Leaving Home

When I first left my home
A young lad of seventeen
I could not get farther faster
Every new pasture was green

When I first left my family
Tired of being poor and sad
I decided that going away
Was the only real chance I had

When I first left my city
That bore, raised and nurtured me
I couldn’t live there another day
Its gritty streets forced me to flee

When I first left my friends
With whom I read, wrote and played
I thought I would make new ones
But soon my hopes began to fade

When I first left my state
Whose ways I had imbibed so well
I had to find new experiences
I had to learn new stories to tell

When I first left my country
Whose life was the only one I’d known
I wanted money, fame, opportunity
Oh how impatient I had grown

I sit here now, a man with no home
No family, no friends, no city, no state
No country even to call his own
Blaming his doings on innocent Fate

“You only leave home once,”
A wise man had said to me
In a world that is full of people
There’s no one left to hear my plea

I Alone

(Please forgive the patois. I kinda had to resort to it. Hope you’ll see why.)

Take me to ma home man
Take me to ma home
I feel I alone man
I feel I alone

I gone to America man
I gone to America
I live life fit fuh king man
I live life fit fuh king
Den one day it all change man
One day it all change
Alla dem actin’ strange man
Alla dem actin’ strange
Dey elec' dis big asshole man
Dey elec' dis big asshole
De country it los' it soul man
De country it los' it soul
Can’t live dey no mo' man
Can’t live dey no mo'

I land in Jamaica man
I land in Jamaica
Paradise on Earth man
Paradise on Earth
But you gots to take good cay man
You gots to take good cay
Too much drugs out dey man
Too much drugs out dey
Man kill man for penny man
Man kill man for penny
I los’ a friend too many man
I los’ a friend too many
Can’t live dey no mo' man
Can’t live dey no mo'

Nex' to Trinidad man
Nex' to Trinidad
Bes’ time evah I had man
Bes’ time evah I had
Woman dey big eye man
Woman dey big eye
Nah safe fuh no guy man
Nah safe fuh no guy
Dat place not fuh me man
Dat place not fuh me
Not ma cup of tea man
Not ma cup of tea
Can’t live dey no mo' man
Can’t live dey no mo'

Full circle to India man
Full circle to India
Country of my birth man
Country of my birth
Life here nah so bad man
Life here nah so bad
But you gots to be a cad man
You gots to be a cad
Dey tells you what to eat man
Dey tells you what to eat
You eat it or get beat man
You eat it or get beat
Can’t live dey no mo' man
Can’t live dey no mo'

I feel I alone man
I feel I alone
Take me to ma home man
Take me to ma home

Let Go

I let go of everything
Just to see what’s left
I thought the loss of it all
Would leave me sad, bereft

I let go of my ambition
And my focus on the mission
It was causing much detrition
It was clouding my vision

I let go of my greed
Gave up craving what I didn’t need
To my amazement it freed
My mind from its selfish creed

I let go of my pride
That turned my Jekyll to Hyde
And decided to abide
As a realist, clear-eyed

I let go of my vanity
A source of much inanity
And embraced my humanity
To find my path to sanity

I let go of my lust
A fire that could combust
And lead to much distrust
Causing actions most unjust

I let go of all that I owned
Born alone, I shall die alone
The joy of possession I’ve known
Pales when I see how I’ve grown

I let go of everything
I answered an inner call
Nothing belongs to me anymore
Yet I belong to it all

Make It Stop

Every morning I wake up and face a new day
The first thing I do is kneel down and pray
Tell me how to make it stop

I see young children locked in a cage
My heart is overcome with rage
Tell me how to make it stop

Bystanders getting killed by thugs
Who want us all to buy their drugs
Tell me how to make it stop

Rich men who already have all they need
Still grab more with obscene greed
Tell me how to make it stop

Cowards send their sons and daughters
To fight their wars and get slaughtered
Tell me how to make it stop

Driven from their homes for taking a stand
Refugees exiled in their own homeland
Tell me how to make it stop

Another school shooting - I hear their screams
Innocents are dying - they haunt my dreams
Tell me how to make it stop

Parents grieving for their loved ones
Our politicians want still more guns
Tell me how to make it stop

Global warming has seared our souls
Yet our leaders want us to burn more coal
Tell me how to make it stop

Lies from the left, hatred from the right
We’re all stuck in the middle of this fight
Tell me how to make it stop

Racism, sexism, ageism, casteism
All that’s missing is simple humanism
Tell me how to make it stop

God, if you are really up there
And if you even pretend to care
Tell me how to make it stop

Apathy*

I’ve lost the desire for desires
I’ve lost the want for wants
I’ve lost the need for needs
All I’ve left is an apathy that daunts

I don’t wish for wishes
I feel neither hunger nor thirst
I don’t fancy any fancies
All I’ve left is an apathy that’s cursed

I don’t aspire for aspirations
I don’t yearn for yearnings
I don’t long for longings
All I’ve left is an apathy that’s burning

I don’t crave any cravings
I don’t ache for any aches
I don’t hanker after hankerings
All I’ve left is an apathy - hard to take

I am not inclined to have an inclination
I am not itching to have an itch
I prefer to not have a preference
All I’ve left is an apathy - deep as a ditch

I am oh so bored of being bored
I need an urge, a yen, a lust
I need an impulse, an appetite, a fervor
I need me a mission - not just a “can” but a “must”

A Poet’s Credo

We take our own pain
And turn it into poesy
To provide pure pleasure to you
It’s what we poets do

We endure a thousand 
Heartbreaks and survive 
To sing a song of love for you
It’s what we poets do

We collect the tears 
We have shed for years
To quench the thirst for verse in you
It’s what we poets do

We suppress the laments
Of our troubled souls
To croon a sweet melody for you
It’s what we poets do

We rise from the throes
Of our deep despair
So we can repair your spirit for you
It’s what we poets do

We plumb the depths
Of our unquiet minds
To pen a paean of peace for you
It’s what we poets do

We stitch together
A patchwork quilt of words
To bring a carol of compassion to you
It’s what we poets do

We observe the mundane
But swing on a higher plane
To entertain and also enlighten you
It’s what we poets do

A Simple Man

(A humble tribute to Ogden Nash, my hero)
I become confused, quizzical
When it comes to matters metaphysical

I am faithful, fairly spiritual
But please spare me the part that’s ritual

I am relaxed, informal
Except when told tall tales of the paranormal

I am equanimous, actually benign
That doesn’t mean you can lecture me on intelligent design

I am not vengeful or litigious
But I do take issue with folks who are overly religious

I am of the sciences, logical
So don’t try to influence me with phenomena astrological

I can do civics, geography, even history
The one thing I won’t do is, well, theosophistry

I am amiable, not too rigorous
But my defense of the rational will always be vigorous

A simple man, I stick to life’s highways
I try not to get lost in these pseudo-intellectual byways

My life, thus far, has been quite ordinerary
A journey with neither a map nor an itinerary