Another Song

Recently, I posted this, which I said was the only true song I ever wrote.   That’s no longer true.  A refrain from a Dylan-inspired verse I wrote back in 1968 began to percolate in my brain, and it has just expanded into my second song.

Fortune Smiles on a Motherless Child

Well, Life, it is fleeting,
And rain, it is sleeting,
And I have no where to go.
But still, I can ramble,
And with cards, I can gamble,
So I’m heading out on the road.

Fortune smiles on a motherless child,
Fortune smiles on a motherless child,
Got no relations; I’m running wild.
Fortune smiles on a motherless child.

My backpack is stuffed with food,
The long road lies before me,
There is no one to hold me,
I got no place to be.
Got all that I need, just my backpack and me.
Don’t need nobody to love.
But still I feel grateful
For the heavens above.

Repeat Chorus.

Well, someone once loved me,
Well, someone once kissed me,
Now she’s gone, she’s far away.
But still, I can ramble,
And with cards, I can gamble,
So I’m heading out on the road.

Repeat Chorus.

The Earth, it is my mother,
My Father is the sky.
If ever, I’m not between them,
I’ll know I’m going to die.
Got all that I need; don’t care about love.
I laugh at snow and rain.
Fortune smiles on a motherless child,
And he don’t mind the pain.

Repeat Chorus.

Spontaneous Poetry

Sometimes, a verse just pours out of you.  Often, when that happens, you feel compelled to revise and perfect it.   But sometimes, a spontaneous poem is a record that seems as though it should last forever, just as it is.

In the summer of 1986, my late wife, Pat Wiggins, and I were on a brief vacation to the Pacific Northwest, when she suffered her third miscarriage in less than three years.   The doctor at the clinic advised her to rest a while before leaving, and she fell briefly asleep.   I walked outside, and stood beside the plate glass window that ran across the front of the clinic.

Seattle, 1986

That dead thing in her body,
That squiggle under the flickering wiper blade,
That one who never was,
That almost child,

Outside, the air is still and wet.
I bite my lip and watch
The redness in the windowpane.
I cannot howl, but I
Can listen to the night.