a million bloody teardrops

March 21, 2018

A million bloody teardrops
Drying out my soul
A thousand days without you
Ain’t no bottom of the hole

The only thing I have
Is nothing
The only thing I did
Was injure you
The only thing I feel
Is empty
Cuz you’re the only one
Who loved me true

I only know tomorrow
Will be sadder than today
I know I had it all
And I let it slip away

The only thing I have
Is freedom
The only thing I want
Is me and you
The only thing I do
Is break things
The only thing I know
Is I love you

by Richard W. Bray

Yapper-snappin judgement-crappin jibber-jabbin clowns

March 17, 2018

A soon as someone
Leaves the room
Scoundrels screech
And bark
Like hyenas
Hide all day
And come out
After dark

Yapper-snappin
Judgement-crappin
Jibber-jabbin clowns
Talkin loads of smack
About the folks
Who ain’t around

Distortion and
Deception
Are your
Stock-in-trade
Your best friend
Turns his back
And you get
Out your blade

Yapper-snappin
Judgement-crappin
Jibber-jabbin clowns
Talkin loads of smack
About the folks
Who ain’t around

A dread disease
Grows in your soul
Spewing
Hate and bile
Cold deception
Hides the beast
That lives behind
Your smile

Yapper-snappin
Judgement-crappin
Jibber-jabbin clowns
Talkin loads of smack
About the folks
Who ain’t around

by Richard W. Bray

Long ago and far away

March 14, 2018

Long ago and far away
I wasn’t very nice
Did a lot of ugly things
And paid a gruesome price

Beat my chest and banged my drum
Ready for a fight
Split some heads and ate some fists
Threw my anger left and right

Tough guy tried to swing on me
I punched him in the head
He landed on the concrete
And now that man is dead

Judge called me a loser
And a menace to the town
The world would be much better
Without your type around

Banged my soul against a wall
For twenty years inside
Then one day I read a book
It woke me up inside

The man I killed and guys like me
Are trash you throw away
When we kill each other
We really make your day

The man I killed is haunting me
And waiting at the door
I honor him by loving strays
And comforting the poor

by Richard W. Bray

Prison

March 10, 2018

At the turn of the (19th) century, a new legislation defined the power to punish as a general function of society that was exercised in the same manner over all its members, and in which each individual was equally represented: but in making detention the penalty par excellence, it introduced procedures of domination characteristic of a particular type of power. A justice that is supposed to be “equal”, a legal machinery that is supposed to be “autonomous”, but which contains all the asymmetries of disciplinary subjection, this conjunction marked the birth of the prison, “the penalty of civilized societies.”
Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (pp. 231-232).

They’re not just gangs of kids anymore. They are often the kinds of kids that are called superpredators — no conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.

Hillary Clinton

the people who continually vote in new prison bonds and tacitly assent to a proliferating network of prisons and jails have been tricked into believing in the magic of imprisonment. But prisons do not disappear problems, they disappear human beings
Angela Davis

I never saw a man who looked
   With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
   Which prisoners call the sky,

Oscar Wilde. The Ballad of Reading Gaol

The law is for protection of the people
Rules are rules and any fool can see
We don’t need no riddle speakin’ prophet
Scarin’ decent folks like you and me, no siree

Kris Kristofferson

Decent folks have got a right
   To say you don’t fit in
We’ll beat you and we bleed you
   Till you wash away our sin

We’re gonna break you like a beast
   We’re gonna squeeze the earth and sky
We’re gonna regulate your body
   And squish you like a fly

It doesn’t really matter
   If you rehabilitate
You legitimize our power
   When you bow before the state

We’re gonna break you like a beast
   We’re gonna squeeze the earth and sky
We’re gonna regulate your body
   And squish you like a fly

You don’t deserve forgiveness
   You can’t expect us to be nice
We worship hate and power
   And we claim to worship Christ

We’re gonna break you like a beast
   We’re gonna squeeze the earth and sky
We’re gonna regulate your body
   And squish you like a fly

