Tucson

      Tucson

They took to the road with a map and a stash
and stoned at a truck stop, paused for a break.
Wore scalloped mirror bug-eyed reflective sunglasses,
Bought donuts and coffee to keep them awake.

They’d stumbled out with idiot laughter
But back on the road the smiles turned to pouts
As two silenced brothers reached for cold coffee
and French swirl donuts congealed in their mouths.

——

Signs for free 5 pound steaks if eaten in an hour
started appearing in southern Illinois,
thru Missouri, Oklahoma, into Amarillo, Texas,
home of the lone star and hungry cowboys.

Onward they drove as the dry plain expanded
With mesas and storm cloud mountains revealed.
Thru the desert to Tucson, their destination,
with the bond of a brotherhood forever sealed.

——

The years rolled on by and the hairlines receded.
One grew a gut and one a bum knee.
A continent spread out between the two brothers
still resonating on the same frequency.

Two parents smile down with loving approval
Send laughter and warmth from the great beyond.
Whisper their names in the breeze when it’s blowing,
and beam like the sun at the two brothers’ bond.

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Two Brothers

      Two Brothers

First brother set the house on fire,
licking flames dancing higher.
Second brother rose to run
when he seen what he had done.

But he stood there transfixed
at what he had just witnessed.
Sparks swirled and scattered round them,
thinking ‘bout the blood that bound them.

Second brother then heard
First brother say these words:
“Now the reason you’ll learn,
did it just to see it burn.”

=====

Second brother brushed the ashes
Shook his coat and wiped his glasses
Took a bottle, poured a drink.
Said “I need some time to think.”

First brother sat next to the other.
They had a drink and then another.
By night’s end with the rising sun,
they both knew what had to be done.

Out they stepped into the morning
And without a word of warning
Second brother took his turn,
He lit a house, they watched it burn.

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TR-808

TR-808

By ’83, me and John were burning thru drummers endlessly. We were in Barrington, not in the city, and the available musicians generally were not into what we were into. We got sick of constantly auditioning new drummers, so we figured we’d use a drum machine, which was something new we’d heard about. We got a TR-808 and tried using it, but the sound was synthetic. Also, switching to playing with a drum machine from a loose, sloppy, raw band was a challenging transition. I soaked up the manual, understood the machine, saw the possibilities. The band took a break, and a year after I bought the TR-808, I sold it for a Martin acoustic to take with me on my long Europe trip. When I got back, I moved to the city and started working with Sequential and Oberheim drum machines. The MIDI spec arrived linking tape decks, drum machines, samplers, and synths together. Suddenly everyone had great, new tools. It was a revolution.

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Genbaboom (jen-buh-boom)

      Genbaboom

My generation, born of the greatest,
coming of age to a dark bells toll.
Idealism, a flower in a gun barrel,
entrusted with the national soul.

My generation deployed to rock and roll
and fought in a jungle at seventeen.
And when it was over, returned to a country
had no idea of what we had seen.

My generation watched as a president
betrayed the trust and was held to account.
We saw the same thing, the truth was apparent.
There’s no other way, the leader was out.

 

My generation settled into easy living.
Got older and so far from our youth.
Once had a hunger, now got whatever.
We search for the remote, not for the truth.

My generation split like a tree trunk,
bought into charlatans hate filled lies.
Soon it was brother turned against brother.
Common ground lost, goodwill died.

My generation now sickened and sun-blind,
once entrusted with the national soul,
will pass on the flame, turn over the keys,
and fade away, disgraced and old.

Fade away, disgraced and old.

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The Culling

Covid-19

This is the God I believe in: If you take the laws of physics, the mystery of life, and that which is un-knowable, beyond comprehension, un-verbalizable; that would be God for me.

The planet has recognized our species to be a threat, and is doing something about it. Like a plant bending towards light, the migration of birds, or the pull of gravity, a force is exerting itself and an event is taking place.

It is beyond our control. We can only do our best to understand it. Some will make correct decisions that lead to good results. Some will make mistakes. The old order will be un-recognizable. A new one will emerge over time.

