Time went by as it's wont to do
It passed by without a trace
But, as the years transpired
He could not forget her face
He met her in the park one night
An offer from her lips
She could make his whole night special
She would use her woman's hips
She burned a mark onto his heart
A face he'd not forget
But, he sent her on her way again
Like others that he'd met
A ticket back to Georgia
To the home from where she came
He declined all of her offers
He didn't even know her name
Since then he'd had more offers
Fed more girls and brought them home
Many left before redemption
They would rather fight alone
But, she...somehow remembered
Not for her actions left undone
But, for the fact she took his offer
Left before they saw the sun
He never knew how long she'd
Been residing in the night
Never knew just what her reason
For leaving home and taking flight
To him she was a question
Left unanswered to this day
Did she use the one bus ticket ?
Did she venture on her way ?
He took her to the station
Left her waiting by herself
Never saw her board the Greyhound
No luggage for the shelf
He'd been back to the town park
Hadn't seen her since that night
Not that he'd been looking
For he knew he'd set her right
But, without proof of her leaving
The question gnawed at his insides
Did she take the chance he gave her?
Did she board the bus and ride ?
He was often at the diner
Eating meals with those he picked
Those he felt would take his offer
would try to heal the wounds he nicked
He'd get them all to open up
A mental knife slice to their brains
Make them see that they were worthy
Try to release them from their pain
Some would go and some would not
Still, he would venture back
To the park so full of vices
Where so many were off track
One day while he was waiting
For his dinner to be served
He saw across the table
A face that left him quite un-nerved
He swore he'd seen the girl child
The one whose name he did not know
She was in the diner with another
Inside, protected from the snow
He caught a glance, and that was all
He looked again, she was not there
He looked around the diner
Where she went he knew not where
He really wasn't certain,
If it was her he saw that night
But, it raised that certain question
Or was it just a trick of light
Did she go home back to Georgia?
Or was she still there in the park?
Was she at home with her parents?
Or was she hooking after dark?
I guess he'll never know the answer
Nor, will we without much fuss
Is she still waiting for redemption?
Did she get upon the bus ?.....
"Hey mister, how you doing?"
"Do you need a friend tonight?'
"I can take away your troubles"
"I can make what's wrong seem right"
A woman's thoughts from a childs voice
Knocked me senseless in the dark
I guess I should know better
Than to walk home through the park
"Baby, you'll forget your troubles"
"If you'll spend some time with me"
"Where's your car? Just let's go do it"
"You'll really like it, wait and see"
I kept my pace and ventured forward
I didn't want to see her face
I didn't want to see her standing
So I began to increase my pace
"C'mon baby, it's worth your while"
"I can make your problems go"
"It won't take long, I know you'll like it"
"Come and play, it's fun...you know!"
I turned around to see the speaker
Just to say that I'd heard enough
I didn't want to hurt her either
I didn't want to come off tough
So when I stopped and turned to face her
From the darkness she stepped out
A tiny child in a woman's outfit
Looking like she'd been knocked about
I said "No thanks", this ain't my style
I just want to get on home
I want to go about my business
And I want to go on home alone.
"But baby, I'm the best thing ever"
"You'll never find a girl like me"
I swear to God, she acted older
But she only looked one score less three
I looked at her and something tingled
"Sure, let's go" I spoke aloud
Then she smiled, ever so slightly
She hooked my arm and I gently bowed
"I have a question, dear...before we"
"Head on out to do the deed"
"When did you last eat dinner"
"When was your last real good feed?
"It's been a while, I can see that"
"Your'e nothing more than skin and bone"
"If your'e my date, we'll first have dinner"
"Then, I'll take you to my home"
'She acted tough, but failed to hide it
"Dinner..fine..but then we go"
I smiled back, and off we ventured
Through the park, our heads bowed low
We found a small, deserted diner
We took a booth where we could talk
Talking was just what I wanted
But talking, that's where she would balk
She ate her meal like a starving beasty
Sparks were flying off the plate
What? I thought had forced this child
To turning tricks to be her fate?
We finished up and left the diner
She said that I would not regret
I took her home like I had promised
For a night I'd not forget
I hung her coat inside the closet
Climbed the stairs up to my room
She followed close, but was not speaking
The air hung heavy with her gloom
I said "Before we do the dealing"
"You should clean up...the showers there"
I found a robe and watched her smile
I then sait down in my old chair
I heard the water run forever
She came out clean as she could get
She wore the robe and a small hand towel
Wrapped about her hair so wet
I'd make some drinks, some nice hot chocolate
I sat her down and then she spoke
"I'd like to thank you for the dinner"
"do you mind if I have a smoke?"
