.
Im leaving here tonight,
I gotta move down the line.
Im gonna catch a ride on the nine-o-five,
Im gonna ride the rail until we reach the morning,
Maybe three or four hundred miles.
I gotta get that southbound train tonight, ooh.
If I dont get to the border then Ill write.
When the wind is blowing softly
Through the streets of a little town and the musics playin
Youre waiting somewhere over the horizon.
I gotta get that southbound train tonight, ooh.
If I dont get to the border then Ill write.

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Peace In The Light

Like Moths to a flame, trying to see,
The poor in spirit, seek to break free,
To avoid the abyss,
Search with all their might,
Where will they find the Light?

Once seen, always mean,
Must find a way to dull the bright,
How can we destroy the Light?

Those that love draw them nearer,
The door to inner Light is clearer,
To live life to the full, it is dear,
No way to live in fear,
Love and Light lie within us all,

Once seen, always agleam,
Must find a way to stay bright,
How can we spread the Light?

Spirit leads to colours bright,
Dark always enhances the Light,
Contrasts show us the way,
Deep within we can keep darkness at bay!

Once seen, always agleam,
Must find a way to stay bright,
How can we spread the Light,

April 2012

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Down The Dolce Vita

hey mac, see you down the dolce vita!
get back, we dont have time
cos I hear were sending off the heroes
When the year goes, theyre out of the bay,
Trying to find a way
To make it alive
so long said poor men to their families,
Be strong til we get back home.
And if not, take care of all the children
Until then just hope and pray
Were gonna find a way
To make it alive
you guys are crazy
They shout and then we leave the harbour.
In doubt, theyre acting wierd
And the sea is whipping up a welcome
If hell come were all easy prey,
Trying to find a way
To make it alive
you guys are crazy
The captains hand shook for the guys to get in place
He said, lets look behind your face.
With each corner covered, they were all around
Waiting for the midnight bell to sound
out of sight, cried aeron through his glasses
dont fight said gorhams smioulder
I was scared of being easy prey,
Trying to find a way
To make it alive

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Just like families must live within their budgets, the Federal Government must live within its means. We have passed appropriations bills that have been fiscally responsible while recognizing our national priorities.

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The reason it takes us from November the second to December the sixth to certify is because we have a very tedious, very comprehensive process where we audit by precinct, across the state, every vote that was cast to make sure that every vote that was legally cast is counted.

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Where the Heart Is

One of us does not belong here!
You make appearances all over the place...
Defending your right to be who you are.
Taking what does not belong to you,
And calling it yours!
Even by doing that...
You lack ability to maintain order!
And everywhere I go I feel absolutely comfortable!
And you tell me I have issues and baggage?
Until someone insists I'm not convincing enough...
By making attempts to reduce me to depths,
Of their insecurities!
With promotions of accomplishments imagined!
I'll remain quite focused.
But then...
I'm not all over the place,
Trying to find my way 'home'!
Isn't that where the heart is?
And why so many are without them!

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Life Is Good

(Jo Dee Messina/Mark Selby)
I used to think that life was all about the joneses
Trying to find a way to just keep up some how
I had to have it, do it, be it, had to own it
A little secret that I finally figured out
We spend so much time climbing up the ladder
And then we're missing all the things that really matter
Chorus:
I've got my two feet on the ground
Breathin' in and breathin' out
Oh yeah
Life is good
I'm gonna grab on to today
Live every minute in the way I know I should
Life is good
I like to move, I like to run, I like to get it done
Or I can stay home on the couch and watch tv
Give me sunshine, give me rain, it makes no diffence to me
It's all the same, all the same to me
Call me simple, call me crazy
I believe that it's all in what we make yah
Repeat chorus
Call me simple, call me crazy
I believe that it's all in what we make yah
Repeat chorus (out)

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Observation

Where do I go now from here?
Is there any place somewhere?
I can sit peacefully for a moment
Watch gracefully all the movements

I found nothing wrong with the nature
It existed and all were there for future
Birds flew in raw with nice formation
Why then all of sudden such transformation?

