The Air I Breathe


 

THE AIR LEAVES WITH YOU

When you exit the room all the air leaves with you,

And the world is not the same.

I still hear your voice.

I continue to call your name.

Time hesitates, suspended in air,

I’m confused and lost, without you there.

The world is bleak within my sight.

There is no color just black and white.

I gasp, I choke,

 Clocks have stopped in mid-stroke.

Where is love without you near?

And where is music for my ears?

Nothing is the same as it needs to be.

Come home, my love, and bring air to me.

July 21, 2017

 

 

 

clocks,

 

 

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TOO OLD I’m too old for sex…according to my kids. My life is over, I’m on the skids. I’m too old to drive…according to impatient youth If I object to their speeds, I’m rude and uncouth. What am I too old for? I’m too old for hot foods, cold foods, and maybe all foods. My teeth are gone, but my taste buds are good. I’m too old for women, But can’t I still look? My eyes still work. Does that make me a jerk? I can admire what young men ignore, So what am I too old for? I shouldn’t be hiking, riding any kind of cycle. Exercise might kill me or might make me smile. Might give me reasons to walk a mile. Too old to live, not ready to die, My time is coming and you don’t need to cry. I’m not as young, as smart, as tall, or as slim. My medical conditions are real, not based on whim. I’m not a decoration, a person without a mind, I’m still me, one of a kind. Am I too old to enjoy this earth? Am I without value, without any worth? I am older than yesterday, younger than tomorrow. I’ve faced challenges, deep joys, and sorrow. I’m not too old to love or care, My love doesn’t rely on muscles or hair. My knowledge is not based on flimsy lies. Consider me old but very wise. Am I too old for one more day? Too old to kneel, thank God, and pray? I’m not too old to dream or regret, Or to appreciate the moments I get. The world is traveling at a faster pace, But i’m not too old to make it a better place. Tell me your secrets, whether bad or worse, And I’ll still dance with you across the universe. My worth does not rely on my outer shell, I think it’s love, that has served me well. Am I too old to hold you tight? If your heart is empty, I’ll be there tonight. We will discuss all things like this, Then sleep soundly after a kiss. Dan Roberson


She Sang


self portrait of sadness
self portrait of sadness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We were sitting at a table waiting for our food, bored with each other, wishing time would go faster and we could each go our own way.  That’s when the singer appeared.  I didn’t get her name nor do I remember the song.  Later I asked about her but everyone claimed she was a stranger and they had never seen her before.

 

She Sang

Her song was one of happiness.

She sang and my eyes filled with tears.

Memories came flooding back,

Forgotten after all these years.

She sang of love’s precious moments,

She was grateful for all that were shared.

Her music was filled with laughter,

Like our lives when we both still cared.

From the first date our relationship,

Was built on friendship and trust,

Communication, mutual attraction,

And, of course, a little bit of lust.

The first years were celebrations,

Encouraged by relatives and friends,

Our love was pure and magical,

We were sure it would never end.

The singer’s song changed to what was lost,

And I was filled with sadness again,

The feelings we had were gone for good,

There were too many wounds to mend.

Love might have been an overrated emotion,

But the singer said love was still worth giving.

It hurt when a relationship was torn apart,

But without love, life was not worth living.

Although I felt a sadness deep inside,

I would celebrate those years we began as one,

For those experiences were rich with love,

When our lives together had just begun.

Happiness and sadness blended as she sang,

And created a new song to heal our hearts.

All we had loved and our lessons learned,

Became the beginnings of a brand new start.

No One Else Will Do


Love Songs (Heart album)
Love Songs (Heart album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’d call you my love,

Though I haven’t had the nerve,

Because you’re everything I wanted,

Much more than I deserve,

 

In my dreams you’re by my side,

That’s where you want to be,

I know what I see in you,

But what do you see in me?

 

If I could whisper in your ear,

And tell you of joys ahead,

I’d convince you of my love,

And take you to my bed,

 

Not tall tales but truths I’d tell,

And share with you my heart,

You would know how deep my soul,

And how much you played a part,

 

But don’t wait for me to say,

How much you mean to me,

Just know I have you in my heart,

That’s where you’ll always be,

 

I want to claim you for my own,

To share the whole world wide,

I’ll listen and love you as you are,

And I’ll look at you with pride,

 

You won’t have to read my mind,

To know what I think of you,

You’ll always be my love,

Because no one else will do.

