Moontides, and Other Changes by Del “Abe” Jones © 1983 TOP HAT (Galveston) "What's happenin' Abe?

" they ask As they drive down the beach. Some of them even holler "How about a speech?" Some just look and smile Others turn and look away Some look with surprise And don't know what to say. I've seen them turn around Drive back for another look You'd be amazed how many times My pictures does get took. They have called me "George" A few times "Uncle Sam" Some have a puzzled look Wondering who I am. They've even accused me of Setting the blacks free. I keep my back to the wall -Lest some nut shoots me. Small kids are the most fun With their wide-eyed innocence Curious looks on their faces With no false pretense. The hat draws some people out Causes a lot of them to smile So when in the mood I wear it -Every once in a while.

A FISH STORY? It's another world One that few have seen At times wild and brutal At times so serene. A place where life abounds Every shape and size Where miracles seem to happen Right before your eyes. A garden paradise With flowers that can walk There's even some creatures That know how to talk. There are some animals Not seen by the eye And there are fish found here That have learned to fly. It has its own mountains And rivers down below Still hiding some secrets That we may never know. For millions of years It's cared for its own And would for millions more If it were left alone. But man pollutes its waters He dumps his garbage there Spills oil on the surface -He doesn't seem to care. So he destroys its life All because of greed I guess we think the sea's Something we don't need. But someday fish stories Told from shore to shore Will be nothing more than Part of our folklore.

AND THEN THE RAINS CAME DOWN There's rumbling distant sounds From white mountains in the sky That're moved and rearranged By those windblown tides on high. Sometimes they'll open up And the cooling rains fall down To cleanse the air we breathe And to wet the parched dry ground. Maybe tears of the gods Crying for the human race As we destroy some things That can never be replaced.

A HARSH MISTRESS I'd rather be out on the sea than any place I know. I long to float on ship or boat just rocking to and fro. It's like a balm when it is calm or when it's rough and stormy. It helps to ease and can appease the restlessness in me. The moon/sunshine out on the brine is a sight to behold Of Davey Jones and Captain Bones -great stories have been told. It can inspire like brimstone fire one's imagination Of clean white sands, of far-off lands, of treasures lost and won. Tales of ghost ships on fateful trips of pirates Kidd and Bligh, Sailing the main -- Indies to Spain -as skull and cross-bones fly. A harsh mistress, some would attest, those who rest in the deep. Those taken by winds and waves high are now in endless sleep. A friend to man and to the land if she takes a notion, Though many drowned, shores changed around by the raging ocean. Men build (they think) ships that won't sink, but she's a fearsome foe. For if her want, she'll tease and taunt then send them down below. Men have been bold since days of old sailing from shore to shore. Many were lost, their lives the cost for thinking they knew more.

ODE TO A HARSH MISTRESS "Red sky at night, sailor's delight" A famous seaman's adage "Red sky in morning, sailor's warning" A very useful adage If you don't heed, and you proceed She may make you believe. Maybe too late, she'll cast your fate And those on shore will grieve. On your tombstone let it be known "He died out on the main. He challenged her, and to be sure, He won't try it again!"

AT PEACE Lights reflecting on the water Way out across the bay As darkness of night is ending Another sunny day. They flicker as the gentle breeze Blows seaward from the land Just the way Old Mother Nature Had this whole day all planned. The gulls are asleep and quiet The fish will jump all night As I look across the water It's such a lovely sight. Boats gently rocking at the dock Of every shape and size They're lighted by a slice of moon And stars up in the sky. A solitude and peacefulness Now settle over me. It tells me that I've come back home -I've come back to the sea.

IN ANY LANGUAGE It makes no difference where you're at No matter what country. The most important thing is that You are a person who is free.

BELOW THE SURFACE The sunlight on the surface Flashes back at me As I look into the depths Of the deep blue sea. I see the fish down below As they swim around And the gently lapping waves Are the only sound. Sometimes a soaring seagull Squawks as he flies by Against a background of clouds In a still blue sky. Boats on the far horizon Sails blown by the breeze Some are out for just the day Some bound for new seas. Heading for new ways of life Never to return Hoping to find happy shores Those which all men yearn. Some will realize their dreams Some travel for naught Find the best they'll ever have They've already got. But man will go on dreaming (No different with me) As I look into the depths Of the deep blue sea.

BOATBUILDERS Born of dreams, hopes and schemes, Of blood and sweat and tears, Of all the money earned Hard work for many years. Buying her piece by piece, Then nail, bolt and screw. See Her grow like a child -Loved almost as much, too. She'll freeze you in the winter, She'll leak and make you wet, And in the summertime You sit around and sweat. Seems an eternity Before you see Her float. I guess you know by now I'm talking 'bout a boat. You learn all of the terms, Like forward, stern and aft. Up/down's below, topside Its' not beer you call draft. Your bed will be a berth That's cramped and much too small. Walk around hunched over, If you should be too tall. There's no floors to walk on The ceiling is the deck. The toilet's called the head What else did you expect? You cook in the galley A stove that rocks and rolls. You read charts not a map To find out where She goes. To the left is to port Starboard is to the right. Learn to read a compass To know the stars at night. Find each nook and cranny

On deck and down below To store all of the gear (More gear than room, you know) Live on her at dockside Another year or two You still can't take Her out There's still a lot to do. Finally! It is time For you to hoist the sail With all your stores aboard You've driven the last nail. At last you pull away From that too well-known dock You think of all the hours -Time you've worked 'round the clock. Of memories and friends Left there behind in port Realizing that your stay Really was quite short. But now there's a new world For you to see and know You can go where you want As long as the winds blow.

