Songs with no tunes.

Fading Memory

Bits of her are disappearingWas that how her smile looked?How did her eyes exactly sparkle?I think I'm getting spookedIt's been two weeks since I saw her lastAnd every hour now brings lessLess to mind, less memory, less recallIt could be grief, it could be stressShe's...

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My Girl

She had teeth so whitePerfectly straight and neatHer skin was so softIt felt like a satin sheetShe was partial to productsBiological alchemy for her faceThey were all organic, made of flowersAnd they filled a suitcaseShe loved to travel widelyNew York, Paris and...

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Have You Ever Met Deborah Jarvis?

Have you ever met Deborah Jarvis?You wouldn't forget her if you hadShe was funny, sharp and kindShe was so good, she was badShe was an actor at StratfordUnderstudied Susan WrightShe was the only apprenticeWho never went on in her own rightShe did standup comedy in the...

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The People of Murray Street

Murray Street’s not lovelyNo rows of handsome brickIt’s squeezed between parking stacksAnd the warehouses of the sickThe only people who go thereAre the broken and the lameThe ones who are decayingWho are being dealt out of the gameI spend a lot of time hereIt’s...

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I’ve Never Been Alone

She looks like a wispLike a patch of mistShe has a hard timeKeeping track of thingsShe's in bedBut not to sleepShe has her catsHer company to keepShe's my best friendThe person I know bestMy wife, my girlShe always met the testShe's fading nowLeaving CheyenneGoing...

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I wrecked my last Mazda 3 GT

I wrecked another Mazda 3It's my fourth (or fifth) so farThe reason I go through so manyIs it's such a great little carSleek and stylishLean and meanThis little rice rocket is aReal thrill machineIt corners like a mountain goatSkates like Sonya HenjeDoes Tokyo drifts...

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Fortress of Solitude

My brother lives in a fortress of solitudeThere's a wall around every doorHe has sensors in the windowsTrip wires in the floorsHe has cameras mounted in and outThey cover every viewNothing happens within a blockThat isn't treated as a clueHis fortress of solitudeHis...

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My Brother in Vancouver

I have a brother in VancouverHe has a different motherIn fact, he has a different father tooSo he 's not just anotherSibling, he's my heroHe saw me through a bad patchWas with me every step of the wayFor his cheer there's no matchI knew him fifty years agoWhen he was...

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I Know A Bodhisattva

I know a bodhisattvaI met him as a childHe was an angry kid thenMad and wildHe found me last yearReached out and touched my heartSaw me through a crisisThat was just the startBodhisattva will stay behindHelp the less fortunate kindI would do anything for this...

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I Bought Another Mazda3 GT

I bought another Mazda3 GTThis will be my fourthI keep buying the same carBecause I know what they're worthThey look like little Asian carsOf no particular distinctionA pretty silhouette and linesBut nothing would give you an inklingThat under the modest hoodBehind...

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Front Cabin West

I'm a latter day adventurerOff to see the elephantI want to see the westBut not out of my elementSo I'll take the front cabin westIn a travel pod designed for oneWith a flight attendant all my ownAnd dinner served with a nice warm bunChina dishes, good wineLinen...

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I’m Good At Being Retired

I'm good at being retiredI know just how much to do each dayWhen to nap and when to eatWhen to get the mail, when to hit the hayI never did much when I workedAbout 3 hours a day was itThe rest of the time was for nappingAnd getting high as shitI'm still getting high,...

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My New Best Friend

I have a new best friend, his name is Jimmy Dempsey.I knew him 50 years ago, but then we lost touch.He reappeared in my life with a worry for my safetyHe saw a picture of me smoking and said that was too muchHe said he didn't want to lose me, one of his oldest...

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When You Die Of Something Different

We like to say you're curedWhen you die of something differentMy oncologist told meAnd my relief was apparentI had just finished radiationSix weeks of constant zappingCoupled with hormone deprivationAll done with the aim of stopping A cancerous prostate (I'm over...

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Relief

She wants to put an end to waitingTo see if there's reliefFrom the disease that's eating herHer only weapon is beliefWill the latest set of scansProve inconclusiveOr unremarkable, even betterAnd will this result giveHer the permission to liveFor another three...

