He Was My Brother/A Cause

He was my brother
Five years older than I
He was my brother
Twenty-three years old the day he died

Pick out a number,
choose any one,
pick out a number;
any number’s too soon for that loaded gun.

Freedom writer
They cursed my brother to his face
“Go home, outsider
Mississippi’s gonna be your buryin’ place”

Take a stand
for the cause of your heart.
Dirt is dirt,
and any land’s the right place to start.

He was singin’ on his knees
An angry mob trailed along
They shot my brother dead
Because he hated what was wrong

Heaven is near’ to the ground,
Hell is closer to the heart.
Synchronize to the angel’s sound
and live a life and death the better part.

He was my brother
Tears can’t bring him back to me
He, he was my brother
And he died so his brothers could be free
He died so his brothers could be free

Pick out a number;
it didn’t matter before.
All that mattered
was the heartbeat and the just cause.

To Balto, To Togo, To All The Good Boys

When Hell froze over,
you sprinted for infinity.
Granted, to run
seemed your sole affinity,

but simply doing
your simple love
made all the difference
‘tween nil and enough.

So thank you for Nome,
and thank you for hope;
may you ever tread prints
in the freshest of snow.

© Blake Leitch April 10, 2019


I never had to face
the box tattooed on my arm,
and I know one too many
who did while people kept dancing.
But giving myself a try
means finding a ground floor
tattoo parlour, means flying
to my own Neverlands,
means words spilling from a fountain pen
instead of a keyboard.
And enlightenment was never
a one-off, but a lifetime
fraught between disdain and delight.
To give myself a try
means burning the bible
and spending a lifetime gluing ashes.

You know, for the amount that you’re paid,
you’re not very good at this.

© Blake Leitch February 25, 2019


I was never grateful for now,
and it’s harder with each passing season
to give little more than contented sound
amid ever reducing reason.
But I had my chance to see the stars,
had my time to lose myself,
had moments to see the reason for arts.
I lived beyond my bookshelf.
And, maybe, now a mile
is exactly what it is;
no longer just a while
to reconnect with bliss.
I regret the closing window of a future I won’t know,
but am grateful for the hours, afar and here at home.

© Blake Leitch March 6, 2019