I told her fine, but had my reasons
I'd keep her busy, without sex
She talked for hours, just like a child
She was rubbing her bruised neck
She said she'd run from down in Georgia
Coming here was not her plan
She had wanted to go to college
But this was where the poor girl ran
It's funny but this child like woman
Never talked of why she'd come
She talked of people she was missing
She'd said she'd like to once more run
She nodded off into a slumber
I picked her up and laid her down
I wrapped her up with a warm blanket
And then I headed off to town
When she awoke, I sat there smiling
And not a word was ever said
For when I left, I bought a ticket
One...to Georgia...lay on the bed.
I said "It's yours...if you should want it"
"You've got three hours, so let's go eat"
This waif like girl then responded
With a smile that just could not be beat
We headed back down to the diner
Breakfast was the meal this time
I paid the bill and from my wallet
Said "Here, take this...it's still my dime"
This girl was lost inside her body
I helped her find her way again
I watched her leave clutching the ticket
I knew we'd never meet again
I hope she found where she was heading
I hope she made it , I admit
I never went to check the depot
I hoped she used that bus ticket
Another night, another walk home
Another voice came from the dark
"Hey sweetie, you look kind of lonely"
I smiled..and walked back in the park.......
Somethings compels me to live in the night
to be normal in their eyes
how I wish I could
But the shade wraps me so tight
dragging me back to watch the fireflies
and it feels good
The serenity of moments in the dark
keep a man from the open eye
they don't know what I do
I run to the angels that hark
for they only know why
maybe someday I will too
I conflict with the lives that are beside me
for I do not please what they oblige
could they even understand?
I look to the air that guides me
open to it's pure skies
I'm putting it all in gods hands
I hate that I can never sleep like the rest of the world
but I love to be alone
so says the hopeless romantic
I think it would be easy if I were to find a girl
call her my home
My mind would be less frantic
For these arms are empty
these arms need to hold
so I can rest
Feel her gently
no longer cold
slow down my breath
Jim Brady was a local man
His life was non-descript
He was not on local radar
In fact, he was a blip
He moved around but no-one knew
Just who Jim Brady was
they knew not where he came from
They didn't know his flaws
He worked under the table
He wasn't on the grid
But of all the money that Jim made
He gave most to his kids
He worked nights at Giannis
In the kitchen, dirty stuff
He cleaned up after closing
The work here...it was tough
But Jim, worked hard and honest
Earned his money every day
And Gianni, as a favour
Off the records he would pay
Jim Brady was a soldier
He was broken...and no good
But Gianni, saw his life light
And he did what all men should
He gave Jim work and fed him
Kept him clean and made a life
For Jim had come home injured
But it was internal strife
Jim's mind was torn and tattered
Simple thoughts could cause him pain
Jim Brady was a soldier
But would never serve again
He had trouble with his anger
He was not quite in control
But Gianni saw a soldier
Who needed help out of a hole
Gianni ran a restaurant
Been there for 30 years
He helped all those who knew him
Through the smiles and the tears
He housed the ones who needed
Just to get off of the streets
He fed the tired and hungry
And he performed other feats
Gianni was a hero
To all in this poor town
He would never turn a man away
If he knew that he was down
When Jim came in one evening
Gianni read his face
He said "Son, I'll help you"
"And you're now working in this place"
Jim lived by the water
The noises kept him calm
But on nights of wild weather
He stay at Giannis, nice and warm
Loud noises brought the nightmares
Put the pictures in his head
Of the IED explosion
And of his three companions dead
He went to get some treatment
But the VA said "You're fine"
"there's more important cases
than just you out in the line"
He was shuffled home to start again
A damaged, broken man
But with issues like poor Jim did have
He tried as one man can
His marriage broke down quickly
His wife was not to blame
But Jim came home with issues
And the damn war was to blame
He looked for help at every turn
But no-one would help out
Until he met Gianni
Jim's new hero I won't doubt
He gave him work and money
Jim then gained some self esteem
He wasn't Jim the soldier
But, you could see who he had been
His pride was back, his head was high
But still he had the dreams
There was nothing that they knew of
To alleviate the screams
But Gianni, still the hero
Thought "I know what might just work"
He introduced Jim to The Bluesman
He also has a minor quirk
The Bluesman as you seem to know
Lives out behind and plays
His music in the alley
Where he spends most of his days
Gianni helped The Bluesman
Maybe he could now help Jim
It could be The Bluesman's music
Might just be right for him
Most nights when Jim was working
He'd leave the window open some
Just to let Bluesman's music
Find the kitchen . make Jim hum
Jim liked The Bluesman's music
It painted pictures in his head
But this time they were joyful ones
Not pictures of the dead
They helped him come to terms with things
That made his life a mess
They did what others couldn't do
His problems were addressed
With Gianni and The Bluesman
Jim moved on and did quite well
Funny how a restauranteur
And music man could bring Jim back from hell.
