News & Events

UPCOMING EVENTS
September 23, 2002- Private reading of my newly releasedThe Unentitled at the Duke Mansion in Charlotte, North Carolina. Featuring Barbara McKay.

*My news and events page also serves as a tablet in which I post my latest material (below).


LYRIC POETRY is often overlooked in our fast-paced modern culture despite its' meaningful presence in songwriting, screenwriting, and even political speech. My most recent poems (available on Songbay  under the artist name SEVENSTAR) are listed here.

     I Taught A Kid To Fish

     I taught a kid to fish today
     Upon a wooden desk
     His lines were blurred
     And every word
     A measure of his mess
     Nonetheless
     I must confess
     I learned a couple of things
     Foremost of which
     God's greatest gift
     The knowledge granted KIngs

 
 Worthless Words


   Oh, why do I bother
   Crafting words
   Never read
   Nor ever heard
   
   Or waste my time
   Scribbling down
   My innermost thoughts
   None too profound

   Or jotting down quips
   More aptly read
   By real human lips

   Oh, why do I write
   Casting aside
   Wit and wisdom
   Aged and dried
   Washed away 
   By morning's tide

   Random thoughts
   Penned for naught
   Heaped upon a pile
   Out of sight
   Out of mind
   Penniless all the while

   And yet I cannot stop
   Nor dare even try
   To do so would render
   Me reason to die

   For my heart beats poetic
   Scripting offhand
   Pointless thoughts
   Etched in sand
  
   As the words keep tumbling
   Around in my head
   For the day they don't
   They'll know I'm dead





 
   Bridge to Eternity

   I stopped on a bridge
   In a forest deep
   And prayed the Lord
   My soul to keep

   Then tossed a penny
   Into the stream
   And watched the liquid
   Copper gleam
   Time stood still
   As in a dream
   Heaven on Earth
   With me in between

   I stayed awhile
   But left too soon
   The paradise found
   That cold afternoon

   I've passed o'er that bridge
   Many times since
   And spotted my coin
   Still in suspense

   But now there were others
   Nickels and dimes
   Scattered about
   No rhythm no rhyme

   A constellation formed
   By errant hands
   A song of hope
   Submerged on land

   And like stars at night
   In the twilight zone
   The duller the day
   The brighter they shone

   Then one day
   To my surprise
   The coins were gone
   My wretched eyes!

   Someone had stolen them
   Right out from under
   Pillaged the stream
   Torn it asunder
   What sort of soul 
   I had to wonder


   So I tossed another coin
   And started anew
   Rebuilding the dream
   What else could I do?

   Then made a wish
   That the thief might drown
   Somewhere downstream
   Penniless facedown

   I spotted their footprints
   On the muddy banks
   No quarter given
   For so little thanks

   So I jumped below
   And followed their tracks
   Hoping to catch them
   In case they came back

   To teach them a lesson
   About stealing people's dreams
   As if they'd care
   Or so it seemed

   Then around the bend
   Way over yonder
   We came face to face
   What a sight to ponder!

   The lowly thief
   That I had chased
   Was but a young girl 
   Up to her waist
   
   What could I say?
   What more could I do?
   The age old proverb
   Was yesterday new
   One man paid 
   Another one's dues
   
   The handful of coins
   Seemed little to lose
   In lieu of her joy
   Or so I did choose
   
   To believe in my heart
   That the greater good
   Had played its' part
   The way it should
  

  
   
  
   

  


   

  

   
   Old Salt

   He walked like a sailor
   'Cross the deck of a ship
   Long and lean
   And loose at the hip

   The soles of his boots
   Rubbed smooth underfoot
   Shuffled the planks
   Covered in soot

   The clothes on his back
   Clung tattered and torn
   Stained and faded
   Survivors of storms
   
   For no matter the seas
   Nor how salty the air
   His gate never altered
   He strode unaware
   Larger than life
   The Devil may care!
   With wild winds tossing
   His sun-coarsened hair

   Nor once did he beg
   For the Captain's excuse
   Could pull and climb rope
   Like a noose on a knot

   He leaned with the tides
   And took it as true
   That the good Lord kept
   One eye on the crew

   His whole life balanced
   On the crest of a wave
   Unbeknownst unto him
   A watery grave
  

   
   
   Gray Matters

   Slow and Easy
   That's the way
   The old man lives
   Another day

   Playing it safe
   Avoiding a fall
   His life gows fragile
   The longer the haul

   On legs of straw
   And two feet of cement
   With hair gone gray
   And bad back bent
   Tributes of sort
   To a life near spent

   His flesh and bones
   Now worn and weak
   Hobbling around
   Missing teeth

   Stiff in the morning
   And sore by night
   Growing old
   The unwinnable fight
   The Jubilee Tree 

   The wild cherry tree
   That I could see
   From the window in my room
   Stood out stronger
   And blossomed longer 
   Than any winter gloom

