It's push and shove And Christmas Eve You stole my heart Now I wear it on my sleeve And I'm standing here Where a boy once stood When he dreamed of worlds That lay beyond the woods... Daniel Boone and Peter Pan Davy Crockett and Spiderman We fought together Blood brothers every one We used to save the world Before each day was done... It's winter now On Nelson Street The shadow men Celebrating my defeat Never been afraid And not about to start So they stole my dreams Don't mean they broke my heart Daniel Boone and Peter Pan Davy Crockett and Spiderman I fought beside them Blood brothers every one We used to save the world Before each day was done... And I'm wishing hard On every star I see That you'll find a place In your heart for me... It's Silent Night And final drinks I'm too far gone To hear what anybody thinks Now I'm walking home Can someone tell me Where that is? Somewhere someone wakes To a Christmas kiss Daniel Boone and Peter Pan Davy Crockett and Spider Man I fought beside them And with Zorro I would run We used to save the world Before each day was done... Before each day was done... It's done... Cc) Frank Howson 1998
When I was a small boy, shortly after being pushed into this world through blood and tears, I began to dream. These dreams weren’t like normal ones in my sleep but rather, much to the consternation of my teachers, during my awake hours. Some of these dreams were bigger than me. And a few would turn out to be so big they would eventually run me down. In time I took this to be a sign from God who lets us know, now and again, that there is a price for everything in this world.
I would pay for mine with a broken spirit reflected in a broken voice. A humbling condition that also teaches one that the true road to God is through humility. It seems that you can only reach Him by looking up.
I strolled the dirty, broken streets of my youth looking down at the pavement locked in these dreams. In some of them I was Davy Crockett laying down my life for a noble cause. In others, I was Zorro and my hair was perfect and I always got away unharmed to fight another day. I found that these dreams could actually get you through your life, even on a zero budget. All you had to do was find a park bench, close your eyes, lift your head until you felt the warm comforting rays of the sun, and let your mind go off to exotic locations and scenarios.
It was good to be young in those days. Without TV and the internet and (c)rap and the Kardashians we had no idea what we were missing. Or how good we had it. Each day was all we owned and it was amazing how much we could fit into it.
I dreamed that I would be bigger than my dad in height and temperament and wealth, and I lived to achieve all that and to discover how meaningless it was. Especially the wealth. It is only in the hard wisdom that I fully see how big was father was. In spite of all his flaws, or maybe as a result of them. For no one gets to be perfect on this lonely journey and to attempt the conceit of striving for it will break you and those you love until you all splinter and disappear in different directions. Take it from one who tried.
So many were lost in action by my failed campaign.
Like a war, some dreams can kill you, maim you, or render you insane from shell shock. There is only so much horror one can witness. Some of us are so mad we get up, dust ourselves off and go on, no matter what we have lost. For to look back at what we have sacrificed following our dream may render us rigid with fear from the monstrous wrecks we have left strewn in our wake.
Over the years our dreams, like us, become less complex and more realistic. And, if we have learned anything at all, we have learned to say thanks for each simple one that comes true.
These days I do feel like Davy Crockett at the Alamo, weary from a very long battle that one can’t run from as there are too many eyes looking our way for direction and an example. But like Davy must’ve learned in those final lonely hours, there is no glory, that comes much later and is spun by the myth makers, there is only blood, sweat and tears. And an intense feeling of loss paid for those fleeting moments of inner warmth that made us feel one with the universe. Perhaps that warmth was hope. A hope that maybe some of it meant something to someone. And if so, maybe we were for a time bigger than ourselves and perhaps, if that’s the case, the dream will go on. And maybe someone much wiser and stronger will one day clench in the palm of their calloused hand the golden ring. I truly hope so.
(c) Frank Howson
My birth was a bit messy from recollection and ever since I have been flaying around like a man drowning in gasoline. People have come and gone in my life, some leaving an impression, others facial scars, but still, I wouldn’t change it even if I could shoot them.
Life is funny isn’t it?
Sometimes you win and sometimes the cards are stacked against you. Still, it keeps us occupied doesn’t it? I mean, otherwise we may turn into animals and attack each other thinking there was no purpose to it all. But the good news is, there is. I can say this with all certainty now as only a few weeks ago I was stirring my pot of porridge when I saw God’s face on the surface. He said unto me, “Listen, go forth and tell all the fucking morons that I have spent a fortune on this human experiment and have nothing to show for it. Other than one lovely Jewish boy and he doesn’t count because he is related on his mother’s side. All I ask is that you scumbags make a little effort and be nice to each other. It’s not brain surgery y’know? Oh, and your porridge is ready.”
I have since taken to the streets spreading the good news that God is alive and still loves us. And that we need to be kind to each other. In return I have been beaten, spat upon, cursed, betrayed by friends, had my sex tapes made public by Billy Bush, been blacklisted by Hollywood, been lectured by Robert DeNiro on morality, and treated by the media worse than Donald Trump. It could’ve been less kind, though. I could’ve been treated like Joan of Arc and roasted like a chicken as a public entertainment. Thank God I wasn’t a woman.
These days I keep to myself and have stopped eating porridge lest I get any more messages from you know who. I mean, I myself, even, don’t know why God chose me to be the bearer of his good news although he does have a history of choosing flawed messengers. Life is complicated enough without all that.
Father, forgive us we know not what we do.
(c) Frank Howson 2017
Stop arguing with people who don't want to know. Look at the small print. Listen to your heart. Stop yearning for what is gone. Look out for children. Listen to what is not said in a conversation. Stop worrying about tomorrow, you may not be here. Look into someone's eyes to view their soul. Listen to the silence just before you drift off to sleep. Stop pushing for things you don't really need. Look and learn. There's a lesson in everything. Listen to your inner voice. If something doesn't feel right, it isn't. Stop the wars fought for nothing. Look after yourself. Listen to the warm. (c) Frank Howson 2017 photography by Vanessa Allan.
All I know is this. Politicians, mostly, stand for one thing, and one thing only – being elected. Those who genuinely dare to make a difference and can’t be bought – are in danger of their lives. And will either be killed by a bullet or a smear campaign.
All I know is this. Jesus, whether he was the Messiah, the Son of God, a gifted rabbi, or just another madman in the wilderness, preached a message of love and forgiveness – regardless of the translations, the interpretations or the Chinese whispers – his message, and the price he paid for it, are worthy of my respect, and love.
All I know is this. Shakespeare has the perfect quote to describe any condition of human nature. So does Bob Dylan.
All I know is this. They no longer make films for mature audiences.
All I know is this. It is alright to love something – but you are damned if you love that thing too much.
All I know is this. Today we have at our fingertips on the internet more easily accessed information than any previous generation that inhabited this planet. And yet the ignorance level has never been higher. Who the hell is Paul McCartney? Go fuck yourself.
All I know is this. Lee Harvey Oswald didn’t shoot J.F.K and the men who did got away with it.
All I know is this. None of us have any real idea what’s happening in the world at the moment. We have been purposely misinformed for many years now because the only way to keep the public in line is to have them in a constant state of confusion and chaos. Oh, and hopefully, on drugs.
All I know is this. The War on Terrorism is as calculatingly and cynically futile and convenient as the War on Drugs.
All I know is this. Two of Hollywood’s greatest geniuses, or genii, Charles Chaplin and Orson Welles, were both run out of town. Does that tell you something?
All I know is this. Children’s theatre and pantomimes were the first introduction of many kids like me to the magical world of theatre. And once hooked on it we continued to go back in search of other magical nights. It built a whole future audience for stage shows. Sadly, what we knew as children’s theatre is now as dead as the Wicked Witch. Ding dong.
All I know is this. We owe more than we know to The Beatles. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
All I know is this. The more you see of Life, the less you think you know.
All I know is this. Humility is the open road to God.
All I know is this. More lives had been lost or damaged through manmade religions than all the wars since the beginning of time. God is great. But his organized fan clubs are run by the ignorant and the flawed.
All I know is this. You can’t judge somebody by the colour of their skin, their gender, the size of their wallet, or their religion. We can only truly be judged on the fabric of our spirit.
All I know is this. You can’t make somebody love you.
