Red Bandanna Sonnet

My favorite red bandanna cross my eyes
Afraid I couldn't bear the pain in hers
Longing to bring an end to all the tears
And trying to flow compassion through the hand
I held, and melt what must have been cold words
I only knew to say, "we've moved apart
We haven't bridged this gap and haven't tried"
We left it there, I couldn't tell you what
Went wrong; she left and never asked me why
Remembering her then, kind to the end
I trip on feelings once I'd feared too small
Scared and impatient, I had gambled, lost
Them all by trying to rush my heart along
Distorting what was good to feel all wrong

Something To Lose

Did I seem safe to wish for
'Til your wishes came true
You never thought that you could have me
And now you had something to lose
I can't forget that moment
How you looked so confused
As if you wished that you could hold me
But you were far too scared to move

You'd rather hurt right now for certain
Than maybe live in fear of pain
And so you tie yourself to the tracks
Cause you don't think you can dodge the train
I've been trying to give you all I am
But I fall right through your hands
It makes me sad and I will never understand

I hoped my love would warm you
Make you so happy -- instead you said
You cared for me too deeply
And that's exactly why you fled
As if by loving someone, you're doomed
From the moment the light goes green
Are you afraid you're not worth loving?
Are you afraid the world is mean?

How can you keep going
Resigned to cruel fate
Like life was one big trap that's set
With happiness as bait?
If you keep seeking nothing
Nothing's just what you'll find
A whole world waits for you to love it
If you decide to change your mind

A Proper Hello

I don't know how it happened so fast
Now this room brightens to hear your sound
It's overwhelming all at once
All your stars are out
In these few weeks now that
You've walked through my door
I keep seeing more and I'm more amazed
I'll try not to move too suddenly
You still might fly away

You wanted to know
What did I hold most deeply inside
I could have said "you" but I was too shy
And the truth of it probably
Would have frightened us both
Am I one you could love and understand
Just say that you'll stay
And I'll give you all that I can
It's funny to think I've climbed so high
When I'm not sure we've ever had a proper hello

It slipped out as we walked through the snow
And so I tried to play nonchalant
But it was far too obvious
And I was too far gone
I might as well have gone and
Passed you a classroom note
Imploring, "I ♥ you lots
Will you go with me?
If so check this box → [ ] "

Now I just want to know
When will you fall away from my side
You raised an eyebrow and asked me why
Where did I think that you were planning to go
But you don't have to say it, I understand
Though I want you stay for just as long as you can
Soon we will kiss our last goodbye
Before we've even had a proper hello
Hello... hello.


Would you come and drive me home
I'm getting rained on at this pay phone
And I can't find my way back to town
The lights are off, they've locked the hall
I think there's streamers on the walls still
But they've all gone home and
I'm here hanging around now

And I'm so tired now, I might fall over dead
But if I lay down, will I get up again?
If I close my eyes
Will I wake to find it's morning?

This is too much to endure
I want to smash all of my furniture
To see if I can change something somehow
I thought it would get easier as you learned
But I keep making more wrong turns
And the radio's gone all to static now

I'm so tired now, I might fall over dead
But if I stop the car, it might not start again
if I don't get home tonight
Will I get there in the morning?

These days does no one dare to say
"Don't worry now, it's all gonna be okay?"
I want to let it go, but if I fall into this hole
What if no one's there to pull me out again?

A friend calls from Portland, saying
"I don't know what I want anymore"
A friend writes from New York
"I don't know what I get out of bed for"
And I'm here way down south
But I look less and less like me
A friend writes from Minnesota
"I'm not who I thought I was gonna be..."
Yeah, I'm not who I thought I was gonna be


Hand me my box of 64 crayons
I want the whole range of colors back
Run through my mind, fling open the windows
Let some fresh air in from the past
I had shut out the pain
I'd shut out everything
I crammed things in lockers
Slammed doors on the loose ends
I've been unraveling

I want to remember
Hand me that picture it still hurts to see
I want to remember
I want to remember

I've been traveling way too light
Can I let it all back in
Let it jump on my bed, track dirt on the carpet
I want to see so clearly where I've been
How much love through the pain
The mistakes that were so human
Oh I know that sometimes I've been truly happy
I want to be happy again

Hey, there's a big sign coming down now
There's some big changes going on around here
It told me, "keep loving, you'll keep losing
Keep trying, you'll get nowhere"
But that's so wrong -- just look where I've been
The pieces aren't scattered
No, my life is a whole -- it's always been
I want to remember
I want to remember

What Now?