By Richard W. Bray

one little push

March 8, 2018

Yes, and how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free

Bob Dylan

you force yourself on others
your power breeds abuse
coercing our submission
you lit a righteous fuse

one little push
and the wall comes down
after keeping us back
and holding us down

you’d sell your mother’s soul
you’d steal a beggar’s breath
trampling on the poor
making money offa death

one little push
and the wall comes down
after keeping us back
and holding us down

trafficking in bullets
making nations bleed
our blood will feed the soil
you tried to bury us like seeds

one little push
and the wall comes down
after keeping us back
and holding us down

by Richard W. Bray

Mine’s Better

March 3, 2018

I really like your auto
And the things it can do
We had one just like it
Back in 1962

My car does the dishes
Cooks my eggs and cuts my hair
It even does my taxes
And tells me what to wear

I really like your children

They’re not afraid to fail
They can even dress themselves
And they’ve never been in jail

My daughter goes to Harvard
Can you believe she’s only four?
Her brother just cured cancer
And he put an end to war

I really like your clothing
It’s so 1982
Your Member’s Only jacket
Is the perfect look for you

Everything I wear
Is from Paris or Milan
If the designer isn’t famous
I won’t even try it on

I really like your courage
You’re not afraid to drink
Nasty rustic water
Coming from your kitchen sink

Pure and pristine water
From a Himalayan spring
The Dalai Lama blessed it
It’s the only thing I drink

You’re my inspiration
You’re so gallant and carefree
You have the will to go on living
And you’re not even me

by Richard W.  Bray

Alabama Blue

February 28, 2018

Never said she was married
I didn’t see a ring
When Blue started barking
I picked up my things
Found myself staring
At a mighty big knife
Blue bit his ankle
And we ran for our life

Time to move along now
Alabama Blue
This no-good town
Ain’t fit for me and you
They’ll be pretty girls for me
And some new smells for you
Time to move along now
Alabama Blue

Honeys kept me busy
I was cuttin’ a rug
Honkytonk hero
Happy hittin’ a jug
Seven hundred dollars
Is a mighty big bill
Me and Blue skedaddled
Made it over the hill

Time to move along now
Alabama Blue
This no-good town
Ain’t fit for me and you
They’ll be pretty girls for me
And some new smells for you
Time to move along now
Alabama Blue

Never meant no trouble
Don’t wanna hurt no one
I’m not a bad feller
But I do love my fun
Never met nobody
Better than Blue
The finest amigo
That a man ever knew

Time to move along now
Alabama Blue
This no-good town
Ain’t fit for me and you
They’ll be pretty girls for me
And some new smells for you
Time to move along now
Alabama Blue

by Richard W. Bray

Los ladrones que mandan

February 25, 2018

But, scarce observed, the knowing and the bold
Fall in the gen’ral massacre of gold;
Wide-wasting pest! that rages unconfin’d,
And crowds with crimes the records of mankind
For gold his sword the hireling ruffian draws,
For gold the hireling judge distorts the laws;

Samuel Johnson, The Tenth Satire of Juvenal, Imitated

The rich everyday exhort a part of their daily allowance from the poor
not only by private fraud but by public law

Thomas More, Utopia

Los ladrones que mandan

The thieves who always win
Extracting every dollar
From misery and sin

When tyrants, kings and pirates
Lay the land to waste
Los ladrones que mandan
Will always get their taste

Tax you, fine you, frame you
Guilty any way you plea
Los ladrones que mandan
Lock you up for living free

Ain’t no way to ever reckon
How much they really stole
Los ladrones que mandan
Crush you body, crush your soul

by Richard W. Bray

Hollow

February 23, 2018

The factories are empty
And cities waste away
Leaders sell us out for cash
And tell us all to pray

The churches are deserted
The schools are falling down
We got abandoned buildings
People sleeping on the ground

We got hurt and hate and war
We got pills that waste your soul
They serve us bombs and bullets
We’re just trying to get whole

They hollowed out our country
And left an empty shell
They got thirty bits of silver
I hope they spend it well

by Richard W. Bray

I can’t paddle your canoe

February 17, 2018

As one goes through life one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.
Katherine Hepburn

Life keeps
Coming at you
And you wonder
What to do
You know
I wanna help
And I’m always
Here for you
But I can’t paddle
Your canoe

I can sit
And I can listen
Till morning’s
Wet with dew
I can even talk
If you want
My point of view
But I can’t paddle
Your canoe

I can love you
I can feed you
Hold your hand
And tie your shoe
I hope you
Always know
I got a million
Hugs for you
But I can’t paddle
Your canoe

by Richard W. Bray