I was sitting in a barroom nursing a beer, Starring at an old drunkard who was sitting near. He was dirty and ragged, it was easy to tell, That worn out bum has been through hell.
As he caressed that bottle, it occurred to me, Perhaps he could use a little company. I picked up my glass to walk over there, When a young man approached him, and took a chair.
That drunkard’s eyes widened like he was stunned, When the young man introduced himself and said, I’m your son. That old drunkard slowly lowered his head, And with a solemn tone, this is what he said.
Boy, I wasn’t there the day you were born, I was off fighting some goddamn war. I was two years shy of being twenty-one When Uncle Sam called and gave me a gun.
I was swept away by Uncle Sam And dropped in the jungles of Vietnam. I was told to fight, though I didn’t know why, But I quickly learned I had to kill or died.
I served my tour, then come back home, Just to find your mom and you were gone. To track you down took all I had, By then you were calling another man dad.
Your mom said it was best I left things alone, So, I turned my back and I moved on. I choked the tears like I had done before, Cause I was fighting another goddamn war.
As the war with the whiskey and drugs raged on, Barrooms and jails became my home. I was rung out, strung out, drunk or stoned, Hard and bitter all the way to the bone.
I’m not too proud of the things I’ve done, But I learned to survive with my fist and a gun. Boy, you’ve wasted your time tracking me down, Cause a strung-out bum is all you have found. My blood may be running through your veins, But there’s one cold, hard fact that remains. Boy, you’re stranger who I don’t know, I lost my son a life time ago.
Sitting here with you boy, it’s plan to see, You were raised by a hell of a better man than me. Now, buy me a drink boy, then you go back And say thanks to that man who has been your dad.
We’ve had our time love and I hate to leave, But I must bid you farewell, so darling don’t grieve. I’ve run the race, my work here is done; My Father is calling, Come to me son.
Parting is hurtful darling I know; I’d stay if I could but I have to go. An angel is waiting to carry me home, This isn’t good-bye love it’s only so long.
My eyes grow dim, my body is weak; Lips that kissed you can now barely speak. The pain is intense, death’s grip is strong, My Father is calling, it’s time to come home.
So don’t let the tears roll down your face, Just hold me tight as I fade away; Darling remember the time we have shared And know I’ll be waiting for you over there.
I will slip through the portal of time Into the realm where the sun always shines. My spirit will soar like an eagle so free; And I’ll rest in the arms of an angel.
At night if you look up at the sky You’ll see a star twinkle as I wink my eye, I’ll touch your face like a soft gentle breeze . . . And sing you a sweet lullaby.
So don’t let your tears be the last thing I see As the angel of death takes my vision from me; Stroke my face gently and kiss me my love As my soul goes home to my Father above.
And I will be waiting for you to come When your work is finished and your race is run. We’ll walk arm in arm as we did before, Parting and sorrow will touch us no more.
We will pass though the portal of time Into the realm where the sun always shines; Our spirits will soar like an eagle so free; And we’ll rest in the arms of an angel.
And at night when our children look up at the sky They’ll see a star twinkle as we wink an eye. We’ll touch their face like a soft gentle breeze . . . And sing them a sweet lullaby.
From a Barstool to the Floor
He watches a falling angel, He’s seen her kind before. She’s just one more glass of wine, From a barstool, to the floor.
A tender heart that’s shattered, She drowns her pain in wine. He watches her fall from grace; One glass at a time.
His own heart is on the mend, As he slowly tips the glass. Over the brim, he watches her; He sees she’s falling fast.
He gives her a faint smile, She returns a grin; As they both lift a glass of wine To drown their pain within.
He knows where she’s going; She knows where he’s been. She pushes back the glass of wine And gently takes his hand.
They look in each other’s eyes As they walk out the door; Knowing they were just one more glass, From a barstool, to the floor. jcc 6/6/17
Me Getting Older I let my hair grow long and shaggy like the weirdos out in Frisco and my beard looks like those guys on Duck Dynasty.
There’s holes in my tee shirt that barely covers up the belly hanging over the waist of my faded old blue jeans.
