THIS IS PEACE

Wrapping myself around you as we fall asleep

Spooning into dreams together

My arms draped over you

My thigh between your legs

Feeling my pulse on your skin at each place we touch

Let me enfold you

Sometimes our breathing aligns

I exhale into the base of your neck

Imagining breathing life into your tattoo

The candle launches light across our skin

Your hair gently tickles my forehead

Safe within our cave

We are a wolf-pack of two

Cuddled together for warmth and safety

Naked and tired

At our most vulnerable

At our most cherished

If the sun rises tomorrow

It will shine just for us

 

I wrote this poem in 2014. My band, THE SHRIKE, is using it for a song.

TURN IT OFF

What did you expect?

It’s supposed to be fun

Unlock a cage, electrify

But something’s not right

Too sharp, too fast, why am I trembling?

Don’t leave me alone

I don’t understand the thoughts I’m thinking

Sounds that used to soothe you

Now just confuse you

Turn it off

I want it

I’m your guiding star, but I’m hidden in the same fog

If both of us are lost, how can I save you?

Hang on to my voice, and I’ll keep talking

Only my words will break your fall

The blind now lead the blind

Through the wet grass

With cobwebbed feet and no smiles

Don’t drop the thread, you’re too far up ahead

You’ll hit the wall and we may sink

Sounds that used to soothe you

Now just confuse you

Turn it off

I want it

What time will this stop?

 

I wrote this poem around 1993. My band, THE SHRIKE, used it for a song in 2014.

CHASE THE SUN

Chasing the sun down

Never to be seen again

Quiet under it’s spell

Content within the silence

Daydreaming of tomorrow

And never looking back

The glare from the horizon

Holds our eyes open wide

From oceans into deserts

Through snow-kissed forests

We speed across endless miles

Deep within the trance

Eleven states worth of sand and dirt

Mix underneath my boots

Fences were crossed

And treasures stolen that none will ever know

Chasing the sun down

Each discovery shared with a grin

Drink in every breath

Then leave it far behind

We race until the twitch of sleep stops us

And we must heal ourselves

In a nameless town of darkness

Until the sun leads us again

 

I wrote this in 1996 after a cross-country road trip.

AWAKE

Each night I fall asleep with ugly thoughts

But I do not dream them

They wrap around me like insects

Bleeding me of peace

For each one that I crush, more are invited

Pained, but content in the darkness

Paranoid musings on disease and panic

Crumble towards the daylight

The small hours of dreamless sleep

Is really just a slice of death

Inside the wet comfort of home

The usual sounds distort into warnings

Regular patterns degenerate

Except for my pulse

I know I can survive

Any pain you may send me

I am so far away from here

I watch myself waiting

For another dreaded sunrise

Can you feel this?

I am submerged

 

I wrote this poem around 1996, and recently my band, THE SHRIKE, used it for the song Creeper in 2013.

NOMAD

The nomad passes far in the distance

His rapid pace betrays his calm

He needs only a protected slumber

Before continuing on further

Sustenance and stretch

The lonely road becomes his God

His only companion, his only witness

As he worships the dreaded lines

The lines need him to remain within

And he needs the lines to live

There is only enough time to change

Into who you think he is

Before he arrives

But he will always get there

Driving with his eyes closed

Never to be seen again

 

I wrote this poem in 1994, and recently my band, THE SHRIKE, used it in the narration of the song of the same name. I spoke the narration in the 2013 recording. This is about Kassad, a character in the 1989 Dan Simmons book HYPERION, which is were we got the band name THE SHRIKE from.

THE RETURN

Wide awake again

Against my will

Hurt pounds

I’ve come unglued

Can’t stay here

But I’m stuck deep

In this place with fear

Silence grates

And night becomes a journey

The hours grind my head into the ground

A path of pain worn through

Sleep only with fear of the return

Emptied by this test

I will seduce the pain

Before I give up

A chorus of doubts

Fills the empty hours

If I could pass my pain onto you

I could justify it

But there’s no one here

By my own choice

Self-medicate until numb

Burn all that I believed in

Before I give up

The hours grind my head into the ground

A path of pain worn through

Sleep only with fear of the return

I can dream I’m someone else

Anywhere else

And never wake up

 

I wrote this poem around 1995, and recently my band, THE SHRIKE, used the lyrics for one of our songs in 2013.

SPUN

I’ve sunk myself here

Breathing in the dust

Sweat into the soil

Wrapped in my blanket of dirt

A hundred hours I’ve been thinking

Spinning at the bottom of a top

Scrape the dirt away

Just so I can see

You must leave me here

But first uncover me

Miles of quiet nothing

Stretch out to the horizon

Bright stars in the dark sky

Won’t lead me back home

Spun off-balance again

But I’ll ride out the fear

There’s no reason to be scared

And there is no pain

Scrape the dirt away

Just so I can see

You must leave me here

But first uncover me

Spinning in the surface of the earth

Thinking my one thought:

Never want to leave here

 

I wrote this poem around 1994, and it recently became the lyrics to the song SPUN by my band THE SHRIKE in 2013.