River too had musical and orderly flow
Fragrance in air with sweet voice of cuckoo and crow
All added to the beautiful surrounding and weather
Nature had it all with glory to its feather

I still need to search the soul
Not to smell rat and find the foul
May be that I lack the vision and sense
Why can’t I see all across the fence?

We may fail to notice gradual change
It may have its own sphere and range
Still there is so much to observe
Best efforts to maintain and preserve

We have changed a lot in comparison
Not much in common and act in unison
Indulge in loot, murder and arson
I find no logic and solid reason

Nature may have its noble role to play
It has its roots and relation with the clay
We may act different and hold the sway
One thing for sure we are drifting and going away

Will it deliver anything good?
Millions may perish for the want of food
Alienation from nature is not good indication
Unhealthy environment may lead to suffocation

Let us not starve ourselves for simple reason
Not to act in haste with any of the season
Believe in natural law with respect to all
We may flourish together with humanity call

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The Week Between Christmas and New Year

These are the strange and dull and heavy days
(in the Northern Hemisphere at least –
we seldom spare a thought for what ordeal
our brothers and sisters, basking in the summer sun
are passing through in mind…)

For children, these are precious days, of course –
waking each morning to the knowledge of new toys—
(premature, by orthodox tradition – a birth, of course,
but not yet the presents that are due
to celebrate the Epiphany, the showing-forth of Love Itself)

but are there other gifts which grown-ups have not found,
buried in the garden soil, the frozen fields?
For it seems this week, as if the earth and nature
are caught up in some mighty pull
as this great globe itself rounds some vast narrow bend
and we with it; as if we are nature, earth as well:
aroused by some peremptory alarm clock
at some ungodly, godly hour,
to help push up the snowdrops from their roots
and all other things that must be stirring in the earth
to feed and flower.

Some esoterics say that these seven days
are rich with some strange octave in the mind
whose qualities are sensed within our music’s scale:
some universal starting power; reluctance; recovery;
faintheartedness; a sunny strength; need for authority;
yearning for completeness – these, they say,
are to be lived through in the mind;

these to be lightly seen and sung in heart;
best, in these over-eaten days, to participate
in joyous activities in company..

Others whose star is in the East
look for a sequence of twelve days of Christmas:
wisdom has set out from Persian lands afar
on its journey to acknowledge new-born love;
some old order gathered in the safe sheepfold of strict law
knowing in its wisdom, it’s now time –
the law known and secure -
to learn the new-born testament of love;

All this, buried in the Christmas tree’s root and branch,
the holly and the mistletoe, the alert, fierce robin
sitting on a needful spade,
the angel (wondering if it still has a place in our hearts,
but knowing the powers that its wand
may never lose)

In these strange and dull and heavy days
all this, all these, the presents yet to find,
we could not make or buy; lie wrapped in mind.

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The desire for freedom resides in every human heart. And that desire cannot be contained forever by prison walls, or martial laws, or secret police. Over time, and across the Earth, freedom will find a way.

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The Deal To Make Others Happy

i make a deal with myself
everyday i must find a way
to make other people happy

tough deal
but i must: connect the missing
link of love

find the lost photo album
of the spinster

bring the old man at
the metro station
and described to his blindness
the colors that i see
the music that lies in the heart
amidst the noise
of this world

little pleasures of the hands of children
dipping fingers
on the cool water of the creek
by the side of
the big canal
of an old house abandoned
by the couple
that i must make them
to reconnect
on love letters long gone
i must retrieve
what has been fading

there is a lonely man sitting
waiting
i must provide him with another name

tough deal
but worth it, it is.

