Tag Archives: Friendship

Good Ol’ Blind Joe

Written and sung by John Richter

You know there’s lots of people
on this earth.  Yes there is –
take a look around
You’ll find them in every town
I’m gonna’ tell you a story
about one of them right now…

Good ol’ blind Joe
Oh, he was blind as a bat
Don’t you know?
Yes he was.
We’d ride our bikes on past
And shout out “Hey Joe!”
He’d say “Hey Boy!”
“Who’s there? You know it’s me
but I’m blind.  You know that.”

Good ol’ joe
stood on the corner of his house everyday
His momma’d take him out there
’cause he couldn’t find his own way

He was 24 or 25 when I first met Joe
I was maybe 5, walking by with my momma
He said “pleased to meet you Johnny”
“Really happy to know you”
“I’m out here most days.”
“Just come on by, give me a smile, and a….”

Hello, Mr. Joe…
You’ve been gone so long.
Maybe you didn’t think so
But I’m gonna write you this song…

Not too many people
in this world get along
No, no…
Let me tell you about Mr. Joe,
Mr. Joe
Mr. Joe
Happiest guy I know….

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© 2015 John Allen Richter
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Barber Jim

song written and performed by John Richter

He come from West Virginia
Oh, such a long ride
On the back of that Harley
sat his pretty young bride
He said we’re going to Indy
Mrs. Barber Jim, yeah
But that’s where it ends
Yeah, Barber Jim

I walked into the door
He said sit down Johnny,
I’ll cut your hair some more
what do you think
about that baseball score
Light up a smoke
and have a joke

Come on over tonight
gonna put some burgers
on that grill
Mrs. Jim gonna make
that cucumber salad, yeah
you know, I grow em in the back
my daddy taught me that

Tell me Johnny,
who’s that guy watchin’ me
I think he’s been ’round since three
and he sure is scaring me –
Johnny

Old Jim he left for a while
worried his wife won’t stick around,
missed his uncle
went West Virginia town
never said goodbye.

Never said goodbye,
never said goodbye…
Jim took his own life.
Now I see a Harley,
I see Jim and his wife…
Ridin’ to West Virginia

Many years ago i worked for the Indianapolis Police Department where I kept a kept a flat-top haircut, in the barbers a lot and I met Jim, who was new to Indy and was a really nice guy.  We became friends over a couple of years, got to know him pretty well, dined with Jim and his wife a few times.  But one day I suspected Jim had some mental problems because he seemed like he was turning a little paranoid of people following him.  The last time I saw Jim he told me his Uncle had passed and he needed to get back to West Virginia to be with his dad, who I think was a having a grieving spell.  And I never saw Jim again.  One day, a few months later I heard a 10-Zero come over the police radio while I was just rolling around the district and the address sounded familiar.  10-Zero is code for dead person, suspicious.  I wasn’t on the run but drove by to see why it sounded so familiar.  The other officers were already on scene and I could see Jim’s wife on the front lawn, just as she collapsed, sitting with her head between her knees.  Jim had taken his own life…  Words can’t describe.  But this is my song – if it describes how I feel, I don’t know…  But it is what it is.

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© 2015 John Allen Richter
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Odd Little Man

The world didn’t stop – street lamp glowing –
throwing – hues of light upon the corner’s darkness.
Walked I – walked I – right on by –
lest the man say “You there, odd little man –
with odd little head – why do you walk so fast?”
Fast walk I, walk I, said I,
that in my stare step world
I should get on past – lest I
not see my footprints further.
To let me know I was here,
that something lived and I
did see the hues of the street lamp –
who didn’t cry itself to sleep,
but as I walked by I said softly
“you deserve to be loved.”
Nothing more than glowing cherry-red
footprints to show his existence now –
To know that once the warmth of his
hue made me feel real – something
other than odd little man –
with odd little head –
something other than just he
who nods gracefully, loviningly,
to those cruel others not even worthy
to light the lamp….
The beautiful, loving lamp.
And I hide in the shadows
until they leave or until
I lay down in his hue –
soaking up his radiance –
pretending it is my own….
and for just a moment –
I become normal.
Famine stricken,
ravishing love,
leaving dabs of cherry red glowing footprints
so I can find normalcy again tomorrow.
Will you hold my hand and come with me?
You make me feel normal.

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© 2015 John Allen Richter
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One More Time

If there were a single day of yesterdays
That I could hold most dear,
should it be filled with daffodils and puffy clouds,
or brother with baseball shoes?

Once upon a time, a time, a time,
Which yesterday would you save?
If times were but a tic and toc,
Then they would all be the same.

Alas, times are not the same,
each holding it’s own mystery.
One may be hot and blistery,
while another cold and wintery.

Whether weather is weather (as it be),
it makes so little difference to me.
For souls are what brighten my days,
Not the Sun, not the Moon, not electricity.

If there were a way to gather the times
that made me smile so,
and mix them all together with  rhyme,
and never let them go,
Then that day would be the day I’ll save,
and take it to my grave.

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 © 2014 John Allen Richter
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Thank you all for being my friend…….


Freundlichkeit

This grey day poured itself thick as sludge
and my weary self destined to drudge
through sadness long as the width of pain.
Lo, angels sang and God be judge
my sorrowful gloom still can’t nudge
as the follies in life slowly abstain.

When has my life ceased to be
in the joyous throes of pleasantry
that a voice can find no care?
When once even a stranger could see
the value of common courtesy
to make life a happy affair.

Gone are the days when one would say
blessings to you sir and good day,
leaving the heart so warm inside.
And now life gives something less away
as tempers flare we find dismay
and our hearts only scamper to hide.

Where once our eyes were apt to meet
and our grinning smiles were sure to greet
our encounters now gruff with disdain.
Our meetings now boiled to things unsweet
quickly maneuvered and indiscreet
as indifference tenures our common bane.

But I shan’t allow this affectionate loss,
even in the face of belligerent gloss
and will kindly offer amenities.
With a smile I shall bear this cross
and allow my dearest words to emboss
with the humblest of guarantees.

And in the end when we do part
we each should check the beat of our heart
to find if one or two should leave with a smile.
For if nothing more I can ever impart
on my daily trek with this old oxcart,
let it be that our friendship lasted a while.

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Here let us sit and bless our Starres
Who did such happy quiet give,
As that remov’d from noise of warres.
In one another’s hearts we live.

-Katherine Philips,  “A Retir’d Friendship”

© 2011 John Richter