after the rooster crows

the dogs are in the back yard

hunting the cats

and the cats are in the barn yard

hunting the rats

but the rats are at the neighbors

digging through their trash

and we’re at the breakfast table

eating eggs and hash

and Jack Johnson is singing

on the radio

and the palm trees are swaying

as the trade winds blow

and our three dogs excitedly

go running by

but they sprint into the barn

we must have caught their eye

and the cats are in the cradle

in the loft upstairs

and the goat is out back grazing

doesnt have a care

and the roosters in the henhouse

looking for a date

and we have to get to work now

it’s almost half past eight

Rescued Me (ode to our dogs)





we gave her food

and shelter

and felt her ribs

go away

day by day

she grew stronger

and healthier

and I’m wealthier now

than I’ve ever been

though I don’t have

two dimes to rub together

or a nickel to lend

this precious dog

mended my heart

helped give me

a fresh start

but part of me knew

it wasn’t enough

so my wife and I

brought home

two cute little pups

and now Izzy has sisters

and they spend their days

wrestling and playing

and I’m praying

that they’re half as happy

as they’ve made us

and in these three

beautiful dogs

we trust

and ashes to ashes

and dust to dust

and red dirt remains

from paw print stains

on my shirt

as I sit on this plane

anxious to get back

to the four ladies

who rescued me

my wife, that is

and the four-legged three

Izzy, Lulu, and Pali.


Don’t get me wrong,

I love our cats too

but Izzy, Lulu, and Pali

are the ones

who walk with me

when I’m feeling blue.

When I’m in a bad mood

they always know

just what to do

they’re my water

they’re my food

they’re my drug

they’re three



balls of energy

and love.


Two weeks after

we got Izzy

I stopped drinking

it got me thinking

I don’t need it

I’d much rather sit

in the meadow

with my wife

and the dogs

than on a bar stool

in a drunken fog.


I found happiness

skin and bones



and abused

and all we did

was what anyone would do


should do…

we showed them love

and for us

Izzy and her sisters

have gone beyond

and  above.

We didn’t rescue

these three dogs

they rescued us

and, like I said before

in these three dogs

we trust!


This is dedicated to our three beautiful dogs Israel Kamakawiwo’ole “Izzy”, Lulu (Hawaiian for calm, peaceful, protected) and Palestine “Pali”. 

Ala Moana

Looking down

at the street below

from this 14th floor

hotel window

I see the sidewalk

where my family sleeps

if God is real

I hope it weeps

for what society

has become

we don’t see our sister

just another bum.


Her heart was broken

soul almost dead

she needs more

than just some bread…

She needs a friend

she needs a brother

she needs family

when she asked me

for some change

I saw humanity.


So I changed my destination

from the local jazz club

to the ABC store

to buy her some grub

and as she ate a turkey sandwich

a tear came to her eye

she stared at me a minute

and then asked me why?


“I see my wife, sister, and mother

when I look at you

and all these people passing by

would stop

if they only knew

how much you’re hurting

how much you need a friend

take one step at a time

you’re heart will start to mend

bend but do not break

and take a look around

you were forsaken and alone

but sister, you’ve been found”


And I’m drowning in the silence

in between her words

spread your wings and fly, sister

just like the birds.

You’re a goddess

you’re Ohana

I just wish you knew

imagine heaven and you’ll have it

soon, your pain will be through.

You are not a bad person

but life dealt you a bad hand

in solidarity with you, sister

right here I’ll stand.

Standing Rock


Standing on this rock

all alone

looking glass shattered

can’t find home

can’t escape sticks

and stones thrown

by a falling Rome

names don’t hurt

when Redskins flirt

with victory

the Missouri doesn’t flow

to the sea

it flows through you

and me

don’t close your heart

or bury your eyes

need you to see

through lies

they dig treasure


like Fort Knox

it should remain locked

and rock



they’ll cut off

our feet

so we can’t stand

but they want us

to salute

while they shoot

our mother

in the back

rape her dying body

and blame it on Iraq

and blame it all on black

rigging the roulette wheel

impovershed kids deal

but Uncle Sam still cooks

the crack

and he still looks

like dad

so we think

he can’t possibly be

this bad

but have you seen

what he’s done

to Baghdad?

and Oklahoma shakes

but the cowboys are glad

to have those jobs,


and we drive our cars

and we leave on the light

all night

because we’re afraid

of boogeymen

and we ain’t got healthcare

or a nickel to lend

and we stay up nights

fighting with spouses

in our shitty clapboard

bank-owned houses

while the cat

chases mice

and our kids

all have lice

and wouldn’t it be nice

if we weren’t playing dice

with the planet

polluting the water

that we need for life

we’re cutting

our mother’s heart out

with a knife

made in China

and bought at a Walmart

in North Carolina

and will Kaepernick kneel

at the Panthers game

and will the results

all be the same

if he speaks about war

and about mother earth

will we say ‘just play ball’

will we cite his net worth?

as if that should negate

the things that he says,

will he take a stand

for those stuck on the rez

and if he does

will the team let him go

and will you speak up

before the oil flows

as the crows cry out

for what they have seen

or will you check your stocks

and count your green

and post a meme

about right

and wrong

or will you numb

your conscience

and sing along?