It's not a long walk from the chapel to the bench
It's a peaceful walk along the gravel trail
You can look out in the distance, past the cliffs out to the sea
And on most days you can even see a sail
There's a gentle scent of heather on the trail as you walk by
It's so calming as it works upon my mind
I've seen so many places as I've travelled on this earth
And this one is one time has left behind.
There's a small tree standing near the cliff just a little further up
It has blossoms that blow down onto the shore
You can sit by it and wonder as the blossoms filter down
How much beauty can one's senses yet endure?
The grass is green as ever, like it's painted and not grown
But it smells just as fresh as fresh can be
With all these scents and visions here impacting on my mind
And this view that's just a beach and the blue sea
There's no one else around here as I sit silent on the bench
And that's nice for it gives us time to talk
There's birds out in the distance making noises in the air
And I can listen as they fly about and squak
The flowers by the path edge almost hide among the ferns
You can see them but you're not so sure they're there
The grounds are so pure perfect, that you can't believe their real
They are something, in a place so truly rare,
You can hear music in the background from the Church back up the path
At a volume that just says "I am here"
It's an extra added bonus to this sweet pastoral scene
Like Brigadoon, I feel soon will disappear
The fog is rolling in now and the tide is coming too
There's clouds there and I haven't got much time
But, I'll stay a little longer sitting quiet on the bench
To not share this with another truly is a crime,
I think I'll take my leave now and start on out for home
It's really nice here and I know you'd like the view
I'll be back again tomorrow to chat some more again
All that's missing is sharing this with you
So, I'll leave these garden flowers on your stone here by the bench
They're for you dear, now I hear the waves crash on the shore,
We will speak again tomorrow when I come by once again
For dear I miss you and I will forever more.
She wears t-shirts of the Beatles
And she loves the Rolling Stones
She wakes up to David Bowie
And she dreams of the Ramones
She goes out to dance clubs nightly
Till her ear drums both get blown
But, she has a deep dark secret
That her friends will never know
At night when she is by herself
When the room is nice and dark
She slips beneath the covers
With Johann Sebastian Bach
She's a closet classic junkie
And her name is Amber Clark
She just loves orchestral music
The rock and roll is just a lark
Her friends think something classical
Is something for your folks
They cannot play an instrument
They cannot read the notes
They think that chamber music is
What people play on boats
But she has a deep dark secret
She loves the stuff that Chopin wrote
At night when she is by herself
And her friends have gotten pissed
She slips beneath the covers
And she listens to some Liszt
She listens to it many times
In case there's things she's missed
She's a closet classic junkie
She has "Baroque" upon her wrist
She listens to the music
That her friends like to be cool
If she told them what she listens to
They'd laugh her out of school
So, when they go out clubbing
She will join them as a rule
But...ah that deep dark secret
This girl is no ones fool
She listens to Beethoven
And she knows each piece by heart
She knows where one bar ends
And another one will start
She can play most every instrument
And she knows most every part
She's a classic closet junkie
But she still knows Boyce and Hart
She has cds in her library
And most sit there untouched
When her friends are gone they don't get played
She doesn't like them much
She would rather hear a symphony
By a composter who was Dutch
But there's that deep dark secret
And she won't use it a crutch
At night when she is warm in bed
She listens to Mozart
She needs a little Nacht Musique
To open up her heart
It's a piece that sets her mind a blaze
It hits her like a dart
She's a closet classic junkie
And she keeps her worlds apart
By day she sings Bruce Springsteen
At night she listens to
Composers that her friends don't know
They're so old they're new
So she keeps her world a secret
For she knows what they would do
If they found she didn't know
Where were you in sixty two
But at night she is a junkie
And she listens to Mozart
She needs that piece of music
To shoot an arrow through her heart
Eine Kleine Nachmusic
She conducts every part
She's our Closet Classic Junkie
shhh.....the song's about to start...
