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WAYFARING STRANGER

I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger
Travelling through this world of woe
But there’s no sickness no toil or danger
In the bright land to where I go
I’m just going to see my mother
Said she’d meet me when I come
I’m just going over Jordan
I’m just going way back home

I know dark clouds will gather round me
I know my road is rough and steep
But golden fields lie just before me
Where they dig the graves so deep
I’m just going to see my father
I’m going there no more to roam
I’m just going over Jordan
I’m just going way back home

All my trials will soon be over
My body will sleep in the deep dark ground
I’ll drop this cross of self-denial
My soul will sing a beautious sound
I’m just going to see my mother
Said she’d meet me when I come
I’m just going over Jordan
I’m just going way back home

Anonymous circa 1850. Most folks only sing the first two verses, it was a challenge to find the third, and I’ve heard versions with father or mother choruses but combine them both herein.

CRACKED STONE

Cracked stone broken earth
Peace is six feet under
I want to stand in the rain
and feel the rolling thunder

The wind is up the leaves are turned
I can smell the storm clouds scheming
Your ruby lips and Raven hair
Don’t wake me if I’m dreaming

Clouds are low the sun is gone
I cannot see the horizon
I loved you then I love you
now Your beauty to feast my eyes on

Like a star that falls in flames
Love comes without warning
It lights a spark that starts the fire
That feeds you every morning

Getting older every day
So much left to be complete
I want to live I want to die
I want to dance to your heart beat

Cracked stone broken earth
Peace is six feet under
I want to stand in the rain
And tear the doubt asunder

gds – Jan 95

The short story: I wrote this poem a week after meeting my future fiancee at my father’s wake, then put it to music on mandolin the following week – recorded herein on tenor guitar.

I WISH YOUR HEART COULD LOVE ME

You can’t wish a heart to be in love
You can’t wish one back from falling
I believed in our forever
When I heard your heart sing
When I made your heart sing

Everything I see of beauty
I reach my hand to touch
But I can’t feel in the moment
I’m still missing you too much
I’m still missing you too much

&nbsp You said you wish your heart could love me
&nbsp I said I wish that time stood still
&nbsp You said you wish your heart could love me
&nbsp But now I know it never will
&nbsp We both know it never will

There will always be tomorrow
Whether we are here or gone
Time moves on ahead without us
It leaves our stories in a song
It left our story in this song

Every one of us is equal
When we’re falling from the sky
But some of us will hit the ground
And some of us will fly
Some of us will fly

&nbsp You said you wish your heart could love me
&nbsp I said I wish that time stood still
&nbsp You said you wish your heart could love me
&nbsp But now I know it never will
&nbsp We both know it never will

gds – Ides of June 2012

SHOOTING FOR THE MOON

Looking at love from both sides of this fence I am sitting on
You wouldn’t be the first one to tell me it’s high time I moved on
Make my mind up and reach some kind of conclusion
Find my way out of this labyrinth of confusion
But every choice that I make it seems something gets broken
See here in my hands is your heart and it’s still smokin

&nbsp Time ticks away and there ain’t no turning back
Life’s locomotive on a runaway track
Shooting for the moon we landed in the dirt
Tore a hole in the heart on the sleeve of your shirt

A broken heart was the greatest gift that I could give to you
And paint the walls of your world with an indelible hue
For it was better to have loved and lost everything
Than dig a hole for the gold of a wedding ring
Love that is true is the only wisdom worth seeking
And in the end it’s the only destination worth reaching

Time ticks away and there ain’t no turning back
Life’s locomotive on a runaway track
Shooting for the moon we landed in the dirt
God I loved you best in your paisley peasant skirt

Everybody has an answer for all the big questions
But I’m trapped by the truth of my personal perceptions
It’s like waking from a dream you cannot remember
Like a letter for your lover returned to sender
Well there is no final truth just different perspectives
But I am battered by the truth of temporal invectives

Time ticks away and there ain’t no turning back
Life’s locomotive on a runaway track
Shooting for the moon we landed in the dirt
Tore a hole in the sleeve of my favourite flannel shirt

Why doesn’t love ever work out the way we intended​
Why must I always end up like Icarus descended
But I am a Phoenix and I will fly out of the ashes
Because only shadow and reflections live where the past is
So I’m looking at life from both sides of this fence I am perched above
And you might call me a fool but I still believe in love
Yes I might be a fool but I still believe in love

Time ticks away and there ain’t no turning back
Life’s locomotive on a runaway track
Shooting for the moon we landed in the dirt
Tore a hole in the heart on the sleeve of my shirt
God I loved you best in your paisley peasant skirt

gds – 1995

THE EYES OF A WOMAN

Isn’t it funny how easy it is
To not say goodbye
After you’ve already gone
And isn’t it sad how lonely you feel
When you find out
You knew all along
How many times have you wondered
Just where in the hell are you going
And where have you been
How many times have you asked yourself
How much of anything really matters
Is it all just a dream…

I am lost on a rolling sea
Battered by the waves
Don’t know how much longer I can take this
The way the wind behaves
Cold starry night on a mountain
Full moon in the heavens
All of this and the warmth that I seek
I can find in the eyes of a woman
I can find in the eyes of a woman

I rode into town just yesterday
A stranger even to myself
And already it’s time to go
I pull my map from my pocket
And lay it on the ground
I see no place that I know
But I don’t want a destination
And I’ll take as long as I can
I can go anywhere
The sunset tonight is magnificent
As I stand beside the road
With the wind in my hair

I am lost on a rolling sea
Battered by the waves
Don’t know how much longer I can take this
The way the wind behaves
Cold starry night on a mountain
Full moon in the heavens
All of this and the warmth that I seek
I can find in the eyes of a woman
I can find in the eyes of my woman

gds – 1981
Wrote this one after finally “settling down” in Victoria BC for my first year at UVic.

