I’ve Learned to Look Beyond Myself

Don DeFore and Lizabeth Scott in a promotional...
Image via Wikipedia

As I reflect
on my life it all seems surreal,

Why were
there moments when I did not feel?


I saw a man
crying because he had killed his friend,

Stabbed during
an argument he still didn’t comprehend,

Killed in a
flash because they disagreed,

What should
I tell him, how should he plead?


Why did I
not stop to talk when I saw someone wanting to die?

Was my life
so busy that I just passed by?

She had
given up in total despair,

There was no
way for her life to repair,


She just
wanted her problems to go away,

So she
swallowed some pills one day,

When I found
her she no longer had fears,

It was too
late for conversation,  too late for


Why didn’t I
talk to her when I had the chance,

Let her know
she was important in life’s lonely dance?


When I think
of what I should have done, I stand accused,

I saw
someone who had been abused,

Why wasn’t I
more alert?

Why didn’t  I hurt?


It was not
enough to forgive the abuser on that day,

I should
have insisted that he be put away,

protected those who were innocent and unaware,

Rather than
leave them in his care,


I saw
someone once young and strong,

Now old,
ignored and forgotten for so long,

Her children
were all grown,

Why did they
leave her with no love shown?


She was confused
and needing love’s touch,

If I stopped
by, would it hurt me much?


One of my
neighbors was a longtime user,

Did that
make him forever a loser?

He became
more than a burned out shell,

And escaped
his private hell,

A friend
cared enough to help change his scope,

For all he
needed was a little hope,

I saw
someone with a crippling disease,

Why didn’t I
help, tell me please?

He was begging
on a busy street,

I could have
gotten him food to eat,


There are many
things I could have done,

But I had
decided I’d help no one,

Why didn’t I
reach out?

Why did I


I have a
friend who was laid off from work,

He’s on the
verge of going berserk,

His phone is
ringing off the hook,

Because bill
collectors think he is a crook,


But he has
no money to pay his bills,

He can’t
sleep because dreams give him chills,

Maybe it’s a
sign of the times or stormy weather,

depression is real, we will spend time together,


I’ll let him
know I’m there for him,

A friend is
a friend, through thick or thin,



There was
someone who cheated my heart,

But maybe I
didn’t do my part,

I thought
like a child, I felt pity for me,

I needed to
look beyond myself, but that’s all I could see,


Why didn’t I

My heart knew
I must,

But what
could have been great,

Was destroyed,
I blamed it on fate,


I saw someone who judged me because I didn’t follow the rules,

She was
convinced I was a fool,

I cared too
much for those in the world,

And I cried,
and tried to help as it twirled,


I saw all
these conditions, all these people, yet I didn’t see,

That one of the
negligent ones was me,

Why did I always
seem to hesitate,

When I knew time
was precious and I shouldn’t wait?


Problems in
life might not start with me,

But I will be
compassionate whenever I see,

Those who
are hurting wherever they might be,

I know all problems in life will not end with


But there
are words of comfort and things I can share,

I’ll reach
and touch with tender loving care,

Giving back
to others what I can possibly give,

I must not
wait, for I have a short while to live,


I know I’ll be
vulnerable as I go my way,

There is so
much to do each and every day,

This person
hurts, and that one too,

There may
come a time when I’ll help you,


needs someone when things go wrong,

Moments when
they’re weak, I might be strong,

I don’t want
to spend my life focused on me,

This world
has many needs, you see,


If I help others
sharing my heart’s best,

I believe I’ll
make a difference in all the rest,

intertwined stretching across the land,

and love, walking hand in hand.



Cover of "Born Free"
Cover of Born Free

Hush! Hear
the meadowlark as he welcomes the dawn?

Wait! The
robin is listening as she hops across the lawn,

The day is

Nature is


But, oh, Nature
is so slow,

Because you know,

There was a
full moon last night,

And down by
the river in the moonlight,


There was music
that people rarely hear,

Forest critters
from far and near,

Came to listen
to Nature’s Bad Band,

The finest
music in all the land,


I didn’t
want to interrupt the music, you see,

That’s why I
hid high in a tall oak tree,

The amazing
performance opened with Benny Bunny,

I wish I had
my camera because he sure was funny,


He got the
audience warmed up and ready to go,

“Okay, folks,
are you ready for the show?”

He gave the
audience a poke,

With his
first joke,

And soon
they were laughing out loud,

Wow! What a


The musicians
went to the center of the group,

Announced “Nature’s
Bad Band” as the name of their troupe,

And started
right in trying to please the crowd,

Music so
special it made everyone proud,


Bubba bear
played cello,

he did was very mellow,

Dave Deer
got the audience on their feet,

Because “Devil
went Down to Georgia” can’t be discreet,


Patty Puma
on lead guitar,

Played a
rock version of “Twinkle, twinkle, little star”,

Then she
opened up the night,

With two
tracks of her new album, “Cat Fight!”