I was drinking at the Legion
The place wasn't really busy
But there was one man at a table
Who made me really dizzy
He was waving all around the room
He was really in a zone
The funny thing about it
He was sitting all alone
He spoke in quiet whispers
And he heard silent replies
From chairs that sat there empty
He heard their mournful cries
He had a beer before him
But he never left his chair
And no one sat beside him
It's just like he wasn't there
So, I went about my business
Playing darts and shooting pool
Buying tickets for the meat draws
Watching young ones acting cool
The other active members
Who'd spent some time in battle
Always checked to see his beer was full
As he sat there spouting prattle
It's unwritten at the Legion
You never ask about the war
You just revel in their company
That's what the place is for
There's veterans who'll tell stories
Of years gone bye and bye
But, you never ask a question
"Did you see somebody die?"
The Actives know their station
The young ones though do not
It's because of all the Actives
They've got all that they've got
As time went on I wondered
The story of this man
So , I went and asked the barkeep
He said "I'll tell you what I can"
He served two brews and wiped a glass
He stood flashing a smile
"You'd better grab a chair my boy"
"This here might take a while"
I sat and listened as he talked
About this man distressed
He told me "His name's Harold"
"And you can say his mind is messed"
"I've been working here for twenty years
And he's been here twice that
He's never moved from that damn chair
That's where Harold's always sat"
He got up once to fill a glass
And then came back to me
"When I came here, I had just got home
"I'd been fighting overseas"
"From what I heard at first" he said
"Harold's always been that way"
"And as you can see from watching"
"He'll always stay that way"
"He's lost inside his mind you know
To June 6 in forty four"
"We both know that as D-Day
"But he knows it as more"
"It was Juno Beach from what I've told
he landed with his squad
Over 14,000 Canadians
And now most lie with God"
I then got up and went outside
I said "I need a break"
I went out for a cigarette
For this tale had made me shake
I went back in, got two more beers
And sat right down again
"His whole platoon went down that day
They'd lost 3,000 men"
"There was Harold and 300
"others who survived"
"But living life inside their heads"
"I think they'd wished they'd died"
"He lives with Jean, his sister"She's been there all his life
"She put her life on hold for him
"She's never been a wife"
"She pays me for his beer every month
"And says to keep some for me
"But a penny's never crossed my bar
"You see ...Old Harold drinks for free"
"I give her money now and then
"I say he won a draw"
"Just for showing up each day I say
"just that and nothing more"
I went and grabbed a bar rag
And I wiped my teary eyes
I then paid for my drinks and
I left fifty bucks besides
He said your bill's eight fifty
What's all the extra for?
I said that he could keep it
Or just put it in his draw
He nodded and he smiled
And I left the bar for home
And as I left I watched poor Harold
On Juno Beach, his mind, his home
I came back three months later
And I saw no Harold there
There was now an empty table
And now, four empty chairs
"Dear God, it's you"....the barkeep said
"Grab your coat, come with me"
"Harold died on Saturday"
"And his funeral's at three"
He died a war time hero
But still a prisoner all the same
And down at our old Legion
Very few knew Harold's name
When we got out to the gravesite
I expected to see more
But there was just Old Harold's sister
The priest and us two...made it four.
We said a prayer, and sang a Hymn
He was back with his Platoon
He was back on Juno Beach again
Where his life ended that June
It's a shame that no one came out
To see him on his way
But, there'll be me and Bill the barkeep
Every year and on this day.