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Use Money wisely,

Use Money wisely,
I grieve for your judgement,
It's a warning,
Use money wisely,
It has a Spirit,
It has value,
The vegetation Kingdom,
The Earthly Kingdom,
We worshipped in the Streets,
In the Churches,
The monetary Value,
The taste of this society,
It made the world go round,
Most creeping creature's say about this,
But it's a lie, no maybe true,
This is what we perceive,
We be very excited about money,
The Gold, the Silver, all these,
But Heaven that is to come from Christ,
The mainstream never searched,
Look within you,

Who will take you to Heaven, ?
It's not the Conmen,
Not the masses,
Or the Dollars,
You will carry your callous heart,
Maybe the ignorant soul,
The prodigal son must find a way,
Maybe a solution,
How will the cypher be complete, ?
Turn blessing's more of a burden, ?
Do not be too much excited over success,
Or the Compliance soul,
Designated for fun and wrongly using,
The investment of money for humanity,
Money, honey of Humanity,
Save it, No use it wisely,
Imagine a world of not getting,
Not spending,
How we waste each other,
Getting and spending, ?
I

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Banu’s son has had no water for days

Banu’s son has had no water for days
His pulse is weak and his mother prays
No hope in sight of getting water or milk
Helpless, she lingers by his cradle in a daze

“Pray tell me, what shall I do now Ya Husain?
The baby’s eyes now roll back in pain”

“Oh Ya Ali, Ya Ali where can I go?
I cannot watch my baby suffer so
How do I find a way to make him live?
Ya Ali he needs water, which I cannot give”

“Last night I saw him open his eyes
But today he lays still, doesn’t move, doesn’t cry”

Then everyone said, “Lets call the Imam
For God’s sake somebody, go get the Imam
The baby is dying, go tell the Imam
His face is blue, his body calm”

“Taking Akber’s body to lay it to rest
The Imam’s on his way, with grief beset “

Face stained with the blood of His eighteen year old
The Imam entered, his head bowed
And everyone led Him to the baby’s crib
And showed Him the baby’s still fingers and toes

“He barely breathes Oh Noble Prince” they cried
Its seems as though he has already died”

At the head of the crib, the Prince knelt down
In the baby’s ear He whispered, head bowed
Hearing the Prince’s voice, the baby smiled
Toward Husain he extended his arms and glowed

“It is indeed a miracle” Sakina cried
“Oh mother, my brother has opened his eyes”

The baby in His arms, the Prince left the camp
And death followed, eyeing them askance
To shelter her baby from the midday sun
The mother draped a sheet over the Imam’s arms

Holding Asgher close, Husain walked, head bowed
In the arms of the heavens, a snow white cloud

As He neared the lowly enemy, Husain stood silent in pause
Couldn’t ask for water, couldn’t utter the words
With embarrassment He paled, He bowed His head
He uncovered the baby, to the army He showed

Head bowed, he said, “I’ve brought my son to you
Seeking water Asgher now has come to you”

Then He kissed the baby’s parched lips and mouth
And whispered “My son I’ve said what I could
There are no words to describe your pain my son
So maybe you can show them your dry, parched tongue”

In response the baby licked his lips parched and dry
And Husain shuddered and looked up to the skies

And as Husain looked to the heavens so
The cursed Hurmula strung an arrow in his bow
And aimed the arrow at Asgher’s throat
Pulling taut the bow, let the arrow go

As the tiny neck the arrow gashed
Asgher lurched and clung to his dad

A six month old baby and an arrow’s force
Blood poured from the tiny, thirsty throat
Once more he lurched and then went still
His cap fell to the ground and he breathed his last

Tiny fists curled over his chest, body numb
A minute ago he was sucking his thumbs

And the desolate Father, watched His son
Saw the devastation the arrow had done
And watched the baby in the throes of death
The tiny hands groping at the injured neck

The lifeless eyes rolling back in the head
Blood gushing forth from the battered neck

Gently pulling out the arrow from the baby’s neck
Husain lifted His son toward the heaven and said
“My God please accept my last sacrifice
For your cause, in your path, my son is now dead”

“Little in age but magnanimous in deeds
Thus are the children of Allah’s creed”

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Satyr IX. The State Of Love Imitated Fm An Elegy Of Mons:r Desportes

