Could you love anyone any more? I think not. I love you Esperanza, Machiraira and Genevieve!
The Meanings and Metaphors of “Cold Hard Canyon”
The wind can blow hard in the canyon
When the cold air falls from the sky
When our Arizona monsoons build an anvil out of a cloud it gathers cold air that eventually falls, sometimes at over a hundred miles an hour creating a down-burst of air that is turbulent and violent. The past few years has brought age and great pain to my body that feels at times like an ice cold blast of air is coursing through my body.
I can still feel your heart beating
And taste your warm lips in my sighs
I still feel my youth. It hasn’t disintegrated or disappeared yet, though I suspect it will one day in the no longer distant future. It is something I am trying to accept, fight off, defend and deny all at the same time… usually in this condition I reflexively let out a subconscious sigh.
My lantern is starting to flicker
As the lightening and thunder do clash
I have come to realize that the light at the end of this tunnel really is a train, and it is on its way to run me over somewhere in the unknown future. This again creates a polarization of energy in me that feels like lightening and thunder.
The cactus has ripped my old slicker
As the lantern’s obscured by the sky
As my joints wear out and arthritis is taking a hold of my knees and my wrist (making it very hard to play the guitar and dance) it feels like cactus needles poking into my flesh. At times like this I find it very hard to bring forth the virility and youthful feeling that is still residing in my bones.
Whoopee tie yie yo get along little doggies
I’ve got a long way to go
Whoopee tie yie yo get along little doggies
Tucson was never your home
I have know for too many years that the earth and my current physicality is temporary, thus, “Tucson Was Never Your Home”. This makes me feel like I need to whip things into a frenzy around me because time is running out. Oh I may have decades still to live (or may not), but my youth is dissipating and I feel like I need to capture all of the moments I can before it is all gone. There are so many things I still want to do. “Let’s dance, come on get that right! Turn it on let’s go!” At times I feel bad for Joanne, because since I drive myself so hard, even though I try not to, I sometimes drive her too hard as well.
The storm makes the cattle so restless
The darkness makes them hard to read
When I slip out of the brilliant light of my own existence I almost always screw something up and make a mess. I slip into the darkness that resides in my artist and I lose track of what and who is real sometimes and it begins to feel like everything is dark, even though it is just me that is out of the light.
So I’m sitting low in the saddle
Praying that they don’t stampede
Sometimes in a crowd, I withdraw into myself for fear I will say the wrong thing and piss someone off. Too often I am quite frank in my observations, and I have a knack for being observant.
I’m holding a torch for your love here
Like a match in a cold hurricane
I have come to learn that even though love is abundant, it is not always easy to keep a relationship together, consequently I hold my love for Joanne in the highest of esteem I honor and guard it like a knight errant wanting to preserve and hold it sacred for as long as we may freely love one another.
My light is a bright yellow lantern
That’s pelted by cold winter rain
There is that dimming light again. I am trying so hard to accept the inevitability of my aging without capitulating to becoming the same old man my elders were. I am determined to stay in shape to the best my body and pains will allow, but lately the pain is frequently making me back away during a workout.
I look through the night to tomorrow
Seeing the depth of your soul
I see Joanne and how she loves me, she loves my artist, all of him. I have never been so fully accepted by any other person (except maybe my daughter). I feel for her, she didn’t choose a rich man, or a successful business man that put money away for his old age. I worry sometimes that I will not be able to provide what she needs as she ages… and then she shows me once again, that not only is she capable of taking care of her own future, she loves me just as I am and she happily shares all she has and makes with me.
Knowing I’d beg steal or borrow
To warm you when you are cold
Thank you for loving me Joanne, I will do what ever it takes to keep you safe, happy and well traveled!
I love you Joanne Lee Canalli!
I am putting arrangements to more of my songs. This song has snuck in and out of my focus for 5 years, maybe the song has finally found me, I am not sure yet… but I never get sick of working on it, that is a good sign.
Here is a first attempt at Love a Great Point of View
Someone has been following me. “Chasing me”, would be more accurate. I caught him peeping around the corner at me again today. He is relentless. He has been lurking in the shadows way too long, hanging there in the background of my life. Truthfully it is quite creepy. I dread the day he catches up to me and exposes himself to do whatever it is he has in mind. Sometimes it is hard knowing I am being stalked, chased, followed.
I think he’s getting careless because I see him more and more often. Maybe he’s getting ready to pounce. He is pretty clever, this guy, he disguises himself like and old man. I tell you it is dreadful to see him there. When I catch him looking at me, it sends chills to my marrow. I’m afraid you’ll think I’m crazy when I tell you he’s been here for years, but he has, always there lurking, skulking and prowling through the chinks of my life, always getting braver and bolder. And I am not crazy, though I fear he may be.
You know, it’s been so many years, one would think I’d be getting used to him by now, and in some ways I am, but truthfully I can’t relax. He seems to be exposing himself to me more and more lately, not hiding so well like he used to, I think he senses that I am becoming numb to his presence.
