Up in Smoke

There's a good strum goin'

And a stream runnin' through

These late summer days;

There's a fine rhythm

We're all livin' in

That's kept our lips perched light upon our chins.

Looks out dear camp and kin,

We're in a scary smiley season once again,

And the questions running through us

Are the same:

"How many summers do we get?"

Children no longer,

We miss the sweet breeze

Of invincibility that blew fast 

Through in those Goddamned good old days.

Now in a great August rain we run and hide,

Cover our collections and our hair,

Long and dried but ours to hold tight,

And the wet dirt haunts us

With an aroma of fate;

Hope's final blow

In the terrifying odor of a final finite day.

Yes, to know one day to be doused

With one last awful shower;

Kids no more, we daren't dance

For we smell death in a summer rain,

And for worse,

For we remember frivolous youth:

With heads and safe smiles,

We were free

From the rusty shackles of self-preservation.

Yay, remembering is the torture,

Childhood dreams our only hauntings,

And yet, all the same, our one last chance,

For there is something ever real

About those early days,

Free to run in fields and grab at rain,

Sacred of dragons,

But clear of shame.

Is there a way to return once again,

As them,

Those shadow-creatures of reverie past?

 

The fires we started

In those early summer woods

Sent smoke signals that, at last, 

We're now seeing,

Billowing and beckoning, but

Perhaps, it's the whole damned scene that's burning,

While we're yet yearning

For just one more clear Spring day

And a fairytale way

To keep it from dying.

Up in smoke, must it all go?

How do we get back? 

Or on? 

Where will the dawn come from?

Our dusk rains down upon us and reeks 

In the dampened dust beneath our weary feet.

The happy summer strum

That we've been loving to

Grows somber as September

(Yes, another September!)

Creeps closer.

"How, how, how..."

But the beat rolls on and the fog returns,

"How, how, how many more..."

It's the whole returning bit that burns.

"How many more will we get?

How many more..."

 

The Fall falls heavy and fast

And our shoulders can't hold it.

Keep on, my people,

Hold those smiles high.

The thunder comes 

And it sounds so crushing,

But don't go running.

Not yet.

Just stay,

Stay with me.

Oh won't you stay?

It's not too late.

Just one more round,

One more morning day together;

Don't let this summer simmer.

"What if, what if...

What if it's our last?"

The smoke builds 

And fills the windows between the trees;

Cannot see,

Cannot breathe,

Cannot stay.

Leave now then if you must;

Fine, fire;

Sure, run;

Pack up and go,

Up in smoke.

But I'll stay.

I can still smell it,

It's here somewhere,

The summer rain - It can save us.

And your songs and stories too,

Will you bring them?

"How much longer will you..."

But the words fade into a crackle

And a dry gray collapses upon the camp.

Silent and alone

And only gray. 

The signals linger and so do I,

But alas, is it a lost cause?

Perhaps it's now too late to get out?

"Where do we go from here?"

Cries into the sudden night,

Into whatever lies off, beyond,

The days and dusks and death

Ever near,

"Who else is here to hear this?"

Where have all our summer songs gone?

We're damndelions, growing, blowing old.