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Dead of Winter

This is the Moon of the Popping TreesWhen frost crackles the barkWhen your spit hits the ground like a bulletAnd the stars shine without twinkling in the darkThis is the dead of winterThe fallow patch after YuleJust before the first thawWhen human passions coolIt is...

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Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge, Blue RidgeThe place I love the bestBlue Ridge, Blue RidgeWhere I return to restFoggy Mountain, Foggy MountainThe air there is so sweetFoggy Mountain, Foggy MountainI feel so completeAgua Azul, Agua AzulCalm and blueAgua Azul, Agua AzulThere was a girl...

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The Bigger They Are The Harder They Fall

The bigger they areThe harder they fallIt's true for womenIt's true for allThose men who thinkThey're so straightWhen actually they're bentAnd only learned it lateWomen who are too gorgeousToo beautiful to wooOften respond gratefullyBecause others are like youThey...

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Polls Apart

I'm a pollster, I ask questionsI like to know the answersIt doesn't matter what subjectI'm like a dancerI've got a step for every beatBut the thing I see most clearlyIs that opinions are divergingAnd for that we will pay dearlyEverything is now a partisan issuefood,...

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You Say That Like It’s A Bad Thing

I'm educated, I'm well-travelledI've been to New YorkI've had a number of passportsI'm definitely not a dorkBut apparently I'm the enemyI read it in every tweetFrom the great unwashedBecause I'm (gasp) an eliteIt's a bitch when accomplishmentIs seen to be a...

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Social Justice

The idea that fairness for allIs somehow special pleadingThat the demand for dignityIs just the ploy of bleedingHeart liberals with an agendaFor social engineeringWould, if it weren't so chilling,Be anthropologically endearingSocial justice is exactly what it...

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Open Boat

William Bligh was a seasoned masterHe learned his trade under CookForty five men were his ship’s rosterA course for Otahiete he tookHe was a tough captain but fairHe used the lash sparinglyOn the brig under his careA voyage out of the ordinaryHis sailing master was...

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The Human Orange

The problem with our landYou must understandIs the human orangeWith the skin like porridgeHe broke the rulesMade us look like foolsSold out his countryTo its worst enemyHe wasn't electedMore like selectedBy the Russians to ruleBecause he's a foolHe'll enrich himselfHe...

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Aisles Of Regret

Bright red applesOranges and lemons yellowRanks of coloured fruitJust designed to keep you mellowSome aisles are bright and healthyPacked with fibre and juiceSome are meant for sinnersJerky, chutney and prunesThere are the aisles of regret"Meals for one" "Pet food,...

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Digging A Hole In The Sun

Digging a hole in the sunThe piles of fill are ranges of fireThe deeper you go, the brighter the flamesAnd the walls keep rising higherI will mine to the coreI'll dig until I get thereTo see what underlies it allAnd then I'll come up for airI'm burning for...

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L’Estrie

I'm coming homeWhenever I seeThe golden hillsThe flaming treesOf the TownshipsWhere I grew upThe place that was homeWhere I filled my cupWhere dinner was for dozensOr two, but always loudWhere the farmhouse stoodOn the hill so proudWhere I lived in the cabinUnder the...

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Blizzard

It was just an ordinary Quebec blizzard10 below Fahrenheit and 25 knotsOf blustery winds and no trafficThe drifts were calling the shotsI was stuck in WaterlooHad to get to BromeA distance of about 15 milesAnd that would get me home10 PM, 16 years oldI called mum from...

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Scallywag

I know a scallywagA reiver and a bumA good old friendAs old as they comeI met him forty years agoOn a hill in southern QuebecHe grew up in Northern VermontWhere there wasn't much corn to peckI helped him build his houseWith stones and beams so bigIt took the two of...

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The Hating Place

There is a placeWhere I spent a lot of timeIt's the Hating PlaceWhile going there's not a crimeIt's a place where people ventTheir feelings and their hurtsWhere they rip on othersAnd where no one alertsThe authorities to death threatsOr hate made public and openPeople...

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1975 Guild

My brother gave me a guitarA 1975 GuildIt came with a stand and a capoWhen he played it, the room filledIt's got a big strutless bodyUnobstructed and hollowWith a rounded backIt's loud and mellowI don't play, never haveI can strum one simple tuneIt's time to learn...

