Posts Tagged ‘#family’

© MSK 2-7-2018

There are thousands of things I haven’t done in my life

With a million reasons why.

If I haven’t gotten to all of them by now

I more than likely never will.


I could do so much today but I’ve been there before.

One more time but not sure what for.

A Billion Snowflakes so unlike any other

If truthful; exactly the same.


There are a Billion Snowflakes circling around you.

There are a Billion Snowflakes and one landed next to you.

In this place at the perfect time.

That is how I found you.


There are a Billion Snowflakes of magnificence and beauty.

There are a Billion Snowflakes and one landed next to me.

In this place and only this time.

That is how you found me.


Holding your hand the world that surrounds me is new

Music breaks my heart in two.

I knew all the words but now know their meaning

You stood there and just opened the door.


I kept thinking there was no one out there like me

So you                  surely                       could never be.

And if I completely lost myself in someone

Impossible they would feel the same.


There are a Billion Snowflakes of magnificence and beauty.

There are a Billion Snowflakes and one landed next to me.

In this place at the perfect time.

That is how I found you.

That is how I found me.


When I wrote the lyrics to This Moment, I had been thinking about my younger brother.  He died from throat cancer a while back.  He was the funniest and kindest person I have ever known.  Even in the last few weeks of his battle you would never know he was losing.  I spoke with his doctor and stated my brother was exhausted; no money or resources, no physical or emotional strength reserves, no medical options left.  I was told others that were in a better state might be able to hold out longer.  Soon my wife and I got a call and rushed to the hospital as we had a number of times before.  He was in ICU this time and there was nothing to be done.  The next expectation was the cancer would eat through the main artery in his neck.  I will spare you the rest.

As he woke up and looked around, he was puzzled and almost excited at the same time.  He could not talk, so he wrote something on a piece of paper and handed it to me.  “Is this real?” was written at the top of the page.  Between the medications and his state of mind, he was not sure if he was dreaming or not.  He had been in hospital rooms many times, but he knew this was different.  I told him that we are in the hospital.  I confirmed he was dying and there was little time left.  His artery would rupture soon.  A moment difficult to prepare for.

The lyrics worked their way from my thoughts to the paper as I recalled that time in the hospital.  How I felt: how he must have felt.  My thoughts wandered to the many times I have talked and laughed with him over the years.

Your thoughts and comments were truly appreciated.  I put the lyrics to music recently. This is not a perfect recording.  This is as far as it goes for me.  Please accept it as it is. For all of us that have lost loved ones and friends, sometimes we just need to share the loss.  Maybe it makes it easier to turn the pain into great memories.


Before We Fell In Love”                                                                                  (c)1-19-94 MSK

The painting used to be stunning,

Now it is shallow and pale.

What was once strong and firm,

Stands undecided and frail.


Anxiously awaiting the feast

Doesn’t seem worth the hassle.

These rooms so dark and lonely,

Were once a mighty castle.


The pool is deep,

It goes on forever.

Things don’t really change,

Only how we wish to see.


She used to be so beautiful,

He was so gentle and kind.

They wish not to see each other now,

To leave all their past behind.


Summer seemed to last forever,

Years pass in the blink of an eye.

When old friends come to visit,

You can’t wait to say good-bye.


The pool is deep,

The grass is always greener.

I was who I am

Before we fell in love.

My wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary and her birthday recently.  We planned to meet with friends and have a dinner out.  We usually fill our bellies and head to someone’s house after the meal.  I have mentioned that a lot of our friends are musicians and creative types.  These are the people we invite to celebrate birthdays and such!  They are talented, creative thinkers and artistic wizards.

I bring this up to explain our tradition at the dinner tables when we gather.  Most restaurants have long tables for large parties.  Too many for the round tables available, we are all seated and start chatting.  Years ago we thought it would be more of a social mix if we chatted for a while and get appetizers and drinks when we get seated……… then everyone would take their drinks and move 3-4 seats over – in the same direction.  That way we could talk with different groups of people during the evening.

The waiter/waitress would come back and look around rather puzzled for a few seconds.  Most start to grin and roll with it very well.  Some are truly amazing and funny.

We might wait until after we order the main course and move seats again!

For our recent anniversary the place was busy and chaotic.  The manager filled in as our waitress because we had waited so long to be seated.  We decided not to rotate as we usually do to avoid further confusion and delays LOL!

Here’s to another year with friends at the not so round table.


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© MSK 12-9-2017

While you sleep

You will lay safely.

I will caress you

I will keep you warm.


