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The farm kid blues
Industrial Strength
The Europeanization of America
Ronald Reagan
Middle of Nowhere (The Lane)
In Style

The farm kid blues

I miss that Kansas Thanksgiving
I just want to go back home
I hate this city living
I just want to go back home
Nobody's there, the farm is gone
Just have to keep plowing on

I'm never going to die
I'm just going to go on home
I'm so tired of working
I just want to go on home
If there'd be no place to go
He would have told me so
Just have to keep plowing on

(October 30, 1999)

Industrial Strength We hit another dry hole today But there's no time to rest from the toil We have to move the rig right away Gotta keep giving 'em cheap oil Found another lost calf down in the grove I'll call to see if the vet can stop by We'll have to wait to buy that new stove Gotta keep filling that food supply Lost an entire lot of chips this morning One guy failed to have the tooling inspected We'll have to let him go, he's had one warning Gotta keep everybody connected Lost another stunt man today A two-day delay, yesterday it rained Have to roll extra tomorrow to make up the delay Gotta keep 'em all entertained (November 28, 1999)
The Europeanization of America Cross the raging waters Sail here Come here to live Come here to die You'll be free for awhile Tyranny's been banished Death was the price of liberty And suffering Without any doubt, without hesitation Absolutely Then something happened Just take a look We gather at stagnant waters New formulas, old ideas Darwin, Marx, Nietzche, Freud Some of their pioneers We take these to heart same as our distant cousins But when they put them into action We have to intervene We have to save democracy (Now we don't like tanks anymore We prefer airplanes) Democracy's worth killing for Liberty was worth dying for We've discovered dying's no fun Our leaders must agree We were special Something happened We're the same now... They didn't lead us to the cesspool We ran for it They just got there first (December 06, 1999)
Ronald Reagan He wasn't one of them. He was one of us. He was better than all of them, And he was just one of us. (June 11, 2004)
Middle of Nowhere (The Lane) Walking down the road, A shady lane of old, Puts me in a mode Of strange feelings untold, Fluttering like birds, Nerves instead of words, Surging outward inward, While moving steadily onward Toward the trees up ahead. By their mystery I'm led, Stepping in rythym to the sound Of the wind sweeping the ground. A field on the left, Trees hang low to the right, The top of the hill barely in sight. Passed by that shack A few steps back. Who, when, where did they go? Guess I'll never know. Just brown rotting wood, They're gone for good. Sounds, smells, perfect grace, Hazy sky, brown, green, open space. Somebody's watching, I turn to see, But that can't possibly be. The climb levels out at the top, The rutted road comes to a stop. On the other side of the tracks It's covered with buckbrush and sumacs. Going to get rough from here on in, But for once want to get to the end. The shortcut home walking the ties Wouldn't yield any surprise. Cross the fence, it's not so bad, Just part of being a nomad. Now each step is put with thought To end up where a snake is not. There's some old wire in the hedge row, This was a trail from a long time ago. Wish I could have seen it then. Life was simpler way back when. Now it's so complicated. Why is it so complicated? Wow, it's like a tunnel now, A path of old leaves flattened somehow. No bright sun anywhere, Made darker yet by cedars here and there, Treetops deflect an occasional sunbeam. It's exactly like a dream. The first time I've seen this piece of land, Most of the critters here have never seen a man, There's that waterfall I've heard about Now I'll get to check it out, Just a chunk of limestone broken away, I'll have to come back on a rainy day. What could be the nearby hole in the ground, Shallow, lined with rocks all around? Leaving the trees it'll soon be over, Just one more patch of grass, weeds, and clover. That was a different world in there. I offer a brief, critical prayer, Alone, in the middle of nowhere. Cool winds and warm winds stirring, Imagination swirling, Emotions unfurling. Some days it's hard to survive. Today it feels so good to be alive. Slide through the fence Without tearing my pants. Finally civilization, or at least a gravel road. Walking will be easy now as homeward I go. (August 2004)
In Style I have a blazer for every occasion Even a suit that I wear on vacation, It's light earthtone Brown herringbone. The ties in my closet are sorted by color From thinner to wider From brighter to duller They're J.C. Penney's best Permanent Pressed. I'm all dressed up, I'm intact. Girls are impressed, And that's a fact I'm in style. I'm in style. (ca. 1985)
Without a Trace Ten years ago on a day much like today A light breeze, a few clouds, he went away Simply disappearing without a trace His life didn't end, it just suspended in place He sobbed, of course, out of control Then was no longer seen by any soul His journey continued after drying his eyes No one could see him, nor hear his sighs He searched every face to be noticed by one For one glance of concern, there were none Thousands of people passed him by Rushing to nowhere, averting their eyes He had no idea way back then That he'd never be seen again Occupying an empty space If he had known The pain of being alone He would have used all his might to hold on The day he disappeared without a trace. (January 2016)
--all copyrighted Aaron Cook--