In the st season of the infant earth
When all from Chaos took their orderd birth
When mankind from the hand of heaven came
All pure & white ere vice had gott a name
But evry act with innocence indu'd
Was more by nature then from knowledge good
Love mighty powr did graciously descend
grew fond of man & here wth man remaind
In their unsullyd hearts he chose to stay
their bliss anights their buisness all the day
Nor wonder if in such he made abode
No temples better can befitt a god
His gentle influence did their soules inspire
Each found a mate nor wanted amorous fire
Evn when injoyment had allayd desire
Secure of sweet content they daily livd
Content unmixd with fears to be deceivd
their tongues their reall sentiments disclosd
Nor studyd language on the ears imposd
their eyes an undissembling flame expresst
& they who felt it most coud speak it least
desert & softness love or beauty were
their onely arts to make a yielding fair
Plain undesigning love that never knew
to practise crueltys as Empire grew
to fashion smiles with managd airs to court
& wound a tender breast in barb'rous sport
twas more then riches riches coud not move
the meanest thought them not a price for love

But when the vices to a head increast
& all this age of downy pleasure ceast
when gold by glistring showd its dark abode
& fickleness began to be the mode
When feigning was by way of breeding taught
& onely worth his wealth the lover thought
When first to speak the mind was reckond shame
& masqd hypocrisy took honours name
the fatall change with anger Cupid saw
& thus bespoke ym ready to withdraw

Hence lett us hence with Just abhorrence go
for ill their happyness these mortalls know
Who slight the mighty favours I bestow

then darting upwards soon ye clouds he gaind
& hung in air his purpose thus explaind

You shall repent ungratefull race you shall
& know too late the Joyes from whence you fall
the loss regretting by your selves undon
who true contentments heavnly blisses shun
& after false appearing pleasures run
Since all in common do my Godhead slight
On all in common shall my fury light

& first on men who wont their hours employ
In my soft paths of simple artless Joy
Who woud be free tho for the worse you change
My powr shall thus my slighted gifts revenge
Henceforth your charmers shall be versd in arts
Not loving faithless & designing hearts
the tend'rest shall their pitty least obtain
they'le feel a pride ore many slaves to reign
to make believing fooles then give ym pain
their look their smile their action their intent
Shall all against your peace of Soul be bent
Now hope restraining when it forward bears
Now quickning hope when you're restraind by fears
Oft seeming kind then scrupulously nice
& mixing as it were their flames with Ice
to keep confusd irresolute & rackt
those bosoms they by various wayes distract
What pains you then shall feel wt rage express
How many purposes to love ym less
How many oaths to shun their sight you'le swear
Which never shall be kept against the fair
A tear a word thats feignd shall soon restore
their empire & enslave their rebells more
No matter what you saw you must believe
for strange enchantments may the sight deceive

Nay more Ile change my quiver bow & darts
to make mad work within your alterd hearts
Nor ever give the pleasing wounds I usd
Ere you my empire scornd my laws refusd
Here one a nymph that is deformd shall fire
another one to honour lost admire
& while all night by others she's embracd
The wretch shall doat because she acts the chast
Some shall be prodigall their end to gain
Nor know that who gives most shall least obtain
their hopes will still be fed but never don
to keep them still in play & loving on
In short Ile make them feel & own it pain
to live beneath inconstant womans chain
& know their folly when they scornd my reign

& You ye women shall confess it too
repenting that you ere from me withdrew
You who have given wealth its powr to move
& triumph ore the sacred rites of love
Who vice to virtue ignorance to parts
& mony can prefer to faithfull hearts
Who think to sell your selves is nothing mean
& from the prostituted bed reap gain
You never never shall again perceive
the wondrous sweets that mutuall passions have
but for their mighty riches love the great
While even they shall win you by deceit
their purpose in inveagling flattrys hide
& the lost creatures whom they gain deride
then leaving those that can be new no more
the self same arts to others practise ore
by such poor victorys to boast adress
& the faint glorys of their fame increase

