I was doing OK for a person with average expectations from life.I could earn a good living slapping a piano, belting out songs to make people laugh for two hours each night. Who wouldn’t want that life? Me obviously, because I walked away and slammed the door behind me! …. Click here for the first 7 chapters…it’s an ongoing work.
MA WAS NO ROMANTIC by Dezy Walls
Ma was no romantic. She was too practical for that.
She’d probably tell me to pull myself together and concentrate on my studies. So your heart’s been broken. You’ve been dumped by your first girlfriend. It happens to everybody. Put it behind you and get on with your life.
Ma wasn’t saying this to me. It was what I knew she would say when I told her. Right now I was saying it to myself because she wasn’t there to say it. I didn’t want to see Ma or Daddy. I wanted to hide my head away.
I was walking the seven miles home from where the girl had stood at the door and told me it was over. I was hoping the hard road would scrape some of the edge off my pain. Half a mile so far and it wasn’t working. It was getting worse. ….more
FORTY YEARS AGO by Dezy Walls
“I’m late for my date,” I said. “I’ll drive you to the station” Daddy volunteered in friendly fashion, though his mood seemed to change once we were on the road. “Weren’t you already out this week?” he asked “Thought I told you to limit going out to once a week during college term?” I didn’t answer. What nineteen-year-old goes out once a week? This was Saturday. Everybody’s out on Saturday. But I said nothing. I couldn’t win that fight. I had flopped my first year in college and was repeating. I didn’t want to be in college at all but I’d lost that argument too and this was no time to resume the debate; my train was coming. “Thanks Dad” I said curtly as I got out of the car. I slammed the door and walked to my train without looking back. I never saw him again.
It would have been nice if our last conversation had been more agreeable; if we could have sat down man to man and looked for solutions. But our final encounter on this earth was a stand off and a slammed door. And you can’t change the chronological order of things. ….more
DADDY by Dessy Walls
It was Ma told me that Daddy had shot the dog. He took him out at dawn, as you would any traitorous cur, and put a bullet through his head.
OK, it wasn’t at dawn; we would have heard the shot and been out of our beds to investigate. Daddy was smarter than that. He waited until we were all packed off to school. Then he enticed Skipper around the back of the house and bang; no more Skipper.
I don’t know about my siblings, but I resolved never to forgive Daddy for that. He had murdered our dog; a mutt of mixed pedigree, mind you, but ours; no trial, just a summary execution. I demanded an appeal.
“How could he do that, Ma? That dog was the family pet.” This was a slight exaggeration, as Skipper was an old stray who’d been with us no more than three months and generally minded his own business. However, as his only defense lawyer, while too late to save his neck, I was determined to redeem the dog’s reputation.
Ma put a strong case for the prosecution. “We could not afford to have any more sheets ripped from the clothesline” she told me. She, herself, suggested the dog be locked up or chained in the garden but Daddy said no: an animal must be free. So he shot him; the penalty for ripping a few mangy sheets from the clothesline? Death …!!!
“Why” I suggested “couldn’t you raise the clothesline higher or give the dog away to a nice home where they have a tumble drier? Did Daddy shoot that dog when we were at school because he knew I would have stopped him had I been at home?” I flexed my muscles. ….more
Read Dezy’s inspiring open letter to his Dad regarding Dance to the Rhythm of Life, written in April 2006. (Click on the link.)
The song has been rerecorded as Sweet Rhythm of Life
SONG ABOUT A SONG by Dessy Walls
This is a song about a song … the song I cannot sing
It’s about a sound we must not utter for the carnage it would bring
It’s about a shape the world must take ever righteous to itself
If you lose one little song, they say, is there not another on the shelf?
They say you have a thousand songs so sing us one of those
They say there are a million tunes you could readily compose
They say there is good reason why good folk do object
And because those good folk are good folk we must focus on respect
This is a poem about a poem, a poem I cannot say
They quote morality and reason and say ‘cast this poem away’
They read a rule within a rule another rule not to be broken
Hide that word, that powerful word … that word shall not be spoken
And if that word infests a song then the lyric must be bound
To less than free expression by the censors of all sound
This is a song about a song; one I will dare to sing when I grow old
Old enough to tell that fucking censor to shove it up his hole