Phone calls were made, meetings were held and the new group was set to get started
There was lots to be learned and so little time for the lessons to all be imparted
The plan was immense, it was larger this time and the time was going by fast
They would all act as one, getting everything done and their goal was to not finish last
It was done every year, in the schools through the town, it was something the kids all enjoyed
But this year was tough, with all the closings and stuff and the fact there was more unemployed
Each school was set up to blitz through the town and to collect all the food that they can
But with more on the list and those who would surely be missed were the ones who set last years plan
Team leaders were picked in each group at the school, and their job was to get this all done
And to beat last years tote by at least one more pound and to make sure that it was all fun
Pep rally's were held to get the students involved and help motivate those involved
But with more needing help and less firms out to help, they had problems they had to get solved
On December the first, the kids all set out ringing bells in the malls and the stores
From there they would go with buses and trucks and collect food by knocking on doors
The school who did best bringing in the most pounds would be win a cup and awards
But to all those concerned, they had to get out and blanket the town in great hoards
People backed out from tasks all assigned, It was cold and they had too much to do
There was homework as well, and jobs on the side and alot wouldn't see the task through
But they all persevered and the food all came in, cans and boxes and crates and in bags
There was food left at school from donators unknown, just good wishes all written on tags
The goal was to raise an amount more than last and to do it in twenty two days
The total to date was behind just a bit but there was still time to make this year pay
So with one last great push the students went out and they held one last drive at the mall
If they collect one more ton, then all would be done and they could all know they answered the call
On Christmas Eve morn the principals met and they said they had all reached their goals
They shook all their hands and they stuck out their chests for they knew that they'd fulfilled their roles
The students were told at assemblies too, and the food was dropped off through the town
They had beat last years numbers by about fifty pounds even though they all thought they'd be down
So for all those they helped for the one day that month, where they had Christmas dinner and laughter
Was brought back to earth by one voice in one school, who asked "What would these families eat the day after?"
T'was the night before Christmas, And at the back of the bar
Sat a man all alone, Lighting up a cigar
The waitress ran over and waving her hand
You can't do that here, Smoking is banned.
If you must smoke that thing, you can go to the street
And stay away from the building, by at least fifty feet
The man took a puff and with a voice like a croak
He said, "You're kidding, right miss? You're making a joke"
I'm sorry, but sir..I'm afraid that it's true
But the law is the law, and it's not only for you
That we must say butt out, please extinguish your smoke
So our place can be filled with other fine folk
For ninety two years I have walked on this earth,
I have broken no laws and you know what it's worth?
Bupkiss, no nada it's not worth a thing
Would that law still apply if I was a King?
I've been coming in here for 60 odd years
And I think I've consumed a truckload of beers
I've smoked in this corner on many a night
Now you say butt out, I don't think that's right.
I fought for this country at the end of the war
I came home with a war wound, and you know dear...what's more
I came to this bar to have drinks with my friends
Who all weren't so lucky and met terrible ends
They died on the beach, heart as big as a house
Taking on the unknown for their country, their spouse
They battled for honor, the right to be free
And they all weren't as lucky, to come home like me.
I was here in the sixities when Camelot died
I was here with my son, and we both sat and cried
It was that night in November, I remember it well
That my son said he'd joined up and was heading to hell
He had joined the marines and was all set to fight
For freedom and honor and he knew it was right
Because I'd gone before and stood with others like him
And I said just be safe, and come home son...my Jim
In the years he was gone, I came down here to think
Of why he was there and I shared smokes and drinks
With friends, all now gone from this world of distrust
Now they all lie beneath us, decomposed back to dust.
My son made it back and we came right down here
To spend time with our friends, both from far and from near.
The years passed us by and my grandson joined too
And we sat and we prayed in this bar, for we knew
He was fighting for freedom and the rights we hold dear
Like having some fun, over smokes and some beer.
He never came home from his war, don't you see
That's why we're sitting alone here, just you and me
Tonight is the night that his letter arrived
Saying "We regret to inform you...that no one survived"
So, each Christmas Eve I come back to this bar
To savor my memories and to drink from this jar
And I finish each year thinking of what now is gone,
Of my battle scarred boy and his now deceased son
Now, you come and tell me that I must go outside
To continue my smoking and so I'll abide
'cause for 92 years that I've been on this earth
I've broken no laws and you know what that's worth
Then the waitress reached back and she pulled out a match
From a box on the barwith a rusty old catch
She said Sir, I am sorry I didn't mean to offend
For this one night each year, the law I can bend
So please light one for me on this Christmas Eve Night
And Thank you from all who continue the fight.
Merry Christmas and HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013
You could make my world fall apart
Or you could give me a brand new start.
Things are going up and down
And I'm fighting for something that can't be found.
Look in my eyes and tell me you're here
'Cause it almost feels like I'm losing you, Dear.
I can tell there's something wrong in the air
And all I can do is just sit and stare.
I wish you could tell me what is on your mind
Because I hate feeling like I'm deaf, dumb, and blind.