Can I take a few steps back
Without flat-out running away
Dear God, what if you want to love me
But all you know is how to drive me away

And you think it's mean that I don't trust you
You think it's me who's letting you down
And it's getting so all I can think of
When you come around
Is what will you want from me now
My love, my love

Don't forget we've been best of friends
The relief, not the cause of the pain
But you want a doll you can hold and stick pins in
You want someone to love
You want someone to pay

We're so dialed in there's no safe distance
I get all the love and hate that you feel
I don't think I can keep hoping you
Learn to separate the two
In another few turns of the wheel

I've never been so wrapped up in someone
I felt so sure -- I'm sure scared now
And though I've tried all I can think of
It's still breaking down
And I don't know what to do now
My love, my love

Two Thirty

I came over at two thirty
But then all your lights were off
You had barely slept in days
So I decied not to knock
I looked up and the moon shone down
The clouds were all that moved in town
I didn't fit and I drove
Back after I walked around the block

Fret not -- don't worry now, I've learned
That sometimes everything is fine
So rest now -- go ahead and sleep, dear
We have lots and lots of time
I close my eyes and have a room in mind
Stuff thrown everywhere, your blue eyes wide
Maybe later I could stop back
By if you'd invite me in to talk

There's only ever been a few things that I want and
For the first time, they're the same things that I've got
We're coming right along in our own time
We don't have to beat the clock

Rest now -- in a hundred little ways
You show me everything is fine
I know it's hard to find the words
But they will come to you in time
And if you're scared we're just a moment's high tide
(If you're scared this all will wash out with the tide)
Remember how we changed our minds
(We tried to hide from this and
Couldn't help but change our minds)
After weathering a year of trying hard to fight this off
(We still couldn't fight it off)

There's only ever been a few things that I want and
For the first time, they're the same things that I've got
You're not going anywhere and I won't
Back away from something that I want

There's Just No Telling
lyrics by Karl Wicklund

The air is heavy, and the sun is high
And I'll be leaving by and by
Away from here I'm bound to go
And where I'm going no one knows

If I come walking through the dirt
Look for dirt stains on my shirt
If I come walking through the wheat
Look for wheat seeds on my feet
If I come walking through the air
Look for feathers in my hair
But when it's warm, too warm for me...
There's just no telling where I'll be

It's a troubled way that I must pass
Before I find my rest at last
Where the air is cool and the fields are green
And the snow comes cold but washes clean

When nights are cold and nights are long
I'll hold you near where you belong
But when it's warm, too warm for me...
There's just no telling where I'll be

Ever Toward My Home
lyrics by Karl Wicklund

Land of my love, land of my birth
Let me lie finally in your sweet, soft earth
I'll lie beside those who've gone before
Waiting for me at the golden door
Though I may travel and I may roam
Now and always, you're my sweet home
Where am I going? where have I been?
When am I going to see you again?

They said they really loved me
But then again they said a lot
They claimed to really know me
But apparently not

The road is long to your own front door
And the road winds on from days of yore
So watch your back now, watch your sides
Watch your front for a place to hide
Glimmering arrows lodge in my soul
Bolts of lightning gently unroll
Lamplight and gold rings light the way
Eyes turn homeward at the end of the day

Oh I may travel and I may roam
But my feet turn ever toward my home

And though you hide inside a hole
You may just find a golden bowl
A golden bowl for a golden spoon
And a little pipe to play a tune
If you play a tune in your hole so tight
You'll make a glimmer and a silent light
And the silent light will clear the road
And you'll be free to go back to your home...

Though I may travel and I may roam
Now and always, you're my home
Where am I going? where have I been?
When am I going to see you again?

