Hiding Place

I pull a record from its hiding place

Dust off the player that’s inside the case

The needle’s dull and the speakers crackle fire, just like a choir

Pour some honey in my tea and just admire

So many stories in these city streets

Not just in buildings, but in taxi seats

We spin around each other like a song, all day long

Some are 45’s, some are 78’s still strong

Somebody put me on the spindle, I’m ready to rekindle

All the music that remains

Just like an old Dutch painting, restored and reacquainting

All the skies above the plains

Thought I lost the key, but it was hidden in honey

When you poured me breakfast tea

I pull these letters from a hiding place

Dust off the envelopes, untie the lace

An anecdote, a poem about the sky, when you were spry

And memories of the grass and dragonflies

So many stories in these pages swell

With so much hurt and so much love to tell

Of asters by the brook where you did play and now relay

Marie, you’re with me every single day

Somebody put me on the spindle, I’m ready to rekindle

All the music that remains

Just like an old Dutch painting, restored and reacquainting

All the skies above the plains

Thought I lost the key, but it was hidden in family

When you put your pen to tree

Pretty soon a quarter century

Will come to pass its moonlight over me…

I pull these pictures from a hiding place

One year old baby, chocolate on my face

A mother’s smile, a father’s furry arms

And I see myself in all their funny charms

I’ve seen this scene again in August sun

My sister’s daughter just beginning to run

In Carolina grass, how sweet the smell, my little belle

Are there asters there?  Are there dragonflies, as well?

Somebody put me on the spindle, I’m ready to rekindle

All the music that remains

Just like an old Dutch painting, restored and reacquainting

All the skies above the plains

Thought I lost the key, but it’s hidden in the trees

Of repeating centuries

 

© Alex MacDonald 2011

 

 

Ripples

Sleepless, what did I just dream?

I was silent, but trying to scream

Through the curtains, my eyes felt a beam

These mornings are becoming a theme

And I wonder what I could have said

To make you stay instead

Students, they laugh and they grin

Feeling comfy inside their own skin

Hugging each other like kin

Children are the best medicine

I teach them how to dance

And they teach me how to chance

Oh, back in Vermont a little pond

A toe, and then a foot, and then beyond

Oh, if I return to this scene

Will a child’s face reflect up when I lean?

Mornings, I ache and I creak

Listen to my body speak

There’s a pattern of red on my cheek

From the pillow, where dreams often leak

And the images all fade

But the urgency has stayed

Restless, I wake and I walk

To the water and out on the rocks

See a seagull, apart from his flock

And his feathers, they ruffle and talk

Of an ocean green and vast

With no future and no past

Oh, back in Vermont a little pond

A toe, and then a foot, and then beyond

Oh, if I return to this scene

Will I still be there with Margaret and Colleen?

Water ripples, circles triple, children, seagulls remain, remain…

Oh, back in Vermont a little pond

A toe, and then a foot, and then beyond

Oh, if I return to this scene

Will a child’s face reflect up when I lean?

 

© Alex MacDonald 2011

 

 

This & That

Laces

Whatcha think about laces and shoes?

Whatcha think about laces and shoes and rhythm and blues?

Whatcha think about us?

Faces

Whatcha think about faces and muses?

Whatcha think about faces and muses, amused by our music

Now?

A tambourine, a candle green

And a row of guitars, all in

…cases

But whatever the case is with you

Whatever the case is with you, I’ll be digging your tune

Don’t matter

Places

So many places to choose

So many places to choose where to earn your tattoos

So travel

To New   Orleans, an island green,

Or a cabin in the woods

With embraces

And suit cases

Red shoe laces

And two faces

 

© Alex MacDonald 2011

 


Footprints

Hold my hat from the wind, on the road again

Fight the cold as it climbs up against my skin

I see the usual night crowd’s out,

Living loud, but it’s quiet inside my head

As New England winter falls, we keep the fire red

Float away from your window, don’t feel the ground

Like my legs are just moving themselves around

I make it home but don’t recall how

Better sleep, better dream better days abound

As New England winter falls, our footsteps make no sound

Our footsteps make no sound

But footprints can be found

Tracing back to the summer when we met

All the Earth where I’ve walked holds my memory

And some people leave footprints I’ll always see

And though we left the woods separately,

Our initials are carved somewhere in a tree

As another winter falls, another heart beats

Another child crawls through perfect white sheets

A new December calls and we find our own feet

 

© Alex MacDonald 2011

 

 

