Jason’s Ghost (Until Then)


“To a real best friend remember the truth! Hardy spy in the sky. (We did fly)” – Jason Waite (autograph 1974 yearbook)

Early morning my friend, eternal sails upon that desert wind, and I’m moving off with you again. Below just a topographical change, a deep, deep vale where we hid our change. From boys to better men. You come shooting up from Flame hill again. So, let’s begin. Let’s begin.

He rides the ship called Argo, the one that we fought for when we played. A tragedy born in the Ojo Amarillo, below where the Skinwalkers they lay. The character of boyhood brought from dreams of once upon a time until then. He smiles, he looks beyond what once was a friend. The clock burns into early morning seconds, well past three A.M. He summons spring. “School” he says, “will soon be out”. “Forever, and ever will never end, but until then”. For time has brought us this night, my friend. With stars cold diamonds, and hidden omegas beneath a galaxy’s far end. The mystery of the boys we have been. The rare spun change of when or then. The daemons laugh with us again, while our footprints appear, they walk without end. The flame, that sears our emotions again. On that hill, so long ago, where our souls began, again and again and again.

He swoons without blood or bone, the “San Juan River” is in his eyes like home. The color changes always. From muddy water to blue, blue, gray. His touch a cold, cold spell, he says there is another clue, by the river ruins. In the ruined Kiva where we planted staves, we swore we would fight wars on another day. So much in these words has yet to play. Oh, my friend is it another day, he smiles in the starlit darkness, and says “maybe okay”. “Maybe okay”. He rises like an Argonaut, a hero from a play. Final act of literal prose that blows goodbye with the high desert wind. By the table in the school library your face it disappears behind the ending chapter where our journey began. It could be the last time we see each other but until then. Until then.

Early morning my friend, eternal sails upon that desert wind, and I’m moving off with you again. Below just a topographical change, a deep, deep vale where we hid our change. From boys to better men. You come shooting up from Flame hill again. For now, it is the end. The end, but until then. – 05.03.2020 – דָּנִיֵּאל

While Playing Hooky


“How can I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this?” – Ferris Bueller

“We’re off to the witch, we may never never, never come home,
but the magic that we’ll feel is worth a lifetime” – Ronnie James Dio

Look down with me upon this day, across the high desert to a certain place. To an old trailer tanker resting deplete. Its only cargo, on the floor of this rusting keep. Look closely, so closely at a picture of two boys, a picture left in this place, as if by choice. Two faces from history, that time will repeat. Even now comes knocking, the last who will see.

Two heads we see, headed west, down a sunbaked path; one with brown hair, the other a black mess. The sun falls fast on this single day of spring, shooting down through the heavens, bringing something on its wings. It would appear the burdens carried from a year of math and art. Now are loose without a feeling. For these boys walk without an arc. Why there shoes made by converse, leave hardly a trace. As they carry sacks of lunch and knowledge to the place of secret things. “School is not made for the living”, one boy cries unto the air, and they both laugh without smiling for the truth is there somewhere. For a moment, let us watch them still frozen in time. In their purity shimmering, moving onward in this rhyme.

Let us look at the picture that is painted from above. A numbered highway in the background, beyond it scrubland wild with yucca, dryland arroyos, lie open, writhing with their scars. Down the path that leads us westward lies a rusted oil tanker and two old cars. It is a graveyard of a shadow of another place tomorrow. For it is tomorrow where they go, a bit of yesterday, and as the clouds flow from the east, they turn their backs, and begin to walk to stray. Indeed, we see them avoid a snake his triangle head of spotted gray. “No matter it all”, one boy he brays, the other sings out, “we missed our school today”. A matter of steps a slight incline, the scrubland rolls out, and dips and divides. At last we watch the two boys much slower, reach the rusted oil tanker, the place they know they will soon grow much older.

For here, it is we cannot grow nearer, the picture shimmers, dances, and glimmers. A place were two boys search for cracks in what is sutured. Finding doors that open, on order, past and future. Ruins discovered in place. Veils ripped from openings, alien voices calling out from deep to deep. It is the discovery of the last of days. It is here they come to play. If we could venture a thought of what they find, inside compartments of an old oil tanker way past its prime. Could they go where one has not been, could they find the way past when? Is there blackness beyond the divide, or have they found the path to the divine.