God will continue with this culling until balance is restored. The species is being challenged with new commands that it cannot resist. Our planet, our skies, and everything beyond remind us how small we are. Species come and species go. It is time to evolve.

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Epilogue

      Epilogue

Epilogue

Born into a family, fifth of five.
We lived beneath the same roof for some time.
Then one by one we began dispersing,
and the last departure then was mine.
We set off for school, jobs and families,
with spouses and children of our own.
Now the passing of seasons dim memories
of a family, together, long ago.

They wed on a Baltic summer afternoon.
One year later the three of them were gone.
Westward heading, they began their journey,
sailing off into the unknown.
The path they shared then began to widen,
and one day it split into two lanes.
And tho they all traveled on together,
it never would return to one again.

Soon from the other side, will you hear me
when I play a passage meant to move?
Now my notes linger with sadness
as I de-tune and lose the groove.

Both of you were born on a Monday,
and from the first day you did things your way.
I watched you grow and become you,
and with your mother, helped you on your way.
Took such pride as you came of age.
My soul’s put at peace to see you two.
And now, tho you live in another place,
I never do feel apart from you.

Soon from the other side, will you hear me
when I play in a certain style?
And when there is a moment in your daydreams,
may the specter of my face look upon you with a loving smile.

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A Prodigal Son

      A Prodigal Son

A Prodigal Son

I walked thru their door,
I stepped into the night.
With the home-light burning I didn’t look back.
I drove thru the night
into the morning sun,
down a ribbon of highway, never did look back.
I tried to reason with him.
I tried to calm and still her.
To show the sense of doing it my way.
I had no answer for them,
had no explanation
for why I couldn’t consider what they say.
Words lovingly delivered to me
never were accepted.
Disregarding common sense
is what you’ve might expected from
A Prodigal Son.

But I saw the world turn,
I saw good and the bad.
I saw what I never could dream.
And I lived in that world,
And I loved there too.
Lingering, embraced and serene.
I gazed from highest mountains,
to purest clouds below.
My spirit rose and brushed the bluest sky.
I crawled down in the valley
Beside the river of sorrow,
and bathed in the tears of humankind.
The blessings of a dreamer child
I wouldn’t wish upon you.
While he dreams they experience
the pleasures of insomnia from
A Prodigal Son.

Wandered on back,
from the wilderness,
with my own kin in tow.
Now I got a wife,
and two beautiful girls,
and they dwell in the core of my soul.
I meant to get home sooner,
but I am a late bloomer.
They are getting older, as we all are.
And then we turned the corner,
and we approached the front door.
The home-light’s covered, dark and cold.
The flame they tended is extinguished,
and my loved ones departed.
We’ll raise the home-light again
and with a flame will start it from
A Prodigal Son.

I’m feeling their arms reaching out to me.
I’m seeing their light surrounding me.
I’m hearing their voices are calling me.
I’m wishing to merge once again with them.
To shed my earthly scar tissue then.
To understand again,
we have always been one,
we have always been one,
we have always been one,
and always will be.

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Tom Waicunas Update

Tom Waicunas

September 28, 2019

In mid September, 2019, I posted the notice below on the Facebook Missing and Homeless page after being contacted by Helen Waicunas, Tom’s mom. She had been informed by Humana, and confirmed by the Social Security office, that Tom had died on August 26 of this summer, but they were unable to provide any details of his death or where his body was.

About 10 days later, I was on the phone with Helen when she took a call on a different phone from Patti Caruso Silva, a relative helping with the search for Tom. Over the speakerphone, I heard Patti shouting that Tom was found alive! A woman in Yuba City, Anna Hill, had seen the posting, and was able to locate Tom there. She spoke with Tom and took a photo and video of him. Patti received and pinged them to us as we all were together cross-talking on Helen’s speakerphones, absorbing the news from her. Up until that point we were all but certain Tom had died, and we just wanted closure for Helen knowing where her son was and what had happened.

Anna told us that Tom is liked and accepted in the community. He is able to paint and sell his art.  She’s provided art supplies and winter clothes for him. It is great news to hear that he is alive, looked out for, and his creativity is appreciated and supported!

