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Spring: The Wind's Story - CD

This CD completes my cycle around the seasons. I had thought my spring effort might be more hopeful but I found myself telling the story of a spring that comes with some wrath: stronger winds, fiercer rains, and which promises nothing Despite that, the prayer of St. Clare captured my attention: Live without fear. May it be so.

Below are the lyrics for the songs on the CD

1.    Keep On Keeping On

I’m gonna keep the company of friends

Keep on keeping on

Keep the peace, keep the faith

Keep singing out the song

Tap my foot to the tree frogs, out there keeping time

Keep the beat, embrace the heat

The drummer’s pace is mine

I’m gonna keep the promises I make

Stop keeping track of yours

Keep asking God for what I need

Keep knocking on that door

 

I’m gonna keep on being where it’s at

Keep coming back for more

Keep helping with a helping hand

Keep paying at the door

Keep standing up for what is right

That’s what standing up is for

Walk the walk, talk the talk

Make it better than before

Keep the fire burning bright

Keep it casual, keep it clean

Keep it all between the lines but

Question everything 

 

Don’t keep the love that’s in your heart

Give it all away

Don’t keep the light within you hid

Keep on shining everyday

Don’t you keep your distance

Don’t keep to yourself

Don’t keep the gifts you’re given

Share your wisdom, share your wealth

Keep your eyes on the prize

Keep your hand up on the plow

Keep it strong, keep it real

I know that you know how

 

2.    Call to Remember

It’s a call to remember

It’s a call to return

It’s a call to surrender

And it makes my heart burn

 

When summer’s light begins to fade

The sun slips low across the sky

Casts a net of slanting rays

The North Star rises high

 

You just have to spread your wings

When the geese begin to sing

Once in flight you will be strong

Even if the journey’s long

 

3.    A  Song of Farewell

I have lived my life in this fair land

I have reaped what I have sown

I have loved my love with an open hand

What’s loved cannot be owned

Now you have set your gaze afield

And it leads you far away

Take the love, it’s mine to give

May it bring you back one day

 

But if you never pass this way again

In the time that you’ve been given

And if I never see your face on earth

I’ll see your face in heaven

All the dreams I’ve ever dreamed

All my hopes tossed to the wind

Every moment of every hour

Returns to me again

 

May God smile upon you

And smile upon me

May God bless all that you do

And may you find your peace

 

4.    Go Without Fear

Live without fear. Your creator loves you, made you holy, and has always protected you.  Follow the good road in peace, and may God's blessing remain with you always. –St. Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)

Go without fear

God has made you holy

He’s your sword; he’s your shield

He loves you like a father

In danger or in trouble

He’s with you on the battlefield

Fighting the good fight / doing what is right / when you think you’re all alone

He’s keeping you in his sight / throughout the long night / facing down the unknown

 

Go without fear

God has made you holy

He’ll be there when you call his name

He loves you like a mother

Gives comfort midst the struggle

Medicine for the pain

Walking down the road / carrying the load / you’re the apple of God’s eye

Praying as you go / preaching what you know / what you need will be supplied

 

Go without fear

God has made you holy

He’s your rock and your hiding place

He loves you like a lover

Protects you while you slumber

Fills you with his grace

He’s worthy of your trust / made you from the dust / knew you before you were born

He’s the maker of the stars / all that’s near and far / every night and every morn 

 

Go without fear

God has made you holy

Ain’t no telling where this ends

He loves you like no other

Father, mother, lover

Now and forever, Amen.

 

5.    Some Days Just Go By

One day tells its tale to another, and one night imparts knowledge to another. Psalm 19:2; and a nod to John Crowley’s novel Little Big for the line “some days go by, others come.” 

The night will tell its dreams to the morning sun

The day will sing its song to the moon

Little breezes whisper what’s done is done

Water wears away the stone

 

A dream will tell you everything you need to know

Day comes and you forget it all

Mocking bird is laughing and it’s time to go

Get up, answer that call

 

Some days just go by, others come

Morning and evening, one by one

Another circle around the sun

Summer and winter, to and from, one by one

 

The dark bids you to come and to take your rest

The stars alive to mystery

Find the hidden treasure and you’ll be blest

Open up your heart and see

 

 

 

6.    Water Will Take Us All

Visions from a dream

I saw them from a distance the two dancers

The beginning of the ending of the world

Broken glass lay all about them

They danced on pointe around they twirled

 

In harmony fingers extended

Form and beauty, what a pair

I could not keep myself from staring

Amid the rubble, light as air

 

If I could lose myself, Excuse myself, Refuse myself

What would I know?