As Huntsmen when they have a hare in view
Fird & impatient eagerly pursue
Now ore the mountains now across the plains
& for a little take a world of pains
Unweari'd still they follow with delight
fond of the hunting tho the game they slight
Just so the great their amorous chace shall run
Nor ought to gain you shall be left undon
With oaths & sighs & tears they will assail
but love no more when ever these prevail
Unmindfull then of what had causd their cares
for other beautys they display their snares

While you who soon perceive their broken faith
their oaths no more esteemd then common breath
tho never by my flame divine inspird
Shall inly with a rage of soul be fird
All spight to find your flatterd charms contemnd
& mad to see another more esteemd
for Justly thus my anger does ordain
that you shoud each create ye others pain

When Cupid thus had spoke his wings he spread
& with redoubled springs to heaven fled
Nor were in Idle air his curses lost
Succeeding ages found them to their cost

Ah Madam you alas have found them true
The prophesy is made too good on you
You've had the great become your beautys slave
& by experience know the great deceive
& tho' those starrs of love your charming eyes
Outshine the brightness of the midday skys
tho' your complexion with the morning vies
tho all the Graces which around you wait
Dwell on each part & fill up beautys state
Tho the bright virtues which within remain
Might promise you an everlasting reign
You see the heart was givn to you before
at a new shrine anothers charms adore
But cease my lovely weeper cease to mourn
The fair that triumphs now will have her turn
No charm against inconstancy secures
You know the lovers fire but short endures
& she'le forsaken meet a fate like yours

