Tequila, Take Me Home

I wrote this song when we were living in Florida. We were having lunch at La Fiesta, the most Southern California Mexican restaurant in the New Smyrna Beach/Daytona area and I was soaking up the atmosphere, the Mexican music, and the “Mexican Margarita,” as they called it. It was my favorite, if not a bit strong.

A Native Californian, I was so homesick for the West Coast so I took a drink and said, “Tequila, Take Me Home.” That became a song.

So when Taxi A&R had a listing for “drinking songs,” I submitted it. Well, it was not forwarded. But after last night’s episode where they played many of the submissions and we got to vote +1 or -1 as to whether we thought it should be forwarded, I realized my mistake. It was not a “drinking song” in the real meaning of that. It was more of a homesick song – lol!

I have a couple of other drinking songs that would have been more appropriate but they need some work. But it might be good to do the work now because you never know when they might just have another call for that kind of song.

One Real Dad (#poem)

On this earth I have many dads
These dads are blessings, or can be
Disney dad, Princess dad, Byzantine dad to name three
Once I was blind but now I can see
Life taught me something I did not have
There will only ever be one real dad

Mary and Joseph lost their dear son
They searched everywhere with hearts filled with fear
After three days he suddenly appeared
“Why did you make your father and I worry” her eyes spilled her tears
“Did you not know I would be in my father’s house?” he said when so young
Even Jesus had only one real dad when all is said and done

Children misled in so many ways
Proclaiming “any man will do” is what molds them
Identities are being stolen
Hearts are being broken
“It’s better for the kids” they say
When lies suit them better by night and by day

In the Still of the Night (#poem)

In the still of the night I walk and I pray
My mind seeks your voice and your company
Searching for miracles in the light of day
Maybe not A-S-A-P but as long as it takes

These lessons I’ve learned through the tears and the struggle
I couldn’t have known coukd be so invaluable
Through promises you led tucked away in my heart
Your will be done was just the start

As writing and music are the prayers of an artist
It’s not the end result but all about the process
The heart has reason that reason can’t know
And God has logic the world does not bestow

In the still of the night I walk and I pray
As long as I am writing, I feel okay
But if I stop what happens to me?
Will I be able to practice what I profess to believe?

I Lost You (#poem)

I lost you before I was born
Those in charge I could not warn
Maybe that’s why my heart is so afraid
In the womb I had no say
Helpless as I was being made

She gave me life, then she took it away
Broken and wounded and so afraid
Finding something from another man
While you served in a war like Viet Nam
How else could she have made the choices she made?

You never stopped loving her in spite of it all
When a father loves the mother even after a great fall
Is the greatest gift a daughter can see
Feeling the love and the power to believe
Knowing if only she’d trusted what she’d had

It’s whisky under the bridge having gone separate ways
Sons and daughters and grandkids to my dismay
Squeezing me out as if I did not exist
Twisting me into an identity, not for me but against
Refusing to acknowledge who I really am

Forgiveness is healing, no need to carry that burden
But one needs to be sorry, of this I am certain
Without it there is no great story of repentance
That’s the difference between Peter and Judas
I lost you before I was born

I Went Home Today (#poem)

I went home today
He was there but I could not stay
I heard the promise given last July
Future victory conquers a lifetime lie

I must hold on
His presence lingers after I’m gone
The photos are proof but even better
Written on my heart are the red letters

I’m going home for good
Refusing to leave if I could
The stakes are high, the mountains tall
Untul my last breath, I’m giving it my all

I Close My Eyes (#poem)

I close my eyes and I see the light
Shining into my soul
Who are you this long and lonely night
Lighting my flame with a burning coal

I will not collapse I answer back
I’ve trusted far too long
The road is winding but nothing I lack
Leaning into a shepherd’s arms so strong

Pondering the moments you touched my face
Thumbing through photos in my mind
Reviewing the scenes through eyes of faith
I see your love caressing my life as our story unwinds

I close my eyes and I see the light
Guiding my soul through dark and lonely nights