 

Beyond them lay my destination

A market on the battery

Exotic fruits on silver platters

And me with foreign currency

 

Nor did I speak the common language

A stranger babbling in plain sight

Out of time with no tomorrow

The last day turned to the last night

 

If I could lose myself, Excuse myself, Refuse myself

Where would I go?

 

The sea will boil

The rain will fall

Waves will crest above the wall

Creeks will rise

Ice will thaw

Water will take us all

 

7.    The Earth Has Learned to Sin

. . . and everyone calling to the mountains and rocks. “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one seated on the throne” . . . Rev. 6:15

A sinner knows his next of kin

And knows when it’s time to hide

But where in the world can a sinner go

Where neither bone nor tide deny

It’s a broken morning and a restless night

There’s something new; did I hear God sigh?

The rainbow promise is a-wearing thin

There’s an evil spirit rising and a-moving in

The devil sure to know his next of kin

The earth has learned to sin 

 

The flood has gone, here comes the fire

(The earth has learned to sin)

The devil is a-blaze and the devil’s a liar

(The earth has learned to sin)

Can’t hide in the forest cuz there ain’t no leaves

Can’t hide in the bushes cuz there is disease

Can’t hide in the market - every bird’s a spy

Everywhere, all the time, everything has eyes

The flood has gone, here comes the fire

(The earth has learned to sin)

 

Mountain wants to hide in the deep blue sea

(The earth has learned to sin)

The sea wants to fly as high as high can be

(The earth has learned to sin)

Can’t hide ‘neath the rock cuz the rock won’t budge

Can’t hide in the river cuz the river’s mud

Can’t hide in the darkness - it’s as light as day

Can’t hide in the Lord cuz you’ve never prayed

Mountain wants to hide in the deep blue sea

(The earth has learned to sin)

 

8.    A Fickle Wind

The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. John 3:8

 

A fickle wind blows when it will

It doesn’t know how to be still

It will not say where it has been

It does not need you for a friend

An ill wind blows when it suits

Needs no permission and that’s the truth

Does not care if it’s day or night

It blows in darkness and the light

 

This would be a good time to pray

Before this world is blown away

 

A bitter wind won’t hesitate

It will take and take and take

It will curse what has been blessed

It will not stop it will not rest

An evil wind blows cause it can

Will leave its mark upon the land

It is not tame won’t be denied

It will just blow til it’s satisfied

 

Best get on your knees to pray

Lest this world is blown away

 

There is but one who has the power

Who can help in this dark hour

He calmed the storm he calmed the waves

If he’d but speak we would be saved

 

9.   They’re All Calling Out My Name: The Wind’s Story

Based on a barn fire across the road on a Good Friday night

They’re all calling out my name

Through the ashes, soot, and flame

Through the ashes, soot and flame, Oh Lord.

I hear them calling out to me

Through the smoke and sweat and heat

Through the smoke and sweat and heat, Oh Lord.

 

Critters on the run

Each and every one

Drumming fee-fi-fo-fee-fi-fum

Sparrows got the news

Flying two by two

It’s spreading fast – do what you can do

 

Vultures come to see

Wheeling three by three

Wheeling safe and free above the trees

Coyote pack of four

Howling woe for sure

Charge conspirator, four by four

 

And how did it begin?

Did the spark call the wind?

And was the wind ashamed

When the spark burst into flame?

 

I hear them calling out to me

Through the smoke and sweat and heat

Through the haze of memory, Oh Lord.

And it has never been the same

As if I was the one to blame

What if I was the one to blame? Oh Lord.

  

10. The Swallowtail

I watch the yellow swallowtail flutter in the air

Brightly colored powder wings so thin they’re hardly there

Today they gather round a bush that flowers with a rosy hue

Tomorrow the wind will carry them; are you more false than you’re true?

 

A week ago I had a vine and on the porch it grew

Your caterpillar-self ate every leaf and every tomato too

I was almost ready to pick the fruit the next day or the next

You ate until you could eat no more and then you ate the rest

 

Who knows how long a life you live; do you have a favorite part?

Would you rather creep or sleep or fly? Do you only have one heart?

Look, even now, I see you flying above the trees

Up and up and far away so high that I can’t see

 

Something has called you up and out; something has drawn you on

Was it brave to spread those yellow sails or just more right than wrong?

I’m left behind with a withered vine; you took something from me

You left and did you also take a swallowtail memory?

 

11. Whether or Not

Whether or not the tide is turning

Whether or not the winds do blow

Whether or not the sea is churning

Some choose to stay while others go

 

When you live ‘tween sea and sound

Your life is not your own

Shifting sand’s not solid ground

Can you trust the great unknown?

