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Seeing signs ahead,

time to move forward,

leave this town behind,

has to be better.

Daylight, I’m making change,

going out, starting new,

hope to find true love.

No more counting stars

above or waiting

for something to start,

nothing happens here.

Daylight, I’m making change,

going out, starting new,

hope to find true love.

After the darkness,

Sun appears through window.

Day begins something

I will not regret.

Daylight, I’m making change,

going out, starting new,

hope to find true love.

She doesn’t know it yet,

soon she won’t be alone,

won’t be without a friend.

Warmth and understanding

is around the corner.

She doesn’t know it yet,

someone cares and listens,

remembers what she says.

I’m right here with an ear-

stand shoulder to shoulder.

She doesn’t know it yet,

there might be a future-

past this conversation.

Whenever she returns,

she’ll know by a shared smile.

Some days the words come out easy,

I know just what I want to say.

Some days are harder to write down,

the thoughts hide and cannot be found.

I wait and hope for the moment

right words reveal themselves to me.

Fingers on the lighted keyboard

or writing with pen on paper,

pause to remember or discard

whatever comes into my mind,

space gives time something to unwind,

right words reveal themselves to me.

Write the lines and count syllables,

does the rhythm seem natural

or forced to fit the rhyme’s pattern,

revisions will bring improvements

or reasons for an exclusion,

right words reveal themselves to me.

Gazing out into the distance,

the hills and valleys below,

wondering about the future,

sun rises and the moon falls,

dreams awaken from the light.

Here are possibilities ,

explore the many landscapes

from shadows to brightest light,

find the one that suits you best,

make it reality.

One upon the precipice,

weather the storm and the stress,

colors fill empty canvas,

expression of nature’s mood

that changes with perspective.

” Hey, you’re sitting in our friend’s seat . He’s gonna be pissed when he finds out!” . This was spoken by a rough looking dude who was playing a game of pool with his friends at the back of the bar. I apologized and quickly moved to the nearest table next to the wall, Hoped that no one would notice me. The reason why I was here in Burbank, California was to see Pat Todd & the RankOutsiders. I have been aware of Pat Todd since 1999 when his previous band, The Lazy Cowgirls, was featured on a compilation that I ordered from Bomp Records. Their music was raw energetic rocknroll mixed with country, like a mixture of Merle Haggard, Ramones and early seventies Rolling Stones. I bought ” Tapping The Source”, “Radio Cowgirl”, “Ragged Soul” and “A Little Sex And Death”. The one album of theirs that made an impression on me was a later album called ” Here And Now:Live!” where they played acoustic versions of their electric high energy rock roll songs. This album showed and proved that they were talented musicians because some of the songs sound better than the originals on the previous albums, most notably ” You’re Charmed Life’s Fading Fast ” and ” Somewhere Down The Line”. I was also impressed by ” Don’t Count Me Out”, ” Lies” and their version of ” Route 66″. A few months after I bought this album, The Lazy Cowgirls broke up and Pat Todd started a new band called the RankOutsiders. Their first release was a double album titled ” The Outskirts Of Your Heart”. This album had some hard rocking songs like ” Just Another Stupid Guy”, ” November 11th”, ” Hell’s Half Acre” and ‘You Can Yearn Right On”. There were some great surprises – some heartfelt ballads and acoustic songs like ” Where Is She Now?”, “Thanks For The Misery” and ” One Long Breakdown”. This was a brilliant start. About eight years later, Pat Todd& the RankOutsiders released their third album ” 14th&Nowhere” and were going to have the record release party at the Park Bar&Grill, I decided that I wanted to attend the record release party so I booked and boarded a flight from Greenville, South Carolina to Burbank, California. I planned some other activities, toured Warner Brothers studios and visited Bomp Records. I took a taxi from my hotel to the Park Bar&Grill. The place had wooden doors and when you walked into the club, it was dimly lit with a jukebox on the right . The pool table was located in the back. I seated myself at the bar, this was where the showdown almost began. After I moved from the seat at the bar to the table near the wall. I was very nervous, began to think I made a huge mistake. Then, Pat Todd walked through the door. I introduced myself to him. He said that he had heard of me . After that, I was relaxed and began to feel comfortable. Pat sat at my table until he had to perform with the band, We had a great conversation about music and songwriting. He introduced me to the poem ” Bluebird” by Charles Bukowski. The other musicians joined us at the table, I enjoyed meeting Nick Alexander, Rick Johnson and Bob Deagle. Before Pat Todd& the RankOutsiders performed, there were other bands and musicians performing that night. I was introduced to Al Perry from Tucson who played old style country similar to Hank Williams , He was a member of a band called The Hecklers who played songs by Little Walter and the 13th Floor Elevators. He hosts a great radio show called Clambake which can be heard on the radio or the Internet. Another band that played was the Black Widows. This was the big surprise of the night. When they went up on stage to perform , they were dressed in ninja uniforms. I thought it was not going to be good. I was wrong, One of the guitarists was in a band called The Bell Rays, The Black Widows sound could best be described as a mixture of early Ventures(surf instrumentals), Link Wray and early Blue Oyster Cult. They played instrumentals and a member of band would announce the next song by flipping a sheet of white paper that had the song title, The second to last band of the night was Pat Todd& the RankOutsiders. Due to having an early flight in the morning , I was planning on hearing a few songs and then leaving. They were so good , I stayed for the whole set. The set list was ” Carry N A Torch”, ” Your Sugar Is All I Want”, “Back To The Wind”, “Small Town Rock Ain’t Dead”, ” Dancin’ To A Pack Of Lies”, “Known Ta Stumble, Known To Fall”, ‘ You&Your Damn Dream”, ” Sometimes Trouble Has A Name”, ” Long Love Letter”, “Bear In Mind”, ” Where Is She Now?”, “14th&Nowhere”, “Why Don”t You Marry Me?” and ” Route 66″. I know these were the songs that they played because after the band finished playing their set, their drummer, Bob Deagle, gave me a handwritten set list of the songs that is now framed and hanging on my wall. After I returned to Greenville, I wrote Pat Todd and thanked him and the band for being nice to me. He replied and quoted one of my favorite Lazy Cowgirls songs, ” Somewhere down the line, we’ll meet again.” I certainly hope we will.

When you were young,

everything seemed possible.

Now, you’re older,

everything seems uncertain.

Can’t go back to yesterday.

Future starts tomorrow.

Look for the best of today.

The sky was blue

as you used your imagination.

You ruled the world,

found some friends and inspiration.

Can’t go back to yesterday.

Future starts tomorrow.

Look for the best of today.

Clouds block the sun,

cold brings sense of isolation.

Where you find light

is through sheer determination.

Can’t go back to yesterday.

Future starts tomorrow.

Look for the best of today.

Never give up.

Learn to let go.

When you feel down,

don’t let them know.

If you need help,

somebody cares.

You’ll feel better,

give it some time.

Can’t go back to yesterday.

The future starts tomorrow.

Look for the best of today.

This is a tale told before

but some people never learn.

The promise of happiness

replaced by an emptiness.

Have to fill space with something,

a way to always feel high.

Through the veins, eyes and the mind-

find pleasures to block out pain.

This is how some will behave.

When the dream ends, life begins.

Some recover and have hope.

Some drown in seas of darkness.