   The red ripe leaves
   Licked the breeze
   Tasting frosty air
   Dewdrops dripped
   From upturned tips
   Shed tears without a care
   
   The bitter cold
   Nature foretold
   Could not discourage that tree
   So perfectly designed
   Then seasoned in time
   In a schoolyard by the sea

   And like that tree
   It seemed to me
   Each child learned to stand on its' own
   Relying on cheer
   To get through each year
   Despite how the winds had blown
   
   Growing skyward
   Unafraid
   Homework done
   Rules obeyed

   Well after they're gone
   The cherry blossoms on
   A witness to their toil
   Repeating the lesson
   At the end of each session
   Adding to the soil
 
   Apes Not Gods

   Monkeys and man
   Posture displaying
   Sharp teeth and nails
   Those primates aren't playing

   Playfully smug
   Shrewdly cute
   Handy with thumbs
   The clever brutes

   Man is no wiser
   Don't you agree
   What one monkey does
   The other one sees

   Aping each other
   In Darwinian dance
   Pushing our luck
   Happenstance

   We laugh at them
   And they at us
   Our closest cousins 
   Making a fuss
   
  Sunlight/Moonlight

   Sunlight on the water
   Loveliest of all sights
   The golden touch 
   That does so much 
   To dazzle and delight

   It's glinting rays
   Pierce the haze
   Of foggy memory
   And light the way
   Beyond dismay
   From here to eternity

   Moonlight on the water
   Seductive silver glows
   Night rhapsody
   Tranquility
   Shadows what it shows


   Mercurial slivers
   Like cold shivers
   Reflected in the depths
   Regretted chances
   Unlived romances
   Amid howls of discontent
   
   
...a classic from my newspaper column The Tangent

                                                                                                HAIR PIECE

Humboldt has a hairy heritage. Whether it's a manly-man mountain moustache, or a wicked set of dreadlocks, the shaggy look is hair to stay. Now I don't want to off on a tangent....but there's a razor's edge of difference between scgraggly, and just plain Sasquatch. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that I live in a part of the world where people feel free to express their wild and woolly side, but if your friends can guess what you had for breakfast by the bacon bits in your beard then it's time to reach for that razor, Paul Bunyan! And no disrespect to the organic lifestyle, but bugs aren't supposed to be living in your hair unless you're a caribou.
I'm not into head games, either; it's nobody's business how you wear your hair. But a properly maintained hairstyle gives one a head start in life. Whether you bob, braid, brush or bang it tells others just where your head is at. Staying trim is a vicious cycle, not to mention the dreaded bedhead, bald spot, bad-hair day, and Bride of Frankenstein bad haircut. And just when you thought your head was together you find...EARHAIRS!
Sometimes I wonder if I'm human or horse. And then there are those who just braid their armpits and bear it. Fighting back the hordes from hair to eternity is enough to make anyone snippy. And two head would definitely not be better than one. Women undoubtedly have it harder. A man can always go down to the local barber shop for a number one high-and-tight and he's in the clear. If a woman showed up to work looking like a survivor from the Battle of the Little Bighor her coworkers would all think she'd gone bonkers. As a result many women opt for the space helmet after the age of fifty. It's low-maintence, but then so is a cactus.
The root of the problem is that hair has a mind of its own. It rarely obeys its master more than two days in a row. It likes to tease you instead. For years I tried to grow a flaxen mane like Fabio's, but I ended up looking like a ChiaPet on crack. I've also grown both a ponytail and a goatee in order to enhance my animal magnetism. But after many years of hounding those hairs I finally put them out to pasture. These days I cannot resist the hypnotic hum of the electric clippers, and the sound of snipping scissors in the sweet silence that follows. Nothing compares to that first cool breeze on the back of my scalp as I walk out the door. It feels like freedom. And I've learned more about life from the guys who attended barber college than from all of my university professors combined. Besides, where else could you get a pretty woman to run her hands through your hair for under thirty bucks?


 