 

Deep in the night the light is calling

Both a warning and a welcoming

Out through the darkness the light keeps shining

It’s there for all to see

 

From the east the storm is coming

Should I hunker down or should I flee?

Full moon, water rising

There’s no safety in harbor or sea

 

12. The Scuppernong

Black water of the Scuppernong

Will still be here when I’m long gone

Migrating birds fly over me

The yonder also calls to me

        The river is what I know best

        Each season brings each season’s catch

        I know the wind, I know the tide

        I know the river sometimes lies

She can claim you for her own

She can teach you her sad song

She can hold you in her power

A deeper spell each passing hour

        I will rise and catch the wind

        On its currents wheel and spin

        Follow geese where they may ride            

        Look down on the river wide

And if I find I have miscast

That my future should be my past

To the sea all rivers run

I’ll make my way back to Scuppernong

        Black water of the Scuppernong

        There is black magic in your song

        Migrating birds fly wild and free

        The river has a hold on me

         

13.  A Plausible Explanation for the Redbud / music by Stephen Smith

Where the meadow meets the wood

A dark limbed tree does grow

And in the springtime breezes

Redbud blossoms blow

I see them on the roadside

On the edges of the lane

Between the tended and the wild

The tangled and the tame

But why it’s called a redbud

I’d surely like to know

There is no ruby in its blush

Saying don’t make it so

 

When the redbud was first named

It bloomed a scarlet true

But March he was a chilly wind

Tinged of icy blue

No livelier a vision

The colors did enchant

Indigo and crimson

Birthed a miscreant

And thus the wild bred blossom

Takes on a purple hue

In memory of when wind met flower

And flower said I love you

And flower said I love you

 

14. Ready to Wear

From a comment Tom made as he was folding a suit jacket to go into a suitcase. “This was not cut to fold.”

Just cuz I come off the rack

Doesn’t mean I am cheap . . .

I was ready to wear

Just missing my pair . . .

 

Now you’re packing it up

You were cut to fold

You’re not looking back

I was goods bought and sold

We were paisleys and plaids

Clashing and sad

I was dressed to the nines

Now I’m nickeled and dimed

Stone washed with lye

Hung out to dry

Three sheets to the wind

Not sure how to begin, again

 

I’ve been rattling around

This old lost and found

Time for rhinestones and pearls

To dress up this girl

With a breath of fresh air

I’ll be ready to wear

But I got these hand-me-down blues

I can’t get over you

Forgotten, ignored

In the second hand store

I want to sparkle and shine

Won’t you be mine, my pair

 

15. Circus Coming

In memory of the circus, sorry to see you go.

Written after a visit to the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art and Circus Museum, Saratoga, FL  

 

Posters are up all over town

Circus coming to the old campground

Gonna be things that you’ve never seen

Gonna be better than a dazzling dream

 

The very next day coming down the track

A long long train going clickey-clack

Elephants pulled up the tents

There were beautiful ladies and handsome gents

I saw tight rope walkers, a human cannon ball

Dancing bears, a grown man not three foot tall

I ate cotton candy, I ate caramel corn

Saw a sad-faced clown get a laugh when he performed

 

They left as quick as they had come

I got a souvenir: an Indian drum

Trash is scattered on the old campground

Barnum and Bailey a merry-go-round

Tonight I put a blanket on the bed

The greatest show on earth is what they said

October winds will bring a killing frost

A memory saved, a dream or two that’s lost

 

16. Turn Toward Home

There is a cold wind and it’s blowing

You can’t be out there on your own

Your coat is thin, your hunger showing

It might be time to turn toward home

        Turn toward home, Turn toward home

        It might be time for you to turn toward home

You thought you knew what you were doing

There is no shame in being wrong

All the pain that you are feeling

Will not last a life-time long  

Turn toward home, Turn toward home

It might be time for you to turn toward home

 

You have been a-wandering

O’er mountain, field, and plain

Can you find what you are looking for

When no one knows your name?

 

There is a cold wind and it’s blowing

You can’t be out there on your own

You’ve lost yourself in the unknowing

It might be time to turn toward home

 

17. Shine

I’ve been a pilgrim on a stretch of road

A dream catcher with a heavy load

A half-dead stranger with no next of kin

But I never knew a day that did not begin with

The mighty sun waking up the world

With just one thing in mind

And that’s, shine . . .