 

 

 

Marching Orders


English: Garhwal Rifles Parade in New Delhi, India
Image via Wikipedia

When the sap is running in the maple trees,

And the snow still lingers on the hill,

Remember when young soldiers marched,

And went through their numerous drills,

 

Proudly they would stand in silent rows,

With precision they’d show their skills,

Ready to display how they could march,

Ready to count their kills,

 

It was about this time in early morn,

When I saw them coming over the rise,

They were proudly marching, marching,

But not ready for our big surprise,

 

Behind trees our soldiers were concealed,

Rifles primed and ready to fire,

And the soldiers kept marching, marching,

Their situation was extremely dire,

 

Behind cover our cannon waited,

Ready to rip and kill and shred,

To stop the soldiers from marching, marching,

What thoughts ran through our heads,

 

Why aren’t they home safe and warm,

Where rifles don’t hide behind trees,

Instead they’re marching, marching, marching,

Trying to ignore warnings in every breeze,

 

We held our fire until we saw them clear,

Then our shots the silence shattered,

But they kept marching, marching, marching,

As if the formation was all that mattered,

 

The cannon roared and shook the earth,

Our rifles fired from the trees,

Until the soldiers quit marching, marching,

But they struggled back up to their knees,

 

The cannon and rifles took their toll,

Bayonets took care of the rest,

No soldiers were marching, marching,

No longer were they the best,

 

I walked among the fallen foe,

And saw someone’s husband, son, or friend,

Who will never go marching, marching,

He’ll never go marching again,

 

They’ll never go marching home tonight,

With a parade to show they’re best,

Family and kin will march around graves,

Where they’ve been laid to rest.

 

 

Let the Jungle Music Begin!


Coconut tree
Image via Wikipedia

Along the
beach this story begins,

With a
monkey in a coconut tree,

He scrambled
high to where the tree ends,

To make sure
I would see his interest in our safari,

Through the
jungle growth and to the plains,

We’d planned this trip and now one selection to make,

“Mr. Monkey,
I’ll take an oath, we’ve gone to great pain,

I hope you’re a music man, we’re ready for goodness sake,”

Off we went
with our band, playing marches as we went,

Past the
elephants trumpeting along, until we set up tents,

By banana
trees across the land the horns we did vent,

The drums
beat to the same song, under the direction of the Lion Prince,

All the
jungle sang in the night, the crocs slapped their tails,

Hyenas
laughed at such a sight while Cheetahs raced down the trails,

What a
safari it was all right, What stories, what awesome tales,

The animals
danced with all their might, jungle music never fails!

“Hush!”


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
breaking,

Nature is
waking,

 

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
crowd!

 

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,

Everything
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,

 

They’re
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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Became a Writer Accidentally on Purpose


Anglican choir music - a guest choir practices...
Image via Wikipedia

When I was ready to make choices concerning my
career path I was surprised to find that some choices were chosen for me, based
not on what I could do, but for what I couldn’t do.

When it was
time to make a career choice,

I had to
decide who I wanted to be,

For each
occupation has its own voice,

And I wanted
the spotlight shining on me,

Career
Choice #1

I loved
languages and I took great pride,

Spanish,
German, and Latin were on my list,

If I said I
was diligent in my studies, then I lied,

But I
enjoyed language structures, and I insist,

That some of
the sounds tangled my tongue,

Until the
day I ventured into the language lab,

When I heard
the teacher describing to everyone,

(My recorded
voice was booming and I felt his stab),

He remarked,
“He’s terrible with his pronunciations,”

I had other career
choices, this one wouldn’t be missed,

So cross off
language translator from my list,

Career
Choice #2

I often woke
up excited about the new day,

Songs would
be bursting from my lips,

Carpe diem!
It didn’t matter work or play,

The whole
world was at my fingertips,

Perhaps
singing would be a great career too,

But that thought
was soon nipped in the bud,

When my
career in singing all fell through,

Ostracized
and disgraced, my name was mud,

In mid-song the
choir director brought us to a halt,

She loudly announced,
“Someone’s off key,”

“We can’t
sing this cantata because of someone’s fault,

I wasn’t
worried because I knew it wasn’t me,

Then she
said, “That voice is on this side,”

She put us
in groups to narrow it down,

Finally she
was next to me, and I couldn’t hide,

She said, “I’ve
finally located that awful sound,”

I could
still sing for part of my everyday fun,

But I knew
my singing career was totally done,

Career Choice
#3

Like many
high school boys I was ready to perform,

I wanted riches
and fame, my name up in lights,

I did very
well in sports, I was ahead of the norm,

I knew what
was expected, I’d even wear tights,

My teams
weren’t exceptional, although we did well,

One
championship or two, the stats weren’t great,

If I would
go to the next level, only time would tell,

But I found
out the results of my professional fate,

“Son, there
are a few factors holding you back,

“You need to
be bigger, stronger, faster, just for a start,

And if you
had a lot more talent the money we’d stack,”

So, no pro
sports for me, just break my heart,

Choice
number three was out of my league,

I was tired
of losing but I wasn’t fatigued,

Career
Choices (To be continued)

“That’s What Love Do!”