“That picture looks like us”, one boy says, a film of cool perspiration resting upon his brow. The thick darkness inside the front compartment of the tanker surrounds the thin beam of the flashlight. It gives the feeling of a tomb. “It could be us”, the other boy says softly.” His voice carries a soft echo through the oval opening into the next compartment. It is there; we look and see a sudden wind created. We watch as it lifts itself backwards through another opening, and then upwards through the open hatch, as if with a sudden relief.

Look down with me upon this day, across the high desert to a certain place. To an old trailer tanker resting deplete. Its only cargo, on the floor of this rusting keep. Look closely, so closely at a picture of two boys, a picture left this place, as if by choice. Two faces from history, that time will repeat. Even now comes knocking, the last who will see.

For my eighth grade English teacher Mrs. Howey, who charged me to read the classics fearlessly, and to write as if I were mad. I will forever carry the guilt of disappointing her by playing hooky on the final day of school in the spring of 1974. In her aggrieved state, I have always hoped to share with Mrs. Howey that I was indeed engaged in research for how to do both of the charges thus listed above. – 03.22.2019 – דָנִיֵּאל

 

 

Bill & Me (1992)

That’s Cinnamon Girl, the curtains part, well her best body was some lyrical art, and in her curves her bones and parts, we sang, wouldn’t Neil be proud today, of Bill and me.

The song we put together, on a Sunday afternoon, while, the beer was flowing smoothly, a new friendship was in bloom. Laughter born on arches of something that’s not new, like two spinning daft propellers finding oxygen on the moon. And brother, brother you might not know this, that’s okay it’s still cool, but when we sang together, the kings rose from tatters, their tombs indescribably, not ready for what our voices could do. And me and Bill were different, but what can difference do? A stutterer like Moses, can talk to G_D too, and when we stand together, matched those times, and letters, better. Breathed emotion to the spirit, and the circle closed without glue, and we played a psalm for two.

Bill said oh gee, did we just sing in that key, well I feel my hearts made of Dixie cups, filled with water and then it erupts, and moon pies and bottled RC, could not complete. This song that we sing. Blended views, that mix free. Well you sing soft, and I’ll rhyme too, and you just watch that nun we sing for, tilt her head, the tears she brings forth, what we’ve done we will never know the reason for. Will we. Bill and me.

Some duo’s start with a rage and a spark, well it seems that we were different, just some laughter, while some ghost do wale, say sing seriously, dirge octaves out of key, Gregorian chants, oh my oh me. It’s not us two, we are like Jimmy Page and a synchronization cook book, such a pair it comes down to part the sea, in song, it’s Bill and me.

That’s Cinnamon Girl, the curtains part, well her best body was some lyrical art, and in her curves her bones and parts, we sang, wouldn’t Neil be proud today, of Bill and me. Of Bill and me.

In the fall of 1991 and the spring of 1992, William Smith and I formed a musical Duo that did little to rock the music, world. We practiced every Sunday afternoon at my modest beach side Condo, laughing, drinking, and forming a spiritual brotherly friendship, that exist to this very day. We blended perfectly, our voices summoning spirits, of both laughter and song, plenty of alcohol too. This ones for Bill!  We were good weren’t we? – 06.30.2016 – דָּנִיֵּאל

When We Were Young (The Oath)


late at night I dream, it’s like an old movie, the river island, the island we said we would sail to the sea, and the oath we made when we were young….

When we were young, we saw the moon, and it was not behind a wall, a picture, or a painting, and at times we touched it.

When we were young, we made places in our minds, that became our hearts, and in turn those hearts created trust.

When we were young, joy was one syllable, sung in no small voice at all, and it echoed in the trees, the deserts, and the canyons we saw.

When we were young, we each had a name, and with that name came a feeling, and now I realize that was harmony, something every friendship needs to feel grace.

When we were young we were protagonist in the greatest story’s ever told, and when the hero died, we would say is that you, or is it me.

When we were young, we climbed, and we climbed, and we climbed so long, for to fall would be a lesson, that we did not want to learn at all.

When we were young we were mystery, infallible myth, the Pan of legend, the boys not lost, still growing tall, and yeah it was fun, we had a ball.

When we were young, we called on fear, and challenged secrets and shadows when they came all, and we were wizards, what spells we summoned to call.

When we were young, we mixed our blood, and did a dance with paint on our face, we were not ashamed when we were young.

When we were young, we loved the cold, and we loved the sun, for the touch of it all, made us feel so real.

When we were young, we placed an oath on an island, it lays there still, it better stay there still.

