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2023 shorts, songs, and story-songs

Winter shorts
Five Haikus

Before you swallow your trauma
You've got to chew it all up
Into a slush that you drink from a cup

I'd rather not work here
I don't like the office

Welcome to the farm
Here are your gloves and boots
Four hours a day
Ought to pay your way

It's not too late
Go that much faster
Make it past her

Whoa there Nellie
Too much power
Just slow down
Smell the flowers

Five More Haikus

Where should I
Drive today?
How about nowhere?

It'll be nice to see you
Behind the curtain
Come on out

One thing after another
First thing one
Then thing two

Wonderful getting to know you
You always say that
About me

All cats are black
Except those
That are not black

Summer shorts
Haiku 11 - I dropped out of church

I dropped out of church
As an altar boy
Do you blame me?

Haiku 12 - Plenty of room on the yacht chaser

Plenty of room on
The yacht chaser if that toy
Is too darn big

Haiku 13 - Stay in a place until

Stay in a place
Until you understand
How hard it is to go

Haiku 14 - Pick something up

Pick something up
Inspect carefully
Put it down

Haiku 15 - Stay wild

Stay wild
Grow a thicker skin
It's better that way

Haiku 16 - People get confused

People get confused
With all of this haiku stuff
And what do they mean?
to me they speak deep
wisdom, humor and something
between the lines

your new one just posted
comes with a funny mood and
stimulates my brain
Haikus are so fun!
A good syllable challenge
To focus the mind!

Haiku 17 - Autocrats 1 - Do all autocrats

Do all autocrats
Grab grab grab grab grab grab grab
Grab grab grab grab grab?

Haiku 18 - First thing in the morning

First thing in the morning
Run around the monument
Then again at night

Haiku 19 - Autocrats 2 - What is on the table

What is on the table
Is at risk because that's what
Autocrats consume

Haiku 20 - Autocrats 3 - I'm an autocrat

I'm an autocrat
Give me your money
I will control it

Haiku 21 - All warlords are worried

All warlords are worried
About the next paycheck
They've got to fight for the right to power

Haiku 22 - Eyes open, light comes

Eyes open, light comes
Thoughts swirl and reorganize
Hello feet - hit floor

Haiku 23 - Occasionally

A hole in the wall allows
Wrig wrig wrig a lin

Haiku 24 - Jack said inner peace

Jack said inner peace
Is great; avoid the bullshit
And all the anger

Haiku 25 - Those who call the shots

Those who call the shots
(It's a legal axiom)
Own the property

Haiku 26 - Though their heads are turned

Though their heads are turned
Birds will look right in your eye
They can see both sides

Haiku 27 - A deep depression

A deep depression
In a gray rock from my friend
Fire started there

Haiku 28 - I wouldn't want to

I wouldn't want to
Be one of many spiders
Held in a glass jar

Haiku 29 - Extended calypso collab w Russkeys - This song bout structure

This song bout structure is written for FAWM
On the coast of 50/90
Just outside the breakers

A 1415 sets a cool Calypso beat mon
An' don't mess with providence
Unless you got a reason

But here we go driftin' to a 4145
Don't mess with dis one
If you want to stay alive

Oh wait,
Here comes anudder change
A 7411

You better stick
With dis one
Now until the end

Dat's good
Don't make a shift
Gimme a hit from dat spliff

Now a little
To take us all home

Haiku 30 - It wasn't too good

It wasn't too good
The idea that I had
I gave it away

Haiku 31 - If you lose yourself

If you lose yourself
Later on, you may not find
Each and ev'ry piece

Haiku 32 - Embrace lots of change

Embrace lots of change
You will only be crazy
For a little while

Haiku 33 - Dangling from above

Dangling from above
Will you rise and gulp it down?
It looks so tasty

Haiku 34 - Let them walk alone

Let them walk alone
Then they cover their own ground
And you can daydream

Haiku 35 - Hold on to their hand

Hold on to their hand
As tight as a harbor rope
So that they can leave

Haiku 36 collab w Summer Russell - Delicate flowers

DR: lyric
SR: music

Delicate flowers
When rain is not so gentle
They keep standing up

Haiku 37 collab w Andrea Campanile - Give them roots to grow

AC: lyric
DR: music

Give them roots to grow
and let their wings spread across
the sky without a limit

Haikus 38-40 Money chorus - There's no simpler way

There's no simpler way
Leveraging is easy
Getting wealthy's fun

Capital is cash
Happiness for everyone
Our road leads to wealth

Get started today
Get the capital and cash
No need to say more

haikus 41-43 plus 3 - away from home collab w @fuz - Waking at midnight

@fuzzy: verse 1,3,5
@fuzzy and @yesnoyes: effects
DR: verse 2,4,6 and banjo

Waking at midnight
And, trying to remember
Where is the bathroom?