The audience
shouted, “More!”

It certainly
was worth an encore,

Ollie Opossum
got his trumpet talking,

Gertie Gator
on drums had everyone’s feet walking,


Then Randy
Raccoon played clarinet as sweet as honey,

The soulful
sounds brought tears to eyes and made noses runny,

Willie Wolf
sang songs that were a tribute to his late father,

A howling
success, well worth the bother,


After a
short break when all got quiet,

There was an
announcement “TO Hold On Tight”,

Frog Went Courting
followed by “Blue Moon”,

Got the
males stirred up and the ladies in a swoon,


Lots of
styles, big moments, wailing the blues,

I could tell
this group has paid their dues,

They ended the
night with “Born Free”,

With the
audience swaying, singing along, tired and happy,


The audience
scattered and went back to their homes,

Places known
only to them, faeries, and gnomes,

So hush! Now
that the sun is glaring down,

You won’t
see many critters dancing around,


tired and willing to let the day fade,

While they
rest peacefully in the shade,

But when
that first star pops out tonight,

The musicians
will want to grab the lime light,


“Listen! I can hear them tuning their instruments in the hollow,

You can come
too if you’ll quietly follow,

I think you’ll
really like what you hear,

Let’s go now
before the crowd appears.”










The Man With the Iron Fists (Part 2)

John Wayne / Gail Russell
Image by twm1340 via Flickr

The outlaws
sent for their friends,

Instead of
two or three,

What an advantage
there’d be,

The cards
would really be stacked with ten,


Grace didn’t
have long to build her nest,

The word was
already out,

The outlaws
were out and about,

Ready to claim
this part of the west,


She tried to
stop him, she wanted to insist,

She knew
they were coming back,

The town
they would attack,

But they
really wanted the man with the iron fists,


He would be
outgunned and outmanned,

But he was rough
and tough,

And definitely
brave enough,

Why he was
alone Grace still didn’t understand,


No help was
offered from the men of the town,

They boarded
up their stores,

Went home
and locked their doors,

Those brave
men just didn’t want to be around,


Their cooperation
was definitely not the best,

But one
thing they did do,

Afraid of
what might ensue,

They pinned
a marshal’s badge upon his chest,


“Uh, sir,” I
asked, couldn’t I help a lot?”

“Nope,” he
answered with a frown,

“I don’t
want you in this town,

It’s gonna
get dangerous after the first shot,”


I didn’t
tell him that I had talked to Grace,

We didn’t
want to hurt his pride,

With him we
just didn’t confide,

Because up our
sleeves we each held an ace,


Now I might
not quite be a man,

But I can
shoot a rabbit,

At fifty
yards it’s now a habit,

So holding
my own with a rifle, I can,


Now I’m not going
to brag about my skills,

Because I’m
not the best,

In this
whole wide west,

It’s my aunt
who provides the shooting thrills,


She’d go
hunting when we needed to eat,

Always got
something on her first try,

claimed, “Shot in the eye,”

Because she
never wanted to waste good meat,


Since she
was considered just a pretty girl,

There was no
need to claim,

She was “Annie
Oakley” of the plain,

And have the
men’s mustaches all atwirl,


“Uh, Grace,
do you want me to drive them to you?”

She nodded,
which explained a lot,

She was, of
course, the best shot,

She could take
care of the whole stinkin’ crew,


There was
one problem, she was careful to insist,

“Be as
careful as you can,

Just don’t
hit my man,

Shoot the others
but not the man with the iron fists,”


In the
middle of the day he walked out in the heat,

As brave as
brave can be,

appeared for anyone to see,

Was one
cowboy challenging death upon the street,


Those cowardly
ten were silently slipping around,

vantage places,

Where they
could hide their faces,

And still have
a good view of the town,


What those
ornery varmints didn’t comprehend,

Two pairs of
eyes were ready,

As we held
our rifles steady,

Their way of
life was coming to an end,


The man with
the notches on his gun,

Wanted to
show he was brave,

He began to
rant and rave,

Knowing his
back was to the sun,


Grace could
see the man’s devious plan,

Her husband
would be surprised,

With the sun
in his eyes,

He’d never
see the gun in the second man’s hand,


Mister notches
on his gun danced around with glee,

When he
heard a rifle shot,

But he didn’t
dance a lot,

Before the
man with the iron fists fired three,


To keep the
record straight so everybody knows,

Grace shot
the first bushwhacker,

And I shot
another attacker,

Three down
and seven bad guys to go,


Now in all
the confusion the man with the scar,

Had stepped
out of the alley,

And tried to
get his men to rally,

He saw my movement but I didn’t miss him by


scoundrels at the marshal directly raced,

Some of his
shots went astray,

But it didn’t
matter anyway,

For the
rifle firing behind him belonged to Grace,


Three more
scalawags were still looking for trouble,

I was hidden
the best I could be,

I looked up
to see three rifles pointed at me,

Marshal, I don’t want to burst your bubble,”


“But I think
it’s time to drop your gun,

This could
be the end,

Of your
little friend,

The battle’s
over, this time I’ve won!”