Once I was young, clean cut and shaven, a time when I stood up for everything. But, time has turned the pages, now I’m turning gray and aging totally consumed with my aches and pains.
I’m feeling around for my glasses, so I can see to find my teeth that I recall dropping in some jar. At three o’clock in the morning I’m still belching up my dinner; putting like a Model T as I hobble toward the bathroom in the dark.
Just a few more steps and I’m praying, Oh dear Lord let me make it; let me hold on to my dignity. My belly starts to rumble, beneath my breath I mumble as I fumble with the button on my pants. The dog thinks I’m playing cause I’m bouncing up and down and swaying, doing that squeeze it, trying to hold it dance.
Now I know how the ladies feel when that cold water hits the keel, cause someone forgot to lower the toilet seat. I’ve never moved this fast before and I won’t leave that seat up anymore; Now, could someone kindly help me to my feet? jcc 6/5/17
Fought the Devil I walked through the blazing fires and fought the devil himself, then crawled out on my hands and knees and told this world to go to hell.
Now there are scars you’ll never see that has cut me to the bone; pains buried deep inside and emotions never shown.
Tears welled up in a my heart, and eyes that cannot cry; a tarnished soul that screams for God in the middle of the night.
Lips that can never tell all these eyes have seen or talk about the ghost that walks to haunt me in my dreams.
So right or wrong, good or bad judge me as you will . . . I’ve done my duty, I gave my best and the rest can go to hell.
The Darker Side Within I laid my uniform to rest then picked up my pen to write about the darker side I’ve buried deep within. Sights and sounds from long ago, decisions I had to make; to pull the trigger or let it go, a life to spare or take. I buried my emotions, feeling neither love nor hate; clinging only to my duties and a soldier’s final fate. Killing came so easy once first blood was shed; it was for the greater good the thought inside my head. Those faces in the shadows, the voices from the dark where notches carved upon the soul of an empty dying heart. The pride I carried in my chest helped to fight the fear; death was my companion he held back the tears. I was nothing but a soldier, a robot trained to fight. my duty to follow orders, not decide what’s wrong or right. But somewhere in the caverns, the dark recesses in my mind was a spark of humanity I’d left somewhere behind. I held a rifle and a cross as I fell upon my knees and took a closer look at the darker side in me. I have run the warrior’s race, with pride I stood the test; the notches carved upon my soul will be there till my death. The blood stains won’t wash away and still I fight with right and wrong as memories rush through my head of a time that’s come and gone. As faces dance among the shadows I sit here with pad and pen trying to pay my penance for the darker side within.
This is from the book I am working on titled 'When the Glory Fades' Jesse's Hands Jesse's hands were shaking as he walked through the barroom doors; he has grown so tired of killing but now he's going to kill one more.
He paused for just a moment as his eyes sliced through the crowd; then he touched the ranger's star that he has worn so proud.
At the bar standing waiting is an outlaw known as Texas Jack; he escaped from prison and vowed he never would go back.
His hand is quick and deadly; thirty lives he has acclaimed. His reputation spread across the west, even lawmen feared his name.
Jesse stood in the doorway cast against the evening sun; his eyes locked on the outlaw, the showdown at last has come.
Death stood by waiting as the two stared each other down; stillness filled the barroom beating hearts were the only sound.
Suddenly without warning Jack's hand made a dive his fingers wrapped around the grip of a deadly forty-five.
A gun shot broke the silence, the air filled with powder smoke; Texas Jack was falling as Jesse's pistol spoke.
Jesse's hands were shaking as he put his gun away; another notch is carved on his soul, another man sent to the grave. jcc
I venture down life’s highway through the corridor of time; with the lessons life has taught me etched deep within my mind.
The lessons I was given, the scars and wrinkles I have earned; from the paths I chose to walk, and the bridges I have burned.
Looking back with mixed emotions, there’s some pride and some remorse; I wonder how things would have differed if I had taken another course.
Many paths I could have chosen, but the ones whereon I tread; are they of mine own choosing, or destiny instead?
With memories of a warrior, blood stained hands that used a gun; hands once hard and calloused, soft and gentle now holds a son.
