Go West!

Written early this morning (holidays always mess with my internal clock) … couldn’t sleep … friends going through some important life-stage changes, me doing a lot of thinking.


Back when girls wore braids, that I loved to pull
In history class, at my public school
We studied those lessons over and over again.

From Washington and the Delaware
To the wall coming down in the cold night air
I hardly stopped to listen; I’m a-runnin’ just as fast as I can.

But one thing I remember said, “Go west young man.”


“Go west young man,” the horizon is big as can be
“Go west young man,” your future is wild and free
The adventure’s calling, though the world keeps stalling, there’s nothing stopping you
Live your life, son, “Go west young man.”


I went on to college just to get a degree
For a middle class boy that’sand jobs ain’t free
Learned to party hard. Not a kid; not really a man.

Then I met this girl with curly blond hair
My friends started laughing at my dumb blank stare
I didn’t stop and listen; Started runnin’ just as fast as I can.

The one voice I remember’s saying, “Go west young man.”


Bridge 1

A wedding, a mortgage, car payments, and a child
What ever happened to free, fun, and wild?


Now I work all day; I’ll be home by six an’
See your hair is a mess; and the dinner ain’t fixed
You feel like a failure; I’m beaten down by the man

Cowboys are on with their fantasy girls
Then I see our little baby in her chaps and pearls
I can hardly stop and think; I’m wrestlin’ just as hard as I can.

There’s a bunch of little voices calling, “Go west young man.”

Bridge 2

Distractions are powerful, they all tempt my heart to roam
But you’re begging me to choose to be here and not just home.

Guitar Solo

Bridge 3

I put away my childhood ways; off goes the TV set.
I’ll be damned if I’m gonna miss this chance to have the best adventure yet!




upon each confining wall may be found
insignificant hardware
inviting the mystical filament
into illumination
yet hope wanes despairing in darkness

avoiding sharp corners, stubbing the toes
bruising shins oft’ exposed by
timid adventures while exhaustion grows
climaxing in frustration
and fumbling surrender to darkness

candles – a million – one flick away with
laughter not drug but symptom
familiarity breeds contempt they say
when will we tire of shadows
and enter new bliss free from darkness?

stubborn, the plastic still aims at the floor
though “on” incessantly begs
curious cats who dogged persist in
killing their own twilight quests
to embrace and infect those in darkness

©2004 Joshua Ryan Barron