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Patrick White

Ten Hours A Day Painting In The Half Wild Fields

Ten hours a day painting in the half wild fields
at Long Bay, eleven miles outside of Westport
for four and a half years without
seeing another human for months in the winter
except when we drove into Perth every six weeks
for smokes and groceries.
A quarter mile of treacherous driveway,
mud, ice, freezing rain, you had to accelerate
just right, and steadily, to keep the car
from sliding back down the hill.
Sometimes two or three attempts
like a long distance Olympic ski jumper
and you standing at the top of the ninety metre hill
so I didn’t kill you going backwards,
one hand on a shovel
planted in a small grey pyramid of rock salt
like a sign of readiness and ownership
that always made me think
this is what an hourglass must look like
when it finally hits bottom.
Four miles of treacherous dirt road
one car wide
six deaths down and counting
and the schoolbus always coming our way
just as we were
without being able to brake or pass.
And then twenty perilous miles,
a hot knife of anxiety in the back of my neck,
riding the rat snake of black ice
through a gauntlet of frozen road kill
on the back of Sunset Boulevard all the way to Perth.
Coffee at Tinker’s or the Red Fox,
groceries at Loeb’s,
dog kibble and wet food for the cats at Berry’s,
you’d buy something wholly intriguing to an Aquarius
and I’d buy another tool at Canadian Tire
without even knowing what is was for
but always intended to find out and use
because you never know
when you’re living on a farm
twenty-five miles outside of town
when someone who’s come over
to give you hand fixing something,
usually a car,
is going to ask you for something
everything else in the world
depends upon you having
at that one crucial moment
even if you don’t know what it’s for.
Country makes you feel
there’s a practical purpose
to being a useless poet with tools.
Months of slushy quick mud roads
where no one could get in or out
without chains on a backhoe and even then,
long soporific embering nights
when the drifts were up over the windowsills
and there was a human glow on the snow
that quietly defied all death threats from the weather
and we were all, just you and I,
and the cats and the dogs
as Willie P. would say
all safe inside and warm somewhere.
You were a witch of a cook
that would put most survivalists to shame
if they could have seen what you could do
with a bit of stew, cardboard and cornmeal.
Comes of being raised on welfare
in Westmount I suppose
and looking like a cross
between Nefertiti and Sophia Loren
with a nickname like Black Savage
who collected feathers, and rocks, and bones
and whispered to the albino skulls of small mammals
as if they and you were happy about something certain
I wasn’t privy to
nor ever thought to ask.
For nine years I’d felt
I’d fallen into paradise by accident
and kept my mouth shut lest
anybody discovered I was there by mistake.
Long walks with the sun going down over the treeline
of the island in the bay
with a long caravan of seven dogs and eleven cats
because we couldn’t bear to give them away
and they all had a big abandoned barn to sleep in
when the weather wasn’t out to kill anything that lived.
Gumboots and walking sticks in the spring
that would make me alternately feel
like Merlin or Moses
though that’s where the comparison ends,
because we’d only get as far as the fire pits
on the shore of Bob’s Lake
without ever intending to cross it
before turning back
without having killed anyone
except for the occasional groundhog
the dogs would seize by the neck ferociously,
snap it like a castanet with one shake of their head
and carry on as if nothing had happened
out of the ordinary in a dog’s life,
because we were already living in the promised land.
Years of living with a woman from Montreal
called Black Savage
who had the courage of gunpowder
the instincts of a queen cobra
and the finesse of a white-tailed doe.
And knew how to paint and write and make love as well.
And to be out in the fields with you
on those warm August afternoons
hazy with dragonflies down by the beaver pond
where you painted the dead trees
as if they’d all had the same hysterectomy you had
at twenty-three, shapely denuded torsos
missing their arms like the Venus de Milo,
and I’d try to catch the inflections of light on the water
so totally absorbed in the scene
the beavers decided despite appearances
I wasn’t there
and went on working behind me.
And once a fox sat outside its den all day
over my left shoulder
with its forelegs crossed
wondering what this curious, harmless human
was doing that so intrigued the both of us.
We painted hundreds and hundreds of landscapes
in the depths of our perfect isolation
working for hours beside each other
without ever saying a word
our brushes hadn’t already said for us
as if they had rooted themselves in the scene
and begun to sprout leaves.
But if I were able to say something to you now
looking back on it through
this aerially blue perspective of time
I’d say we weren’t painting landscapes
but the topology of bliss
when you know it’s been there
a long, long time
like the prophetic skulls
of the grey fieldstones
and the wild grapevines that covered them.
Now all that long black hair of yours
I hear is as grey as a winter dawn.
I left the farm a week after you
put all the cats and dogs down
to make me feel what it was like
to be savaged in paradise
and thoroughly abandoned
for being untrue to your paranoia
though we were joined at the hip for years
and never felt crowded
except when other people were around.
You were beautiful, you were talented,
you were as spooky as deadly nightshade,
as loyal as a female consigliere,
as true as the wing of a hawk
to the same bird I was,
and we rode the wild thermals
of our hearts and bodies and mind and art
like two halves of the same helical chromosome
and even when we painted together
until nightfall and and stars
and way off on the hill
the tiny windows of our farmhouse
filled with the welcoming warmth
