goodbye don’t lie blues


This ain’t a walk away from Sodom, but there’s no looking back…
so it’s goodbye and good luck, and I’ll be on my way
you were there when I needed you, and there was nothing you lacked…
yet the world is never ending… and I’ve had my stay

there are faces in the crowd that beckon to me
but it’s winter now, and freedom is harder to bear when it’s cold…
though I’ve always liked adventure… you know my friends, I’m getting old…
while trying not to get distracted, by all the wonders I see
or get carried away by a few steps of sunshine warming my back
the burden is heavy, so I’ll be throwing some of my troubles out my sack

went to sleep last night listening to a song from long ago
about a troubled mind and an ache in the heart…
and a whisky sour that lasted as long as the song
while singing the blues, there’s no need to judge between right and wrong…
but the nights are endless, and the coyotes howl at the moon
and thoughts slouch at the bedpost, imagining images of ruin
you can still hear them when you’re taking a nip for the hangover next noon…

the winter wind is blowing, and it carries me away
and there’s blues in the background, whispering to me … what to say
it’s all so tempting to join in with someone else’s blues
to cry my heart out on someone else’s bad news…
I could do it well, I could give it my heart , and you’d be crying too
but when it’s your own song, you’ve got to tell the truth to be really blue
and you got to face it to tell it; and sometimes that’s more than a man can do
I’ll just finish this whisky now… pour it on my head for a healthy douse
’cause I left her singing … she was built like a brick shithouse


71 responses to “goodbye don’t lie blues

  1. Howling at the moon and the winter wind blowing. I think I’m ready for a whiskey sour now. Great story.

  2. So impressive… captured me. Touched me. This is great writing dear Shimon, Thank you, love, nia

  3. Ah yes, vicarious blues…walking with others’ versions of pain sometimes keeps us from entering our own and howling or dancing all the way through to regained balance… But I’ve also found art, especially music and poetry, can be a way to more deeply “be” with my own losses, fears and sadnesses, because when days are dark, I don’t always have the words to name my feelings and their sources, and others can provide them, or at least make me feel less singular and raw in the experience of psychic pain…I’ll pass on the Johnnie Walker, but welcome the howling, and the invitation to try to face the truth of my own song without numbing myself into avoidance. Thank you for this gloriously honest and earthy/humble art, Shimon.

    • A lot of art is vicarious… and entertainment is very much so, these days, whether it’s television or watching sports. Often, even when people seem to be doing their own thing… or involved in some sort of self-realization, they’ve adopted standards and patterns taken from social stereotypes. So this song, which is a blues, emphasizes that one can’t just adopt a genre… that we have to come to terms with whom we are before we can be truly creative. Appreciate your comment, Kitty, and though I do recommend a few shots of whiskey for getting a better perspective… I’m very open to other life styles and choices. You know, I’ve never believed that my way is the only way.

  4. Good morning dear Shimon….’None of us is ever creative enough to know how things will actually work out’. Life is one big adventure of highs and lows…..and every now then a plateau period……:) Thinking of you .x

    • Thank you so much for thinking of me, and for your comment, Janet. I appreciated it. I’m only now beginning to relate to all the comments and correspondence that I missed because of the flu and the second move. Think of you so very often… xxx

  5. Only thing missing is the music!

    • Yes, Lisa. If I was more adept at this internet communication, I would get someone to sing it… or even sing it myself… but as it is, I can only share the words. Thanks for the comment.

  6. There are blues riffs running through my head and I feel like going to the piano and playing for awhile. Brilliant, and touching and raw, Shimon.

  7. Wonderful, Shimon….

  8. Oops, what happened? Love, cat.

    • Yes, when the emotions really grab my heart, that’s the only way I can relate to it.

      • I find that if I write in a formal structure like a sonnet then I can only write about love or death.But in other kinds of poetry I can write about how I feel or write humorously.I think it’s interesting,the interplay between the form and the content… like the poem is a basket which will hold a cerain thing but sometimes we need a rucksack or a suitcase to contain all our expressive words.And sometimes we can’t even use words at all.

  9. I think it is very good

  10. What a wonderful image, the thoughts slouching at the bedpost. All good wishes, Shimon, whichever way life takes you next.

    • It’s been very intensive lately, Gill. I thought that at this age, all of that would be behind me. But it seems that as long as we’re alive, they’re surprises in store for us. Thanks for your good wishes and your comment.