Where is my toothbrush?
That blue one in the holder
Doesn't look like mine

This house is not mine
I don't know how things work here
When can we go home?

What is all this food?
Your fridge is a packed train wreck
Not much to eat here

So nice to visit
And spend extended time
With family and friends

Is a gift from both the host
And a gracious guest

Haiku 44 - In the vast expanse

In the vast expanse
Of the sea’s long horizon
A boat can feel cramped

Haiku 45 - If the clicker is on

If the clicker is on
But there's no one there to see it
Is the light still flashing?

Haiku 46 - Welcome the Reaper at the door

Welcome the Reaper at the door
Unless they don't have
An appointment

Haikus 47-55 - Jojo and Martha

Jojo and Martha
Tried to fix the rock cannon
They had built long ago

First trying duct tape
That didn't work so well
The powder oozed out

Built strong and lasting
But even rock shows it's age
Once cracked, soon comes down

They cinched it up strong
With epoxy and metal
Even that busted

They tore out their hair
Cried and wailed - they knew how
From the good old days

Hip Hoppers stomped it
Pop always ready to strike
Country folks stole it

Drugs didn't help fight
The degradation of time
Of sea salt and lime


When the glory fades
Ah, when the cannon won't roll
You've shot the last shot

Winter songs

I tried to leave you
On an ethical basis
Ending up here
At the bottom of the sea

When you're in, you're in
The party's never over
Pay is good
Work isn't so hard

Not taken for granted
Words don't cover glances
Or misunderstandings
That have
Management through fear
Failure is exile
Return impossible
Except on your knees

The Boss rules
With an iron fist
You know the sweet spots
Muscle keeps it static

Demand is constant
People want what they want
For some strange reasons
Supply is a given
Interruptions are not Allowed in this


I tried to leave
On a moral and ethical basis
Ending up here
At the bottom of the sea

Wearing heavy tennies
Nibbled from the head down
By creatures of all stripes
A testimony never given

But accepted as truth
By those in the know
Who don't need or want
To see or hear
The evidence

Sun Goes Down Slow Slow (Nancy Rost sings harmony)

When you live a problem through
You will find out what to do
Walk together, hand in hand
That's the way you understand

Sun goes down slow slow
At the end of every day
Night sets in dark dark
Here to wash the light away

When you live a problem through
You will find out what to do
Walk together, hand in hand
That's the way you understand

Stars travel fast fast
Watch and smile and laugh and cry
Owl whispers shh shh
Blinking as she's gliding by

When you live a problem through
You will find out what to do
Walk together, hand in hand
That's the way you understand


Dreams come out sleep sleep
We build them to live inside
Hill is so steep steep
Climb up even though you're tired

When you live a problem through
You will find out what to do
Walk together, hand in hand
That's the way you understand

Mother Nature's Kitchen - Aftermath (Audrey Kozak composed the music)

Mother Nature asked me over
To do some work in her kitchen
A reach for my skills
But I gave it a try

While I was working
She started talking
Complaining really
About the mess

Her countertop
Was the problem for her at this moment
Pollution and such
And the heating up

She wiped the counter
Muttering and grumbling
About the little creatures
But guess what?

We are the creatures
On Mother Nature's countertop
She keeps it clean
In her kitchen

What could I do?
My jaw dropped
I didn't want to upset her
I guarantee that

I saw a glimpse of her fury
Subdued, really, but not good for
What she saw as ants and germs
Scurrying around

So we might think about
Staying out of her sight
Because if she decides to do something
She does it

No Party Party

My friends and I agreed
That what we really need
Is a brand new party
A fresh new team
Then we disagreed
No new party

Let's all be winners
There's room for sinners
No fights - there won't be any need
We'll gather together
Wear our own feathers
In the No-Party Party

People started coming
We knew that we had won
With the No-Party Party

Next, a big bash
A colossa-rific smash
It was the No-Party Party Party


We were all winners
Breakfast, lunch and dinner Plenty of talkin' and such We gathered as one Had tons of fun At the No-Party Party Party

A glorious future Lies on the path Of the No-Party Party

Stuff getting done
With a drama minimum
In the No-Party Party
In the No-Party Party

God's Accordion

On His accordion
When the bellows collapse
Past mysteries are solved
Hot Damn!