of the light we’d left on to guide us back
out of the woods to our place in the distance
and a crockpot of stew that tasted
like all that was good about the human heart,
even standing at our separate easels
among the New England asters
and English ox-eyed daisies
trying to keep the powder-blue damselflies
out of the paint without hurting them
or working them into the sky on our canvases,
like a pre-mixed shade
of value nine celestial cerulean blue,
even standing in the crows-nest of our easels
like the rigging of separate ships
that could have easily passed in the night
but didn’t
even then,
your brush going one way
and mine the other
I never thought for a second
we weren’t rowing in the same lifeboat
toward the same lunar shore.
And you must know this before
either one of us dies
and the ear and the mouth
lose their chance to say and hear the truth,
and I say it like a bird
into the mesmeric eclipses of your Medusan eyes
without turning into unfeeling stone
like some albino rogue moon
that’s got a grudge against the darkness,
I say it in humility and gratitude
and deep reverence I seldom accord the gods
when I think of you
as this dark lighthouse of a lover
painting with me in those beautiful fields back then,
and what a witch-magnet among women you were
whenever you were among them
like a black rose at a coven of apostate doves,
your dark energy as ferocious and Mongolian as mine,
and how fastidiously noble and compassionate
you were about most things,
listening to anyone with rapt attention for hours
who wanted to convince of the uniqueness of their pain
and you’d suggest pithy strategies
like the snakey oracle of Delphi
and quite rightly they’d fall in love with you.
But not once did I ever doubt your fidelity
mostly because no one had walked out on me
after a month of marriage
and emptied my bank account and apartment
without a word of why
while I was at art school
watching my wedding ring turn green
before I came home to nothing
to find out my marriage was just a cheap hustle.
And I said to myself if it had happened to me
I might even be more paranoid about my next lover,
than you were of me from the very start,
and I loved you and it hurt
to see that massive black hole
in the center of your galactic heart.
And I know how spaced-out I am
so there’s never any lack of room for more
in this expanding universe
and it’s so rare that I feel crowded,
I said stand at my side twenty-four seven
and whatever I do you do with me
and you’ll never need fear
because you have certainty of sight
that I could possibly be untrue to you
and in time, things will heal
and you’ll be able to trust again.
And by that I thought to remove
that arrowhead of pain from your life.
When you love someone the way I loved you,
what else are you supposed to do
but make sure everytime you see one
there’s one snake less under the rosebush
that could bite either one of us
when we least expected it?
But your paranoia was hydra-headed
and as fast as I cut the head of one snake off
another grew back as venomous.
I could walk on beer when I was drinking.
I can walk on stars when I want.
I never managed water
though I still don’t think I tried hard enough,
but walking on snakes without getting bit
was a different order of ordeal
and I could tell from the way I was going numb
from the number of hits I took,
and how my heart was turning into dry ice
so I could go straight from a solid state
everytime you accused me out of the blue
of things that never even remotely crossed my mind
like planets in transit across the black sun
of a completely alien solar system
to the one you and I were living in
to a ghost
without all the intervening tears
that don’t make a damn bit of difference
to reptiles without lachrymal glands.
And one day without warning
after nine years of being constant companions,
compatible familiars in every other way but one,
you just walked out,
forgiving me for something I hadn’t done,
and I let you go
like that raccoon we raised
and returned to the wild
though it tore our hearts out to do so.
Four years later, the first time
I talked to you since you left
I asked you over the phone,
after we’d both gone on to other lovers,
you walking out on yours
because they didn’t like your art,
and mine leaving me like waterbirds
as the leaves fell from the trees in the fall,
I asked you from the bottom of my fathomless heart
if you still believed I’d been untrue to you
and you said, yes,
and that’s about the saddest thing
I’ve ever heard in my life,
and said quietly out of the wounded silence
I really hope you learn differently one day
and hung up somehow knowing
I could never talk to you again about anything.
You weren’t Eve.
And there was never a Lilith in that garden.
Our innocence was home-made.
Death was already a raccoon skull when we got there,
and if you want to blame the snakes
you might as well blame the fireflies.
You were betrayed. Badly. It’s true
but by someone else not us.
You were Black Savage,
the Aquarian beast-mistress
who could speak with such tenderness
to skulls and dead trees,
the minutiae of death
that lined your windowsill
with the bones of hummingbirds and killdeer
beside tubes of viridian green
and alizarin crimson paint
and that serious violet
only you could manage to mix
in a small jar with a dead honeybee on top.
Thank-you for nine great years
of painting beside you in those fields.
I haven’t enjoyed the like of them since.
Nor ever met anyone quite like you.
Hope you’ve learned to keep better track
of what snake belongs to what garden
so you don’t hurt the innocent ones.
I don’t blame you.
Given how deeply you were hurt.
Who else could you have been?
Personally I would have betrayed the betrayer
but he was long gone
and all that was left you could do I suppose
to take the black thorn out of your heart
was to succumb to betraying the betrayed.
And if I ever meet your ex-husband
I promise you I’ll do it for you.
And send you the skull
to put on your windowsill
between the fossil of the moon
and your red-tailed hawk feather.

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