When we were young, we would return to play, after death to that place, after passing had made us still, so still.

Late at night I dream, it’s like an old movie, the river island, the island we said we would sail to the sea, and the oath we made when we were young………03.05.2016 – דָּנִיֵּאל

The Flame (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road)

(The Dream)

We come together by the ponds, near the flame, that flame so high. The vodka and tonics are like an infection, seeping through my soul, taking my boyhood memories, scaring me. Flame hill looks smaller than it used to, the winding road, the stirring yellow dust swirling, making pictures in the lights of the Anadarko Gas trucks, it looks gold, yeah gold, kind of like it’s a “Yellow Brick Road”. The pond to the north of the hill sits silent, dark, green, it looks the same, and forty-two years haven’t changed it much. Its okay, I suppose, it won’t be changed much in the story either. Behind me there’s another pond, that one a little larger, that one with the dam, the leaky dam. It has a different color, the reeds around it bent, making soft sucking noises, when they get caught in the water and the sand.

The touch on my arm, my right arm is cold, it’s a child’s touch I suppose. I look back at the ghost, somebody I know, somebody that won’t let me sleep. “Is this the yellow brick road”? I think I say that out loud, but I’m not sure. Anyhow, it doesn’t matter, the blonde headed spirit is shaking his head up and down, almost too fast, affirming something for sure. Something ready, here near flame hill, something that happened. “Did we catch him”? My question is answered already, the presence, is grinning, those dimples, I’ve seen in too many dreams over the past year.

There’s a wind kicking up out of the north, pushing the colored flame above me back and forth, it’s threatening it I suppose. That flame on the hill. The ghost is looking intently up at the fire, the body almost transparent, shimmering, and moving in tandem, with the wind. The yellow dust is moving too, throwing itself like a curtain from where I stand, I can hardly see the road.

“We did this didn’t we”? It’s a convergent question, based on historical knowledge, actual experiences. I look back, finally daring to look through the darkness to see the Southwest pond, it’s the one that holds the memories. I take a few steps, toward the base of flame hill, the shadows casting long in the darkness. The colored gas flame up above, shoots through the air, lighting the darkness, arching, it extends and then like a flickering torch it retreats leaving the truth of what I saw laughing in the past atop the water of the southwest pond.

“If I write this, it’s going to be goodbye, you know that don’t you”, I’m speaking to spirit, a dream may be, something that shouldn’t be, but is. The figure is looking intently at the flame, the blonde hair, my friend, my childhood friend. He looks at me, his smile, the same, the same grin, from the first day we met in the Grace B. Wilson Elementary School Library over a pile of Hardy Boy books.

“Write it”, he whispers. – 08.08.2015 – דָּנִיֵּאל

Bobby


“Giardia”, he laughs, like it’s a proverb discovered. A simple word, description, hell even an action word that should be not only defined but lived. “You had it”, I say, knowing the answer already, knowing the full story to come, the psalm of life, that music, coming from a man about to die.

Spill me a sample of life in your tears, sometimes in laughter, overt without fear. Bobby do tell me of all those old times, I’ll just listen and not know why. It doesn’t matter, what you’ve done before, a silent film critic, with pain you ignore, it really is something these times that we sit, and keep your attention astray. I’ll let you ignore, that shadows are asking you to play, outside this door.

Momma you think she’s keeping you down, the truth of the matter is she wishing you found, no longer lost but heavenly bound, it’s okay, she’s wishing her son would stay.

Tell me of Pickford, of that old great train, it’s robbery in silence, the cinema of gray, those sounds not spoken, and maybe it’s just like your AIDS, a Potemkin treasure while the theatre organ plays. You’re quite a Chaplin today, funny man looking for stories while your breath goes away, Bobby in silence it goes far away.

“You’ll always write great things”, Bobby’s eyes are snapping, looking bluer than the gulf, on fire perhaps with some ancient star. “Why ruin a good conversation with flattery”, I say. He’s actually made me smile, with the flamboyancy of his announcement, delivered with the flourish of his weakened hands. Those hands, that have been typing for days, typing the old fashion way. “The truth is a fire”, he snaps, looking at me intensely, his gaze that of goodbye. “You’ll write of this someday, promise me”, he says, well really he demands.

Bobby, let’s talk of things that are old, immortal pictures, Faust, and what you know, Bobby don’t leave me without saying why, a silent majority has to die. He’s moving and talking his lips that don’t speak, and telling his friend, secrets that, I’ll always keep. You better believe, I’ll always keep.

