They Stood When Others Ran

The hours come and go
but the dead stay just the same
and history repeats
again, again, and again.

There are some who serve
And some who hold the line
And some who don’t back down
And many killed in time.

I remember many things
And people just the same
but days go by and we forget
as we flee our pain.

So here’s to you, the fallen friends
And those who made it out alive
I can’t remember everything
But I drink to you tonight.


A Letter to the Dead

We were soldiers then
When the planes started crashing
I saw the second one hit
We were in the barracks
It was on TV.
You’ve long since taken your own life
With a shotgun
Brains everywhere I’d imagine.
I ran into someone
Said his wife slept with you
Said he was glad you fucking killed yourself.

I have no idea if that is true–
if you slept with her,
or if he was glad.

We all thought we would go somewhere
but where do you go
when it’s not a government?
Who do you kill?

I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you the way you’d hoped.
I wish I could make it better
But you done died son–
ain’t shit I can do now.

I don’t really like
To remember
But I don’t have much of a choice
But we were soldiers then,
And I won’t forget.


It was a beautiful fall day
And a rain soaked night
With leaves covering the street
The night they hit that tree.

No one was drunk
No one was high
Kids just drive too fast
over wet leaves.

I used to play with Ricky
He was kind of a tool
He came off as arrogant and snobby
Even in the fifth grade.

But he could run
And I know he lit up his parents eyes
And I’m sure they expected a lot
And I’m sure he felt the pressure.

But a lot of us did
And we were just kids
So we played baseball and softball and wiffle ball–
I don’t think we cared as long as we could get on the diamond.

We played kickball too
Which just proves my point
We just wanted to play
On that diamond, which happened to be across the street from his house.

I buried a time capsule near that diamond once
I wonder if it is still there,
I buried it years before Ricky died
I don’t even remember exactly where.

I hate that his parents don’t get to see him
They don’t get to fight
They don’t get to make up
No one gets to grow with each other.

I remember the diamond
And how we used to play
And I wish that he were here with us
and not just in spirit.


I hear the bells that chime tonight
And rifle shots that clear the air
And folded flags, gifts from the dead–
A cloak of sorrow for to wear.

Nowhere in the dead of night
Is there now a place to rest
Yet the chains of slavery
Teach me of the holy blest.

With the mantle now upon
The heavy shoulders of my soul
I will walk the world awhile
As the living pay their toll.

To My Brothers,

The old men send young men off to war

That’s How it’s always been

They give them weapons and enemies

And tell them to be brave.


The young men go away so strong

And come back not the same

They may live life and be someone

But no one gets the blame.


But friends and comrades have a way

Of dying in each war

And there is nothing for a soldier to say

For with words he’s taught to be poor.


But someone must and usually will

Say something for the dead

Do we know your fear or your courage?

Do we know your strength or dread?


The earth is covered with soldiers blood

And it cries to God above

Let us remember your sacrifice

And think of you with love.


We know that many were thugs and thieves

Violent aggressive men

But you gave all and we are here

Alive, sipping brandy in the den.


We know that many were so afraid

And took so long to die

And we weep for you our brothers

May God take you to the sky.


And those that live as broken men

Are hard to love sometimes it’s true

May you find peace even now

You are not alone.

To the Fallen (The Climbers Might Get it)

Because you wore your mother’s harness

And other sundry things

Because of this I know there’s life

And laughter that it brings.


Because you always went on up

Even when it wasn’t smart

I know that cams can rip from flares

And I know that when I start.


Because an undercling is not so bad

But transitions often are to hope

And sometimes when you fall so swift

At least there ain’t one on your rope.


Three things he said to me when I was just a boy

Well that ain’t true and I’m still blue and can’t find that toy

It was a bumblebee that made a funny noise

Every time you shook it– it was one of those toys.


He didn’t leave me money or anything to hold

Except that stuffed bumblebee coloured black and gold

All the times I cried at night he wasn’t there to hear

And all alone in my room the echoes made me fear.


I used to have a watch of his but it got pinched some time ago

And I would just remember now but there is nothing there, so…

I think back to long ago, or so it seems to me

And I remember shaking it, my golden blackened bumblebee.