Missing and Homeless post:

“Seeking information about death of musician Tom Waicunas…

On Sept 9th out of the blue, Helen Paxson Waicunas, the 84 year old mother of my friend Tom Waicunas, received a letter from Humana offering condolences about her sons’ death, and that his insurance would be terminated on Aug. 31 2019. They received electronic transmission from Medicare on Sept 2, 2019 regarding his death. She called Medicare but they would not provide any additional details. She called Social Security and they confirmed that they had received notice that Tom had died on Aug. 26, 2019, but they did not know where. She has sent out a form to California Vital Statistics, and is waiting for a response. We have no additional information about the circumstances of his death or the location of his body.

Tom Waicunas was an exceptionally gifted musician and songwriter. He lived in Martha’s Vineyard for 14 years and played with many famous musicians that had residences there. He looked after many of their homes in the winter as he lived on the island year-round. He relocated to Chicago, living there for about 20 years. He backed up well-known Chicago bluesmen, touring in Europe playing harmonica. He studied music at Columbia College. His own music is on-line.

Tom has been living homeless in CA for about the last 7 years. He was attacked in Yuba City, CA and left for dead on November 11, 2017. He was taken to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento and was in a coma for 2 weeks. The director of nursing called his mother November 30 when he woke up and gave her her contact information. He had traumatic brain injury that affected his motor skills, and broken ribs and facial injury. He was also diagnosed with schizophrenia. His mother spoke with him daily. The nursing director told her that Tom was going to lose all benefits if someone did not contact SS, as he had not been collecting his benefits in over a year. She went to SS and was able to get him back all of his benefits.

Tom was moved to a skilled nursing home in December 2017 and released March 2018 in Roseville CA. He asked his mother to send him all communication with SS as he wanted to become his own payee. She sent all communication from SS addressed to Tom at the nursing home. He never followed up.

There was no contact with Tom until his mother received a call on April 14, 2019 from a minister that came upon Tom homeless in Yuba, City. He sent her a video of him that was shot in front of the shuttered Toys R Us store at 700 A W Onstott Frontage Rd, Yuba City, CA. The minister contacted her at least every other day for six weeks until contact stopped in mid-May of 2019. She has been trying to reach him by phone, text, and email. He will not respond to her request for help, which we find odd. She needs information about what happened to Tom and where she can find him. She called all surrounding area coroners’ offices, sheriffs’ offices, hospitals and funeral homes from Yuba City to Sacramento. There is no notice of her son dying on Aug. 26, 2017.

If anyone knows anything about Tom, we are desperately in need of information.

Thank you for any help you can offer.”

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Obliteration

      Obliteration

A kiss is a kiss,
is just a kiss.
A kiss is a kiss,
nothing more nothing less.

A kiss is a kiss,
a promise of bliss,
a promise of bliss.

Obliteration
Obliteration

A kiss is a kiss,
is just a kiss.
A kiss is to know
worthy and blessed.

A kiss is a crime
in the dark alley of an
embrace that’s not mine.
A homicide, a kiss is a crime.

Obliteration
(repeats)

A kiss is a kiss,
is just a kiss.
A promise of bliss,
nothing more nothing less.

(Outro)

Obliteration
(repeats)

A kiss…
Obliteration

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Two Little Birds

Two Little Birds
in a feathered nest
keep their parents busy,
not a moments rest.
Momma weaves the long grass leaves
that make their small home strong.
Daddy brings her twigs and string
and sings his morning song.

Two Little Birds
In the mid-day sun,
each a little bigger
when the day is done.
Momma brings a caterpillar.
Daddy brings a worm.
One will guard and one will hunt,
each one taking turns.

Two Little Birds
learn to spread their wings.
Cheep cheep warble twitter trill
the two of them will sing.
Momma puffs her breast with pride,
Daddy just might cry.
The joyful day has finally come,
the little birds can fly!

Two Little Birds
must now go on their way,
one beyond the horizon,
one not so far away.
Two Little Birds
whose parents love them best
know they can always return
back to the family nest.

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