To My Fellow Traveler

Headed for an Unknown Destination

 

 

It seems like yesterday when you had something left to say,
now all you do is look for another song to play.
You get on a Greyhound bus, you check into a motel,
you take a shower to try to clean off that Greyhound smell.
You step outside and watch as your future stares straight ahead,
you’ve found a way to avoid spending time in an unmade bed.
The coffee is served without a smile as your thoughts seem to disappear
between the eyes of a special one who thanks heaven that you’re here.
You’re dreaming and you know
you lack the courage to go
tell the person across the room who senses your desire
that you’d really appreciate it if someone could put out your fire.
You’re waiting for the spoon to stir the cesspool deep inside,
but it’s the blade that penertrates you ’til you have nothing left to hide.
You’re a thousand miles from home and you’re feeling so alone,
all the loose change in your pockets isn’t going to get someone on the phone.
You stay composed and collect your thoughts as the sun begins to set,
you rose to meet the sun that morning
and have a few more wrong turns now to forget.
Tomorrow you’ll wake up and maybe whistle a wistful tune
about the time you found yourself leaving a bit too soon.
There’s no point in getting sentimental as you try to understand
why millions of people have lost all hope with happiness close at hand.
The thought of your life ending in a place you tried desperately to avoid
leaves you wondering whether your way out
was somehow secretly destroyed,
but there’s nothing left to say when your past lies in your way,
when an evening voice leaves you no choice
but to cast bad memories astray.
If the past exists to teach you and the future does not reach you,
you take a deep breath inside and suck in that everlasting present.
If it doesn’t taste good and you want to spit it all out,
the night has nothing in store for you except a quest for another route.
The evening grabs you by the throat and you’d hate to start to scream,
but who in this faraway town would care if you let off some steam?
There have been people put away for less,
of that you must confess,
so you stifle your voice until you sound like a prairie dog’s squeal,
a night hardly begun has yet another soul to steal.
In the morning you’ll be alright
if you can make it through the night,
but who is to say
the howling wind’s not in your heart to stay?
There’s a roadblock ahead
where better people have been left dead
for seeking wisdom on strangers’ soil
rather than settling for half-truths instead.
There are laws that govern this land,
some that you can’t understand,
causing you to hang on to love the way a seive holds on to sand.
Through the window of the bar,
you fail to see as far
as the kindred spirit on his knees wishing upon a star.
You’ve withstood the latest flurry
from people who perpetually hurry
to tell you all about the Earth’s problems that require you to worry.
You reach for another drink
and now there’s no time to think
about who is going to be there
when you have to come up for air.
The waitress has not been unkind,
the meaning of her face is hard to find,
and who’s to know how many others in your seat
have tried to read her mind?
It’s a funny world to be in
when there’s nothing left to win
except some poker chips on the table and a friendly smile again.
You need someone to hold you, someone to let you in
where angels will tread lightly and you feel beneath your skin.
With fate spinning at every door
you could not ask for more
than to have a pair of eyes meet yours
that want to see what yours are living for,
but it’s crucial that you know
when there’s nowhere left to go
and with palms turned upwards
a guru tells you that God has wanted it so,
that you move forward and begin to feel
what is wrong and what is real.
It’s not as if you’ve lived this long to roll over and meekly kneel.
Now it’s time to ask for the check and to lie down alone for the night.
You wonder if you should let the waitress go and fade away from sight.
Your heart starts to weigh heavy as you look for words to say
but all you find the courage to do is to reach for your wallet and pay.
The morning brings something new, the morning brings something fresh,
but what’s the point in looking ahead when you need to share your flesh?
There are a million stars above that you can’t see from the city,
and the way you left the bar wouldn’t leave anyone with a sense of a pity.
You could walk back inside
but the truth can’t be denied
that all she wanted was to take your tip and watch your mind get fried.
She has a job description close at hand,
a smile for every man,
so what’s the point in being deluded about what’s not in Nature’s plan?
If the room TV were any bigger you’d try to fit inside,
if people were out to get you it wouldn’t be a bad place to hide,
but nobody would be following you with so precious little to find
between the clothes stuffed in your backpack
and the thoughts haunting your mind.
Still think of yourself as important in all the things you do.
Though the sun is in no hurry to rise, when it does it shines for you too.
There are people dancing all over the world, dancing to their favorite song,
and you stare in the dark at the ceiling wondering why it’s been so very long
since you held someone close to you and planned your lives together
only to have love slip away like an unexpected change of weather.
When the sun finally rises you set off on a trail
like someone accused of a crime who has decided to skip bail.
You ask yourself what on earth you actually are trying to prove,
with every step you take you watch for something to move.
Your eyes take a while to adjust to a human form so fine,
she appears like a mirage and tastes sweeter than wine.
The woman’s place of origin is more than a little mysterious,
but what’s the point in asking questions when it’s time to be delirious?
Within a moment’s hesitation, a gust of a chilly breeze,
someone else calls for you, struggling on bleeding knees.
You say you can’t possibly be bothered now
and what’s the purpose of helping when you don’t even know how?
Just then a storm comes to greet you from above,
you accept it as bad luck while some might call it “love”.
You cling to her like a blanket and keep each other warm,
while conjuring up ideas to seek shelter from the storm.
When at last the clouds begin to break
you jump into a lake
and ask yourself why all of a sudden life’s such a piece of cake.
You wink at passing strangers because all is well at hand.
You don’t care about politicians and whatever they have planned.
Some say you can only be as happy as others will let you be,
though awareness of human suffering brings you down
the truth has set you free
that like a ship without an anchor drifting aimlessly at sea
a person with a conscience has demons from which he can’t flee–
the word “conscience” at its roots means with knowledge,
not necessarily the kind you learn in college,
like knowing between good and evil before you pick the tree
or knowing one mushroom from another to expand your fantasy.
What limits your point of view is the set of troubles that you know
like when she whispers at night that she’d appreciate if you’d show
a little more affection as if it were the first time
or as if you really want wedding bells to chime.
You choose not to respond directly to such a sudden demand,
and look at her with tenderness as you take her by the hand,
and you say “These are the best years of our lives,
your words cut inside me like they’re knives.”
To the precipice you go because now’s the time to show
if you dread the thought of losing her she has the right to know
you’ve made the choice not to seek another partner for a day,
and you stay frozen in your tracks, hoping silence will make her stay,
and she says: “Baby, you’re going to have to do a little better than that
because I’m just tired of settling for where we’re at.”
You look at yourself trying to be so smart,
it’s time to wake up, to live from your heart.
Your calculated gestures wouldn’t soothe a dog.
Dropping down your guard to emerge from the fog,
you try to comfort her with a kiss,
the effort’s there but something’s amiss.
There’s a fork in the road, you go separate ways.
There’s a force pulling you to solitaire days.
Your deck of cards is missing the queen of hearts.
You feel the pain, it stops and then starts
for living in a world full of lessons to teach
about love that is here, then lingers out of reach.
You’re late to work again, with gifts left to pursue.
You try to laugh about all the troubles you’ve been through.
The joke may be on you, life is not as it seems
like time locked in a jar in nonsensical dreams,
you’re fighting to get out of other people’s schemes
until you only hear the sound of mountain streams…