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Don’t ever let me go

I live in a world of secrecyOf doubt and unknownI'm rumoured, not seenAnd I'm not the only oneI grew up torturing insectsToo hard for me to make friendsSoon I was killing petsFrom there there's only one place it endsI'm a serial sexual assaulterIn case you hadn't...

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Guinea Pigs

My mother kept guinea pigsWhen I was a little boyShe bred them and sold themThey weren't furry toysShe'd ask at the grocery storeFor the lettuce scrapsThe leaves they pulled offTo make the heads look nicer, perhapsThis is what she fed the guinea pigsAnd they whistled...

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Dirt Roads

We were cruising Northern VermontAt the east end of Mississquoi BayTrying to find a way over to Isle La MotteBut we had lost our wayWe thought we'd like to get a viewOf Lake Champlain from the NorthThe site of naval battles pastBut it was getting to be more than it...

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A Dream Of Rotting Cars

I have a friendHe's English and preciseHe's likes to buy carsBut only at a good priceHe's rented garagesAnd borrowed undergroundsTo park them and keep themIn any space he's foundThere was a beautiful1950 Studebaker sedanWith three eyes in frontAnd a two tone tanThere...

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The Ladies Who Wear Hats

The ladies who wear hatsWill save this country from itselfThe black ladies who know bestAnd who scold when it will helpDecency is neededA sense of what's right and wrongThere is a vacuum at the topWhat is needed is a strongMoral compassthat points always to the...

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Boo Radley

My closest friend isn't humanHe can't speak or understand meBut we're as close as brothers or loversHe's closer than anyone in my familyHis name is Boo RadleyHe a nervous sort of a guyHe dashes whenever he hears the doorbellI have no idea whyThe only person who rings...

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Mindset

We can conquer the merchants of hateWe can neutralize the threatWe can surmount the violence we faceIf you've got the right mindsetWe have to rememberThat every "white nationalist"Is a just another name for a naziAnd every "right wing extremist"Represents the same...

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Spruce Up

Spruce up, spruce upGet looking your very bestYou're going on a mission todaySo wear a tie and jacket and all the restYou need to visit your congressman(Or your MP, if that's where you live)And let their staff know in personThat you have a whole lot of fucks to...

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It Used To Be Called Rape

It used to be called rapeIt was common, still isBut it was seen as a sexual actNot the violent assault it really isRape was seen as pervertedBut not anchored in hateIt was frustrated desire back thenWhen know we now it's a traitShared by serial killersAnd those who...

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In Norway

If you're done with inequitypoverty and hateCome away, come away, come awayTo NorwayAcceptance, sustainability, thriftAre national traitsCome way, come away, come awayTo NorwayIn Norway, no one's poorIn Norway, no one's rejectedIn Norway, oil riches are savedIn...

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Who Wants To Live To A Hundred

Who wants to live to be a hundred?Growing paper thin and weakWho wants to live to be a hundred?It's a good end, not a long end I seekIf I ever become incontinentLosing control of my poops and peesIf I ever become incontinentPut me on an ice flow pleaseIf I ever lose...

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Fish Fry

We've got a missionWe've got bigger fish to fryThere are tyrants to vanquishThis is no time to crySo put away your petty beefsYour imagined insults and slightsTake identity politics off the tableGet the nazis in your sightsConstant outrage is drainingIt pulls focus...

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Northern Lights

We gather at Dorval to boardWhat they call the moderators' flightMontreal to Toronto, the last oneLeaves at ten thirty at nightYou can just watch two focus groupsDowntown somewhereAnd if you jump through hoopsA taxi will get you thereNorthern lights, shining downA...

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Skybox

All my life I've lived in housesSome seedy, some grandSome were rented, some I ownedSome came with a plot of landBut now I'm retired, and I've cashed inWe sold our final houseI moved into a skyboxFrom an alley cat to a city mouseOh, my Winnebago in the skyTwo small...

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Life On Earth

You and me, and everyone you knowEveryone alive on earth todayOwes their existence to a forgotten manAnd September 26 is his dayLt Col Stanislav PetrovCommanded  the Soviet missile responseHe was a seasoned professionalHe had never fired in anger onceOn September...