Side by Side

Snow on a hill

Noses are red from the chill

Tugging and pulling until

We slip together, we spill

Carving our tracks on a blank sheet

Feet tracing out our lives

Side by side

Riding a bus through the night

Framed by the window’s moonlight

Stop at the store for a bite

Never let you out of sight

With you the winter is warm

Carefree, we run and we slide

Carving our tracks on a blank sheet

Feet tracing out our lives

Side by side

Side by side

Side by side

 

© Alex MacDonald 2011

 

 

Loretta

Hold on, Loretta

You’re in for a bumpy ride

Don’t stare at strangers

‘Cause they’re just passersby

On the human tide

Oh she rides the subway

Looks out across the tracks

Smiling for a moment

Catches me and I’m smiling back

We hang suspended

The world outside’s a haze

A window opened

With one simple gaze

Then we parted ways

I may never find her

But she left her mark

Oh a sweet reminder

Some comfort in the dark

We’re all riding tunnels

No need to ride apart

I still hide my eyes

But Loretta, you’re a start

Nobody told her

Lonely hearts all beat in time

Though I’m much older

She has the wisdom to be kind

Children tend to be less blind

 

© Alex MacDonald 2011

 

 

Autumn Jacket

Won’t you say out loud, don’t you whisper,

What you came to say

‘Cause under autumn clouds, the air is crisper

Thoughts and leaves begin to sway

We’ve been carrying these secrets

Like rain held by the trees

So won’t you say out loud, don’t you whisper,

Let it echo through the breeze

I’ve been waiting so long, oh my sister

It’s added lines to my face

And I felt so strong I should assist her

But it wasn’t my place

We’ve got memories and troubles

And pain we can’t erase

But under autumn clouds, we change our colors

So let our leaves fall with grace

Card games and home

Popcorn from the stove

A garden of roses

Still grows…

In a grave by a tree, he has rested

Fourteen years in the ground

And I dare not see what’s been contested

For it leaves me unsound

I still feel his presence

In trains all New York bound

And I wear his brown autumn jacket

I hope some peace he’s found…

 

© Alex MacDonald 2011

 

 

Move Around

Ebell’s House was a little house in a little town in New England

The house had creaks, the house had bats, still it wasn’t hard to sleep in

Inside this house, I made some love and yes I made some friends

But as it goes, I probably will never go back again

Long as I live I got to move around

Sadie was a good old cat I knew when I was young

The cat was grey with a little white patch and a very rough textured tongue

I’ve never been too fond of cats, but Sadie was my friend

Then one day she up and left and I never saw her again

Long as she lived she had to move around

I know that I went and got older, but when?

Places I forgot while I was busy changin’

Now you’ve got me caught, when will I see you again?

My daddy used to own this car when I was five years old

He would pop the clutch and push it along when it was feeling cold

An orange bug with a rounded roof that I would grow to love

I’ll never forget when the tow man came, that car to dispose of

Long as it lived, he had to push it around

A man who lives by song and dance must travel gig to gig

He’ll make a toast to true romance then take a hearty swig

Lots of friends in lots of towns, but nowhere is a home

Nightmares of impermanence, he’s bound to always roam

Long as I live, I got to move around

But a piece of my heart will be forever bound

You’re the only sure thing that I’ve found

I know that I went and got older, but when?

People I forgot while I was busy changin’

Now you’ve got me caught, when will I see you again?

 

© Alex MacDonald 2011

 

 

Hazel Eyes

I knew a girl of the summer

Yeah, she was five-foot-nine

Her dress twirled as she danced with me

After she drank some wine

If eyes are the window to the soul

I’ve been peaking through the blinds

And now they’re starting to unroll

She said this is who I am

You got me on the witness stand

Some people done tried to frame me

But this is who I am

Her eyes burned like sienna

Gentle green on the outside

She let me buy her a girly drink

Just to test my pride

I complied and I strolled up to the bar

Where I ordered and I sighed

After I thanked my lucky stars

She told me this is who I am

You seem like you would understand

Some people done tried to change me

But this is who I am

How easy it is to forget

Barely three weeks have passed since we met

But in spite of it all

It seems our souls have long been friends

Like you always knew

This is who I am

It’s au revoir to the summer

I left you in the rain

You hid some of your things with mine

So we would meet again

And when, when we do we can review

And in the meantime with my pen

I will right this song for you

It says this is who I am

And I know you understand

Although the world may rearrange, see

This is who I am, this is who I am this who I am

I’ll wait for you

And if you want to, then you can…

 

© Alex MacDonald 2011

 

 