BALLAD OF THE INVISIBLE MAN

Twisted branches reaching up for the sky
Fingers climbing to the sun
Like the leaves our love had to die
The bond between us came undone

In the morning when I look into your eyes
Something happened to the fun
Now that winter’s here and the snow will start to fly
Who has lost and who has won

Lonely midnight train are you going my way
Will you offer me a ride
Looking out an empty Pullman at the passing day
Brings me peace of mind

If I could see you again there’s so much I would say
But I’m running out of time
A new town along the rounds I think I’ll stay
And see who’s here to find

The wind is whining in the trees on the edge of town
It’s singing me a song
Walking in the snow leaving foot prints on the ground
They will melt before too long

I am so far away I never will be found
I can’t feel that I belong
So when the morning comes I’ll leave without a sound
You won’t miss me when I’m gone

GDS   1981ish

SOMEWHERE in BETWEEN

I’ve not see you for such a very long time
I’ve been living in this dream
There were children and there are parents too
These days we’re somewhere in between
   And there’s a river that runs between us
   No bridge or boat in sight
   I am shouting from the shoreline
   Swim with all your might

I’ve been living I’ve been dying too
These days I’m somewhere in between
And I’ve been laughing I’ve been drying too
Looking back at who I’ve been
   And there’s a mountain in between us
   No bridge or rad in sight
   I am shouting down the valley
   Climb with all your might

There are students there are teachers too
We are somewhere in between
There are prophets there are preachers too
And still we don’t know what it all means
   There’s a river that runs between us
   No bridge or road in sight
   I am shouting from the shoreline
   Swim with all your might

There are dreamers there are doers too
You and I are somewhere in between
There are winners there are losers too
Are we as lucky as it seems?
   There’s a mountain in between us
   No bridge or road in sight
   I am shouting from the shoreline
   Climb with all your might

   And there’s a river that runs between us
   No bridge or boat in sight
   I am shouting from the shoreline
   Swim with all your might

⁃ gds June 2017

For my kid brother, who lives on the other side of the Rocky Mountains and Athabasca River.

SO MUCH LEFT TO LEARN

 You’re standing at the trailhead of tomorrow
Your whole life starts again today
Find the meaning of your memories
For there’s a price you have to pay
 Count the people who have loved you
 And those you’ve touched in turn
 There are blessings in the details
 And wisdom left to earn
 Follow your heart into tomorrow
 There’s still so much left to learn

Moonrise over Manitoulin
Shimmering silver on Georgian Bay
We’ll catch the falling stars till morning
Then stay in bed the whole next day
 Count the people who have touched you
 And those you’ve loved in turn
 There are blessing in the details
 And bridges left to burn
 Follow your heart into tomorrow
 There’s still so much left to learn

Take my hand and walk a while
All we’ve ever owned is time
And we are living in this moment
Of the never ending rhyme
 Count the people who have loved you
 And those you’ve touched in turn
 There are blessings in the details
 And wisdom left to learn
 Follow your heart into tomorrow
 There’s still so much left to learn

Feb 2017

All of My Memories

I’ve been walking the walk I’ve been talking the talk
I’ve been chasing my tail I’ve been lost on the trail
I’ve been biding my time been towing the line
I’ve been counting what’s mine but I’m over that now

   All of the memories that give me my meaning
   I offer them all to you now
   ‘Cause all of the things I ever wanted
   Are you

I’ve been climbing the hill I’ve been seeking a thrill
I’ve been chasing the storm I’ve avoided the norm
I’ve been riding the wave been trying to behave I’ve been taking the blame but I’m over that now

   All of the memories that give me my meaning
   I offer them all to you now
   All of things I’ve ever wanted
   Are you

I’ve been singing the song I’ve trying to belong
I’ve been living the dream but it’s not what it seems
I know what you want I am who you need
You said it yourself when I planted the seed

   All of the memories that give me my meaning
   I offer them all to you now
   ‘Cause all of the things I ever wanted
   Are you

– gds 2014

Back to the Roots

Am I making love to you
Or just breaking your heart
Sometimes it’s hard to tell these things
Been that way from the start

I have never felt this way
Never been here before
How much of you can I drink in
Still be thirsty for more

And oh how I love to miss you
When you’re not around
Like all the roads we did not take
What was lost will be found

I’m still heading westward
Damn near wore out my boots
I’ll be at my destination
When I’m back to the roots

So pull my big brown boots on
I’m going for a hike
See that red head sun go down
Fly my heart like a kite

So am I making love to you
Or just breaking your heart
Only time will tell these things
Been that way from the start
It’s been that way from the start

Sukkot 2015

BALLAD OF THE INVISIBLE MAN

Story behind the song
Written during first year at UVic in 1981 then updated in 2011
 
Twisted branches reaching up for the sky Fingers climbing to the sun Like the leaves our love had to die The bond between us came undone
 
In the morning when I look into your eyes Something happened to the fun And now that winter’s here and the snow will start to fly Who has lost and who has won
 
Lonely midnight train are you going my way Will you offer me a ride Looking out a passing pullman at the day brings me peace of mind
 
If I could see you again there is so much I would say But I’m running out of time A new town along the rounds I think I’ll stay And see who’s here to find
 
The wind is whining in the trees on the edge of town Singing me a song Walking in the snow leaving footprints on the ground They will melt before too long
 
I am so far away I never will be found I can’t feel that I belong So when the morning comes I’ll leave without a sound You won’t miss me when I’m gone
 
1981 BC