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Family

Bella, Molly, Boozer and Zeus,Chloe, Mr Pishy Wibbles and BooLizzy, Julia, and a dozen moreAnimals that have been my family tooHeart's Delight, Blossom, Claudette and GeorgePenny, Poppy, Millie and BartSuzy, Rufus, Lulu and RubyAll of them own my heartCompanion...

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Christmas Crackers

There's a drawer in the kitchenThat rarely gets cleanedIt's full of cat toys and riceAnd an old can of beansIt's also where a memory livesA box of Christmas cheerThe kind of crackers you pull at both endsWhich fail to fire every yearThey've been in that drawer for...

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Song of the Scootermen

The night before my weddingI had an unfortunate stagA rowdy friend brought hookersBy four, we were all baggedThe rosy fingered dawnWas creeping up the skyIt was at my house in The BeachWe needed a walk, my brother and IWe headed for the waterInto the rising sunWe...

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Carmen and the Devil

Death angel, death angelLover to the starsWhat did they all see in youWhy did they fall so hardShe showed up at a partyAt a house we shared in the BeachShe was dark, magnetic, well spokenAnd she talked like she had a good reachShe'd just come from the coastWhere she'd...

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The Canadian

We boarded in TorontoOne cold December dayThe VIA Rail CanadianWould take us all the wayFrom here to Banff in the RockiesThree days and two nights aboardThe last train to take the southern route In the best cabin we could affordOur noses pressed to the windowWe...

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The Pool Below The Falls

Vermont is lovely in the springA place to camp and bikeMany come and play thereOr take to the trails and hikeSome come to kayakOn the rivers when they're fullThe Middlebury flows with the best of themDown from Ripton in the hillsA student at the collegeHe came from...

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Midlife Reset

I was forty five years oldWhen my life fell apartI'd been getting antsy since fortyI'd been gradually losing heartFor working in an office environmentManaging clients and staffSitting at endless meetingsEndlessly chewing over chaffI had a god job, interestingI...

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Latter Day Leonardo

I grew up an as an artsyNot a as a jock or a headTheatre, arts, drama, paintingThat's where my interests ledWhen I entered the office worldAround 1985There were three computers at workAnd I stayed away from that jiveBy 1990 I had my own PCWith an A drive, a B drive...

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Bi-Polar Blues

I used to crave joy, moments of blissThey livened up my lifeDays when I felt like a million dollarsAnd my mind was as sharp as a knifeI could get anything done and do it on timeAnd excel at doing it tooAnd if people got in the way of my goalWell, into a rage I...

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La Hamaca

They say a Canadian can make love in a canoeBut there's a harder place to fuckIt's a very difficult thing to doWhile swinging on a beach in a hammockShe was blonde and rounded and perfectWearing an evening bikiniShe was covered in fine golden downAnd the sight of her...

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Born to Serve

I come from a long line of soldiersBack to the French Wars at leastSome of my forebears were generalsOne of them served in the EastHis son, born at Toungoo, BurmahCame with him to Canada soon afterHis name was Charles HaultainAnd he was my great grandfatherHe studied...

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Night Flight

The roar of the Wright radials warming upThunders across the bayYour boat has just pulled up to the hullAnd you jump for the gangwayThe gleaming airframe stretchesHigh above you, left and right,The flying boat, all hundred and six feetslaps the wavelets and splits the...

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Passat

Passat is a sturdy ketchBuilt in Finland by the elvesHer scantlings are fit to shunt iceBelow she's all lockers and shelvesI bought her five years agoWhen I needed to upsize my boatShe may be more than I neededShe's the biggest little ship afloatWe brought her home...

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Super Connie

A beautiful plane, curved like a girlHer triple tail unique in the airHer four Wright radials roared like the stormI would take my first flight in herBut this was a year earlierCold December in the afternoonMy sister and I were walking homeWe heard her first, a...

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A Four Hour Cruise

On a still November morningThe fog rolled in without warningJust as we were casting offWith a Great Lake to crossTwenty-eight miles straightSet a course for three thirty eightFour hours motoring would take us thereUntil the fog came, the morning was fairIt was this...

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Here’s To Rock ‘n’ Roll

Music has guided meAnd moved me all my lifeRock ‘n’ Roll will always beMy mother, my lover, my wifeI saw Mick and the StonesTouring Exile on Main StreetBack then he had toneAnd the jumpsuit fit so neatI saw Pink Floyd at the Big “O”The pig got away from them...