Sea of Smiles

You may choose to arrive early or be late,

While the rest of us wonder and worry and await

And ready the nest

Like our grandparents did

For an unborn, perfect little guest

You may be a delicate flower or a tiger

And whether a girl or a boy, it’s okay to be either

You can be quietly brave

Find the good in yourself

And the world learns it may do the same

You’re bound to arrive to the party underdressed

But your birthday suit’s all that you own, so don’t be stressed

Keep your wardrobe light

Those who carry less

Lose less sleep at night

Right now you are safe and so warm where you reside

But your Mommy and Daddy are waiting on the outside

You are not alone

There’s a sea of smiles

Set for years and miles

Here at home

 

© Alex MacDonald 2011

 

 

Angels on the Mound

There’s just nothing to it, the night is always fluid
He strolls through the town, so dimly lit, familiar and new 
Kicking up snow, hesitant to show any hesitance  
He goes with no particular place to go 
Feet are sifting, tries to be uplifting, but his thoughts keep shifting 
It’s been hours since the stores all closed 
So he looks through the glass and he asks,  
“Is this the life that I chose?” 
Well it’s Christmas time on Court Street and he’s starting to get cold feet 
Gives a quick shuffle, oh a buffalo-step is just fine! 
Sees a girl in the shadows, fighting her own battles,  
How he hopes that that’ll be the one to free up his mind 
But as something is a budding and the flurries are a-flooding 
His heart is off and running to the time when love will come to a close 
So he looks to her eyes and he cries 
“Is this the life that I chose?” 
She gives a cynical stare with a mystical air  
Of innocence glaring, preparing for a night on the town 
She says, “Honey, up here you only choose your brand of beer 
Have some holiday cheer; don’t you know that you should never look down?” 
It’s too bad he wasn’t listening; he was taken by the glistening of her wide eyes 
Dismissing that you can’t be warm when it snows 
So he looks to the flakes and he shakes 
“Is this the life that I chose?” 
Last he knew he was standing, winter-wonderlanding,  
His heart was expanding, now his body makes a print on the ground 
And he’s waving his limbs, he flies and he swims, she’s right there with him 
Angels on the mound 
Well the blue sky is cold, but the streetlight is golden 
He’s holding her hands; he knows he’s nowhere that he knows 
So he looks to the stars, he guitars 
“Is this the life that I chose?” 
Now they’re looking out the window he was always looking into 
Proof some wishes come true if you only learn to go with the flow 
“Well it’s time to get to bed, kick your feet up, rest your head” 
She tells him now to shed all his worries, leave ‘em out in the snow 
So he lies, but not asleep, trying desperately to keep this moment 
He’s weeping, almost froze, no more freezing his toes 
It’s life that does the choosing, quit bemusing 
‘Cause that’s how it goes! 
 
© Alex MacDonald 2011

 

 

Pistachio Gelato

Let’s find an acorn in the ground, a nest up in the tree

The only thing we haven’t found is what we went to see

Walking down instead of up

With coffee from a paper cup

It matters not where we end up, said she

There’s no return from pistachio gelato

Once we’ve had the best, somebody tell me, where do we go?

Old souls like four-leaf cloves and Vincent van Gogh’s

But there’s no return from pistachio gelato

An hour we spun into days, with hardly a blink

But how’re we spun in a daze, without having a drink?

Irish eyes betray a smile

But close your brown beauties and I’ll

Read to you a while, watch you think

There’s no return from pistachio gelato

Once we’ve had the best, somebody tell me, where do we go?

Old souls like four-leaf cloves and Vincent van Gogh’s

But there’s no return from pistachio gelato

Good food, good work, good love, good sleep are all you really need

But we have promises to keep, on that I must concede

A fireplace, a sofa stain

Sicilian wine to French champagne

Began in snow, ended in rain, agreed

There’s no return from pistachio gelato

Once we’ve had the best, somebody tell me, where do we go?

Old souls like four-leaf cloves and Vincent van Gogh’s

But there’s no return from pistachio gelato

 

© Alex MacDonald 2011
 

Orange Spice

Peel an orange for the fruit

Let sweet citrus fill the room

Pass a slice and watch her chew

Just as slices disappear,

When you blink, there goes a year

Tangy taste that turns to tears

All that grows goes by

Savor every bite

Best to share your slice

And let the seeds remind

Why should distance make us frown?

When it’s time that won’t allow

All that’s sweet to stick around

Different time, a different place

Eat a cookie with a trace

Of orange spice to fill the space

All that grows goes by

Savor every bite

Best to share your slice

And let the seeds remind

Peel it

Squeeze it

Leave it all behind

All that grows goes by

Savor every bite

Best to share your slice

And let the seeds remind

Leave it all behind

Let the seeds remind

 

© Alex MacDonald 2011