BE FREE Hear the sound of sails Flapping in the breeze Gently turn the rudder Head her where you please. As the blue-green water Slips silently by With the soft white clouds In a beautiful sky. What a peaceful feeling Sailing on the sea It's a different world Where you can be free.

BLOWING IN CIRCLES A lightning flash across the sky, The thunder's rumbling sound, The patter of the gentle rain As it come falling down. The wind picks up momentum, The trees sway to and fro, Tornado warnings posted As it begins to blow. Mother Nature on the rampage, She's showing us once more That she can play a lullaby Or scream a deafening roar. She will play no favorites But if you're in the way You had best listen to The tune that she does play.

CAP'N JACQUES He's been around the world And seen most every shore He says he's not done He's going to see some more. He knows the world's waters From above and below Not much about the seas That this man doesn't know. He's been trying to teach us -Those of us who will hear -That we're going to ruin The things that he holds dear. The life in deep waters And in river and stream -To stop its pollution Has been his whole life's dream. He's learned and understands That we depend upon The waters of the world -And have since the earth's dawn. He knows they can be saved But that we cannot wait Because before too long It's going to be too late. So, listen to this man And what he has to say 'Cause before we know it -It will be Judgment Day.

CHANGING SHORELINE They come from everywhere, Crowd onto the beaches Strange about the water's pull And how far it reaches. It's not just the sun and sand, There's a subtle, awesome force That draws us all back to its edge -It's part of our life's course. Like the shoreline at its edge, We're forever changing Never to be the same again -Always rearranging. Like the tide's unending action With its ebb and flow We'll all return to the shore Though why, I do not know.

CLOUDS Did you ever lay On a cloudy day Looking at the sky? Seeing strange faces Far away places In the heavens high? Maybe you would see Life differently If you'd just let go And let the clouds guide A fantasy ride Wherever they may blow.

THEIR MAJESTY Rising high above the land Reaching toward the sky With snow-capped peaks shining Where even birds don't fly The winds howl relentlessly Through the cold, clean air Some untouched by man Who has not yet been there. They tower o'er green valleys And plains far as you can see Form headwaters for our rivers And timberlines of tree. Some rest in quiet solitude They're cold and dead inside While others blow their tops -Wreak havoc far and wide. Born millions of years ago Of the restless heaving earth In all shapes and sizes Of different heights and girth One of Mother Nature's children Standing tall and proud An awe-inspiring sight With their halos of cloud.

ENDANGERED SPECIES We talk about what we can do To save what we don't kill But I think we all know That we never, ever will. We discuss all the things That could and should be done But it usually ends right there Before they are begun. We won't waste our precious time In our greedy haste We will wait until it's gone And cannot be replaced. Then we'll bitch about it Let another take the blame And the worst part about it -Next time we'll do the same. Some day we will realize Though it will be too late We're the endangered species And have sealed our own fate. The world will be better off Without the human being 'round Without our intelligence(?) Maybe sanity will abound. Maybe peace and tranquility Will spread around the earth Once we realize how little We are really worth. Let's hope we leave Enough to start life anew -That we don't kill it all 'Fore we bid this world adieu.

DON'T PIN ME DOWN The beautiful butterfly One of nature's lovely things Flies from flower to flower With rainbow-colored wings. Sucking the sweet nectar To pollinate once more The blossoms of Springtime On the lush valley floor. It spreads new life around And does more than its share It follows nature's plan That has always been there. So the next time you see one Don't pin it to a board For without the likes of it New life won't be restored.

FOOL'S ISLAND (Galveston) I hear of the hurricane As it heads toward land And hope the old hotel Will hold up and withstand The storm's merciless fury Waves crashing o'er the wall Or that it will die down To just a minor squall. I know that she will stay As she has said she would Taking care of old folks Because she is so good. There nothing I can do Except to sit and wait Hoping that she'll get out Before it is too late. A place you are committed Should you decide to stay You can't change your mind -No chance to get away. The roads will all be closed By the fast rising tide There is nowhere to run There is nowhere you can hide. Someday it will happen -A big catastrophe -As people sit and think "It can't happen to me". Mother Nature doesn't care Where or when or who. She may give fair warning But some won't think it true. They'll say, "Let's have a party. Why should we pack and run?" It happens every time -They find it not much fun.

Sometimes they'll be lucky And some will end up dead Because they were stubborn Or didn't use their head. But maybe one more time They might get a reprieve Maybe get scared enough That next time they will leave.

SECOND CHILDHOOD Would I do the same In a second game? Wonder if I would. Is there a new day Or a better way In second childhood? Were lessons learned well? What stories will they tell? Is there more to say? Could it have been changed? Maybe rearranged Or was it meant to be this way?

MESSAGE FROM ALICIA She howled across the Island In the wee hours of the morn Blowing rain and ocean tides Twelve feet higher than the norm. She knew She could destroy it But it seems of Her own choice She would give them once more chance Hope that they would hear Her voice. She would warn them one more time And hoped, maybe, they would hear She'd just kill a few of them -Make a mess, instill some fear. She knew they were in Her hands That they had no place to run And She knew there'd be those fools Who said they thought it was fun. She says next time is the test And there'll be one simple rule To see if they passed or failed Their class at Nature's School. The test could be twice as tough And all of them could fail -But if they listen to her They'll all pass, when they turn tail.

HAPPY SAILING I hope your course is true That your compass heading's right I hope you have smooth sailing Whether in the day or night. I hope the weather's always fair The water smooth and clear; I hope no storms enter your life To cause you doubt and fear. I hope when you make landfall In some lovely bay That the natives will be friendly And you have a happy stay. I hope the beach is white and clean Where you lie in the sand -I hope the sights that you see Are beautiful and grand. But should you hit rough seas Be in need of safe harbor, Reset your course for my arms And I will give you shelter.