When the world

Is beyond your touch

I will hold your hand

I will call your name.


There is pain

Lost behind the door.

‘Til then embrace it

And the good things in life.


This Moment

With all the others

I’ll remember you

And still hear your laugh.



What if it’s not a dream?

I’ll tell you what’s real

As moments remain.


This Moment

With all the others

I’ll remember you

And still hear you laugh.


In memory of my brother Christopher.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I was fortunate enough to take a trip to visit my daughter and grand kids in the D.C. Area.  I was going to drive but found a flight that was not too expensive and got me in and out within my schedule.  The visit was great and I had a wonderful time, but I wanted to mention the flight back.

Days are getting shorter here and the sunset comes surprisingly early.  I booked an evening flight back home.  As we boarded the plane, the day was ending and the sun had already started to set.  When we lifted off, the sunset was just about over, with the skies a deep pink mixed with dark red.  The timing was just right, and as we slowly ascended, the sunset was revived.  Flying in the direction for home, the plane arched its way toward the sunset.  We were not pointed directly at it so the sunset-filled horizon was visible outside the passenger windows.  I sat in the aisle row, so I could not take pictures or see the entire sunset, but I could see the spectacular colors and darkening clouds peak through every window on one side of the plane.

It seemed like the pilot was chasing the sunset.  Elevating and angling as needed we kept in pace with the evening light show.  I am always fascinated by the view when flying. Cloud formations, landscape features, lakes and mountains and the spider web of roads can keep me entertained for hours.

As night continued to consume the daylight hours, the ground lights became more and more visible.  A dazzling holiday display appeared for all willing to invest a little imagination.  I could have sworn one town had a huge area of lights that resembled Santa on his sled being pulled by brightly decorated reindeer!  Other areas hinting of holiday trees and festive decorations could be seen on one side of the plane as the unending sunset blazed when looking out the other. This lasted all the way home until the plane’s final decent brought the sunset and decorative lights to an end.

It was a short flight, but the never-ending sunset was just what the doctor ordered.  I never opened my book or tried to close my eyes during the entire flight, thinking this was the best return home flight I could have asked for.  Wishing you safe and pleasant travels for the holiday season!


I wrote this song many years ago.  It reflects ideas I had for a long time before they became lyrics to a song.  I can’t tell you how many times I have been interrupted by people coming into a dark room I was in and immediately tuning on all the lights.  Even early in my life I was concerned about so many city lights that I could not see the stars on an otherwise clear night.  There seemed to be no end to this trend.  Now I have to travel miles and miles to find a dark place outside the city lights.


I only have this one recording of the song.  This happened when I introduced the song for the first time to my band mates.  We ran through this tune a couple times in the living room.  As far as I know this is the only time the song was performed, so I was lucky to get it recorded……

Though that is not strictly true as I recorded everything back then!  My friends used to give me a hard time for being so weird about that.  I always had the mics out and ready to record.  Even if we just sat around and talked, I had the reels rolling.

So while this is not a great recording and you can hear me give arrangement directions as we ran through the song, I am glad to have this copy of Brighter and Brighter.  I will have to look in my archives to find out when the lyrics were written.  At the time, my young son would want to keep his bedroom lights on at night.  Not for fear of something under the bed.  Just because he preferred it that way.  So these lyrics and the song they inspired are for him.

“Brighter and Brighter”                                  (C) MSK

Some people get off on those neon lights

Keep the sun burning to hold back the night.

Won’t give it a chance and set the darkness free

So much going on that they have to see

That they have to see.


Not me!

I Dig the Dark

I Dig the Dark

I Dig the Dark


Sign posts, traffic lights and red laser beams

Brighter and Brighter that’s the way it seems

I don’t turn yours out so don’t turn mine on

Just leave it where it is until I am gone

Until I am gone.


I Dig the Dark

I Dig the Dark

I Dig the Dark


Hide in the closet and close my eyes

It won’t help to look when the spirt flies

It’s people like you who learn to believe

Through large mushroom clouds and your big bight ideas

Yeah, all your big bright ideas.


Not me!

I Dig the Dark

I Dig the Dark

I Dig the Dark



Fortunately, when I have too many things on my plate and never seem to get to putting some of my best lyrics to music, I have many talented friends that bail me out.  Often I write poems – but almost as often I begin writing lyrics intending to put music to them at some point.  Today I will share the lyrics and the original live recording to one of my favorites.