“Giardia”, he laughs, like it’s a proverb discovered. A simple word, description, hell even an action word that should be not only defined but lived. “You had it”, I say, knowing the answer already, knowing the full story to come, the psalm of life, that music, coming from a man about to die.

Bobby Klepper passed away on February 2, 2000. As promised him, this is goodbye. 08.02.2015 – דָּנִיֵּאל



Sometimes (1978)


We listened to Dan Hill sing a song thirty-seven years ago, underneath the desert skyline where dead spirits came to glow. A voice in contemplation that led to a rhyme, a memory of Orion, when in words you told truth so. I guess my friend you ventured where the lions do pace and fight, I guess you came looking for what made the words I wrote that night. A level head of something or a heart so full and bright, you touched my arm, I shivered, and we looked into the sky. A friend as soft spoken in your Asia sort of way, you told me about your brother how he died so far away, I couldn’t understand it for the words spun in my head, making motion pictures of the scars of what you said.

A little late to say it after all these many years, but when you leaned to touch me, I shuttered in my tears, for just as Aries moved to sweep a bit of dust away, I learned to love a friend for what she didn’t say. Sometimes in the summertime after all these years, I smell the ghost of desert skies, and think of love so dear, a place of friends who touch and know, that everything’s okay, for secrets that they share are blessings, that life can’t take away. You touch me once, you float away and then your voice comes clear, a better understanding of where I go from here.

We talked for many hours as the sky moved in sashay, arms holding secrets only goodness gives hearts to play, and when the dawn came falling you grabbed me and you said you’ll go away, just like my brother did, when the army came that day. In Asia, we have words that shred the soul in tattered wounds, to tell our love for others, when it can’t be, or it’s too soon. But now let’s touch in silence never kissing, it’s not my way, for we are friends forever with what we do or do not say.

And then we touched, and sometimes…

We listened to Dan Hill sing a song thirty-seven years ago, underneath the desert skyline where dead spirits came to glow. – 07.19.2015 – דָּנִיֵּאל

Texas (Patience)


Friend-like in summer, stark winter, even spring, there’s fall that is brown like, that’s when our laughter sings. She says that there’s gossip that puts us down in hell, I wish to tell her, about my special spells. Oh Texas, I’m falling, and then you pick me up, a better friend to me, in patience here I’m stuck, sometimes I can’t see.  You say, “its how we came to be”.

We met in the end of days, Texas and I, she a woman, I a man. She says, “You’re such a patient fellow, when you speak, I don’t know whether to laugh or not breathe”. “A wonder, beyond span she says, something brilliant on my imaginary shelf, something childlike, and patient, something quiet grand”. “Oh Texas, you’re funny, quiet comic, beyond beautiful, somewhat of a friend, that I could never take back”. “Danielson, your dangerous, a heartbeat, that makes some breathe where some have need, but your patient, so patient”. “Texas, strong Texas, a scarf on a hill, waving my sister, alive and yet still, this patience bears witness you’re the story of will, so patient and waiting until you’ve had your fill”.

Friend-like in summer, stark winter, even spring, there’s fall that is brown like, that’s when our laughter sings. She says that there’s gossip that puts us down in hell, I wish to tell her, about my special spells. Oh Texas, I’m falling, and then you pick me up, a better friend to me, in patience here I’m stuck, sometimes I Can’t see.  You say, “its how we came to be”.

We could climb trees, Texas and I, listening to George Michael, such patience, while we drink skunky beer, and fall spinning into the eyes, of a never ending well. She would say, “I listened to the notes, I can tell you heard the words”, and Texas and I would laugh, and she would say, “your such a patient man”. I would smile, “when you say that it makes the end of all life so grand”. In Texas, there is patience, while theirs destruction, and all the world comes to a final end, and yet she’s there, my sister, my friend, my blessed friend.

Friend-like in summer, stark winter, even spring, there’s fall that is brown like, that’s when our laughter sings. She says that there’s gossip that puts us down in hell, I wish to tell her, about my special spells. Oh Texas, I’m falling, and then you pick me up, a better friend to me, in patience here I’m stuck, sometimes I Can’t see.  You say, “its how we came to be”.