SUNRISE The early morning light Slowly removes the shroud Of the dark, lonely night. The night dreams fade away With the realities Of another day.

FLORIDA SUNSHINE The sun is shining brightly The water's calm and smooth The boat is rocking gently I barely feel it move. White clouds off in the distance Slowly turning to gray I see the line of showers That are heading my way. A distant flash of lightning The thunder's rumbling sound Pitter-patter on the deck The rain starts falling down. The wind churns up the water The boat begins to rock And starts tugging at the lines That hold it to the dock. The rain becomes a torrent The wind begins to howl Mother Nature's friendly smile Becomes a savage scowl. She clears her system quickly The rains go on their way And the sun comes out again A typ'cal Florida day.

HEARING FEELINGS Have you ever heard the silence The transmutation of a look Of a touch, or thought, or dream The words printed in a book? The fearful cries of someone That you don't even know The sounds of lonely hours That seem to go so slow? With all the noise around us We forget about the quiet We let it slip by unnoticed And if we hear -- deny it. At times the walls around us Have so much to say But we walk out -- close the door Feeling safe for one more day. We let the slightest sound Still the silent words we hear How can something that is nothing Cause us so much fear? We listen to the silent words Of others we call fools Then say, "You can't hear mine -It's against the rules". But be assured there's someone Who can hear past the sound Who can hear your silent words For you can't keep them bound.

IN MY BLOOD Got the trav'lin fever I want to hit the trail Don't know why I'm waitin' Why I don't move my tail. A lot of world out there So much to see and share No plan which direction -Just travel here and there. Stop when and where I want For a day -- maybe more. But I do know one thing I must be near a shore. I'll be near the water It has a hold on me A strange and unseen force Draws me back to the sea. If you've lived upon it As I once used to do It gets into your blood -Becomes a part of you. Soon I will hit the road And head toward the coast Down to the water's edge -The place that I love most.

LIGHT KEEPERS A guiding beam of light That flashes in the night It tells men of the sea If that's where they should be. Sometimes it says, "Beware, There's trouble for you there." At times, if it's the case It says, "This is the place." Alone on shore or rock These men of special stock Keep the lamp light burning For sailors returning. The lighthouse tender's breed Fulfills a special need His only family Is the light and the sea. So hats off to these few And the fine job they do For ships lost and wind blown Saved by the light they've shone.

MAINSTREET, U.S.A. I walk through the canyon, listening to the wind howl down the ravines that lead to it. The dust of centuries past swirls around my feet. Life abounds everywhere but sometimes I have to look very carefully to see it. At times it will reveal itself for a brief moment before it scurries away. Even though I know that it is there, often the chill of emptiness can be felt, and I can sense the cold, cunning eyes that watch me from impenetrable positions on all sides. I turn quickly, trying to catch a glimpse of them, and hoping that they will be friendly for a change. More often that not, I see nothing in the harsh terrain around me. On rare occasions, though, eyes will peer back at me curiously, and sometimes I think that I can detect the same need and longings that I have reflected in them. They may even come closer, trying to get a better look. It is as if they are searching for something or someone. They act fearful of what they may find, or as if they don't quite believe or trust what they see. They always turn away though, scurrying back to the safety of their own world. There, they know what to expect, and they feel secure. They are wary of strangers or change, and their fear seems to overpower their curiosity and, I think, sometime their intelligence. I suppose that some of them may think that they have seen all that there is to see and become complacent about it all. Maybe they have seen most of it, but I very much doubt it. Even if I move away from the main chasm where the landscape is different, the inhabitants are still the same. Each may have a completely different and unique place or form of refuge. Even so, the responses and reactions of all of them are usually predictable. I suppose that I will have to continue to search and hope that from somewhere within the shadowy depths of the crevasses that surround me, someday I will see those eyes that will not look away, and that they will be able to see and to understand.

ENDING BEGINNINGS Of rain? A clear sky. Of night? A new day. Of dreams? Reality. Habits? A different way. Of love? A new one. Of pain? The healing. Of life? Rebirth. Of death? Unfeeling.

FULL ENOUGH! It's an unseen force Changing tides of the mind Strange feelings I find Every month, of course. Some change from inside Who knows the reason why? Some laugh and some cry There's nowhere to hide. Some believe, some don't And try to run away Don't know what to say Some face it, some won't. But, the full moon changes Of this there is no doubt. It changes lives about Some minds, it rearranges.

MATCHSTICKS Matchstick cats and dogs And people made the same Shaped the way you want Making them play your game. They'll do what you will You choose the words they say They'll always be there For they can't run away. But they can't touch you They don't know how you feel Sometimes it's the same With those you think real.

MOLLIE'S FOLLY A boat of sail can tell a tale Of hopes and thoughts and schemes Of all the work and the sad quirk That could end all the dreams. The trip at last, did come to pass After all those long, hard years Of doing without. Now there is doubt Of its worth, it appears. Seems before long, that all went wrong -Including the weather Three hundred miles, toward the Isles Could more bad luck occur? Maybe She knows an ill wind blows It wasn't meant to be She has a fear, leaving the pier Of heading out to sea. Red skied morning -- sailor's warning -One that you must heed Be sure Her shape is all shipshape If you plan to proceed. For I worry in your hurry You'll leave something to chance. Just one small thing -- that it could bring Some sort of mischance. I hope all's well and your trip's swell And all your dreams come true And as you ride out on the tide I wish good luck for you.

MIRACLES DO HAPPEN Leaves of orange and red and brown Gently falling down Heeding Old Man Winter's call. All the birds have gone their ways Searching warmer days For they've sensed the coming Fall. Pudgy squirrels stock their lairs Scurry here and there As they forage through the leaves. The wise spider doesn't nap As he waits to trap Victims in the web he weaves. The old bear prepares for sleep In his den, dug deep To await the next year's Spring. When gray, stormy skies turn blue And life begins anew What a miraculous thing!