The Front Porch Country Band
Image via Wikipedia

“If you could only go there,

soaking up the atmosphere,

 feeling the magic in the beat,

 the thump of the bass stirring up heat,

 dancing heart to heart and cheek to cheek,

 the bold reaching out for the mild and meek,

 it’s a place that casts a spell,

Come and go with me, I know it well.”

I can still hear her words as she invited me to come listen to her play.  Her eyes invited me a second time, teasing, offering more than moments of listening pleasure.  Erika stopped in often where I worked, watching me wait on customers, smiling whenever I glanced her way.  When that customer left she would come up to the counter and ask if I could help her find a tool of some kind. 

She drew a crowd almost every time she sauntered in, weaving around the other salesmen, ignoring their eager pleas of assistance. She was slim and curvy, her jeans tight, her ample breasts straining against the fabric of her blouse.  She always kept two buttons undone, just to keep the men and boys at her beck and call. I tried to ignore her.  I could imagine the saliva dripping from their mouths. 

Perhaps that was why she was so persistent. Erika would lean forward, placing both elbows on the counter, her eyes focused on me, watching for a reaction of any kind. She was aware of the silence as the men held their breaths hoping that the fabric might tear, or Erika might jiggle in some way.

I waved them all away, at least out of earshot.  “Okay, Erika, what do you want this time?”

“Come out tonight, Bobby, and listen to our band.  You’ll be glad you did.”  “If I go tonight you won’t bother me anymore?”

 “I promise, Bobby.” 

“But what about your husband?”  They were still together as far as I knew.

“We’re in a trial separation.  He said he doesn’t care.  Anyway, what does it matter?  I’m tired of his obsessive behavior.  I don’t belong to him. As far as I’m concerned we’re through.”  She stared at me. “Are you going to be there or not?”

“Okay.  But just this once.”   She smiled broadly, turned and walked out, every step accentuated, pretending to be oblivious to all the wolves hiding in the aisles. 

They rushed to me, wanting to know every juicy detail, especially since Erika was smiling on her way out.  I told them nothing, content to let them conjecture and imagine, their heads full of takes and retakes of scenes right out of Hollywood.

“I’d sure like to be in his shoes,” a young associate said loudly.

  One of the ones who had stared the most muttered, “She’s nothing but trouble. Bobby’s done good to stay away from her.”

 He didn’t know I was going to see her tonight.

Erika usually played guitar and sang three or four songs, but sometimes she would sing one or two extra, if there was a special occasion.  Tonight she had already downed a few rum and colas and was feeling good. She saw me enter and immediately she took charge of the band, running through several riffs and songs that had furious flourishes, evidently to impress me. 

The band took a break and Erika came to my table. “Well, what did you think?” she asked. 

“I want something slower and easier to dance to.” 

She shrugged.  Soon she started singing “I Love A Rainy Night” and followed with “Black Velvet”.  I stood on the dance floor swaying slowly. A young woman wrapped her arms around me, her head on my chest. Erika put her guitar away. She came off the stage and pulled the woman away.”He’s with me,” she said coldly.

“I need a breath of fresh air,” she said as she led me outside.  “Now what was that all about?” she asked.

“I wanted to dance,” I said bluntly.  “You’re married and I don’t belong to you so what’s the problem?”  I knew she was jealous. She was shaking, angry at me, angry at the girl, angry at the world, just angry because she had no control over the situation.

“I need a drink,” she said, “so I can cool down.”  I started towards the bar. “Don’t buy me one. The bartender will give me as many as I ask for.”  Jake, the bartender, saw her coming and began mixing a drink.  “I want this one to be a double,” she said flatly. “I need something strong.” 

She turned to me. “Dance with whoever you want. Just don’t take anybody home. The band will be done in about an hour.  I want to see you after that.” 

I danced with several women, doing the two step around the room, the slide, and a few line dances to fill the time.  I got a few offers to go somewhere else for drinks, to share  coffee, take someone home, and numbers to call.  They were very friendly, one and all.  I collected rainchecks and phone numbers and dates for other times. Then Erika showed up and they all scattered.  “Let’s go to the park by your apartment.  We can talk without being interrupted.”   

Erika had always been rebellious and claimed she lived in outlaw country.  I wasn’t sure what she wanted to talk about but I was pretty sure it wasn’t about flowers and songs.