A dark tale inspired by Edgar Allan Poe                                                                                                              


                                                                                                            THE DEVIL MAY CARE


 A terrible thing once happened to a struggling young writer, and the fate that befell him would make any writer loathe to put pen to paper. He had undertaken the solemn task of composing his dying mother's memoirs as she lay in bed. She was nearing the end, but they had both agreed that it was a fitting tribute to her life, and that is was something that everyone should probably do. Too much wisdom was lost between the generations, like water slipping through loosely cupped hands. The young writer enjoyed the process; he felt that he really got to know her better, and on a whole new level. It was the greatest gift that he could offer at the end of her long life.
At some point during the project the young writer noticed that his mother was aging more rapidly. It seemed as if the completion of each new chapter and line directly hastened the rate of her demise. Before long he was barely able to lift his hand, fearful that his prose was actually causing the death of his granny. With each new letter, he felt himself putting another nail in her coffin. Writer's block.
The pressure to finish her memoirs now hung on his shoulders like a wet cloak of doom. How could he continue, knowing that he would be responsible for her death? Adding to his predicament was the upcoming reading of her memoirs at her celebration of life party the following few day. All of her friends and family were going to be there; a luxury ballroom had been reserved at an uptown hotel. Restless days and sleepless nights followed. He eventually found solace at the local pub, drowning his sorrows, telling the tale to anyone who would listen. At some point a man on the barstool next to his turned and struck up a conversation.
"What's all this about writer's block?" he asked.
The young writer saw that the man was nattily dressed in a dark pinstripe suit with a red canation in the lapel. He didn't recognize his face, but thought that he had seen him there before.
"I'm damned if I do, and damned if I don't!" he slurred.
"Nonsense!"
"What do you mean, nonsense?"
"There is a solution to every problem, including yours."
"Oh, really?"
The young writer's new aquaintance took the carnation from his lapel, and offered it to him.
"By accepting this, you will finish the memoirs with no further harm to your mother," he said.
"I didn't ask for your help," the writer replied.
"But, of course you did."
The young writer figured that the man was drunk, and was just trying to be sympathetic. He took the carnation, nodded politely, and chalked it up to the alcohol.
"There will be a price, of course."
Before another word could be said, the man had spun from the barstool and vanished into the night.

The following morning the young writer sprung to his desk, and started anew on the memoirs. Amazingly, he no longer felt the dread as before. In fact, each keystroke rolled off his fingertips with an effortless efficiency. A deep sense of relief spread through his entirety, as the prose flowed seamlessly from his hand. He was able to finish the final chapters in a single day, without a hitch. He was so pleased with himself that he went back to the corner pub to celebrate, and share the good news. He bought a round for the house, figuring that it was the price that he was supposed to pay, according the his new friend. It all made sense in an alcohological sort of way. The other patrons, in turn, bought him a drink, to which he doubled-down by buying them one, and so on, until they were all raging drunk.
The young writer stumbled outside at some point, and began wandering back toward his flat. He got lost along the way, and ended up at the riverbank. He stood at the edge, looking down, but could not see his own reflection in the muddy water. That's when his new aquaintance from the pub approached him, wearing the same pinstripe suit. 
"You, again?"
"Me, again."
"Wonderful news... I finished the memoirs!" the young writer said.
"I know."
"Are you here to congratulate me?"
"Not today."
An awkward silence followed. The young writer checked his timepiece, and saw that the hour was getting late. "I'm sorry, but my mother's party is this evening, and I'm going to be late," he said.
"On the contrary, you are right on time."

Across town, the party guests began showing up for the party. Friends and family were all anxious to hear the reading of his mother's memoirs. As time went on, however, there was no trace of the young writer anywhere. No one had heard from him, and he wasn't answering his phone. A relative was dispatched to his home, but found no sign of him anywhere. They did, however, discover the completed manuscript neatly stacked upon his writing desk. After searching high and low, and checkiong with the neighbors, they finally gave up and returned to the party with the memoirs in hand. A short time later, the party commenced. One of the writer's cousins volunteered to read the memoirs in lieu of his actual presence.
The manuscript was read aloud, and all agreed that it was the young writer's best work yet. It was so good, in fact, they thay had a hard time believing that he had actually written it all by himself. On the very last page however, there was a troubling line about her late son who had died at  tragically at young age. No one understood this, especially his mother, since her only son was the writer himself. As far as they all knew he was still young and alive. Despite this strange omen, his mother basked in the glory. She looked younger than ever, with cheeks full of color, and the old twinkle in her eye.
Days passed, and still no one had heard from the young writer. His home was checked yet again, but nothing had been touched. It was as though he had just up and vanished. The police were summoned, and a missing persons report filed. After a lengthy investigation, he was declared dead. Detectives found no clues in his home, or from the patrons at the bar where he was last seen. The only odd bit of evidence was a single red carnation found next to a set of muddy footprints by the riverbank.




Reflections

Mirror, mirror
On the wall
Makes a fool
Of us all

The more we look
The less we see
The ugly truth
So plain to see

Face to face
Black and white
Will we ever
See things right

That is the question
Once foretold
Distorted vision
Centuries old

 
On the wing

On the wing
That's where I'll be
Flying high
Finally free
Far above
The tallest tree

The weight of the world
Left far below
No more miles
Left to go
Gone from sight
Or so it goes

When I'm gone
Don't give a care
Just look above
And I'll be there
Floating on
The thinnest air


When I'm gone
Don't give a care
Just look above
And I'll be there
Gliding on
The thinnest air




 
Mindless

No one really listens
They don't seem to care
All they seem to think about
Is that they're getting theirs

No one pays attention
They don't give a damn
They don't really want to know
Who or what I am

No one even asks
They don't want to know
The truth behind the smiling face
So the story goes