Fall starts today

but winter is coming

if you take two of these

it should help with

the numbing…

Decade & a Half Much Like The Rest

The military industry has won

year after year after year

after years

it’s just reruns

war is certainly here to stay

and we just blew up

a Syrian army base

without a trace of remorse

and of course

no one has to pay

and we have to stay the course

though the same day

ISIS rolled right in

and captured the burning embers

and now nobody remembers

the ashes and dust

and rubble

that we left on top of Doctors

Without Borders

see, nobody gets in trouble

just following orders

and it’s the same old song

but just the same,

we were wrong

all along

and we still are

and I drive a fast car

got a needle in my arm

can’t get very far

without a fix

and oil and water

don’t mix

and Uncle Sam will screw you

while you’re looking the other way

and the Sioux lose

and we all pay

and amazing grace will play

as they hand your mom a flag

and we dance around your grave

you were a good brave

but you gave your life

for the crown

pledged your allegiance,

stood for the anthem

then they carried you away

and threw you in the ground

oh, say


bottle of Rosé

lets have another round

stay drunk

and high

and soon enough

you’ll die

no need to cry

their greed relies

and the eagle flies

through polluted skies

so dry

the fire spreads

soon, we’ll all be dead

and they break our bones

for bread

that they don’t need

and will never eat

and we’re sitting


denying defeat

lying to ourselves

that the system can save us

though we all see the clowns

that this system gave us

and we all hope and pray

for a brighter day

and we all stay drunk

as we look away

from the cities and towns

that our taxes burned down

now theres oil beneath

ancient burial mounds

and we still pay our taxes

like good little kids

saying shame on Kaepernick

for what he did

but the truth was hidden

all along

slavery ingrained

in a patriotic song

and woven right into

the fabric of the flag

trust in fairy tales

and in body bags

and God save the system

your prophets are dead

say your prayers, little darlings

before going to bed

just know in your hearts

you can sleep soundly

we are killing brown people

so that you can be free

from the burden

of doing it yourself

thank God Professor Zinn’s books

are not on your shelf

God forbid that you question

even part of this script,

just go back to the doctor

have him fill all your scripts

and remember, my darlings

that these pills are good

and remember to focus

on Hollywood

and on Football

and pop singers

and on Dancing Stars

think not about war

while you drive your fast car

with your finger on the trigger

and that needle in your arm

and keep paying your taxes

or we’ll take grandpa’s farm.

It’s been a decade

and a half

much like the rest

stop luring kids with candy

that you’ll stick on their chest

when they die

and moms cry

it has long been the same

forget taking a knee

lets just sit out the game.

Real Eyes

My eyes are burning

as I’m falling through space

galaxies become stars

I fall further from grace


and the race has no ending,

I begin to realize

that these signals they’re sending

are just coded lies


and these eyes have seen joy

and these eyes have seen pain

and they’ve seen James Taylor

sing of fire and rain


they’ve seen mountains and plains

they’ve seen valleys and shores

these eyes have seen peace

and these eyes have seen war


these eyes have seen love

and these eyes have seen hate

they’ve seen scripted prophecies

turned into fate.


I know not what’s in store

take one step at a time

I’ll give you an hour

and I’ll spare you dime


it’s a crime how we treat

mother earth and her kids

one day we will pay

for the things that we did


and keep doing

yes, we keep screwing up

keep turning blind eyes

in a world gone corrupt


it’s abrupt, about face

this race has to be won

but we don’t have to live

nor to die by the gun.


The sun’s getting smaller

as I free-fall through space

there’s nowhere to hide

no way out of this place


they may chase you and catch you

they may take your life

they might cut off your tongue

with a dull butterknife


they might kill your wife and kids,

might kill your dog too

and they might kill a Muslim

a Christian, a Jew


but never give up

since it’s all just a ride

there’s not a Goddamn thing waiting

on some other side


there’s no reason to hide

there’s no reason to run

and when you realize this, my friend

believe me, you’ve won.


When the distant sun sets

may you have no regrets

before the horse breaks his leg

may you hedge all your bets


pay your debts, do not fret

let them dance on your grave

let your mind be set free

you have no soul to save


you must brave the unknown,

like a broken cellphone

they may call you a traitor

might hit you with stones


but even their bones

will return to the earth

not even one cosmic second

since birth


some might think they see

how we should live our lives

but they might as well be wielding

that dull butterknife


all this strife and this hatred

all this inhumanity

all that any of it means

is our minds are not free


like a tree that’s cut down

to erect prison walls

we should be climbing mountains

not shopping at malls


or sweating in factories

or mining cobalt

though our eyes can not see it

it’s still all our fault


kill ’em all includes us

we’re part of one galaxy

part of one solar system

we’re a leaf on a tree


in a sea of burning gases

together we drift

it is long over due

where’s the paradigm shift?


It’s a gift that we’re here

and a gift that we’ll die

but why must we credit

some ignorant, old guy


why buy pie-in-the-sky

tales of life after death

what the preacher is pushing

is far worse than meth


hold your breath before calling me

a crazy heretic

open your eyes and realize

what has made our world sick


sticks and stones broke the bones

of the ones who spoke out

said the earth’s not the center

yes, they dared to look out


and question what others

had taken as truth

we all should ask more questions

and demand to see proof


lets never stop looking

and never give up

we were born with two eyes

so lets open them up…




Stand Up

Strings pulled



try to stop

and you won’t get a chance

they’ll deny you

three times

prove that crime pays

start screaming in your face

laces out

have no doubt

they’ll hang you

with a shoelace

switch to sandles

distract you with bullshit scandals

two bits for a shave

burried in a shallow grave

want you to conform

and give in

let them win

they call it sin

betray their kin

compost bin with your heart

theres no end to it

when did it start?

it’s past the halfway point

stop pointing fingers

this is bigger than a game

sing and dance

I’ll pray for rain

come at me

like a hurricane

singing the blues

on red-eye flights

no more white flight

stand up and fight

for justice

betrayed sisters and brothers

with a kiss

for too long

if you can’t sing

hum along

don’t act like you don’t know

the tune

hold my hand

I promise

the pain will end soon

melt silver coins

make a spoon

to take your medicine

the games not over

we might win…






Still and all, why bother? Here's my answer. Many people need desperately to receive this message: I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone. -Kurt Vonnegut