  11. What a moving poem, I loved it….how honest and heart wrenching though. I liked the part about facing your own sad song head on! I know exactly what you mean there……and long dark nights do make everything seem worse. I can almost hear the coyotes howling at the moon!
    I hope all is well with you Shimon, I know you must be missing your home and Nechama,,,,,and I know you dislike the cold winters….but I know you are enjoying your new adventure too. Here’s to spring and lighter warmer nights that allow for a little more freedom.Love always. xxx

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Dina. Your words always touch me. I wrote that song on the day when we handed the keys to my old home to the man who bought the place. I thought I was well out of it and through with the subject… but it caught me again. And life has been more intensive than I ever expected it. It’s amazing how life keeps on surprising us. But with all the difficulties, there are wonders and miracles too. I treasure every step along the way. xxx

  12. Patty Loveless, How Can I Help You Say Goodbye

    “it’s all so tempting to join in
    with someone else’s blues
    to cry my heart out
    on someone else’s bad news”

    “but when it’s your own song,
    you’ve got to tell the truth to be really blue
    and you got to face it to tell it;
    and sometimes that’s more than a man can do”</I

    sometimes, doesn't it seem like when we're buried up in pain, that it's easier to escape the pain in whatever way works, than it is to move through it?

    of course, we already know that eventually, whether we think we are ready or not, we'll have to find our way through it, because if we want to survive, (and we do), then we have to be willing to walk through the fire, and come out scorched on the other side … the whispers of smoke that cling to us bring us some comfort, and we begin again, to wash it all away

    Carly Simon, Haven't Got Time for the Pain

    • sorry, forgot to close my italics bracket, but you get the idea

      appreciated what you’ve shared here, Shimon … as always

    • Thanks so much for the music, N. I listened to it… and went back and listened again… and again. It’s not the music I usually listen to, but I enjoyed it.

      • I wanted to ask something about the photo, but felt it was appropriate to wait until you were in a better place before asking. I can imagine that as you are settling into your new space, and learning how to fit into the neighborhood, that maybe you are quite busy these days, so I understand if it might take a while before you have time to answer my photo question. I’m prepared to be plenty patient, and appreciate your input.

        In the photo you posted with this lyrical blues poem, you captured a table laden with various vices, and I’m sure that was intentional. My question is specific to the roll of paper towels. Are they fanned out to intentionally obscure whatever is behind the towels, or did you make this choice to capture the light (as it so brilliantly does, picking up the light from the window that is close by). I’m especially interested in how you composed the shot, as I particularly love the way the light not only plays across the expanse of the white paper towel, but how it also bounces off the brown bottle (assuming some sort of beer or lager).

        I’m guessing at this point, but my thoughts are that you composed the shot to intentionally pull in the light, even though the overall composition is one that speaks of darkness and even sorrow.

        I realize I could be over-analyzing the shot, but I can’t seem to help myself from feeling like I could be sitting right there at that table, the smell of the acrid cigarette smoke stinging my nostrils, and as I inhale deeply, holding it in my lungs until I can finally feel my chest relax, my subconscious catches the pungent fragrance of the open beer, even while the taste of the alcohol lingers in my throat, burning away my troubles.

        That shot would be so much less without the light, and just wanted to mention that I appreciate the composition, and have to wonder how intentional the placement of the light in the photo was, or if it was lucky happenstance. A moment of luck? Or carefully composed? Just curious. Thanks in advance for your response, whenever you can get around to answering the question.

        This post is one of my favorites. You often share the bits and pieces of life happening around you, and are always generous with your photos and descriptions, but it is a more rare occurrence when someone is willing to expose the interior wrestling of sorrows and sadness, so thanks for being willing to put this one on the page. I wish I knew guitar, or saxophone, or even cello, so that I could put music to this one. It has such an honest rhythm, and tone. Enjoyed it very much.

        • sorry, also meant to include this video clip of Buddy Guy

          • This is the sort of music I really do like to listen to. It was hard to get to the original link you posted, and so I found another and replaced it with the same artist and the same song. Thank you very much, N.

        • It’s amazing I didn’t answer this comment yet… because I remember when I first saw it, I wanted to answer it right away. But I have been going through such crazy times recently… You’ve got my number, N. Yes these pictures are usually quite planned and arranged. The paper towels were put there specifically to capture the light coming in through the window… even though there is something banal and unromantic about paper towels. I tried a number of alternatives to the picture shown, including shots that showed the cigarette smoke in the room. But the smoke seemed to add vagueness, and I wanted a sharp message. You were not over-analyzing. That was exactly the way I related to the shot… as if it was part of the written message. I’m really glad you enjoyed it. I wrote those blues while pacifying my sorrow with drink… and the next morning, tried to invent a picture that would go with it.

          • Shimon, I appreciate your response. I actually loved the way the roll of paper towels was a supporting player in the cast, and yet carried an important roll (no pun intended) 🙂 in that it drew in the light. Thanks for confirming what I suspected, in that you pulled together the composition intentionally. I love it when an artist takes the time to draw from various sources in order to create an image. I still love this image, and the verse attached to the image. One of my favorites.

  13. Thoroughly enjoyed this piece Shimon! Thank you and take care.

  14. So very haunting …Possibly the most touching poem I’ve ever read about that deep personal pain which sometimes confronts you with your own truths … and the way it can reduce the wonders in the world to mere distractions … and those few precious steps of sunshine warming one’s back become merely allowing oneself to be carried away.

    Then I try to pull myself deliberately into those moments … the miracle of a cat’s purr or the beauty of a Bach fugue.. And I remind myself that it is these small fragments of awareness are perhaps the reason I’ve been allowed my time here. And poems such as yours remind me too, that we all share these terrible moments of bleakness and dispair.