WHO DEW DAT? The dainty, fragile dew drop Awaits the morning light To twinkle in the sunshine Like a star in the night.

MOONIE? It grows each night brighter The face is clear. Nights not so dark -- lighter The time is near. The blood inside my veins Flowing faster As my body complains Strange feelings stir. Unexplainable changes Not imagined --real My mind rearranges How changed I feel. I'm restless, what to do? Where do I go? I'm lonely and I'm blue. My own worst foe! I do some crazy things Without thinking The time of month that brings Hopeless dreaming. Watching the full moon rise Up into the sky I hear ancient cries And I wonder why.

NEW DAY I lay tossing and turning In the early light of morn Tryin' to ignore the new day That's about to be born.

MOUNT SAINT HELENS Snow capped peaks and ridges Almost two miles high A lovely sight she was Reaching toward the sky. A lake held to her breast Its waters cold and clear Its name, from Indian lore That was conceived in fear. They felt the whole region Had belonged to the dead They wouldn't go near it They believed what was said. Spirit Lake was a gem That sparkled in the light But her brilliance is gone Now, just a desolate site. The mountain had been quiet A hundred years, two score. And then in May of '80 She came to life once more. More than five hundred bombs Of the atomic size -The energy she spent As she took to the skies. Up sixty thousand feet She threw her ash and dust And made those who saw it Cry out --"In God we trust!" Two hundred miles away They heard her blow her top And those that lived near her Thought that she'd never stop. Parts of her were carried By winds, clear 'round the earth And land for miles around Has lost all of its worth. She vented her anger But don't think that she's done

And those with any sense Would turn away and run. For Old Mother Nature Can be so soft and sweet But if she wants to fight You know she can't be beat. It's just one more warning One more that we won't heed So we'll pay the price And refuse to concede.

MORE, MORE Do all dreams die -Or just the men? Where do they start -Where do they end? What is a dream? What we can't get -What we can't see Those not yet met? When they come true They cease to be They'll turn into Reality. A way of life Since days of yore All a man has -He'll yearn for more.

MOLLIE'S LAUNDRY ROOM Rub-a rub-a scrub In a plastic tub Washing dirty clothes Sometimes a pair of hose -But mostly it seems Just old cut-off jeans And a shirt or two And maybe a skirt, too. To get you through the day Till the next day of pay To wash in a machine You think it's really keen 'Cause for three quarters there You can wash more than one pair.

NUTICAL NAUTICAL Well, here it is --Florida -You finally made it here. You sure took your time -It took you a whole year. With some stops along the way You'd rather not have made Docked at places --not by choice -That you'd rather not stayed. The boat, She held together Took the bad with the good But you didn't have a doubt -You always knew She would. Al least a part of your dream Has finally come true And I don't have any doubts That all the rest will, too. You have the perseverance And you have a strong will To keep going when others wouldn't 'Cause they'd have had their fill. You're one of a kind, "Lady" Like the "Cheshire Cat" boat. And I know you won't give up -That you'll keep both afloat. After talking to you some I know you won't give up And I also know some day You'll have your silver cup. Boating is a way of life The one that suits you best You're going to do it your way -To hell with all the rest! And when your trip is over And all is said and done Those people will look and say "She was the lucky one." "She had a dream in her heart

That she would not let fade And she made it all come true -Well worth the price she paid." You did it all, your own way -You have a stubborn streak. And the way of life you chose Is not meant for the weak. You'd never made it alone But, neither would have he And both of you should be proud You're two souls who are free.

NO DEPOSIT/NO RETURN "No deposit, no return" "Do not fold or mutilate" And everywhere we go It's "hurry up" and "wait". A plastic and paper world -We don't use our hands or mind There's no such thing anymore As unique -- one of a kind. We buy instead of make it -Use that plastic card like cash Then we'll waste half what we buy And put the rest in the trash. And even love and marriage Is not what it used to be Believe nothing that you hear And just half of what you see. It's no wonder we're mixed up And that truth is hard to find 'Cause we let ourselves be led -By the blind -- leading the blind. So, let's start to deposit And hope we get a return And the places that we go Let's take our time -- try to learn. Let's take all those cardboard cards Those that we can't punch or bend To those who would control us And say --"Stick 'em in your end!

OCEAN TIDES Blue-green water, crystal clear And sand as white as snow Children playing in the surf The pace, easy and slow. Fish swimming around your feet As if they're teasing you Soft white clouds float overhead In a sky, clear and blue. A place you can get away Leave your troubles behind The salt air and the soft breeze Can clear you cluttered mind. Look at the far horizon And dream of far-off lands The same waters wash their beach -They just have different sands. The people on their beaches With dreams like you and I Looking at the same horizon Beneath the same blue sky. Their skin, a different color Their speech, a foreign word All drawn to the ocean's edge By the same call we heard. Its strange and awesome forces Reach each and every one And will for eternity Just as it's always done. A common bond to us all A camaraderie It's too bad that we don't hear -So sad that we don't see. The things we could accomplish If we'd be like the tide -Dependable and constant And pulling, side by side. The world could live together

With peace and happiness And with Mother Nature's lead We'd straighten out the mess. But people are too stubborn We just don't want to hear Most of us possessed by greed Some of us torn by fear. But the oceans will remain When life on earth is done And with their perseverance New life will be begun.

