no dog in the fight

I’d be nursing a beer

waiting for friends with change

classic observer mode

man with no dog in the fight

watching waiting listening

clocking the scene

& in they’d come

the handsome men

looking watching wary

while the women

always but always

looked around

checking out the competition

seeing to be seen

their glance would fly over me

I wasn’t a would-be suitor

any competition for the handsome man

just a fella no dog in the fight

nursing a beer

waiting for change

not an easy drug to find

there is no love in knowing

responsibility

for this love gone wrong

is all your own

whether through

carelessness

taking now for granted

thinking this will always be

being thoughtless

that one last time

creating no way back

some fresh start over

because you know

they too know for sure

change

is not an easy drug to find

& even if I went there

I did not know any other way to be

no clues ideas inspiration

all support had dried away

& even if I went there

they too

had no other clues to give

I needed to change

change my life change me

without knowing

where I was heading

the route plan map to be

so I stopped dead

in whatever I was doing

got down to the basics

eating sleeping reading

noticing the world as it is

began building things in again

& if they did not work

help create a better day

dropped them quick

a long series of start stops

learning everyday

mistakes mishaps

which as you might gather

is still going on today

Chameleon

she thinks

I don’t know her well

if at all

she ever thinks of me

having metamorphized much

thinking to leave everyone behind

forgetting

I knew her long ago

before the accent shift

cut of hair

clothes

style changes

to fit in to where

she lives now

becoming the chameleon

for fear of predators

history that bit

may bite still

that won’t go away

despite new shoes

shift of colours

for display

so many times

there were moments

so many of these

I lived with her

I’d call her name

& she had nothing to say

& I had nothing to give back

but sorrow

to fill up our time

so I’d say you OK?

yeah she’d answer just fine

got nothin’ to say today

so many times

the next day too

as the brick wall beckoned

so I let her go

& then

she had so much to say

but by then

it was too much too late

our ship had sailed

she could not

would not ever

change

loosing

loosing his sight

he writes

& I dare not contradict the spelling

& this one with parkinsons

can’t write

forgets our conversations

between calls visits

& somewhere

along our time together

I forgot

to not care

now I’m caught by these things

hooked tight by my own line

knowing nothing can be done

no wishes hopes miracles

burnt candles in the night

will change a damned thing

& all I can

must do

is stand mute

witness

much

waking

rolling over

feeling for you

then remembering

you

were long gone

some time ago

& before moving

lying warm still

thinking

could I do this over

could we begin again?

swinging my legs

over the edge

finding floor thinking

these are just the thoughts

of ambivalence

padding to the bathroom

you can’t change

I can’t change

what is done is done

but that don’t mean

I have to like it

much

voice on the radio

driving to the store

thinking of nothing

maybe chips dips

the kind you find everywhere

& your voice came on the radio

though it could not be you

this being another time place

different country

& if I thought I was over you

the tones coming into my car

made me change that understanding

brought you closer in

stabbed me hard in the feels

even if I would not want you here

want you back again

in the saltwater gained

promises made

written somewhere

on lost papers

in the saltwater gained

who I’d be

what I would do

how things

our lives would change

& now

they lie forgotten

just another set

of cold nights

lying alone

semi drunk prayers

drifting into dead air

for lost lovers

half-forgotten friends

sulky solemn things we say

& the promises made

driftwood & sand

on the currents of another life

our fading days

hank williams

hank one

was singing out

into the night

& she reached over

to change the station

I said c’mon honey

you know the rules

driver chooses the music

shotgun sits & listens

counts down the miles

she changed it anyway

gave me such a sweet smile

so I switched again

found hank 3 singing

about pills & divorces

which only brought a scowl

we were surely heading

straight to hell