High Mileage

by t heislen

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03:28
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03:54
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03:07
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04:24
11.
03:49

credits

released December 6, 2012

musicians:
Brian Alderman: electric guitar on Warriors, The Only Thing, Blizzard to a Burning Bridge, & Damascus Road
Joe Stobaugh: soprano sax on Dreamer & ms. found in a dead letter office
t: the other bits

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all rights reserved

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about

t heislen Plano, Texas

Plays right, writes left, sings high.
Old enough to know better, young enough to throw rocks.

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Track Name: Dreamer
Dreamer, tell us of the night
Dreamer, tell us of the bright and distant stars
Dreamer, speak to us of light –
Dreamer, sound through this guitar, tell us what the portents are
of the night that falls so fast.

Dreamer, lead us through the day
Dreamer, bend our steps back to the path we’ve lost
Dreamer, help us find our way
Dreamer, take my voice and shout, let it bring the hidden out
reveal it in the day.

Ran the race so fast
tumbled headlong, face down in the grass
In that taste of dirt
did I learn more than I could have, crossing the line first?

Dreamer, tell us of the night
Raise our eyes to the bright and distant stars
Dreamer, bear the vision bright
Dreamer, speak out loud and true, shout out what to share and do
against the night that falls so fast.




© Terry Heislen, BMI
Track Name: Warriors
Jimmy’s our dumpster diver – He’s doin’ the aluminum crawl
He can use your spare tin and copper, glass, lead, papers and all

Disability picks the rent up, scrap buys food and wine
A winch to lift his chair in the truck, and pot to pass the time

Don’t we treat our warriors well?
Don’t we treat our warriors?

Jackie ran the wife and kids off – most nights he just sits and cries
The discharge papers say he’s fine – the discharge papers lie

Don’t we treat our warriors well?
Don’t we treat our warriors?

For what were Jimmy’s legs given, Jackie’s peace sacrificed?
Death merchant’s riches, and politicians’ lies?

Jimmy’s our dumpster diver – He’s doin’ the aluminum crawl
He can use your spare tin and copper, glass, lead, papers and all

Don’t we treat our warriors well?



© Terry Heislen, BMI
Track Name: Bag of Bones
This bag of bones that carries me around for now
might be fun, but I’m not sure it’s home
it can slow me down, and hold me back
keep me from where I want to go

This sack of flesh borrowed from the dust
likes to push its agendas on me
it wants what it wants now, to hell with higher thoughts
food and pleasure before a moment’s peace


My earthen vessel doesn’t change the way I do
as I learn more it grays and dims its eyes
it was strongest when I barely knew my way around
now it gets weaker as I grow wise

This temple takes hard work to keep up now
I didn’t used to give it that much thought
the man in the mirror’s not the one in my mind
not all this middle, or the hair I haven’t got


In spite of all its aches I’m sure I’ll miss this frame
when it is dust again and I am light
our fights and triumphs, beauty found and lovers lost
wrapped together will be prize and price

Humility and humor – lessons sometimes harshly taught
by the shape I struggle to keep up
we both could have been kinder, I suppose
but this forced marriage still has seen some love

This bag of bones that carries me around for now
might be fun, but I’m not sure it’s home

© Terry Heislen, BMI
Track Name: Crescent Moon
Pale sliver of a crescent moon
noonday high in a bright blue sky
Wisp of white in a foreign place
arrests the sweeping eye
The moon’s still right where it should be
it’s not mine to make the rules of time and space
The noonday moon’s no stranger
than me in this strange place

High noon crescent moon, what do you show me?
Blue sky, call the tune – sing and set me free.

Red sun flashing through the trees
hours ago so painfully bright
Dimmed ‘til you can look it in the face
as day fades into night
The sun’s still all life’s powerhouse -
my edge of day is noon to another’s eye
It will surely shine tomorrow
and somehow so must I

High noon crescent moon, what do you show me?
Red sun, call the tune – sing and set me free.

She wasn’t who she said she was
but by the time he saw that, she was gone
A violet-tinted memory
that tugged and teased him through the fitful dawn
And he wonders where she wanders now
for he can’t see how she ever could slow down
but the girl that he remembers
is neither who she was or who she may be now

Last star to fade before the dawn
speaks from long ago and far away
Light older than the ground I tread,
what word for this new day?
The stars will shine again tonight
and bless eyes young or wise enough to wonder
Will I remember morning’s word
when this day fades into another?

High noon crescent moon, what do you show me?
Bright star, call the tune – sing and set me free.

Pale sliver of a crescent moon
noonday high in a bright blue sky


© Terry Heislen, bmi
Track Name: The Only Thing
The ruthlessness may not seem fitting
for the position that she’s in
She doesn’t care about perception
She only wants to win

There is no time for justice
for a jury to weigh in
it’s not about legality
she just wants to win

There is no grace or peace here
There is no charity
The world is defined here
by allegiance or enmity

She doesn’t care what’s right
that the line is growing thin
it’s not about the light
she just wants to win

Don’t waste time trying to change the tone
Don’t misunderstand the game you’re in
Civility is of no consequence
she only wants to win

You weren’t looking for a contest
it’s not supposed to be that way
Now it’s coming down to fight or fly
can you lay it down and walk away?

Won’t turn tail like the playground bully
if she takes one on the chin
Doesn’t care about staying pretty
she only wants to win

Though the wind may sometimes seem to shift
and the fogs of conflict thin
don’t misread the movement of the tides
she just wants to win

It’s Mister Burroughs’ algebra
behind the death-mask grin
the need that sweeps the rest away
she only wants to win






©Terry Heislen, bmi
Track Name: ms found in a dead letter office
Well, I know you’re out there somewhere
but I really don’t know where
I’m just dropping another letter into the void
hoping it finds it’s way to you
and baby, did all your dreams come true?