The marshal
started over, two rifles aimed at his chest,

He glared at
me and said, “I told you one time,

To stay away
and you took my dime,”

“And you
other three are under arrest!”


The man with
the scar started to grin,

“I’ve got
the gun,

There’s no place
for you to run,

Why don’t
you just give in?”


Three shots
rang out and dropped the outlaws cold,

“You didn’t
have to shoot,

These ornery

I think I
had everything under control,”


Now the
marshal’s fame spread throughout the land,

Iron Fists
became a fearsome name,

As the west
he gradually began to tame,

But there’s
one thing I want you to understand,


He was not
completely happy with Aunt Grace,

Although without
her he might be dead,

She should
have stayed home instead,

As he said, “A
woman should know her place,”


“Uh, yes,
Grace, I’ll tell everyone the story the best I can,

Uh, yes ma’am,
if you insist,

The credit
will all go to Iron Fists,

I’ll never
say that it was the woman behind the man,”


He’s my
uncle and I’m as proud as I can be,

He sits high
upon his horse,

Such a manly
image of course,

And as brave
a man as you’ll ever see,


out west a story still exists,

Of a marshal
rough and tough,

But with the
schoolmarm gentle enough,

That’s the
legend of the Man With the Iron Fists.














“The Man With the Iron Fists”

John Wayne / Gail Russell
Image by twm1340 via Flickr

A quiet sleepy
town somewhere out west,

Was being frightened
and overrun,

By some mean

So the city
council sent off a request,


“We need a
few men who will stand tall,

And save our
poor town,

From hellions
who’ve put us down,”

There was one
reply from out of them all,


It only
said, “A good fight I can’t resist,

I’m headin’
out today,

I’ll do
things my way,”

Signed, “The
Man With the Iron Fists,”


A few weeks later a stranger rode into town,

He was rough
around the collar,

Looking like
he had spent his last dollar,

He glanced at
me with a road-weary frown,


“Could you direct
me to a place with a bath?

I’m tired,
and I think I might stink,

I hope there’s
someplace to drink,

And then the
bad guys will feel my wrath,”


I looked at
him and I started to grin,

“You’re all
alone to save the day,

And make the
bad guys go away?

We were
expecting maybe nine or ten,”


“There are no others,” he said,

“I’m mean
and rough,

And you know
very tough,

varmints all took off and fled,”


“Excuse me,
sir, “I interrupted to say,

“That mean
hombre that’s on the run,

The one with
notches on his gun,

He’s not
coming here today?”


“I said what
I mean,” he spat to the side,

“I warned
them fair and square,

If they
stayed they’d be sucking air,

Anyone left
will have holes in his hide!”


“Uh, sir, I
know you’ve got true grit,

But even now
as we speak,

The man with
scars on his cheek,

He’s not the
kind to go hightailin’ it,”


“Listen son,
I don’t intend to be rude,

gunslingers know what’s best,

They know I’m
the scourge of the west,

So don’t
bother me, before I get crude,”


“One more
question, sir, if you don’t mind,

Did you see
my aunt Grace?

You were
checking out her lace,

Was there something you were hoping to find?”


Now this
hunk of a man got red in the face,

I knew he
was rough and tough,

But around
her he was a cream puff,

Because he
was already smitten with Aunt Grace,


“Go away,
son, and I’ll give you a dime,

scoundrels might be back,

around some shack,

And I don’t
want to waste my time,”


supper time tell Grace I’ll be there,

I’ve got to
check on those fellows,

Make sure
they’re still being yellow,

And tell her
to please let down her hair,”


Now Aunt Grace
is the town’s school teacher,

So through
windows and curtains,

was watching and certain,

That it was
gittin’ time to call the preacher,


Later I confided to them that Grace had been

The town
decided with that out of the way,

The marriage
should happen the next day,

Grace and the man with iron fists,


The ceremony
went well, including the I Do’s,

The bad guys
stayed away,

They arrived
another day,

But that’s another
story, Part Two.









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