Which Me

Which me is the real me
The person that I am
Or the person I want to be

Which me is the real me
The person who chases mirages
Or the person grounded in reality

Which me is the real me
The one who’s an alien everywhere
Or the one for whom the world is family

Which me is the real me
The one who longs to belong
Or the one who’d rather roam free

Which me is the real me
The man standing on solid ground
Or the man who’s unmoored, all at sea

Which me is the real me
The man who has it all together
Or the man with a fractured personality

Which me is the real me
The person you fell in love with
Or the person you wanted to make of me

Tit for Tat

Why did you suddenly disappear
Where in the world did you go
There you are, locked inside your home
Peering out from a half-open window

How does the shoe fit on the other foot
Now you no longer have the stage
How do you feel when we roam free
And you are the one in the cage

Together we came to inhabit this planet
It was meant for us to share
You alone had the gift of sapience
Yet you decided you didn’t care

For millennia you have taken what’s ours
You’ve used us to satisfy your need
You drove us to near extinction
Oh you creature of insatiable greed

While you cower in your home, afraid
We’re free, we’ll roam at large
For too long now we’ve endured your rule
Let’s show you who’s really in charge

We warned you not to take us for granted
We too can play tit-for-tat
You’ll never know which of us did you in
The pangolin, the swine or the bat

Deeper Well

Don’t tell me about the power of now
Don’t tell me about the farmer and his plow
Don’t tell me what my stars foretell
I need to drink from a deeper well

Don’t insult my feelings with your inane labels
Don’t make my life sound like Aesop’s fables
I’m not in the market for what you want to sell
I need to drink from a deeper well

I’ve heard enough tales of faith and imagination
I’ve heard enough about the need for self-examination
I’ve heard enough clanging of the same old cowbell
I need to drink from a deeper well

Sometimes I am amused by your simple allegories
Sometimes life doesn’t divide neatly into categories
Sometimes life’s answers are not on a carousel
I need to drink from a deeper well

Frankly, I find your good cheer pestilential
Frankly, my dilemmas are quite existential
Frankly, I just don’t fit into your clientele
I need to drink from a deeper well

I’ve learned the lessons that a hard life teaches
I’ve no time left for motivational speeches
I’ve no penchant for philosophies in a nutshell
I need to drink from a deeper well

The inspiration I need will not fall from a tree
The inspiration I need is not in a book or a movie
The inspiration I need lives in my every cell
I need to drink from a deeper well

State of Mind

Sequestered, secluded
Cordoned off and confined
We can stew in our own juices
Until we lose our minds

We can rue what we’ve lost
Like our youthful good looks
We can rustle the yellowed pages
Of those old, dog-eared books

We can argue, we can bicker
And get on each other’s nerves
Or we can stop, we can think
Of what purpose it serves

We can remember the time
When we first became lovers
We can recapture the joys
That together we discovered

We can remind ourselves
This is a blessing, not a curse
If we didn’t have each other
Life would be a whole lot worse

We can rely on each other
For comfort and consolation
We can inspire each other
In our splendid isolation

We can cherish our good luck
That we are holding up so well
Our home’s not our prison
It’s our stronghold, our citadel

Let’s become who we’re meant to be
Loving, compassionate and kind
‘Cause baby, this confinement
Is only a state of mind

Black Swan

I worry that I will never 
See Paris in the rain
I’m afraid that I can never 
Love New York again

I fret that my feet 
Will never again roam in Rome
I lament that in London 
Big Ben will chime alone

My heart cries for the ones
Slowly losing their breath
My thoughts hover over 
Those dying a lonely death

The ones whose families 
Can’t even say goodbye
The ones who are left looking 
At the sky, asking why

It’s hard enough to grieve 
For the ones who are gone
It’s even harder for those 
Left here to live, forlorn

With the world at a standstill 
There's nothing left to do
No jobs, no money 
Nothing to look forward to

I can count my blessings 
I’m luckier than most
My ticker’s still ticking 
It hasn’t given up the ghost

I have a roof over my head 
My loved ones near me
But try as I might 
I can’t escape this anxiety

John Prine once sang 
That he had the key
That helped him escape 
From his harsh reality

Well he’s not with us any more 
One of so many who are gone
And I’m left here, staring 
At this horrible black swan

Fellow Man

“Give me liberty or give me death”
Screams the sign on your city hall
Now that you face a real choice
I wonder how you can stand so tall

All of a sudden that authoritarian
Who can lock down his own people at will
Begins to look like a great benefactor
As your democracies stumble and spill

The custodians of your constitutions
Wring their hands and scratch their heads
And your hollowed-out institutions
Don’t have enough ventilators, or even beds

Your leaders are asking you to choose
Between death and a fate that may be worse
Well it’s too late now - you elected them
In the name of ideology you brought on the curse

Your CEOs sleep in their mansions of gold
While you toiled ever harder, they got rich
They’ll get big bailouts from their friends
While you stay stranded in the same old ditch

Ever wonder how we became so inhuman
We won’t help our own in their hour of need
Capitalism without a trace of compassion
Has another name - it’s called plain greed

Wake up now, friend, while there’s still time
Wake up and change the world - yes you can
Or it’s not this scourge that will destroy you
I hate to tell you this, but it’ll be your fellow man

Good News

If you could use
A little good news
To help you get through the day

Have no fear
There’s lots of cheer
That I can bring your way

With my own eyes
I saw varicolored skies
As the sun rose in the east

The morning breeze
Put my mind to ease
As I enjoyed the harlequin feast

It wasn’t too long
‘Fore I heard the sweet song
Of the mynah on my windowsill

A bracing April shower
A carpet of jasmine flowers
My cup of bliss began to fill

I turned around
And to my delight, found
My loved one smiling at me

Yes, I am housebound
But my pleasures abound
Because I am happy just to be

When you feel stressed
Miserable, depressed
Just know that you will survive

When you keep your eyes
On life’s simple joys
You’ll know it’s great to be alive

Lose your fear and greed
Help those in dire need
Be generous, have an open mind

Dig into your reserve
To protect and to serve
Together, let’s save humankind