Old Man on the Roof


I met this old, sun-wrinkled man on Paros, bumming his way through youth hostels. Bright white mustache, dark brown tan, and always in a speedo. I met him once, he met me seven times.

“I’m sorry”, he’d say, “I don’t remember faces or names”.

Eventually he recognized my face but he often called me Daniel. He drank raki mixed with honey; he said it made his memory better. To his credit, he always called me Dylan when he drank. He said he never left Vancouver until he was 67. That’s when the doctor diagnosed Alzheimer’s and he started traveling the world.

“If I’m going to forget the world, I should know what I’m losing”.

He had a small tattoo in Arabic. I asked him what it meant, he didn’t know. An Israeli tourist told us it read “Amani”. He couldn’t remember her. When he drank, he sang “House of the Rising Sun”. I think it was his favorite song. He told me I should open a brothel.

“You have the exact temperament for it!”

I don’t want to read too much into that. One night we were alone on the rooftop drinking his raki. He said, “I wonder where I’ll end up. I wonder if I’ll remember you Daniel”.

We stayed at the same hotel for forty days. At the end, he said it was a good week but it was time to move on. He remembered a woman he left behind on Malta. Maybe he could find her. This was three years ago. I often wonder where he is, and I worry that I can’t remember his name.


Immortal Struggle in Mortal Eyes


We need to get to a point where people don’t fear the unknown.

When we frolic calmly off the ledge and dance in the hollow storm

draining down the sea. There may be hyenas, there may be vultures,

and psycho wrath junkies intent to drag you down.

Frolic off the ledge just the same and into chaos’ dancing eye.


Here you’ll find a beauty unknown in the office cubicle hunched over

safety concentration on lotus comfort. Stare into the eyes of chaos

and see its soul, yours is the spirit of the darkness under the sea,

and when you jump, you’ll feel the burning cosmic star

at the center of your heart beating bleeding love of the fiddle tune

childhood memories prophesying wonder.  

Hello beauty in the depths vibrate out the will and live

And all around the albatross, the depths of love and Holocaust

I found chaos in the wind and the hollow of my soul.

A disconnected battle with my ego on the rocks and in the cove.


And you son are rebuilding no longer falling to step up

grounded on a cloud lifting up into the sky when you tame

the minotaur of uncontrolled dreams and took responsibility

for your actions in a place you may find yourself alone some days

but that’s okay and falling down the remnant road

now you understand your responsibilities to your soul

and are on a path to connect to the whole

when those around suffer you can find the pathway

to carry them out from hades use your music to inspire

and break the chains the time when they climb up and out


Scribbling down the wanton road you use some words

like crutches when you don’t know what to say

voices blank shouting loud  listen world to petty crutches

but they don’t fit you and you magnificent bird learn to fly up

above space. Now child be brave.  Step out on your adventures.