I wonder will he chase me all the way to the grave, or will I shake him before we get that far? Truth is, I think he’s here to kill me. I am convinced I will go to my grave by his hand. One day he will sneak up on me and puts my lights out. I can’t shake the foreboding that covers me with cold confident goose flesh.
He was here again first thing morning, I opened my eyes and there he was staring at me. I think he had been putting his hands on me, conjuring up a curse or something, because I tried to move, I felt sore and achy all over, the pain was intense. I felt as old as he looks, I felt pains so sharp that as a baby I would have been crying, as a young boy I would have screamed for my mommy, or as a young man in my twenties I would have stayed in bed and called in sick, but not me, not this man I am today, I got up, I cannot let him win. Not this morning or any morning. IT is scary that I am getting used to even his painful his trickery.
As hard as it was, I creaked cracked my way out of bed and stumbled into the bathroom. Suddenly there he was again, I saw him clearly this time. Gawd, I do believe he is getting uglier, he is certainly older! I could hardly stand to look at his wrinkled face. Was he ever handsome? I have my doubts. I see that it isn’t a disguise he really is old and wrinkled. It was hard to look at him. He always looks old first thing in the mornings, but he looked exceptionally old this morning.
This morning for some inexplicable reason, I met his gaze full on, something I rarely do, he just so much rip-rap in my life that I rarely look straight at him anymore, but this morning when he caught my eye, I was shocked to see that there is a resemblance in him to me. “Oh, shit!” I exclaimed, “I look like this old man!” I looked away. Oh surely not! Well maybe… I looked again… okay I do look a little like him, I guess, except… there is no way I am that old.
Then I did a second take and I realized he has done it. He has done what he came here to do. There in the twinkle of his eye, I saw the reflection of a boy. I know that boy, I thought. That is the boy I used to be. That made him smile, the belligerent old fart. And right there in his smile was the boy I knew so very intimately.
Now I know for sure, this old stalker has kidnapped that boy. I looked closer and saw he has even kidnapped the young man. More scrutiny revealed that he has even gotten to the middle aged man. I could see the middle aged man like a prisoner, kicking and screaming on the other side of the bars being dragged away by the guard disappearing into the shadows joining the stalker at last. The old man just kept staring and smiling, it was creepy I tell you and it still is, it is very creepy indeed.
It was then that I realized that the stalker won. This old man that’s been smoldering in the background of my life, has finally gobbled them up. All of the young men and the boys of my youth, gone by the hand this fiend. They are all gone, I mean gone without a trace, no resemblance left to who I used to be. All that is left is this old man and there he is staring at me like a greedy old wolf, like he wants something more. Like a wolf in the hen house with a thigh in one hand and a breast in the other as he screams, “I want one more piece!” I saw a ravenous hunger in his eye, and it was then that I knew for a certain, he is here to devour me as well, just like he did the boy, the teenager, the young man and the middle aged man. My blood ran cold. I began to panic.
I wished I could call the police, or hire a hit man, something. This is no longer the musings of a paranoid middle aged man, I no longer speculate, I know why he is here: He came to devour me, too! I wish I could out run him, but I can’t, his wretched curses have worked and I can no longer run fast. But then as suddenly as it appeared, the panic subsided. I turned off the light. I turned away from the mirror. I limped confidently toward the kitchen where I started another day. One more day of running from the hungry old wolf.
I know one day I will tire of his game, the chase will wear me down. I am already tired of playing wolf and sheep, me the sheep and him the wolf. One day in the not to distant future, I will surprise him. I will turn and pounce on him. I think down deep he has forgotten a truth he has always known. The truth that I am a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He doesn’t know it yet, but one day I will take him. And oh what a great day that will be. I can’t wait to see his surprise, to look into his eyes in that moment, the moment he realizes his folly, the shock will be spectacular. You can bank on it dear reader.
I will make a spectacle of the event, when the stalker gets his just reward! It will be a grand day when the sheep takes the wolf!
So be careful old man, I know where you sleep!
Rusty’s Favorite Songs to Sing Written by Others
Sorry Words Written by Bernie Taupin and Music by Elton John:
“Take this longing from my tongue” Leonard Cohen is my favorite lyricist/poet:
One of the best ballads ever written…
I have attempted to record this at least 50 times over the years, finally I will accept this one.
Everyone else has re-written this classic so I may as well too!
This is my version of Chelsea Hotel… I love the line: “that was called love for the worker’s in song, probably still is for those of them left.”
Chuck Brodsky put more in these words about war than ever any other poet could write – it is my pleasure to sing this great song:
When I heard the line in this song: “Like the wind hung up on barbed wire” I knew I would have to learn it!
Rearranging an old standby for my youngest son that slipped away to Alabama – yes he plays a bit of banjo so it is appropriate…
Tapestry was Written by Don McLean – A dark but true prediction of what we were doing to the planet 35 years ago – and now it is coming true..