Porch Swing Date (Part 1)

They were both in Junior High School
She was a few months older than him
She lived in a small town called Aromas
She was Jenny and his name was Tim
Tim was living on a property off Vega Road
Not too far from her parents’ place
They met each other on the school bus
He was captivated by her angelic face

And one day he popped the question
He asked if she’d hang out with him one night
He said it could just be a porch swing date
They could just talk and watch the moonlight
It wasn’t up to her to accept his proposal
Jenny said he’d need to ask her Dad
He told her he was intimidated by him
She snapped back, “Come on, he’s not so bad!”

So Tim mustered up some courage that day
He rode his bike a few miles to Jenny’s house
But when Jenny’s opened the front door
Tim was as timid as a three legged mouse
Jenny’s Dad knew why Tim was there
Jenny already told him a boy was coming by
Tim was confused and pleasantly surprised
When Jenny’s Dad asked him to come inside

And they sat there eye to eye in the front room
Tim was scared as scared could be
He thought to himself “It’s not like I’m asking
For his permission, so she would marry me”
“I just would like to get to know your daughter, sir”
“I’d make sure she got home by her curfew.”
He smiled as he delivered his line to Tim,
Son, I’ve got a good feeling about you

So Tim and Jenny had their porch swing date
Tim felt luckier than he’d ever felt before
They sat and talked over Arnold Palmers
He bought for them at the General Store
It was an innocent time they were having
They didn’t have a care in the world
During their very first porch swing date
She found him funny and she liked that girl

February 11, 2018

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Weddings Page

Every week. I look through the paper
And somehow, I can’t avoid the weddings page
I investigate each couple’s story thoroughly
And wonder when it’ll be my time to engage

For they all look so very happy
They all seem ready and thrilled
They all know that for the rest of their lives
Their dreams will completely be fulfilled

I just hope I’m as blessed as they are someday
I just hope she and I find each other and know
Like each of those couples on the weddings page
They trust and believe in the ongoing flow

When I put down the paper & get on with the day
I think of what could happen and what will not
And I long for love to knock on my door ASAP
I’d like the iron to strike while I’m still hot

I know it will but I have my doubts as well
To be alone is to never live a life that’s unselfish
Something’s been missing, I know it deep inside
The one who will grant me this persistent wish

So as I take the public transportation
Or when I’m on an airplane staring at the sky
I’m really praying that’s the time she’ll notice me
And she will no longer feel so shy

While I look over and I wink and smile
She will hopefully think I’m worth her while
And not judge me for my looks or hourly wage
She’ll borrow my paper to look at the weddings page

And then we could start a comfortable conversation
We’d figure each other out and laugh until we cried
Maybe we’d end up discovering that night or day
That for life, we are meant to be side by side.

August, 1999

I got an email from Melanie out of the blue one day way after I wrote this poem. She had found me on Yahoo Profiles and made fun of my picture because it looked like I had a tree for a hat. I thought that was a cute line. We kept an online conversation going on for a year, then we met in person. When we met, I cracked a joke about us being MKG squared if we were to get married. I don’t know if it’s timing, or fate or whatever, but in all the research I found out that it’s also chemical – and even now, after close to 13 years of marriage, I am still thrilled she chose me. We have two gorgeous girls and I hope that whoever they choose in their life, they go with their inner pilot light. It made all the difference for us. No matter where we live, I can’t deny her. Good luck single friends. It may be a long journey for you, but true love does wait.

A Songwriter’s Wage

When I was a teen I studied many, many songwriters
I wanted to know why I was drawn to that art like they were
Why I felt the need to craft stories with paper & a pen
Why I knew it would be my saving grace and cure

I kept researching the greats like Berlin, Gershwin & Porter
Their histories are and were fascinating to me back then
I used to pour through my Grandfather’s sheet music
of “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and “Where or When”

And as I studied them, I found we had things in common
Mr. Berlin started out drawing cartoons and so did I
I began to figure out what drove them to create
and also could finally understand the reasons why

I’d stay up all night working on my early songs
and each one I wrote brought me closer to my muse
Why I now feel compelled to enter writing contests
Why it doesn’t matter to me if I win or lose

Why there’s nothing that comes close to the feeling
of inventing a tune that I can be proud to sing
Why I’d rather be writing than doing other things
like working on my serve or my really bad golf swing

And when Pete Seeger’s words stood out in one of my books
I felt so at ease about what I was looking to do
He said, “All songwriters are linked in a chain”
and that’s the reason why I’m sharing my songs with you

Perhaps you’re going through a really bad breakup
or you just want to be entertained or escape
Maybe you need to hear some encouraging words
to whip you to a better place or get into shape

Well all those hours of learning songwriting history
All those times I chose to write instead of play
turned me into someone who knows it’s essential
that I sit down to write something every day

Some people have a gift of knowing how to fix a truck
or have a passion to build houses or teach History
Maybe they are meant to farm or coach a baseball team
or go to school to learn a trade or earn a degree

But ever since I was a child growing up in Santa Cruz
I was drawn to songs and performing them on the stage
Now my only goal beyond being a good husband and Dad
is to make a life by earning a songwriter’s wage

I’m looking forward to earning a songwriter’s wage.