NEW ROADS Well, "My Blue Heaven's" gone I sold Her yesterday So now I have to learn To live a different way. She carried me some miles Although not near enough And She held together When the roads were rough. Kept me warm in winter Cool in the summertime And She gave me a place To put my thoughts to rhyme. A place to hide away Where I could be alone To learn some things about me That I'd have never known. I hate to see Her go For she's a lot like me She is one-of-a-kind And She has to be free.

MOONLIT Full moon up in the sky Shining so brightly. You'll shine on her tonight As you shine on me. I beg, shine bright enough So that she will see That I'll always love her For all eternity.

ONE DONE Counting all those numbers Until our life is done If you think about it They all begin with ONE. The FIRST day of life The FIRST time we cried The FIRST time we laughed Our FIRST Yuletide. The FIRST time we crawled The FIRST step we took The time the other sex Was seen with a new look. The FIRST time we knew How we really feel The FIRST time we thought we loved The FIRST time it was real. But someday when those FIRSTs Are all done and past We'll find the FIRST day of our life Really is the LAST.

WHO? They may wonder who I am And how I came to be But all that I can do Is be the one that's me. While they wonder who they are And just how they got here They fill their minds with thoughts Of questions, doubt and fear.

OF THE EARTH Up at the crack of dawn With the crowing of the cock Go to gather the eggs As the old hens scold and squawk. Feed the horses, milk the cows, By the rising morning sun It seems you've worked half a day -But it's only just begun. Time for breakfast -- not store-bought Bacon, eggs, and homemade biscuits Cherry jam, put up last Fall And some plums canned with the pits. You fix the leak in the barn Mend the hole that's in the fence You clear the weeds from the ditch That have grown so thick and dense. Drive twenty miles into town Just to get needed supplies Hurry back to mow the fields Just as soon as the dew dries. Then it's time for dinner -The main meal of the day She's one helluva cook -Is all that you can say. You start baling up the hay Now that it's all cut down Get a drink of sweet water From the well below the ground. Still a few more chores to do Before the evening sunset. You have pride in knowing that You work hard for all you get. Time for supper -- something light -The time to relax and talk To have a cup of coffee -Maybe take a moon-lit walk. You hear the frogs in the pond

And the crickets in the grass Look up at the scattered clouds Wonder what weather's forecast. A man of earth -- it's tough -Few days off and little pay It's in your blood, and you know That there is no better way.

THE FARMER'S WIFE You've heard of "The Three Blind Mice" And "The Farmer in the Dell"? As far as fairy tales go I guess that they are swell. But in the real world today So much that we don't know Just go ask a farmer's wife And she'll tell you so. She'll tell you of the long days In every farmer's life And what it is really like To be a farmer's wife. About getting up at dawn Each day of the year Whether the day is stormy Or beautiful and clear. And speaking of the weather It can wipe you out -It can take your best year And turn it inside out. The pests can eat the crops Acid rain ruins the soil And there's not too much pay For all the time you toil. Kind of a thankless job People think you're getting rich Not knowing what it costs To put water in the ditch. It's not like the old days There's so much more to know To put a seed in the ground And to make it grow. Without the farmer and his wife Wonder where we'd be -They've done a lot to make us great. And the land of the free. So give thanks to them

The next time you sit down To partake of a meal They've raised from the ground.

OF FLOWERS Beautiful, so full of life, Opening to the sun And air. Some brilliant colored Some more than one Some fair. But all alive, blooming Reaching for the sky Because they care. They open up their petals Turn them to heaven high And they get their share. Life most things that surround us Taken so much for granted We're not even aware. But now when I see one Seems I become enchanted NOW I see them there.

FOOTPRINTS I walk the lonely beach Searching in the warm wet sand For the pair of footprints Made when we walked hand in hand. I look toward the water As the sun begins to set And hope with all my heart That I'll see your silhouette. I sit on the driftwood Worn smooth by the raging sea It looks like the same one Where you used to sit with me. At times the crashing waves Are like a magic potion I think I hear your voice But find it's just the ocean. The wind caresses me -I pretend that it's your lips But then I realize That it's one more of my trips. To that land of dreams That will never, ever be I watch the water rise And I hope it will take me. That it will drown the pain And take away the sorrow -Take me back to yesterday And stop the coming 'morrow.

OR A DREAM? A translucent face Smiles up at me Beneath the calm water It's one I can't place Neptune, maybe? Could it be his daughter? A hand beckons me I'm comfortable I reach out and touch it. It's cold as the sea But wonderful Though strange I must admit. It warms to my touch Gently pulling, Urging me to follow I can feel so much A gentle calling From the depths there below. The face is clear now It's yours, my love. Can it really be true? If so, I will vow To God above I always will love you. Awakened! A change -The vision gone -My hand warm and wet. It was very strange! Phenomenon? It's one I won't forget!

THE CHESHIRE GRIN There she goes a-sailing On her maiden voyage You may have been wiser To have put her up in storage. The radio goes out Just when you want to talk And if there is no wind You can't get out and walk. The dammed auto-pilot Steered itself off course What's that there in the dark? Why -- it's land, of course. You feel the bottom meet And scrape against the hull And you can't get afloat Without a helping pull. The motor runs just fine But only in reverse -Take it easy, friend It's not yet time to curse. Sit on the windless waters For a day or two The tornadoes that you saw -The only winds that blew. You finally get a break It blew you right on in Not wondering in the rushing tide If you WOULD sink -- just WHEN. A whole month into the trip Less than ten miles a day But you should know by now To own a boat -- you pay. Sand and paint Her here Patch Her over there And each time you do it It's done with loving care. You may want to sink Her

Or burn Her to the line But then you look at Her and think -"Well, at least She's mine!"