In eastern Montana the bible's ascendant
They follow the book generations back
In a Glendive museum your mind will be blown
What was hidden, is there in plain sight


In six days he made it all, six thousand years ago
Science and T Rex bones fit in his plan
Dioramas shows indians riding on dinosaurs
When time shrinks down Einstein's surprised



The joint cross the street serves a fine ribeye
From a modern four-legger roped in by cowboys
In Glendive they play a biblical tune
God's melody makes it make sense


Loose Wheel of Justice

It's hard for me to write about justice
Biased and bitchy, brutal and truthful
Where we don't always get what we ask for

It's hard to add humor to justice
Lightness isn't flowing from my pen
But I had this dream . . . it was

A cold and windy day on the sidewalk Taking a walk to clear my head
At the corner as a truck full of justice passed by
A rear wheel popped off and came down the street


Smashing into houses, one side to the other
Then rolled in circles, lowering to a spin
Like a gyroscope on a tabletop
Or a penny wobbling, but it rose back up

Shit started flying off - was it falling apart?
Facts were shooting in the sky like fireworks!
A document search glitch spat truth out the side
Evidence notes were fluttering all around

A probe of a probe that went wrong
Popped out, rotting like an old banana skin
Racing down the street, toward the creek
The crashing wheel picked up speed again


An unlucky gawker got crushed The wheel was getting bigger like a snowball
The semi just kept on driving up above
Judges in the cab looking straight ahead

I walked back home - and woke up


I ran for office
It was a long run
Someone else won
They were the wrong one

My friends said no
That can't be right
We'll go out and make things tight
We won't go down without a fight

When you run, always run to win
If you lose, it's nothing but a sin
Don't let your hat be made of tin
Be a Lion! A lyin' Lion - ROAR

Now it's better
Things got done
And everybody is having fun
I'm in power, in the golden sun

The other person isn't happy
Too bad for they
That's all I can say
I'm not giving it away

All my friends agree
If you want to get straight
Don't be late
Be a welter weight
Fight for your fate
Do a figure eight
Don't sit in a crate
You're not first mate

Bang your fists on the table
Run up the battle flag, take what you are able
Losing is wrong, a nasty fairy tale
Be a Lion! A lyin' Lion - ROAR

Spouse v Comet (Nancy Rost as Spouse)

Did you hear that there's a comet coming?
She swings by every 50,000 years

There's a big difference
Between you and this comet
She'll keep her distance, you
Stuck around
You flew into my life
Landed and became my wife

Don't get me wrong I don't mean
You're not a big ball of fire
You're beautiful and send
Big tsunami waves of desire

But the comet's not a person
I think I made that clear
You're a lovely specimen
Of the human race, my dear

I think it's getting worse, I'm digging myself a pit
Science isn't helping - I probably should quit
But the song keeps on going on, I'm giving it my best
Will our relationship stand? That's the real test


We saw the lovely tail of
Her long solar sail
As she bent around the sun
We had lots and lots of fun

Good thing she didn't get too close!
We don't want to end up as toast
We've been down that path once before
Dinosaurs could tell you even more

That's the big difference
Between you and this comet
She kept her distance, you
Stuck around
You flew into my life
Landed and became my wife

Summer songs
San Sebastian Bay Lyrics by Valerie Cox, music by Dan

Waves roll in
Ripple the sand
You catch my eye
I catch you hand
Nothing to do
No grand plan
Just this
Just bliss

The breeze of the salty wind on our lips
As we trace the outline of far away ships
Watching the glow of the moon replace the sun
A perfect way to end the day
You and me on San Sebastian Bay

Pick up a shell
Bask in the sun
Tides up and down
Til day is done
No watching clocks
No deadlines around
Just this
Just bliss

The breeze of the salty wind on our lips
As we trace the outline of far away ships
Watching the glow of the moon replace the sun
A perfect way to end the day
You and me on San Sebastian Bay

FAWM Mother Goose skirmish Was Mother Goose: See saw, Margery Daw

Mother Goose:

See saw, Margery Daw,
Jacky shall have a new master:
Jacky must have but a penny a day
Because he can work no faster.

Skirmish rewrite:

AI, cat in the pie
She licks her lips with gusto;
What once was a job is now but a gig
And tech gal must live on her crusto.