Through the years I try to teach him from the lessons I have learned; hoping from the paths I walked, he will take different turn.
Is it coincidence or destiny, or the graceful hand of God that leads my weary feet along the pathways where I trod?
I faced prejudice and vengeance and that cancer know as hate; I learned to overcome them as I walked a path of faith.
I had to love to be loved, forgive to be forgiven; I’m thankful for the life I lived and grateful to still be living.
His parched lips kissed her neck and whispered good night Rosy Red; then he laid down in the rubbish and placed a bottle beneath his head.
He felt the icy chill of the winter’s wind across his back, as he nestled in the corner of an alley cold and black.
Useless and unwanted, wandering aimlessly in time; just another worn out soldier this old world has left behind.
Used up and then discarded, war still rages in his mind; so, he lies down with a bottle and drowns his memories in red wine.
He has given up on living and survival is not in play; he’s waiting on death’s angel while existing day to day.
His soul cried for salvation, demons danced inside his head; he closed his eyes in sweet surrender and fell asleep with Rosy Red.
The Dark Rider
There comes a pale horse, its Dark Rider is Death; he rides hard and fast with no time to rest. Sometimes through Heaven, sometimes through Hell; rides the Dark Angel of Death on a horse ghostly pale.
In the mirror I saw the gleaming of headlights approaching fast; then like a streak of lightening, a car went by in a flash.
I pulled off the highway, not really knowing why, and listened to the tailwind like a mournful dying cry.
Then I heard tires squealing, the crashing sound of steel and glass; and I knew without seeing, that speeding car had crashed.
The tailwinds then faded like a dead man’s final sigh as the Dark Rider on a pale horse went racing across the sky.
I pulled back on the highway knowing well what I might see. A fearful thought went through my mind; is death waiting there for me?
On that lonely stretch of highway, that dark and gloomy night; again, I stopped, but this time to see that eerie mangled sight.
Amidst crumpled steel and broken glass, that tangled bloody mess, the small body of a baby was cradled in the arms of death.
A ghostly face looked up at me, tears rolled from hollow eyes; his long slender finger pointed slowly to the sky. His pale parched lips quivered, he said, “The demon has survived.” And with the child cradled in his arms he disappeared into the night.
Echoing through the darkness was mother’s mournful cry as the Dark Rider on a pale horse went racing across the sky.
Emerging from that tangled mess was the form of a man; possessed by a demon, with blood stains on his hands.
He could not hear the mother’s scream or see the tears she cried; his emotions unstirred, his vision blurred by the demon that dwelt inside.
But there comes a pale horse; its Dark Rider is Death.
Marksman Armed with an automatic rifle and seven people in the room; he made demands and threatened they all would meet their doom.
The Captain sent me to a roof top with a rifle in my hand; his orders find my target and wait for his command.
My finger on the trigger, the suspect in my sights; patiently I waited for the word to take his life.
Through the scope I watched him; I saw the coldness in his eyes. I knew this meant business, seven hostages would die.
Talking now was useless; he had one thought in mind. I could see him growing angry and they were running out of time.
My hands were calm and steady, my mind was free of doubt; I counted sweat beads on his forehead as I waited to take him out.
Then came the order, if you have it take the shot; I gently squeezed the trigger, the bullet hit its spot.
The police call me a marksman, a killer is what the paper said. They could no reason why that man should be dead.
But I looked through a rifle scope and saw things through different eyes. I saw a single bullet saving seven lives.
Sit down with me darling, lets have a glass of wine; for a moment help me forget about another lace and time.
Mournful screams of dying, lonely silence of the dead; ghostly faces that come to life, dance inside my head.
I fear getting close to anyone and scared to be alone. I tremble in the darkness as I curse the coming dawn.
Memories that linger from a war burned in my brain; all the ghost from a living hell are driving me insane.
So, sit down with me darling, lets have a drink or two, and maybe for moment I can find some peace with you.
She put her arms around him, looked into his eyes; a soldier once proud and strong like a baby now he cries.
She held him tightly in her arms, brushed the tears from his face; then handed him a glass of wine and tried to chase the ghost away.