Moments of Surrender (#poem)

Moments of surrender are the sweetest sound
Love sings softly in a cloud of surround
Kitty calls feeling lost, hears my voice halfway up the stairs
Troubles bubble like champagne completely unaware

Abundant blessings bounce before me on a trampoline
Memories sweet as a summer night on a front porch swing
When those before me say good-bye with a final ticket to ride
Life is shaken sending ripples where kitties once slept by my side

Sleepless thoughts are the norm these long and lonely nights
Abandoned only in my mind, surrender conquers the fright
Morning brings one step forward, nighttime falls with two steps backward
Up and down, down and up, confidence shaken and fractured

Victories, he said, are as sweet as cognac
Laugh, my child, or you’re bound to crack
He lived what he preached for 95 years
Bring on the voices of the chanticleers

The Dawn is Breaking (#poem)

After a long dark night of the soul
I feel the morning skies brighten
No pink streaks of light on the horizon
Just a peaceful feeling lifting me out of the hole

Like traffic quickening in the commute hours
The pulse is palpable this morning
Letting go was a blessing and warning
Preparing me for a new season of flowers

The dawn is breaking without my prodding
Surrender was the final push
Like spring rain caressing the rose bush
My soul awakens anew with longing

Leap of Faith (#poem)

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?
When conflicting demands pull you in different directions, too
When the consequences of your choices put you in a jam
One step at a time, you do the best that you can

It didn’t go the way you imagined when you took that leap of Faith
How could you know this time would be different when the other times everything fell into place
Don’t give up when it’s not over yet
Some day you will see that it’s simply perfect

Each mountain gets taller, the pathway gets longer
The wise men disappear, making you stronger
So that you can lend a helping hand to someone down the rung
Man or woman, old or young

This is how Saints are made, it may surprise you to think about
Under pressure you kick and stomp and shout
More like Peter, not John or Mary
What could be more contrary?

You relive it, rehash it, go back to the beginning, wracking your brain
Questioning what could have, should have changed
Not knowing how this story will end
Would you take that Leap of Faith again?

Heavenly Holmes Band (Musical Family Story and Testimony)

I grew up up without knowing my father or my father’s family. It’s complicated. But my maternal grandmother was a staunch Jehovah’s Witness and my father’s family were Baptists and she wasn’t about to hand me over to the Baptists. How ironic I should become Catholic. 🙂

Anyway, when I came into contact with my father and his family in my 40s, my Uncle Don said:

“Now that you know you’re a Holmes, you’re going to want to pay attention to music.”

And he began to tell me the family stories and the talents of the family I had never known.

Along about the same time, my literary agent said:

“Your writing has a poetic, almost lyrical rhythm to it.”

What did that mean? Poetic? Me? Lyrical? Really? But I had heard that my paternal grandmother wrote poetry and my grandfather was a musician, so I started to look at my love of music and this lyrical rhythm I apparently had to see what I might do about it. That was the beginning of my serious pursuit of music, including songwriting.

As the story goes, my great grandfather made musical instruments and, of course, then, he could play all of them. My grandfather played the keys and sang in a band (besides, being a pitcher for the Memphis Chicks), my uncles and dad either sang and/or played various instruments, from guitar to drums to bass to the keyboard.

In school, I’d heard that I had a musical ear. My vocal coach in Las Vegas (who had appeared in Mamma Mia on stage), said I had a great ear for music. Anyway, back to music in school, I sang in the choir, solo’d and played the organ, piano, guitar, and violin in fits and starts. The constant for me was singing – that was my favorite part. And as a modern musician, I’ve discovered that, like great grandpa, I love to arrange an assortment of instruments through music production – I absolutely love that!

All of that family except for one younger uncle are gone now so I like to think that some day I’ll play and sing with the Heavenly Holmes Band. (For more about Uncle Ron’s musical talent, check out his obituary).

Listening to Travis Greene this afternoon, I’m calling on the Heavenly Holmes Band to be my prayer warriors and all play and sing this song together: