Sheltered from the howling winds of vows and scattered souls and sweltering hate,

she is a refuge from the blistering sands of dread and loss and torn and twisted fate.

When the emptiness inside becomes an abyss so dark and wild and cold,

my words get lost in the jangling alleys where dreams are bought and sold.

I met her in those alleys among the withering roses on a bed of thorns,

and she filled me up with poems banishing the scowling moments and their baleful scorns.

Now I lie awake and wish that I could sleep and drift away into the maze of her dream,

but slumber has fled and slipped the noose around my words as they thrash around and scream.

Words that swirl around and around like that scarlet scarf wrapped around her face,

she’s a mystery still as she will always be while I sift through this empty desolate space.

The storm it broke and ceased and shuffled my words as they drifted forlornly into the chasm of the dead,

leaving me here still and mute and frantic as I try to pick up the pieces of all the words that have been said.

Far too many far too often far too conceited and far too proud,

for I failed to hear the stillness of beauty as I rambled along barking my words out aloud.

She hushes me now as she hushed me then in the cobwebbed tunnels of the past,

while I weep more words in blood and ink onto dried parchment meant never to last.

So tell her that her whiskey has been greedily gulped down and now that I am soberly drunk,

I see her songs and hear her breath reaching down into my mouldy abode of hapless funk.

Fare-thee-well for now as I slide into the scribbled hubris of another battered rhyme,

dazed by the glaring embers as they scorch the moments of quickly fading time.

And if tomorrow finds me here still shell-shocked and drained in body and in mind,

tell her that her wine has slipped through the loose knots that bind.

Tying me to this place of sanity and insanity all rolled into one,

while all is numb and scarred from the deed that has been done.

And as I flee recklessly chasing away myself from me once more,

she’ll know the words for its a song that’s been sung far too many times before.

(for Bob Dylan)