I found myself thinking of musical relationships and what, to some, becomes a long path that never gets close to ‘stardom’, whatever that is.  The late-night conversations with many friends – musicians reflecting on the efforts and rewards involved in the lifestyle we have chosen – became metaphors in these lyrics.

The title “Stainless Steel” refers to one type of guitar strings.  I also use silk and stainless steel strings on my Ovation 12 string guitar, but Stainless Steel captured the feeling I was surrounded by when writing the lyrics.  There is a certain pride creative people get when sacrificing for their art.  So many things are put on the back-burner or postponed indefinitely to accomplish turning a dream or idea into a treasure; even if it is only for a select few to enjoy.  No one else may ever know what gems were created, and it appears to many that you have nothing to show for your time and talent.  Only a few will understand the trade-offs you have made; those sitting around with you late at night, year after year.

In this recording my good friend, the late Mark Kelsey, plays guitar and sings.  He is accompanied by Ann Ellis from my band “The Personal Touch”.  Mark has worked through the arrangement a few times and I believe this is the first time Ann had heard the song.  He quickly recorded for me to listen to and was later to record a final version in a professional studio where he lived.  This is my favorite recording and I will always think fondly of him when I hear this recording.  While the living room quality is easy to hear, the mood and inspiration comes through clearly.

In our busy lives, it is all too easy for us to overlook the efforts our friends and loved ones make for us.  Sometimes it takes far too long for us to fully appreciate those acts of love.  I have let many go unrecognized – unappreciated – unacknowledged until it was too late.  Looking back I find myself humbled to realize how much my life would have been uplifted and how many friends deserved my  – – –  I do not know the correct words, but ‘praise’ seems as close as any I can think of.   It may also have uplifted their lives in a time when they needed it most.  It can be sad and joyous when time finally reveals the reflections of our lives.

Stainless Steel”                         Lyrics by MSK, Music by Mark D Kelsey  © 1984


Stainless Steel Shining Bright

Broken Glass Shattered nights

When we talk, What we feel

Lights the fire Turns the Wheel

Turns the wheel


Stainless Steel Sharp and cold

Day by day Bought and sold

Take my hand Close your eyes

Say a prayer Throw the dice

Throw the dice


Waiting for a Miracle is like waiting forever

When there’s nothing else to do

I hope that someone’s out there waiting for me baby,

The way that I ‘m waiting for you

Oh Stainless Steel


Stainless Steel Deep within

Who we are What we’ve been

Reaching out Find ourselves

Kiss goodbye, What the hell

What the hell


Stainless Steel Never bends

No one blames Or defends

Smiles will fade Tears will fall

Memories of Nothing at all

Nothing at all


Waiting for a Miracle’s like waiting forever

When there’s nothing else to do

I hope that someone’s out there waiting for me baby,

The way that I ‘m waiting for you

Oh Stainless Steel




I enjoyed the response from my poem “Eight Letters”.  Thank you all so much. (

The poem kept rattling in my head all day long and I found them fitting a rhythmic pattern.  Then a melody jumped in and I headed up to my studio to get it all down.

There was a mood inspired by the groove and I layed down the guitar tracks to a metronome.

The drums came easily as I followed the rhythms in my head.  As I mentioned earlier, this is fun and simple for me.  The chorus just jumped out, and I like the changes coming back into the verse.  The 6 string acoustic guitar sounded great to me and fit the song perfectly.

From there it was add the bass sound on my MIDI keyboard and it was ready for the Lead and harmony vocals.

It took me a while to sing this one to match the mood and I am glad you didn’t have to listen to me learn the melody and fit it to the music, but I think it came out as intended; short and sweet.

Here is the song mixed down.  The whole process took me about a week, but this was before I started working over 50 hours a week!



MSK 02

MSK 02

Eight Letters”                        © 3-10-2017


I’ve done a lot of things

Some of them turned out wrong.

Wrote pages and pages

Emotions forged into song.


No way to imagine

How I would feel today.

Should have held tighter

Never let you walk away.


Over and over from summer to spring.

Day and night shouting and screaming

After all these years I keep repeating

Eight letters that don’t mean a thing.


Can’t say I didn’t try

Little comfort tonight.

Knowing what I have lost

It would have been worth a fight.


Over and over from summer to spring.

Day and night shouting and screaming

After all these years I keep repeating

Eight letters that don’t mean a thing.


Eight letters that don’t mean a thing.

Promises spoken.  What the future brings.

Eight letters that don’t mean a thing.

Promises broken.  Songs I’ll never sing.


No way to imagine

How I would feel today.

Should have held tighter

Never let you walk away.