Oh my friend in patience, there is hardly an uttered word, that laughter can’t feel now and bring a life filled verb.  In Texas, where nothing but grandness is ever heard, and I believe I go on smiling while she fills the earth.  For G_D will change our chatter, perhaps it will be today, a better to know you than never have gone astray.  We met in the end of days, Texas and I, she a woman, I a man.

For my friend from Texas.  J – 7.06.2015 דָּנִיֵּאל


Mr. Carter (1989)


It goes a little bit like this, a little bit like that, you take a perfect flower, and you treat it for what it lacks. Son there’s always plants, you never dreamed that they would grow, but over there on Garden Street I’ve planted and I’ve sowed. My life with Mrs. Carter is the sum of all that’s green, a placement in a flower box that blooms like its still spring. For every little tear I’ve cried in life, there’s been a plant, a garden, and my woman to keep my soul intact. You think that life is lonely try not having leaves in spring, the pedals of a rose just like a woman’s inner tender wings. So much I’d like to tell you before you hit the road, and travel to your high country where different flowers grow. I’ll stick to just this story, this little piece of luck I’ve touched, inside the secret to long life and the reasons that there’s love. It’s the honesty of G_Ds green earth teaching me what’s up above. Teaching me what’s up above.

I believe my dear Daniel the year was 1956, when hurricane Flossy came and made our home a pile of sticks. We lived in our garden in a shelter made like a tent, and Mrs. Carter my dear sweet woman, the heat it made her sick. I prayed to find an answer, there were no Doctors to be had, no one to help this black man, and my wife so near her death. I went into the garden a patch of drowned earth, and kneeled upon a tattered plant, to beg for what I’m worth. There my boy I smelled life so strong, minty and all green, the smell of peppermint, my boy, it seemed like it was spring. It seemed just like an answer to all that was bad, the mix of leave and water to bring my missus back.

It goes a little bit like this, a little bit like that, you take a perfect flower, and you treat it for what it lacks. You know a kingdom can’t survive if it is built on pure stone, neither can your heart know things of love you’ve never known. I tell you sir as you drive off from this southern shore, take a lesson from these plants their gifts and their lore’s. Take my voice my story, of plants and flowers so green, and build your life in far off lands, and love a girl like spring. When the day does arrive when heat fells your soul, look for peppermint to make a tea, its worth much more than told. Some day when you’re thinking, of all that I’ve said look at plants around you, and know that you’re blessed. Know that you’re blessed.

It goes a little bit like this, a little bit like that, you take a perfect flower, and you treat it for what it lacks. It’s the honesty of G_Ds green earth teaching me what’s up above. Teaching me what’s up above. – 05.28.2015 – דָּנִיֵּאל

Leon (Clear Water)


It’s a guess of what we are, better friends strewn from some star, and my guess is we see through a scene. Johnathon or David, placed in earth’s ring, and we climb looking for a Haiku’s end, though to find, life’s not clear, Dante’s rhyme, words straight on though this life full of sin. Raise the forest from their din, world of wonder for us friends. Though we pray our hearts are strong enough, round the world, will life be enough, we will find when all comes to a close, your eyes grey, and mine might be closed. There will be water flowing through, all our worlds will see clear water through. Clear water!

Like when children, we built a dam, tried to stop the laws of man, and they came, and tore us into two, round this world they bore through me and you. Came the rains that we could not hold on, oh my friend we cried through it all, for clear water. Where we go, the sky still comes, dropping hints, that we are not done, so it goes from your breech, you will not fall, oh my friend open up and drink clear water.

Leon dwells from day to day, setting time with words he plays, and he listens to all that goes. Ancient pulse, his brother knows, for the challenge of my lost years, I would go deep inside, take your tears, and there I’d find, nothing wasted or nothing new, just the dew of G-Ds chosen few, from clear water.

Folly makes the world were in, maps are drawn by simple men, though they make chains, we still will fly, graft our armor from stars passing by. For we know, little brother for the world were in, those of mystic, and places where we been. When we bend down to bare our heads, in the end when chaos is dead. When we touch the place of debtor’s relief, there as brothers, we will find, we will finally drink of clear water. Clear water. – 02.28.2015 – דָּנִיֵּאל

This poem was inspired by J.R. Richard’s song “Clear water” (video below), it is written for my friend Leon whom lives in Greece. I have never met Leon, but yet I have, and I feel sure as my brother on the other side of the world we are searching so diligently for the same thing. He might be just a little closer than I, to finding clear water.


J.R. Richard – Clearwater