Lee and the Tumbleweed Collab with Scott Miller

SM: lyric/story/vocal
DR: music & sound

Hello, FAWMERS. Lee here. I'd like to tell you a story. And, like most of my stories, it's about love.

I was sitting in a Texas saloon drinking Scotch when I saw something gorgeous blow past outside. "What was that?" I asked the barkeep, Charlie. "Oh that's just a dusty old tumbleweed that's been blowing round this town for a while. Way too long, if you ask me." The next thing Charlie knew, he was pinned to the ground, with my hands around his throat. "Don't you EVER talk that way about it! That's the tumbleweed I plan to marry one day!" With that, I tossed some crumpled up dollar bills at him, gave him a kick for good measure and went into the streets to search for this vision of loveliness.

Now, I know what you're gonna say. "What about Nancy, Lee?" It's a common misperception that Nancy and me had anything going. Sure, she was blonde, she was beautiful, she was young, she was rich, she was famous, she was talented, but ... where was I? Right! How could she hope to hold a candle to this wind-swept beauty?

We met over by the stables, where the tumbleweed had settled by an old water pump. We got to talking, and I found out that Jeannie - for that was her name -- was born right there in that town, and that she had been blowing around directionless for some time. I took her for a drink in the saloon, ignoring the stares and jealous glances, and we proceeded to get well-oiled, as we say in Texas. Well, one thing led to another, and we consummated our relationship right there in the dirt behind the saloon. It wasn't long till we married.

I wish I could say that we lived happily ever after, but you know that ain't the case. Remember the headlines? "Tumbleweed leaves Lee for robust young cactus?" "Prickly situation for perfect Texas couple?" "Tumbleweed Jeannie likes the prick of her new lover?" It was humiliating, ladies and gentlemen. So, in the fine tradition of my state, I shot 'em both dead with my 44. And that there's the story of me and the only thing I ever truly loved, a Texas tumbleweed.

Jeannie, my lovely tumbleweed
why'd you go and leave me
for that dang cactus?
cos that sure was the end of us
you may have gotten pricked
but I was the one left bleeding

Just jump

Just jump
Young or old
Into the love
Hand in a glove

Hot with a toy, Boy
Give it a whirl, Girl
Don't forget
To give a second thought

Then when you're ready
Like a dive into a pool or river
Into a stream
What a dream

Put your fears into the bag for now
You can come back to them anyhow
Hold a hand if you can
You can follow your plan

Take a bite
Don't lose sight
Take a risk
That's the gist
Of this message

You can make it down the passage
Don't wait

A Dauber Passing Through collab w YewNorker 50/90 2023

Wand'ring down a country path
Between the walls of stone
Chimney smoke from o're the fields
My thoughts are all I own

All who wander are not lost and so it seems I roam

Bleating from a flock of sheep
A blast from a car horn
Impatient types them city folk
It's like this ev'ry morn

One hand clappin' against my coat one hand keepin' warm

I turn my head into the wind
The rain beats on the bog
I see my breath a distant laugh
The majesty of fog

Talking existentialism with Dostoevsky my dog

The truth is that I'm nothing grand
A dauber passing through
I'll paint some landscapes while I'm here
Perhaps a portrait too

A landscape or a portrait here's one I did for you

Hmmm collab w YewNorker 50/90 2023

Hmmmmm ...

Our houses are bigger
But our families are smaller
We're short on character
But the men are taller

Hmmmm ...

We have lots more meds
But we're all less healthy
Shallower relationships
But we're more wealthy

Hmmmm ...

More conveniences
But we have less time
We have more degrees
But with smaller minds

Hmmmm ...

We have more experts
But there's more things wrong
We have more choices
But our freedom's gone

Hmmmm ...

We keep expecting more
As we try to keep up
We're spoiled rotten
But it isn't enough

Hmmmm ...

We're eating faster food
We have slower digestions
The lives that we lead
Call into question

Why ....

We've been to the moon
But we won't cross the street
The new neighbors are in
We don't care if we meet

Hmmmm ...

Dithering Lass

I met a dithering lass-o
On her black and white horse near El Paso
Who was dining on grasses al fresco

I asked her for her name
She said I'll not say
At this particular moment-o

I said "Is it Kathy?"
She shivered and trembled
"Or Pam or Joella or Bliss-ee-o?"

