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 Keep On Walkin’

© 2017 MJ Bishop


There’s a catch in her throat, a stick in her hand, and she’s walkin’

Kickin’ at some ghosts, kickin’ at the notion of heaven

So many turns - so many roads

Will she choose the right one?  Who would know?

She keeps on walkin’


There’s a road block up ahead, trees lie broken all around her

A power line is down, crackin’ like a whip around her ankles

She doesn’t turn back - she doesn’t run

Just steps carefully around and moves on

And keeps on walkin’


She walks into the dark into

Things unknown mostly

Scared as hell but always listening to her bones

And keeps on walkin’


The river’s fast and wide, the old rope bridge is torn and swayin’

Winter has just thawed, so she rolls up her pants and starts wadin’

Her lips turn blue - her legs go numb

But just ahead is the warmth of that sun

So she keeps on walkin’


She walks into the dark into

Things unknown mostly

Scared as hell but listening to her bones

She finds the light in the pouring rain

Dries herself off and looks life right in the face

And keeps on walkin’ 


Give It Away Again

© 2017 MJ Bishop

It’s big – it’s red

It sits here in our chests like a king on a throne

A human metronome


It stops – it aches

It’s a raft out on the lake waiting for the next storm

After the calm and the warm


It’s a muscle you can’t break it

But it hurts like hell when you strain it

And that hurt seems to go on forever

Like the coldest night of winter

So we close it up and wait

Patch the hole – guard the gate

And then we give it away again

We give it away again

Yeah we give it away again and again and again


It strays – it bleeds

Sometimes it’s on our sleeve just taking a chance

The first high school dance


It pumps – it spills

But even Jack and Jill came a’tumbling down

Water and pails all around

She’s Gone

© 2017 MJ Bishop

God knows she’s gone, gone
Like the clouds after a thunderstorm
Breaking apart – she’s gone
God knows she’s tired, tired
Of running from her one desire
And maybe herself – she’s tired
God knows she never looks in the mirror
She keeps the lights down low
Roadmaps –spread out on the motel bed
Torn, faded like her soul
God knows she’s scared, scared
Of losing something that maybe was never there
Like a dream, she’s scared
God knows she’s old, so old
Like the homes along these country roads
Crumbling brick, so old
God knows she’s gone, gone
Like the clouds after a thunderstorm
Breaking apart – she’s gone
Breaking apart, breaking apart
Breaking apart – she’s gone

Goodnight From Too Far Away
© 2017 MJ Bishop

He pours a glass of red wine

She lights a candle or two

Then they pick up their phones

Stare up at the moon

He says “how ya doin?”

She lies and says “fine”

Then they laugh

Because they start off like this every time

And as their eyes grow tired they say


Goodnight from too far away

Let’s look up at that moon, so we can say

It’s the same moon – we’ll be together soon

It’s the same sky – wrapping around us tight

Goodnight from too far away


She didn’t want to leave town

But there was work on the road

And as she drove past the wheat fields

She knew their love could be as gold

And the landscape changed

But not her thoughts around him

And when the birds went to roost

They’d talk again

And when their eyes grew tired, they’d say…


They’re too far away and they know it

But the whole Milky Way is their blanket (it’s their blanket)

So they’ll sleep somehow

Yes they’ll sleep for now… and say



Leavin’ Arkansas

© 2017 MJ Bishop


She turns the clock back, pulls the covers up

Checks her heartache, the whiskey in her cup

This town’s crawled into her head

This motel room and in her bed


She wants more - she longs for

Those hills of copper and fire that paint this Ozark mountain town

Stone walls for miles and miles

Gems waitin’ to be found

She takes one last look around

Knowing there’s no room in her worn out heart

And she leaves Arkansas


Raptors in the sky, pen in hand

Swervin’ down this road, wonderin’ where she’ll land

The skies are blue, and then they’re grey

She spends all her time chasing clouds away


Once the chill is gone from this mountain air

Her untrue heart and the devil’s lair

Maybe she’ll drive on back, who’s to know?

True love might have been buried in the snow



One Way Out Of Town

© 2017 MJ Bishop and Mike Stephens


Otis is a farmer who plows his fields at dawn

But underneath the gypsy moon, he sings a traveler’s song

And when the wind is howling and the wolf is at the door

He fumbles with direction

It’s the road he’s longing for


There’s only one way out of town

One way out of town

But the way is paved in revelry, waitin to be found

There’s only one way out of town

One way out of town

Between the longing and the turnstile

There’s only one way out of town


Miss Stella combs her hair, fading yellow gold

Blots her blood red lipstick and steps out into the cold

The early morning light makes a pattern on her face

She crushes out a cigarette

Says “I gotta leave this place”


Gomez is a gambler

With no aces up his sleeve

Just a stack of hard luck punch lines

And half a reason to believe

That the prayers of sinners reach the sky

And fill the hall with light

But fortune never smiles

In the still-born night



My New Town

© 2017 MJ Bishop and John Hadley


Through evergreens, I drove towards the sun

Now here I am in my new town, but i don’t know anyone

The porches here are long and lean, they invite the evening air

My porch is lonely – no one’s in the chairs


I fill them with my memories of people i have met

Friends – like old songs – I never will forget

And pray they remember me, as I remember them

And when they’re lonely - maybe

They will think of me again


A small brown bird, in a sky so blue

Don’t know if I’ll be here long

What would a poet do?

