Nevermore (on Autumn)

The deep, forested scent
Of Autumn with her rich eyes –
Pits of red dirt freshly dampened
By an evening rain –
Fills the room like the dancing smoke
Of incense whisping in a rain-touched breeze

Quiet like mist
Transforming to frost
Soft-spoken like thunder
Authoritatively commanding
A blood-tinged horizon bannered with badges of dying leaves
“Pay attention.”

She’s the bringer of death
She chases the fever away
Brought by Summer Man – a soon-to-be-forgotten idol
Like a wild angel
Searching to find heaven again

She makes Georgia
Sigh with the grief of never forgetting
Dreaming of that memory
Of what damages Autumn brought last year

“No more,” Georgia whispers
With the remaining summer crickets
To the oil-slick darkness
“Nevermore,” replies Autumn
A raven’s hacking chuckle

The Bar Is a Church

The bone-rattling timbre of Southern-flavored blues and rock
Devours the voices of drinkers lost in thought
As the cool night mellows into a new lemonade day
The hours of a fresh morning revealing what these people say
Yes, at night, the south renews its tattered faith 

We dance and shake in our comfortable way 
The air chilled like ice under a stream of Tanqueray
With minds lost in a moment that they cannot give away
Letting Georgia know that they cannot be saved 
Not by Christ
By God
By Athena above 
They feel the smooth burn 
Of music heated by salt-scourged vocals
As the July sun’s rays release their grip on the locals

For at night
We cannot be judged 
By priest 
Or pastor 
Or reverend 
As the moon fills our souls 
Like Sunday church serving bread unleavened

All of our cares are as lost as our minds
Drowned and sunk in the slow summer time
Let the Tanqueray pour into Coca Cola on ice 
We take it in willingly like the spilled blood of Christ

In a smoky bar 
Lit by forgotten stars 
Our dreams come alive before they crash like cars
Our eyes drive through tears and fears 
Our thoughts not deferred  
And shared with others who feel unheard 
Hanging onto each word 

Georgia rejoices to hear the truth spill
From her children’s voices 
Like a church choir on a hill 
We are the black sheep that ran from the flock
Rescuing ourselves from religion on the rocks 

We dance and we sing 
Lost in a moment we’ll never get back 
We keep it in devotion to ease the Southern sting
That punishes us for what we lack
Perversely trapped by day in the slipping sands 
Of money and lost time 
Our hearts take flight in a land of milk and honey
The bruised shadows like gifts of make-up from the night 
Supported by constant shots and cans of beer 
For this one moment, we’ve forgotten our fears

Trapped in eternal summer faith
At the church of the lost 
The band plays July’s blues 
Laced with lyrics of the South’s forgotten truth 
Lost within our feverish muse 
Like drug addicts that continue substance abuse 
Hymns of sparkling lights
Worship in run-down places
We created for ourselves brand new spaces 
Where we can think and speak to our thoughts 
Where we hear Georgia sob for the souls of the lost

She rewards us with rainbows after the storm 
And summers burning with fever 
After Winter has worn 
The trees and skies into shades of grey with painful abuse
Yea, she melts us with rays
Of wasp-sting days 
Hot like the whip’s flay 
Cools us with nights chilled by the stars 
And alcoholic drinks as we talk at the bars 
To sink everything that weighs our brains down 
So we can let go before we start to drown

She melts us with gifts of butter and pain 
Reminds us that we’re alive 
That our struggle’s not in vain 
Our veins flow with summer heat 
And iced sweet tea 
Our mouths scream the curse
Of our desperate plea 
Lost in our eyes 
That cracks our teeth 
Sinking and sinking 
Straight down to our bare feet 
That walk for miles on forgotten dirt roads 
While we sip from frothy Coca Cola floats 

We dance and scream
Lost in a dream 
That never forgets what remains unseen 
That constantly breaths the air left unbreathed



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