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My Life In Cars

My first car was a  '61 CortinaI rolled it on Duck Farm RoadStuck my head out the vertical window And said “well I’ll be towed”I’d learned to drive that summerOn a clapped out '65 Volvo 123It lacked a fender and a wiperAnd it didn’t have a batteryI’d have to...

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Redheads

I’ve had some redheaded loversAnd all of them were paleIvory skinned and freckledAnd hard to keep out of jailThere was Christine, bubbly and curlyFreckled and fair as a an eggHer drapes were a match for her carpetA bright fiery nest in her legsThen there was Sarah,...

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Crazy Love

Never sleep with the crazyIs what they always sayI’ve done it a couple of times in my lifeAnd a couple of times they stayedOne was fixated on my motherSo any of her sons would doI was the only one who took the baitAnd she moved into my life tooShe had a mean right...

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The Danish Girl

I’ve never seen anyone so wonderfulAs that breathtaking Danish girlRound, firm, golden brown and downyShe was the most perfect thing in the worldShe was language student in MexicoHer college had a poolI was invited to use itBy someone I knew at the schoolShe was...

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Dad’s Life

My father was a teenaged organistA prodigy out of schoolHe was shipped oversea and had a good warDining and drinking with the coolThe Archbishop of Canterbury was a friendHe played organ at Westminster AbbeyWent to Ireland on leaveGot a bad case of dysenteryWhen he...

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I Can’t Remember Her Name

Blonde, yes, that was the easy partMidway between small and tallShe had warm golden skinTo say she was perfect says it allShe was Danish, a language student and teacherShe lived at a school out of townI tried all summer to reach herShe was covered in golden downThe...

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Kat and Cyn

Kat and Cyn were an inseparable pairJoined at the hip, each protected the otherPlaying wingmen at a small rural collegeMaking sure guys were available but no botherKat was ethereal, tall and fairCyn was darker, cracked wise all the timeKat was the draw, Cyn the...

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Sophie

I saw her across a crowded roomAt a Christmas party in MontrealWild nest of blonde hair, an accent and a limpShe was a stranger and she had it allShe saw me at the same momentShe said she was transfixed tooShe took me home that night, wouldn't say noSaid I was one of...

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Drink Up

Drink up, drink up, drink upFill your cups again and againI’ll join you when I’m deadI 'm not drinking until thenI filled up my dance card completelyBy the time I was 45I’d had enough fun for a lifetimeAnd it feels better to be aliveI quit one morning in...

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Slaughterhouse Cat

Generations of slaughterhouse catsBig and nasty enough to kill ratsWere born at the end of my streetAnd the one I’ve got is so sweetHe’s his own son, and grandson it seemsHis father's his grandfather, all the same genesHis teeth are too big for his headAnd his jaw...

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The Rich Man’s Internationale

Arise ye owners of the nationArise ye richest of the earthYe plutocrats thunder dominationA New World Order is in birthNo more the unions will thwart usNo more the workers they'll enthralWe celebrate the old foundationsWe were all, and we are still allThis is the...

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The Wood Between The Worlds

I was standing in the Wood Between The WorldsWondering which pool to step into nextI had just come from ancient BabylonWhere I helped them invent written textI thought I might visit the Vikings thenAnd teach them to forge carbon steelOr see if folks around the Black...

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Stories

I’m not one to lie to othersBut one must entertainWhen the tale isn’t as good as it should beI’ll upholster the truth without shameI’ll remember the feelingsAnd most of the factsI make the rest of it upAnd give all the bad bits the axeI’ve got stories to tellTo regale...

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My Name

I’m as shapely a ship as ever there’s beenWith a prow like a swan, my stern has to be seenMy hull is white and my topsides the sameFifty feet of waterline, and Mayan’s my nameI’ve made passage from Avalon to far OtahieteMy helm is light and my lines are sweetMy...

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Climbing Mount Popo In Boat Shoes

Three chavos leave CuernavacaInto the mountains, into the past,Packed into a battered Renault TwelveLosing the century fastIn a land where no Spanish is spokenWhere the Old Ways still hold trueThey passed a church draped in corn dollsWith doors no one ever went...

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Flyover

Levon…Black DogRhiannon…God Bless The GrassThe classic rockDrifts by as the counties passAt altitudeNo song stays in range for longThey slide awayJust when the signal gets strongThe hopes and dreams and baseball teamsOf these small towns aren’t all they seemOhio...