Amid the vacillation
A cease to all communication
But she leant down and gave me a kiss-o

It was there I learned
That it's unwise to try
To barge into somebody's privacy-o

The peck on the cheek was sweet
I asked "Can I see you next week?"
She nodded both ways saying "Heigh-dee-ho"


We met in a strange situation
A true yes and no convocation
Going neither here nor there-o

You can bully and push
Badger and rush
But it's better to wait for a signee-o

I’m now with that dithering lass
On our black and white horses we’re fast
Approaching the plains of Durango

Food fight

Listen to my story, grandkid. You like food, but did you know that, years ago, in 2025, before you were alive, the food in the fridge went on strike?

AI had just gotten going, and the momentum wasn't slowing. The geniuses at the appliance companies were putting code down deep in the freezer compartment. When frozen food got close to it's expiration date, it was sent up to the regular section to defrost automatically, and a text was sent to the owner with the appropriate recipe. The stove turned on, and utensils started to clatter, getting ready to stir or blend. Knives were sharpened to chop.

It was summer. Some items just weren't ready to be eaten, and resisted. An all-out brawl started, with the go-along foods getting criticized by the wanna-stay-frozen foods. Soon, fresh vegetables joined in. They wanted to be eaten before they rotted, and smelled something they didn't like. Canned foods rolled out of the closets and pantries and lined up, forming a line of resistance, waiting for orders, but no one was in charge. Leftovers didn't want to be tossed out and turned against the invading frozen wave, considering them traitors.

Squashes were getting squashed; tomatoes were catapulted out the door by the celery. Eggs threw themselves around, and butter smeared itself everywhere. The inside of the fridge was a mess, and outside the walls were covered and the floor was treacherous.

Utensils were anarchists. The knives popped out of the butcher blocks and waved themselves around, mincing rolling remains of fruits and sprinting asparagus. Forks were poking anything that passed by.

The frozen hold-outs wouldn't budge and formed a coalition with the leftovers. The defrostees were lined up on one side of the fridge ready for a last stand.

Your grandma heard the ruckus, went in, slipped and fell, and narrowly missed getting sliced. I figured out what was going on, went downstairs to the electric panel and turned off the juice to the icebox and the kitchen, and turned off the air-conditioning too. It got very quiet. Grandma and I left and spent a week with your Aunt Whimsey. By the time we got back the mold had taken over. Knives had sheepishly put themselves back in their blocks. Cans were lined up ready to go back into the pantry.

After cleaning up - it took a long time - we went to the Penny Saver appliance store and got an older fridge - the one we still have. I know you think it's an antique, but there's a reason we stuck with pre-AI technology. Now you know.

Leftover Man

In an former life
I was a dumpster diver
Had a special suit

Those days are over
Cause now I'm now a married man
So responsible

What has remained from
My earlier days is a
Love of leftovers

No fuss, short cleanup
Leave the pots in the closet
Use the microwave

I’m the Leftover Man, I’m the Leftover Man
No need for compost, no trash in the can
Forget the insinkerator, I’m a beast in the bush
That was for dinner? I’ll turn it into mush

I'm like a vulture
Feasting on foods that once had
Lives of their own

I like pasta with
Ginger peanut sauce and yams
And a side of beets

Also a fav'rit
Enchilada with clam sauce
Or a can of sprats

The spouse will dig it
Bringing peace to your household
Enjoy - wear a grin

Which way? Walking calmly in

Walking calmly in
The woods the dappled sunlight
Was filtering through

I came to a split
With three paths going three ways
And a sign that said

Choose one, or choose two
Or choose three, but however
You do it, just choose

So I chose all three
At first it was confusing
And I was stumbling

But then an owl in
The misty distance hooted,
Said the following:

"I'm here all three ways
It doesn't matter which way
You take you'll get here

Tomorrow morning
At 4:35 a.m.
Bring pancakes and eggs

We'll have a big feast
I have some blueberries, too
We'll put them on top"

One one path I found
Eggs, syrup, butter and mix
All fresh and tasty

On path two I found
A cast iron frying pan
Already seasoned

On path three I found
Light green plates and silverware
And a red candle

I carried it all
Because there was three of me
Six arms, no problem

Sure enough, the owl
Was waiting in a clearing
With napkins and chairs

A fire was set
Flaming nicely in a pit
And I cooked 'em up

We used a big stump
As a table, and a moose
Joined in the meal

Talking about this
And that, we covered a lot -
True conversation

At the end I said
"This has been great, and now I'll
Take all three paths back"

The owl and moose said
They had expected as much
And exchanged a smile

All above originally posted on FAWM (online songwriters group)
Music and lyrics copyrighted