SALVAGE JOB Dancing patterns on the ceiling Through the porthole, near my bed Remind me of those days gone by And the memories fill my head. So many thoughts of happy times And those days aboard the boat Of tender love, shared by two That we couldn't keep afloat. It sank into the cold, dark depths Settling to life's murky floor If that treasure could be salvaged Then I'd never ask for more. It's worth all the gold and silver That is hidden in the deep I hope that it will live once more Not destined to endless sleep.

SEA ESCAPE There She sat, huge and proud Held fast, tied to the dock A pretty sight She was (If only She could talk.) She could tell some stories And She could tell some tales Of all the ports She's seen Along those ocean trails. She would tell of bad storms With the sea mean and rough She made it through them all 'Cause she was proud and tough. She'd talk of pretty days The water smooth as glass Gliding quietly across A "Lady" -- She had class. She'd tell of her marriage To Neptune of the sea And She'd say there's nowhere That she would rather be. She'd tell about Her crew The captain, stern and wise. And all the rest of them Upon whom he relies. The first mate -- his right hand The purser -- strings pulled tight And the poor old doctor Who's called all through the night. Those in the engine room Keeping the props going And then there's the oiler Who must keep it flowing. And the man at the helm Who keeps Her on course The hands batten Her down When She bucks like a horse She'd tell of passengers

Who have ridden Her back About the Blue Lady -And the one dressed in black. The couple who married Out on Her sunny decks She thinks that they'll be back To pay her their respects. She's glad to have them all For they keep her afloat And if they didn't come She'd be an old work boat!

SILENT MESSAGE The beauty of the flowers As patiently they wait For the sunshine and the rain That make or seal their fate. Standing silent in the dawn And straining toward the sky Wondering what the day will bring If they shall live or die. The same things that give them life Can take it all away For too much rain or sunshine Can make it their last day. The hot sun might dry them up It might rain 'til they drown They'll fall back to Mother Earth -Be swallowed by the ground. But even so, in their death They'll help others to live Be part of newborn life And continue to give. Beauty to this barren world Bright colors to the gray A sweet fragrance to the air Where children run and play. They ask nothing in return They just want their fair share Of the sunshine and the rain And the life-giving air. But it seems the human race In all its greed and haste Will not let the flowers live And it seems such a waste. We will pull them from the ground And trample them to death We pollute the air they breathe To make it their last breath. We make it so the sunshine

Can't get through the haze Make acid fall from the sky On all those rainy days. We're blinded by greed's passion Afraid we'll be outdone And we'll bring it on ourselves That day -- the final one. To bad flowers are wiser They give more than they take They realize what's needed -What's needed, for life's sake. So listen what the flowers Say with their silent word -The most important message That you have never heard.

SLEEPY I wish I could Go into hibernation To ease the mind strain Of everyday frustration. Hidden away in my lair Protected from the chill Staying safe and warm And waiting --until The flowers start to bloom To the bluebird's song And all new-born creatures Learn where they belong. When Old Mother Nature Makes life start anew I wonder if she'd start My life over, too.

SEASONS First there comes the Springtime When all things are fresh and new The innocence of newborn life Believing that all dreams come true. Then the Summer of our lives That is spent chasing those dreams And the realization -It's not as easy as it seems. Much too soon Fall is here As things die and they turn brown And we watch our dreams tumble Like leaves to the cold hard ground. Winter will chill us to the bone As years quickly slip away Along with forgotten dreams We dreamt that Springtime day. The four seasons of the mind Beginning, middle, past and end Rarely work out as we want Or turn out as we intend

E.S.P. Is it from mind to mind Or is it from the heart? It's amazing to me What thoughts can impart

SOLITARY SEAGULL Just sitting on the back deck Looking 'cross the bay Noticing the gulls Must have lost their way. I looked around to see Where they all had gone And I swear all I could find Was just a single one. The sun was blazing white In the hazy sky As the bird settled down And I sat and pondered why. Why the solitary seagull It seemed so very strange From the flocks we're used to -And not a welcome change! Could it have been an omen, A message of some kind? And if I looked real hard I wondered if I'd find -That I'm like that solitary seagull Looking for an answer to The question, "What is the answer?" And wondering what to do.

THE CALM THAT RAGES Looking across the water Dreams of a distant shore I hear the ocean sounds, And watch the seagulls soar. Feeling small -- tossed about Like a speck of foam Knowing I'm a part of it -That I've come back home I feel it in my blood It fills a special need It always has been there Starting with life's seed. It calms the storm that rages Deep inside of me -Brings out unknown feelings Like waves of a stormy sea. I see my true reflection When it is calm and smooth -The pain deep inside of me It can ease and soothe. The water's gentle waves Wash sand around my feet Rushing toward the land Then once more will retreat. Never resting, never still With its eternal force It knows we will return Once we've run life's course.

SUGAR AND SPICE They start as little girls In pretty frilly dresses With their hair in pigtails Or in long, curly tresses. They dress up in Mom's clothes And try to walk in heels Put make-up on their faces To see just how it feels Then as they grow older They learn about the boys They put their dolls away For their new found toys. They'll fall in love and marry As they were taught to do Some of them are lucky Some find their love not true. They do the laundry, cook and clean Play nurse, lover and friend And as for a woman's work There seems to be no end. She'll take an outside job To help to pay the bills Usually do without question Whatever her mate wills She never will complain When she's feeling low Seems that morning to night She's always on the go. She will spend a lifetime Trying to please her man Always doing for him Everything she can. Taken so much for granted The women in our lives Not enough credit given To our lovers or wives. So take a minute, fellas,

Tell her that you care Think what it would be like If she wasn't there.