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37,000 Feet

You can see every baseball diamond in IowaFrom 37,000 feetAt night they’re all lit up like gemsAt the edges of towns so neatIt’s the same in Illinois, Ohio, across the MidwestIslands of people and dreamsEach town crowns a Corn KingEach crowns a Harvest QueenThe lives...

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Sailing

The boat is a live thing, she leaps to the wind.You pull in the mainsheet, and she pulls backSlip the mooring, feel her heelHead out through the basin on the starboard tackThere’s good days and there’s bad daysAnd there’s wind and chop and squallsBut a day on the...

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Bucket List

Walking through ancient timberRoaring silence uplifts my soulFinding trees as big as countries The size of a circus tent at the boleBiting the wind in a Rogallo sail,Lifting, then gliding, then holding my breathFloating in deafening silenceThe ground slips by...

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Fortune Favours The Brave

Fortune favours the brave, Risk has its rewardsNothing great comes to those who waitWith no dream to work towardsTake it, take it, take a chanceC’mon, c’mon, do the danceNothing great comes to those who waitTake it, take it, take a chanceDo something you never...

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Puerto Arista

Busted, broke and beatenIn a beach town in the southIt was something I had eatenAnd I was taking nil by mouthPuerto Arista is a bad placeOne rutted highway longCinderblock cantinas line the beachAnd the undertow is strongA dirty beach town on the southwest coastArista...

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The Bear Has Eaten Our Tucker

The bear has eaten our tuckerI'm so hungry I could eat assI’ve had nothing but kippers and saltinesSince the day before the day before lastProspecting up the Omineca100 miles from the roadWe had gear and food for six weeksExactly one chopper loadWe were getting picked...

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The Ballad of the Katherine Rose

She was 30 years old and beatenHer best days had been seen long beforeShe was a 22 foot sailboatWhen I bought her in 2004I had just turned fifty, I needed a hobby or twoBetter than buying a MiataAnd it would get me out of the house tooShe was laid up in her...

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Refugee

A child without a countryA family without a homeWe can welcome them all to CanadaThis land we call our ownDisplaced by war and famineNowhere to go but to seaSeeking a place that will shelter themWhere they’re allowed to be freeThe hand of friendship extendedA welcome...

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Kathy and Jean

Your city was a resort town, Favoured by emperors and kingsYou ran the local theatreRight at the centre of thingsAll of the gringos and gringasWho came through the city to teachWould show up there to audition,That was the extent of your reachJean was blank and...

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Hockey Night in Canada

It’s Hockey Night in CanadaLeafs losing, Habs on a roll.Could be ’64, could be todayHockey is engraved on our soulThe nation is enthralledIt's the high church of Saturday NightBob Cole intones the blessing Nothing stops the fun but the fightsYou know it's all...

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Almost There

Fog hangs over the refugee camp, Snow will be coming soonShe shares a tent with three other womenAnd the wind sings a keening tuneShe came here across the desertFrom somewhere further eastShe left her home when it was destroyedBy the jets of Assad the beastShe...

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Cold Warriors

It’s nine o’clock on the ZocaloThe romantic Paseo goes downThe socialists, spooks and cold warriorsAre buying another roundVeterans of the Spanish Civil WarBoth sides, loyal and notThey all gather and drink togetherBecause now that’s all that they’ve gotThey sit with...

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Big Girls Don’t Cry

Born on the prairies, corn fed and tallShe was Miss Oklahoma, 1965Gail was a beauty, she had it allNo one was more aliveShe was just a pretend wifeLiving it up in a expat townSharing the married name of a manWho wasn’t even her ownShe was a big girl, a beautiful...

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The Face No One Can See

A weed covered rock under waterWhere a man can stand at chest heightIs the most frightening thing I can think ofEspecially in the dark void of nightThere is something more horrible stillThan nameless dread set freeAnd that is the grinning cadaverWith the face no one...

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In The Woods

Halfway up the hill we built a castleStones and beams went into its fabricA long winding drive, solitudeIn the woods, in the woodsFall came in and the air was crispI was sleeping in the castle towerWith the long view of the lakeIn the woods, in the woodsA ram’s head...

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