Sit on the porch?  Hell, I don’t know – if it’s all right with you

I’ll keep on dreaming my dreams, ‘til one of them comes true


Through evergreens

My new town

My new town



He Took Her Hand

© 2017 MJ Bishop


She was minding her own eggs standing at the stove

Around came his arms, sent her breath to her toes

She inhaled deep of this working man

It was only a breakfast to say hello, but their hearts caught fire and the eggs grew cold

The table was set for two as he took her hand


Soul searching found her in the south, in his arms kissing his mouth

Lightning bugs danced behind closed eyes

Just one day then it was gone, like a Mayfly’s life, or a dream-like song

She was a kite, without a tail, spinning in the sky


He took her hand and they walked down to the creek

Across his land where the wild flowers smelled sweet

They sat upon the banks, with their toes in the sand

And as he rose to say goodbye, he took her hand


She left town thinking about this man

Her heart rolling down the road like an empty can

Each mile post felt like a year

She wanted to pray but she didn’t know how

And she wasn’t even sure what she’d pray for

But for starters, maybe a bucket to hold the tears


He took her hand, he took her hand

As he rose to say goodbye, he took her hand

And she prayed that just once more

She’d hold that hand



Dressed In Fireflies

© 2017 MJ Bishop


She dressed in fireflies awaiting his return

Lilacs in a vase, the fields freshly burned

But there she stood

Like a lantern held up high

Arms outstretched – dressed in fireflies


She was taken back to her hometown street

To her front yard under that Evergreen

And his freckled face
Sharing lemonade


When he said meet me after dinner up on our hill

Bring some empty mason jars and we will fill

Them with fireflies and then

We’ll hold them high like lanterns

So they’ll help us find our way



She dressed in fireflies awaiting his return

Her dress clung to her skin, the evening air too warm

But there she stood

Like a lantern held up high

Arms outstretched – dressed in fireflies


She remembered then his suped-up car

That kiss – as sweet as the one before

And his thick dark hair

Fingers tangled there


When he said meet me at the station in two years’ time

Bring your favorite quilted blanket and we will find

Ourselves again up on our hill

Lying still beneath the fireflies hoping they will think we’re water

So they’ll cover both our bodies turning us into lanterns


She dressed in fireflies awaiting his return

The porch was cold and damp, the chairs tired and worn

But there she stood

Like a lantern held up high

Arms outstretched – dressed in fireflies

Arms outstretched – dressed in fireflies


Tryin’ To Find The Happy

© 2017 MJ Bishop


Hello, ma

How ya doin?

How’s dad?

Is he still singin’?

I see it’s warm down there

Yeah it’s still a little cold up here


Dear daughter of mine

How’s your busy life?

Tell me what’s cool these days

If you have the time

I’d sure love to kiss your face

Come you come visit – come see my place


Me – I’m just sittin at this bar

Tryin to find some answers in this fading scar

Like a bee drawn to a flower

I’m tryin to find the happy in this happy hour


Hey there, my friend

Have you been writing lots of songs?

How are the kids?

Do they help your muse along?

Oh I miss you so

But I don’t miss those grey skies – and I know you know


Is it under this moon?

This neon sign?

Is it something I can hold?

For just one night?


Oh sweet man

Are you making things right?

How are your sisters?

I hear there’s a new love in your life

Makes me sing that sad refrain

My loss – her gain



Gettin’ To You

© 2017 MJ Bishop


My flight’s delayed

A three-hour wait

So I grab my bag and leave the gate

I steal a car

My face is in the news

But that won’t keep me from gettin’ to you


Snow-covered trees

Ice on the road

Tires whining – they don’t wanna go

No heat in this car

No money for fuel

But that won’t keep me from gettin’ to you


When I get to you

Here’s what I know

I’m gonna give in and give up a piece of my soul

No more running from love

It’s what I’m gonna do

Nothing can keep me from gettin’ to you

A dead-end road

I get out and walk

Across the moon-lit field

And into the dark

The creek is high

Water fills my boots

But that won’t keep me from gettin’ to you



Dream of Consciousness

© 2017 MJ Bishop


Truth is stranger than fiction

Fiction is a wild horse

A wild horse is strong and beautiful

Beautiful is you

You – are a mystery

A mystery is a runaway train


A runaway train is a bird in flight

A bird in flight is a dream

A dream is just a moment

A moment is right now

So dream

Just dream





The River

© 2017 MJ Bishop


Let’s go down to the river

Wash our feet and love each other

Let’s go down to the river right now


The river runs wild with no regrets

No time to waste no time to fret

It can only see the ocean

When the Mississippi and the Ohio

Flow to the Gulf of Mexico

It’s a journey filled with passion


The river bed might cut our feet

But the waters won’t let us bleed

No pain is everlasting


Let’s dive head first and not look back

Let the current unleash the past

Be it calm or be raging


Let’s go down to the river

Wash our feet and love each other

Let’s go down to the river right now

MJ Bishop Music