THE BEST THINGS Most people are so foolish Instead of give, they take Some spend their lives in misery For other people's sake. They don't look inside themselves To see what they really need What they real want from life Their feelings never freed. The things they think important So seldom ever are The money stored in the bank A big house or fancy car. They can't bring you happiness Can't put your mind at ease Can't take away the heartache Can't get you off your knees. I have learned the hard way The things that count in life What can make it beautiful What can ease the strife. Simple things like flowers A bird swift on the wing The ocean as it breaks on shore Can make my heart sing. A storm with all it's fury The gently falling rain Can take away the sorrow Can help to ease the pain. The meaning of one to love Someone else's life to share One to spend the hours with One you know does care. Cares like you for simple things Who will walk hand in hand Along the road or sidewalk Or barefoot in the sand. Who'll give you a gentle look

Eyes saying they love you Knowing they'll be beside you Part of everything you do. A tender touch upon your arm As they pass you by Share the fun and laughter Shed tears, too -- if you should cry. Make your lonely times of life Something of the past To feel true and honest friendship To know that it will last. Having someone to talk with Of the hopes and dreams inside To tell you funny stories -In whom you can confide. Someone to take care of you When you don't feel well. Who'd pick you up and hold you If you ever fell. I hope I got my point across -The best things in life are free. If you just look for them I know that you will see.

STORMY WEATHER I see off in the distance Blue skies turning to gray It looks like we're in for Another stormy day. The sunset just a hazy glow With hues of orange and red The wind blowing autumn leaves That have fallen brown -- and dead. Out toward the far horizon A bright flash lights the sky As the darkness quickly comes And another day goes by. The thunder just a whisper As the rain begins to fall The storm is moving nearer And I hear Winter's call. The lightning's like a sword Slashing at the ground No matter where I look It seems it's all around. The rain becomes a torrent And it chills the air The swords of the gods Become a blinding glare. The sound of the thunder Is now a deafening roar But I love every minute Of nature's musical score. Its awesome force reminds me Who's really in control And how insignificant Is the human being's role. We pollute the air and water We desecrate the land And soon Old Mother Nature Will have more than she can stand. I feel she's trying to warn us

With her changing clime That we'd better change our ways Before we run out of time. But we turn deaf ears to her In our greed and haste It looks like before we're done We'll turn the earth to waste. So, as I watch and listen To the storm outside I'm sad we don't heed warnings Of our impending suicide.

THE AFRIKAN QUEEN She was thirty-nine feet long Fifteen feet across the beam And She was the answer to A persistent, lifelong dream. We knew that She was the one When we first laid eyes on Her She wasn't new or fancy And She needed work, for sure. She fit her name to a "T" She was painted green and white As She cut through the water She sure was a lovely sight. A real Lady in Her day With a special flair and class With mahogany brightwork She was loaded down with brass. But all was painted over She was dying of neglect Those who owned Her before us Showed that Lady no respect. I tried hard to restore Her With help from a loving wife And we lived for several years What we thought -- the sailor's life. But She got the best of me And I'm so sorry to say That I seemed to lose interest Somewhere along the way. I didn't treat my Ladies The way that I knew I should I wish I could turn back time And I sure would if I could. I know that I'd do different That I would keep both afloat But I didn't. I lost both. My "Queen of Hearts" -- and the boat.

THE EMPTY CHAIR I look across the table And I picture her there Early in the morning time She sits there in her chair. She says "Good morning" to me And gently takes my hand Squeezes it tenderly -It's more than I can stand. I sit thinking 'bout the dream -The one I dreamt last night Of the sweet love that we made -So perfect and so right. I pretend to ask, "My love What should we do today? Do you want to do something -Or just stay home and play?" And I look across the table To find that she's not there Early in the morning -I find an empty chair.

THE HIGHWAYMAN The highway stretches out ahead As far as my eyes can see It's straight, flat and deserted Fading into infinity. The white lines down the middle Pass quickly -- left behind forevermore The silence broken by the sound Of nothing but the engine's roar. The solitude is nice at times At times boring as can be The knowledge that I'm all alone -Like being on an asphalt sea. The fast speed I'm traveling Increases with each passing mile It's completely out of control -Wish I could slow down for a while. The wind is blowing at my back The spinning wheels are a blur I'm wondering where the road may lead It is the main, or a detour? And will the fuel in the tank Last till I reach the end What will I find when I get there Is it worth the force I expend? I watch the poles beside the road Change into a solid wall As I race down this long road And heed the lonely highway's call. So, with my foot pressed to the floor And listening to the engine's scream And wondering if my road will lead To life -- or just another dream.

THE THREE R's Ding, ding, ding on the left There's whoo, whoo on the right The sounds of those sentries Who guide you in the night. But ding, ding, could be right Depends which way you're going You shouldn't pass them by Without really knowing. A lot've said, "It's easy. I know I won't get lost." But there are many lives Their ignorance has cost. The black one asks, "Whoo,whoo?" The red say, "Twas ding-ding. Just one more of those fools Thinks he knows everything. Davey Jones will show him He's not so smart at all And if he is chosen He'll hear King Neptune's call."

THE RAIN FOREST It's eerie, dark, damp and cold, With strange creatures a-lurkin' You might catch a glimpse of them But most all will be unseen. Rustlings in the underbrush Will remind you that they're there You look for a place to hide But you can't find anywhere. You look up toward the sky Searching for a guiding light To lead you from the darkness And the never-ending night. You get scared and start to run Although it's a hopeless race -Cry out for a helping hand In this alienated place. But you know you're all alone That the sun might never shine That you might be lost forever In the forest of your mind.

THE WEEK Have you every thought The week is too long? Especially with that day That everything went wrong. Or maybe you feel The other way around For things you have to do The time just can't be found. But we're stuck with them -Monday through Sunday But wouldn't it be great To have an Extraday or Unday?