All I know is this. Success comes to those who persist. If you lean against a closed door long enough eventually it flies open.
All I know is this. Some of the old clichés have become clichés because they hold the truth. Everything in moderation. If you eat, drink, do, or take too much of anything it will harm you.
All I know is this. Anthony Newley was a genius that the world has largely forgotten now.
All I know is this. Everything you learn you learn in the first five years of your life. Then it may take a lifetime to overcome that.
All I know is this. Any battle is hard won.
All I know is this. Much more is achieved by a smile than a threat.
All I know is this. Every mistake we make is an opportunity to learn something. Those of us who don’t learn are destined to repeat it over and over again. Some, sadly, are stuck in Groundhog Day all their lives.
All I know is this. You never lose a friend. They live on in your heart forever.
All I know is this. We’re not here for long, so be kind to each other.
(c) Frank Howson 2016
I don’t know where I’m going
But I’m starting here
I dueled with my demons
And conquered my fear
I’d reached a place
Where I was at peace with myself
And the joy that that brought
Meant more to me than wealth
To sit in the garden
and feel the sun on my face
Was to reach an unknown destination
And yet to know this place
But you crashed through my door
With your bag of moods
And a bottle of water
That you’d stolen from Lourdes
Escaping from a man
That’d unfriended you
And his songs of misery
That’d all come true
I don’t know where I’m going
But I’m starting here
All the things that I treasured
You smashed them, my dear
(c) 2015 Frank Howson
it was the season of youth when the music was sublime and everything was filled with wonder and possibilities even for a poor kid who hated school if the music hadn't saved me i may've realized how dangerous my future looked in the eyes of the realists and those who suck the joy out of everything but lennon's voice sneered in their ear and defended me and paul sugar coated it so even the establishment unwittingly accepted the revolution while sweet George played the guitar breaks that implanted themselves in our psyche ringo conjured up beats that shouldn't make sense but made us all want to dance then a song "eve of destruction" came on the radio and foretold us all what the truth was that there were shadow people who didn't dance and hellbent on destroying our world and us a brave man must've written this song i feared they would make him pay and they did i looked for his name under the song title on the record it was p.f. sloan i loved the name even and i then after noticed that he had written so many songs that i'd loved that he must be the fifth beatle? maybe? he could've been thought i but i was just a kid and the soundtrack of my life was being written by giants whose like we wouldn't much see again i even bought his own record the 45rpm p.f. sloan was now in bigger letters on the label of him singing his own song "sins of a family" on dunhill records and he warned me again of the world and what can happen to those whose innocence and light distance you from the shadow makers and that the enemy may've even infiltrated your own family but he had said too much rocked the boat sang in a voice that raged and was defiant he must be a communist said the men of darkness we can't categorize him which makes him a threat to what we know and the system of counting beans and labeling tins and there were others envious of his talent and light and youth so the people who gave him to us eventually took him from us one of his publicity photos shows him holding his guitar as though it's a machine gun little did I know he was caught up in a battle of a war that no one wins then oneday p.f.sloan went away disappeared became a mystery he took something of me with him that day i eagerly awaited his return checking the writing credits of every record just in case but alas gone no more i waited 40 years for his return in the meantime his legend grew even his protégé jimmy webb wrote a song for him about him "i have been seeking p.f.sloan but no one knows where he has gone..." if jimmy couldn't find him how could i? then one night in los angeles when I was lost and at bazza's place i surfed the internet and typed in his name that magical name and there he was we met we became friends like it had always been destined that we would we talked and found that we had traveled a similar road he had been banished from the industry for 40 years me for ten we were brothers in hurt and strength and every minute i spent with him inspired me enlightened me and even when we were far apart half a world away we still felt connected in song in spirit and...every day when i think of him i smile he came back into the world reborn with one last album "my beethoven" and a book that explained it all "what's exactly the matter with me?" (written with Steve Feinberg) then... he disappeared on us all again beyond his control but this time we may not have to wait so long to meet up... and one night in that other world we'll sit at dan tana's again over a martini and without a word connect for there is magic if you believe it so and i do
(c) Frank Howson