    It’s the “Human Condition” … which you describe so eloquently.

    Thank you, dear Shimon.

    • I really appreciate and appreciated your comment, Nikki. Life got so intensive, that I wasn’t able to reply to comments at the time… but I’m on my feet again, and enjoying life as much as possible. I too go to Bach when life gets hectic, or I become unhappy. He gives me consolation and inspiration that transcends time and place. Thank you very much.

  15. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words

    Winter Winds whisper the words that wake the memories up
    no whiskey will ever be enough
    to say good bye or forget
    it will only bring regret
    for what if you missed a smile
    or another song in a while…

    your words true to a poets pain….
    one of human condition’s side effects….
    I hope you find a little warmth within the Winter winds…
    Take Care Shimon…You Matter….

    • Appreciated your words and poetry very much, Maryrose… even if it took me a while to actually respond to the comment. Fortunately, I’m back on my feet again, and enjoying life to the best of my ability, the warmth… the love of friends, and a bit of good humor to keep me going.

  16. I’m once again, envious of such ability. Absolutely LOVED the last line. 🙂
    Hope your holidays are wondrous!

    • Thank you so much, Bob. It took a while, but I’m beginning to get into a new pace… dealing with life as best I can. A new year, and some new hopes…

  17. ” I’ll just finish this whisky now… pour it on my head for a healthy douse
    ’cause I left her singing … she was built like a brick shithouse…”
    Now, is that a car you’re talkin’ about, or your ex?!! 😉
    Wow! and LOL!
    Happy New Year, shimon.

    • Isn’t that the best thing about poetry, Janina…? When it works, it can be applied to a lot of different situations. Thanks for the good wishes, and mine to you. May this be a happy year for all of us…

  18. I can hear the blues in my head Shimon. A hit for sure!

  19. “To weep is to make less the depth of grief.”
    ― William Shakespeare

  20. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    Wow, Shimon, I really like this expression – just beautiful. I can really feel it, even the dousing at the end.

    I thought at first it was your goodbye to blogging, but I’m glad it’s not, as you do realise, your blog posts are true quality.

    You had comments off on your next post but I wanted to say happy new year! & you had comments off on another I wanted to say “beautiful picture”. Can’t remember the name of it, but it was after the storm – the street. Wow. Brrr.

    Happy new year, Shimon :). I really enjoyed this piece.

    • Very very glad you enjoyed these blues, Noeleen… because I know that you know what the blues are all about. And yes, sometimes I post these messages without the possibility for comment, just a nod to my friends… but I appreciate your sharing your feelings with me always. Wishing you a very good year too. May it bring happiness and the fulfillment of a few dreams…

  21. Yep, you gotta face it to tell it, and I’m too tired for that. Besides, it’s mostly uninteresting … at least the parts that I remember. Mostly foolishness, it seems to me now. If you live hard enough, the story tells itself.

    Yes, think I’ll have a shot of Jack, a smoke and listen to Ted Hawkins sing “There Stands the Glass” one more time. And call it done.

    You know how much I love it when you let the poet out of the closet.

    Happy New Year, Shimon. This is gonna’ be a good un… 🙂

    • Very glad you enjoyed the post, George. And glad you joined me for a shot… and a good song too. Sometimes, what’s in my chest is just too biting to put it down literally, so I have to resign myself to poetry. But I know I’ve got a few friends who are willing to go the distance. The way I see it, if it’s real, it’s never uninteresting… even if we’ve done it before… even if a whole bunch of others fell into the same trap. It’s the human situation. Thanks so much for your comment.

      • Of course, you speak of universal emotions, pain and loss, and you speak eloquently of it. The Bard sings his loss. And beautifully. Since I cannot sing and I refuse to cry, I laugh. Always. 🙂

  22. Oh, I forgot you were writing from Israel for a moment, Shimon. I do remember that you like the blues and it fits you quite well. I imagine you must have some old vinyl laying around that you picked up on your travels years ago. Also love the photo of all your vices–as if you were in a blues lounge somewhere in the Deep South…
    Leah x

    • Yeah, Leah… fortunately, I’m able to find the materials to feed my vices here at home… even when I’m in a home away from home. I did get to know the blues when I was in the states, and have been listening to them ever since. And yes, some of those records are on vinyl… but I’ve converted them to computer files, and listen to them these days on mp3… still loving them as much as I did when first I heard them. Thanks for the comment.

  23. “but when it’s your own song, you’ve got to tell the truth …to face it to tell it;” Our own song is our own life journey… Thank you, Mr. Shimon!

  24. I love your writing, Shimon.

  25. Pingback: Brick shithouse | How my heart speaks

  26. Reblogged this on How my heart speaks and commented:
    This shows the universality of good poetry as one person’s deep feelings show us how we are all alike.The difficulty sometimes is to marry form and content,not to mention that in academia certain forms are thought of as old fashioned….

  27. I love it when you spill you guts and write from the heart…think of you every day.xx

    • Thanks for your comment, Janet. Yes, I suppose that is a part of art… spilling our guts… though sometimes we can do it subtly, and sometimes it comes out in a wail.

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