 

I’ve seen enough of the good and bad

I’ve been lucky and I’ve been had

But on this I can depend

There will not be a day that does not end with

The mighty moon rising with the stars

With just one thing in mind

And that’s, shine . . .

 

Shine above in darkness and in light

Shine the way from wrong- make it right

 

The arc of justice is one long long climb

It bends toward truth – just give it time

Be a blessing for the weak and worn

Show some mercy for those who mourn

We’re mighty souls in a mighty world

We’re living valentines

We’re made to shine . . .

Buy this CD at CD Baby

Deep December Dreams - CD

This CD draws its strength from the notion that from the depths and darkness of winter the earth has already turned its gaze to summer. Here are some stories, myths, confessions, and dreams to make those long nights pass more quickly.
Joining me musically are my CityFolk buddies: Lise Uyanik, Charlie Ebel, Lew Wardell, and Jay Miller. Bob Mutter plays percussion and also did the graphics and snowflake art. Mike Craver, one of the original Red Clay Ramblers, plays piano on four of the cuts, including a stunning accompaniment on Jupiter & Venus.
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Indian Summer - CD

This second CD of mine released in July 2005 has 15 songs: 13 originals and two traditional gospels. There is also a bonus track buried at the end. The themes of home and family, dreams and memories, and hopes and doubts run through the recording. To underscore the theme of family I am joined in voice by my daughters, sister, and nieces on three of the cuts (Never Grow Old, Hallelujah, and My Shepherd). Truly a treasure.

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Sweet Mimosa - CD

My debut CD includes 14 songs: 12 originals and 2 traditionals. Silver is featured on four of the songs. I was able to record this because I received an Artist Fellowship from the State of North Carolina's Arts Council for my songwriting. Bob Mutter did the art lay-out and graphics in addtion to percussion. It has a strong folk feel to it. I think my favorite songs on it are North Star and Horse & Rider.

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Hallelujah! Amen. - CD

This gospel CD "Hallelujah! Amen." has 15 hymns & spirituals all written between 1790 and 1944; it a wonderful collection. Great singing by friend Lise Uyanik, and my girls: daughters, sister, and nieces (what a treat!). Guitar virtuoso Will McFarlane; my beat, Bob Mutter; and the piano man, Dave Stuntz all add their artistic touches. Songs include: Come Thou Fount, Amazing Grace, To God be the Glory, When the Saints Come Marching In, Come Ye Sinners, Revive Us Again.

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Songs

'Twas in the dead of winter - single song

This Christmas carol is both original and traditional. I use the Gloria chorus of "Angels We Have Heard on High" as my chorus. It makes it a nice little sing-along. It re-tells the story of the angels coming to the shepherds and then places it in the context of this very night.
The women singing with me are the members of the St. Matthew's Women's Singing Circle. We meet monthly for a compline service and mostly unaccompanied singing of sacred songs.

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Til I Lay My Burden Down - Song

Til I lay my burden down I’ll carry on

And reach the holiest of grounds I’ll sing my song

Till I reach my heavenly home

I’ll keep praying for the Kingdom Come

I’ll keep trusting in Thy will be done

And carry on

 

Til I cross that river wide I’ll labor on

Milk and honey on the other side; I’ll sing my song

 Till I see my Savior’s face

And greet the saints at heaven’s gate

These good things are gonna have to wait

While I labor on

 

Life‘s a strange reality

You’ve gotta find a little faith

Death’s a big old mystery

At the trumpet we’ll awake

 

Til all tears are wiped away we’ll journey on

Cares and sorrow no more dismay; we’ll sing our song

Oh the land of perfect rest

One big family that is blessed

Heaven on earth - more or less

We’ll journey on; Alleluia. Amen.

Buy this song at CDBaby

My Flock - song

a happy-bluesy little song about my chickens 

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Writings

Little Chicken Stories - book

This group of stories is a chronicle of our experience with raising chickens. One of the stories can be found in my Journal section called "Matters of Life & Death." These can be purchased either as a download or in book form from Lulu.com.

Buy this book at Lulu

Saving Time - book

About the Poem:

I am a song writer, but this poem would not turn into a song.  I wrote it up at Wildacres Retreat Center in Little Switzerland, NC in the Blue Ridge Mountain ridge.  Up there you feel as if you are suspended in time or that the bonds of time are somehow stretchy.   Anyway, Time became dreamy real to me and thus the story began.  What happens when Time slows down and Time stops?  Unintended consequences. I love how Little Ant appears on the scene and does what she can do and that her actions are enough to make a difference.  We all should do what we can do.  Maybe our times would be easier and more loving if, when we saw a need we did something about it.

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Crafts