2017

The Two of You

Three of us were neighbors then
the two of you were & are so tight
Deanne, you’ve been a rock, so strong
Tracy, you’ve been cool as an Autumn night
Both of you had trails of your own
Boy, how different they were
Deanne, you went off to college
Tracy, you didn’t want to follow her

I watched the two of you grow up
Saw you change throughout the years
From most recent, Deanne’s wedding
To way back, when you both led cheers
These memories I speak of
They remain with me because they’re true
I can’t think of a friendship between women
more special than the two of you

I gave the two of you my artwork
from when I took art lessons in Junior High
Deanne, you have the “Island Sunset”
Tracy, you have the “Butterfly”
I don’t think you know how I decided
to give them to you instead of my family
There were too many reasons, it’s too complicated
To explain, I’d have to write volumes of poetry

And so we’re no longer neighbors
We live in separate towns
I think about the two of you often
Still smell your scents and hear the sounds
of your voices as I’m driving
as I have tons of time to kill
To think about my history and yours
Those times with you mean something still

Watching the two of you mature
is one thing I treasure with my heart
Because it fed me with good feelings
I need them now we’re so far apart
You both have my artwork
and I have pages and pages in my mind
concerning the two of you
and how you treated me-
Thank you both for being so kind
Thank you both for not leaving me behind.

1999

Sally’s Tale

Sally just got back from New Horizons
a few short Spring weeks ago
Her parents enrolled her there
They felt she needed to eat some crow

She used to take her Dad’s Ferrari out
with her friends on weekly joy rides
She took them once to Maverick’s
where they checked out the high tides

And they hung out with some locals
They partied until they couldn’t stand
Then they crashed out in two hotel rooms
Charged on her dad’s card a couple grand

Cause her friends did some major damage
They threw both tv’s off the balconies
Another time they went on a random flight
and they ended up in the Florida Keys

When they got there they went shopping
for tiny bikinis, flip-flops & straw hats
And a group of some horny old men
told the girls they were diplomats

She and her friends were so wild and crazy
The men called for help from the police
and one of the girls recognized an officer
It turned out she was his niece

When word got back to all their parents
They got grounded, they couldn’t go anywhere
Sally was told to pack her bags for New Horizons
yet she didn’t think that was unfair

She was tired of the wild party scene
She was ready to face the facts
That if she didn’t make some changes soon
She’d wind up dead on the wrong side of the tracks

Now, Sally is holding down a part-time job
as a barista at an independent coffee shop
And she’s interested in this guy who comes in
She doesn’t know he’s an undercover cop

Her parents, they’re so proud of her these days
In their eyes, she’s changed her life for the best
But what they don’t know, including Sally,
is she’ll soon be placed under arrest

2017

The Drama of the Gifted Child

It starts when you’re in kindergarten
You’re different from the rest of the pack
You empathize with all your friends
There’s something in you that they lack
So with each year, you learn more and more
To you, it’s like they’re all falling behind
You’ve been gifted with something special
It’s an artistic and curious mind

You absorb everything around you
You’re seeing things you don’t want to see
You just want to be like a normal kid
To you, they seem so free
But your parents push you to succeed
All you want to do is go running wild
Thus begins the inner turmoil and conflict
It’s the drama of the gifted child

Your brothers & sisters don’t understand
They think you’re a bit of a geek
You’re uncoordinated at sports you try
So your scrawny body is a little weak
Your friends are all growing stronger
But your mind is wicked and keen
Without realizing it you’ve become
Less friendly and very mean

You start attacking everyone around you
By now, you’re juvenile so it makes sense
Teachers just blow it off as being normal
A typical teen can be a little intense
But inside you’re still that little one
In your mind, some trauma is filed
You then develop an outlet of anger
That’s the drama of the gifted child

Your parents are a little worried now
They look at what you’ve created
You’re psychoanalyzed and criticized
But deep down you’re just frustrated
They seek something that will heal you
So you’re asked to see a shrink
He puts you on a medication
That muddles your ability to think

You start seeing things you’ve never seen
And you lose the ability to feel
You question what you’ve known all your life
You assume what’s going on isn’t real
So you take a trip with your therapist
He navigates you through your past
But while he’s collecting his paychecks
You’re thinking his position should be recast

So you ask to see a different person
Someone who can handle who you are
Someone who will see what’s in you
Perhaps a trainer in a seminar
You shared all your issues with strangers
And they helped you solve every single one
But therein became another problem
Your dependence on them took out the fun

So you navigated through every position
You’ve made some mistakes along the way
You’ve understood what you needed to do
Now you live with your family in Monterey

You bought an art gallery in Carmel
When you can you go to the beach
You often ponder your next adventure
Perhaps now, you’re ready to teach
And you’re standing in line at the DMV
Waiting there feeling restless and mild
When you hear something inside you
It’s the drama of a gifted child

It’s the drama of a gifted child.

2016

Not Quite Done

As I look back on my life
I see what only I can see
Not what everyone else
wanted me to be

I see struggles
I see some pain
But I got through it
again, again, and again

I cared about everyone else
I supported them with my heart
The whole time I wondered
when was MY life going to start

And soon enough She met me
True love with a capital T
We have so many places to go
But I’m right where I want to be

I’m not stuck in some bar drinking
with people who don’t give a shit
I’m not in a directionless relationship
and feeling like I’m in a bottomless pit

I’m alive! I have purpose and meaning!
I’m grateful for how it’s been so far
I have a family of my own now
We have a house and more than one car

Our kids are growing so darn fast
They’re soaking life up every day
and when they ask me for advice
they listen to what I say

I’m not sure where I’ll be in 30 years
but if I’m lucky, I’ll be right there
77 years old with the love of my life
enjoying a peach or a pear

And we’re talking about what a ride it’s been
even though we’ve hit a few snags along the way
We got to see our girls grow up, maybe get married
and perhaps we’ve watched our grandchildren play

So here’s to the journey so far
Here’s to that long, long run
Here’s to the dreams we’re living
Here’s to our lives not quite done.

2017