Outside it was raining, hard and steady. We were both drenched when we  climbed into my truck.  She glanced over and then slid next to me, her warmth stirring me, filling me with anticipated pleasure.  She was staring, her eyes large and focused.  They were intensely hypnotic, and strangely compelling.  The rain was making it difficult to focus on the white lines of my lane, and she was not helping. If I looked one more second I was sure I would lose control of my truck and my body. I shivered and clung to the wheel. She giggled as if I had just touched her in some sensitive spot.  Involuntarily, parts of my body were reacting to her voice, her smile, and her touch. By now her fingers were inside my shirt, dancing across my chest while her tongue played with my ear.

I didn’t intend for anything to happen.  I thought I could resist her. “Just say no,” I told myself. She didn’t really want to talk. When her blouse came off my resistance ceased. Helpless to resist, I became a willing partner.  She was wild and passionate, eager to please, and wanting release. I was surprised by my own needy but powerful response.

We held each other for a long time, just listening to the rain, before we dressed and talked.  Erika was adamant she wanted to be with me and not her husband.  “When are you going to leave him?” I asked.

“Soon,” she replied. “I can’t leave Wes right now.  He’s had some bad luck lately.  When he gets everything going again, then I’ll leave.”

There was not much to talk about after that so we just cuddled for awhile. Finally I said, “I need to get you home.”  Erika glared at me but said nothing as I drove the rainy roads, down the lane to her house, and pulled to a stop. 

The porch lights snapped on, and I felt very conspicuous.  Wes stepped out onto the porch and started towards the truck.  “This could be trouble,” I muttered.  But Wes just waved and said, “Thanks for bringing her home.  I worry about her when she’s late and I know she’s been drinking.” 

This unnerved me. I was expecting rage and jealousy. I’m not sure if I wanted him to be carrying a rifle or handgun, but to be friendly just seemed odd.  

Wes gave Erika a hug and ushered her inside. I sat for a minute more trying to comprehend, and I left still shaking my head.

The next week Erika came to the store several times just to say hi, to flirt, and give me a hug and a kiss.  She wasn’t hiding our relationship. Everything was in the open. She told everyone her marriage was over, except for the shouting.

We met several times a week, and always on weekends.  It was the same story every time.  We didn’t go out to eat, go to the movies, or attempt to go on any normal dates.  After dancing and music, we would park or go to my apartment.  It was clear nothing more was expected or wanted.  Gradually I began insisting I wanted more from the relationship.  Without realizing it I was falling into love.

I know it sounded strange so I never tried explaining it to anyone. I resented taking her home and turning her over to her husband.  This relationship had to change.  I was tired of fighting my conscience, tired of sharing but Erika refused to listen. She kept saying, “This is not a good time for Wes. He’s struggling with so many things.”

Finally I said, “You have to make a choice.  It’s either Wes or me.” She looked at me as if I had lost my mind. Then she smiled. “Okay, it’s time to make some changes. Be patient, though.”

I didn’t hear from her for several weeks. I tried to give her time to get her life straightened out.  I was working in the backroom putting away supplies when another employee said, “Bobby, you have a customer out front.”

I was excited, expecting to see Erika.  Instead it was Wes, looking haggard and worried. “Bobby, Erika is all I really have and all I really wanted.  When she was with you I knew it was just a fling but she always came home.  Now she’s been gone for almost three days.  I can’t sleep.  I can’t eat.  I can’t live without her.  Do you know where she is? I just want her safe at home.” 

Before me was a broken man, his self esteem destroyed but his love intact.  I couldn’t turn him away.  “Wes, I’ll help you search.”

Together we searched Erika’s hangouts and sought help from her friends.  At first our search was fruitless. Then someone from her band gave us a name and an address. Eventually we found her walking barefoot down a side street, heading home.  She claimed she was tired of being pressured so she had found a new boyfriend. He was not so nice.  He had slapped her a few times and refused to take her home. When he wasn’t watching she had made her getaway.

She was pleased to see Wes but she frowned when she saw me. “Wes, I just want to go home and get cleaned up.  I want to rest and cuddle with you.”

I drove them home in silence.  Wes watched Erika go inside the house before he said wearily, “Erika is an alcoholic and unfaithful. She’s always been like that since I found her years ago.  I love her and it’s my job to see that she’s taken care of.  I’m the only real home she knows.  She’ll always come back. She needs me too.”

Suddenly it was all very clear.  Wes and Erika were two desperate needy people, and in their own weird way were meant for each other.  I didn’t have an answer for Wes for I loved her too.  At that moment my plans for the future changed and I decided to stick around and keep watch over both of them.  I was the only sane one of the bunch. You might think it’s weird but it makes sense to me.  That’s what love do.

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