SPRING SHOWERS I hear the pitter-patter overhead As I toss and turn in my lonely bed My heart's pumping love with a steady beat But I can't let it show -- it must retreat. Sleep's hard to come by in the quiet night Then there's the dreams giving such delight But the morning comes and I wake to find That I have to push them from my mind. You're so very close, but out of my reach (Such hard, cruel lessons life can teach) I had your love for a little while Memories bring tears -- and sometimes a smile. Being near to you helps ease the pain My love falls on you like gentle rain It goes pitter-patter overhead As I lay her on my lonely bed.

TIME When an action or process Or condition continues The point when something happens Like receiving timely news. Being the proper season As the time to fall in love, Or the end of a lifetime When you go below/above. You can also make time, too Or you can waste it away Where the hands on a clock point Hours and minutes in a day. You can be in time or out Or do time if you do wrong You can do it to motors -To put rhythm in a song. One times one is still alone And can make times very hard And you can spend all your life Punching on a time card. It can spring forward, fall back You can march to it and dance You can change what you have left If you've the nerve to take the chance. You can pay a price for it Or you can get it for free You can have it on your hands Too much can drive you crazy. It's something that is infinite When it's gone, it's gone forever You can buy anything on it A house or refrigerator. You can have easy ones, too And you can have lonely ones Or you can have a good one -It's seconds or millenniums. At times, not enough of it

Just enough for a small taste But it's usually our own fault It's a shame all that we waste.

TWINKLE, TWINKLE Twinkling star up in the sky So high above my head Are you the one from last night That heard the prayers I said? Was that twinkle just for me Or did I blink my eyes? Was that a sign you are that one Of millions in the skies? Do you think I asked too much? Am I being unfair? Can you makes wishes come true -Produce dreams from thin air? Twinkle twice if I am wrong Once if you think I'm right If you won't answer me now -How 'bout tomorrow night?

WATERWORLD If you're tired of this world And searching for something new If you want to get away I know just the place for you. There's a very special world That abounds with mystery It's a place that few men know Down in the depths of the sea. Just get a mask and snorkel And some swim fins for your feet And look below the surface Then get ready for a treat. The beauty will astound you And the quiet is unreal And it's so hard to describe How good it can make you feel. There's fish and plants and creatures Of most every shape and size There are some things so different That you won't believe your eyes. A lot can go unnoticed If you fail to look real close There are some things that open up Like a swiftly blooming rose. At times you think there's nothing But the bubbles you watch rise But don't let yourself be fooled For you're watched by wary eyes. Don't take the sea for granted Or the dangers lurking there Don't worry -- but be cautious 'Cause at times She doesn't care. You don't know what you're missing 'Til you've gone under and looked For most -- after the first time They will find that they are hooked. You'll find that you'll hate to leave

Return to the world's strife You'll wish that you could stay there And just live a fish's life!

UNWOUND Walking down a winding trail With trees towering overhead With lush foliage all around Nature's sounds filling your head. The sunshine will filter down Where it's able to get through Sometimes it will take all day To dry the damp morning dew. It's so peaceful and serene And you know that it's all real Something you can depend on And that you can touch and feel. There are some things strong and stout And there's some fragile and frail If you look, you'll find new life Walking down a winding trail.

WONDERLUST I've got itching feet Want to head on down that road Want to travel light Don't need a heavy load. Travel through green valleys With mountains all around See if the rainbow's end Really can be found. Want to go from shore to shore Look out across the ocean Watch the waves wash the beach With their relentless motion. Dream of faraway lands That I may never see I don't want to be tied down -I have to be free. Free to think as I like To do what I may Not worrying 'bout tomorrow Just living for today. I'll prob'ly never change Will never settle down For I must go on searching Until my dream's been found.

THE DEEP BLUE Touching each and every shore With a soft caress. Gentle When it wants to be -The sea. Or roaring with abandon Screaming -- venting its anger At man to implore Restore My clear life-giving waters My unpolluted beaches It must be begun And done A matter of existence Not only mine -- yours too If you don't concur Be sure Across my width, depth and breadth All of us will pay, some day Your only defense? No sense! Don't wait 'til it's too late And all life is near an end Ask with you last breath -Why death?

VORTICES The outer edge moves slowly As it gently circles 'round But it will pull you inward And will start to drag you down. Down into its swirling depths Where it's dreary, dark and cold A place there's no escape from Where souls can be bought and sold. Seems that sooner or later You'll see most all those you know That someone has met their price They'll get caught up in the flow. Spinning wildly, crazily Into the vortex of greed To spend their lives in pursuit Of things that they THINK they need. There are a few who will learn And succeed in breaking free But most are lost forever -A waste of humanity.

THINGS UNDONE It's not the things you did and shouldn't have It's the things you didn't that you should have...

WINTRY JEWELS They look like fine-cut crystal Each one's beauty all its own Just more of nature's jewelry Each one like a precious stone. They're on a round trip journey From earth to the sky and back Sometimes they're few and short-lived Break like fragile bric-a-brac. At times in blinding fury To turn the landscape snow white They fall in countless numbers All day long -- throughout the night. There are few sights that compare As they flutter to the ground Or are carried by the wind And spin wildly 'round and 'round. But when winter is over They'll return back to the sea Then when Old Man Winter calls They'll be back to amaze me.

HAPPY HOUR Stopped for happy hour To have a drink or two Ended up doing again What people always do. Seemed that happy hour Lasted all night long Drank whiskey and water That was mixed too strong. Woke up this morning With an aching head My stomach doing flip-flops Eyes -- a brilliant red. Never again, I tell myself Knowing that's a lie Because I enjoy it -The feeling, when I'm high. So I'll just pay the piper I knew what was in store And might as well quit saying "I won't do that no more!"