Just About Exactly

I'm here to find out what forgiveness means
Unstack the bodies dumped on top of my dreams
Let them finally rest in peace where they belong

Do you see these rust stains between me and you
Here stood the borders of the cage that I once knew
Learned the hard way not to try to go outside
All of these years later
It's still so hard to cross that line

I dropped my hopes and I walked away
Cause leave them where they lay
And this world can take away
Just about exactly

The weight will fall from your shoulders
As the sun comes in
But me, I held it closer
Like a coat that's too thin
Now I want to try out being kinder to myself
So won't you come in here and
Help me blow that all to hell

I'm walking through the ghosts of bars
Now we're out in the yard
This is still so hard
But I'm starting to believe it

That somehow when this all has gone
We will still shine on
To find the pain's undone
Just about exactly

Leaving California

I went back to California
To put down roots in redwood trees
Throw my fate in with the others
In this home to years of memories
Well they threw me the keys
Over the razor wire fence
Seems this town dearly loves its bunkers
Is this as hopeful as it gets

Cause there's more to where we are
We're more than where we've been
Our lives have changed so much so far
Can we change them once again
Is no one else here dreaming
Of how it could be instead
Looking for some sunlight up ahead

Now I fear the worst
I see ambition and resentment
And people sure there's nothing true
Who say, "Kick them 'til they stop moving
Or they'll do the same to you
That's just how business is..."
No, that's how we've let it stay
Most days now I wake up with a shell
It's getting harder to crack away

But we can work from where we are
We can learn from where we've been
Our world has changed so much so far
Can we change it once again
And stick together
How could it be instead
Somewhere is there sunlight up ahead

Why can't I find the problem
That's poisoning my health
There's something sucking all the light out
And the dark's got me so turned around that
Lately I've been turning on myself

These canyons, these hillsides
Stood beside me through everything
And how I'm drawn to this ocean
I can't sever or explain
It's a bitter waste to throw that out
It's a crime to junk what you could fix,
But some things will break you if you don't get
Out and I'm leaving California

And all I have left
Is in my car -- enough, I said,
I'm messed up quite enough now
And I can't drive far enough away
Past deserts, past mountains
The big river and the Natchez trace
And they're burning leaves in Georgia
And I am breaking down in a super eight

But we're more than where we are
Oh I'm not where I have been
My world has changed so much so far
And I can change it once again...

Look again at where you are
I am not where I have been
Our world's already come so far
Now can we change it -- mine's changing again
I'm going where I'm not the only one
Wondering how it could be instead
And oh I think there's sunlight up ahead

When She Crossed My Path

Coming home just now
I saw my love
She was walking alone through the square
When she crossed my path
I lost myself
In the brown of her eyes and her hair
She was lost in thought
And went softly on
I could not say a word as I stared
As she passed me by
She looked over and smiled
Coming home we had crossed paths again

I had loved and lost
'Til starved, my heart
Slowly burned up and fell through the sky
Fearing hope was only
A desperate wish
And that love was a beautiful lie
All was lost, I thought,
I could not go on
It got harder the harder I tried
But here we are now, love
Though I scarcely know how
Was I wrong, and now you are mine?


Let me out of here, I need to go live
Somewhere are there people who'll take what I can give
I'm just trying to matter, but I'm getting nowhere
I'm so scared I'll waste it or just add to the despair
What will save me from this mess that I'm in
I don't need to get it if I can just get plugged in

Are there broad, shiny leaves underfoot and above
We're going to fill the world with something
So why not with love
Can I go barefoot, lie down, the grass on my skin and
Breathe in the wonder of spring
I am all that I have to bring
Can I be part of everything

I had this nightmare, a good friend of mine
Put six bullets in my chest
And I stood waiting there to die
But then a road laid out below me
Cathedrals reached up to the sky
And they were shining as I woke up
And noticed I was crying
Reach out farther than your fear and their rage
You're too beautiful to stoop in such a cage

There are broad, shiny leaves underfoot and above
We're going to fill the world with something
Why not with love
Go barefoot, lie down, the grass on your skin and
Breathe in the wonder of spring

Find it working within and have all the proof you need
Just keep the gate open
And give yourself room to breathe
Go barefoot, walk on, slowly but far
And go dancing around like you're three

You are all that you have to bring
You're a big part of everything

These lyrics appear by permission, and are
(C)1998 Scot Ninnemann except "There's
Just No Telling" and "Ever Toward My Home"
which are (C)1998 Karl Wicklund.
All rights reserved.