And I’m thinking of that December
If I hadn’t changed my mind
where would we be sitting now --
would our paths have disentwined?
Have you found a loving friend?
And will I ever see you again?

Each day we change with the decisions we’re making
But we can’t change the past we’ve taken

But oh, if I could only hold you tight --
touch your cheek, and know that you’re alright
We could light a fire – sit up and talk all night

Each day we change with the decisions we’re making
But we can’t change the past we’ve taken

So if you get my letter
call me sometime late at night
or catch a bus, grab a train,
take the early flight,
or just send a postcard

Tell me if you’re all right
after all that you’ve been through
Things are going pretty well here
but it can’t hurt to hear from you
Light from a soul that shines so true



© Terry Heislen, bmi
Track Name: Blizzard to a Burning Bridge
Driving southbound through a blizzard
toward a bridge on fire
got a blanket for a heater
and just one snow tire
Had two when I started
but one didn’t get far
cop stopped to watch me change it
but he stayed in his warm car

Coffee with Kentucky sweetener
is all I’ve got for lunch
I might have left that situation
but it beat me to the punch
now I’m southbound in a snowstorm
toward another door I’d closed
she might open it just far enough
to slam it on my nose

There’s no future in the past they say
that house cannot be home
but of all the places I can’t go
it’s one that still answers the phone

Cold duck in a hot shower
feeling comes back to my feet
still not sure where they are going
is this forward or retreat?
Waking up from running headlong
after someone else’s dream
in a nowhere prairie motel
while the television screams

Ran away from one fine mess
to fall into another one worse
now I’ve got nowhere to go
but to slip and slide back to the first

Broke my buggy in six places
so far I’ve just fixed five
promise to sell it to a good home
if I get back South alive
Hitched my wagon to a falling star
that wasn’t even mine
now I’m freezing off to somewhere else
I thought I’d left behind

Blizzard to a burning bridge
will I get across this time?

© Terry Heislen, bmi
Track Name: What Happened
I remember where I was when I first heard--
yes, I remember the night that it happened
You called me on the phone at work to see if I knew,
I said, “sit tight, I promise I’ll be home soon”

What happened to those people?
They were so in time, so in tune
The gravity defying couple
running on love and rock-n-roll fumes

We held on for a while, but it all went to hell
all the back and forth finally ended
I hated giving him the chance to think he was right,
that he might take some credit for stealing the light

What happened to those people?
How’d they run out of time, fall out of tune?
Did gravity burst their bubble
pull down their love, turn one into two?

I can weep for the songs that never got sung,
give thanks for the time we were given
Hard not to shake my head at what went wrong
when what was right still gives me the shivers

What happened to those people?
Once upon a time, lives rang in tune
A meteor disguised as a couple
fire in the sky that fades into blue




© Terry Heislen, bmi
Track Name: Damascus Road
I wish he’d left you blind on that Damascus road,
set you back to sewing sails by the sea.
Too many held down for the sake of your words
who ought to be set free.

I wish he’d stilled the pens that wrote in your name
to raise themselves and lay others low.
Took your voice to keep another silent,
gave a least one nowhere to go.

The mean and the greedy made it not his house but yours,
to keep the ones he blessed outside the doors.

How did your voice become the one to call the shots,
to judge and name the ins and the outs?
Put hard hearts and closed minds in the judgment seat,
lift law high and put love to rout.

(chorus instr.)

I wish he’d left you blind on that Damascus road,
set you back to sewing sails by the sea;
or left you there eating dust while your name echoed off
the stones you’d cast at me.





© Terry Heislen (BMI)
Track Name: The Journey
Tumbling down the endless stairs
as was my wont to do
hit upright on a landing
somehow, standing next to you
Momentum took us down a flight
‘til we found our feet again
grabbed the rail and turned around
upward step by step since then

Jumping through a thousand hoops
to prove just where we stand
jump right through a thousand more
for a little patch of land
You think the nest is empty
it fills back up again
sneak a couple of days to run and hide
from the bills now and then

The joy is in the journey
we keep climbing, hand in hand
don’t tell us to act our age
or how much fun to have
Laughter in the dark of night
stolen moments in the day
may not know where we’re going
but we’ll have fun along the way

Tumbling down the twisting path
sometimes rocky, sometimes smooth
catch each other’s misstep
harmonize each other’s tune
Have a spot upon the map
but never be pinned down
still some mountains left to climb
with feet just off the ground

The joy is in the journey
we keep climbing, hand in hand
don’t tell us to act our age
or how much fun to have
Laughter in the dark of night
stolen moments in the day
may not know where we’re going
but we’ll have fun along the way





©Terry Heislen, bmi
Track Name: Go
Hand in the small of my back says go
Time is short – don’t miss the show
Give ‘em all you got – tell ‘em all you know
Hand in the small of my back says go

Fist in the small of my back says now
Give to the need, not the sacred cow
Flag’s in the air, hand’s on the plow
Fist in the small of back says now

What am I holding back for?
Who do I think that’s gonna save?
Find one good reason to keep silent
standing this side of the grave

Knee in the small of my back says run
Build up the love, melt down the gun
Let the gravediggers be gardeners once you’ve done
Knee in the small of my back says run

(chorus)

Kick in the small of my back says fire
Scream it to the world, don’t preach to the choir
Ride the tidal wave, run ‘cross the wire
Voice in my ear screams go, now, run, fire
cry out, cry out, cry out, cry





© Terry Heislen, bmi