Prayer Ditties


Now I lay me down to pray
That all this war will go away
And that our need for violence
Won’t overcome all our good sense

I pray that we can learn to play
Our violent games a different way
To take turns playing master/slave
Not just one role from birth to grave

I think we see what happens when
Nobody learns to share, and then
We’re forced to remain in our place
Bereft of choice, of pride, of grace

We soon get bored with our dull roles
And seek excitement and new goals
The only chance that most are given
Is when to war they all are driven

See the world! while you destroy
Another culture’s pride and joy
Come, be all that you can be
In your cultural captivity

They’ll tell you that you must defend
Their principles unto the end
That it’s either them or you
And nothing in between will do

“Are these principles?” You ask
As your face is covered with a mask
To breathe through all the burning oil
“Is this helmet made out of tin foil?”

It seems to me all quite insane
As if we didn’t have a brain
Capable of thought and reason
Instead of calling open season

On everyone and everything
That challenges our god, our king
Or anyone who looks askance
At our god-granted dominance

I’d rather not be part of we
You be you, and I’ll be me
I just wish that it weren’t true
That you are me and I am you.

Damn you, Jimmy Cliff.  


Now I lay me down to sleep
May all my promises I keep
May I be kind to one and all
And never drink to have a ball

May I strive to be my own true best
Not just compared to all the rest
May I freely give both time and money
And never find racist humor funny

May I struggle for equality 
Between every living thing and me
May I help others who are in need
But never do it out of greed

May I lift a spirit to save a soul
And help the broken become whole
May I meditate on all that’s well
While my ex-girlfriend burns in hell. 

Did I say that out loud?

Blind Date

Now I lay me down to sleep
Determined that my soul I’ll keep
From bankers and from all who hate 
and especially from that blind date 

Who dazzles me with brilliant wit
But cares for others not one bit
From temptation in all its changing forms
From conformity with all its norms

From apathy for those who suffer
Let me be a gentle buffer
And if I die before I wake
That would suck. 

Lighten Up

Now I lay me down to sleep
I’m tired of having thoughts so deep
That others frown and ask me why
Can’t I just nod and learn to lie

The time has come to make some fun
Of me, of life, of everyone
Strange creatures, we, you must admit
And we don’t know the half of it

The strangest things, we learn to hide
To tolerate, and just abide
To be different, we don’t dare
Our “normal” side is all we share

No wonder now that we’re all bored
And thoughtless, we say “praise the lord”
For all creations, big and small
We don’t take credit for it all

So we don’t have to take the blame
For things that make us burn with shame
Nor have to be our brother’s keepers
So now we are the losers, weepers.

Hey, that’s not lightening up.


Now I lay me down to sleep
Or maybe I’ll lay here and weep
This bed seems to have grown so vast
Since us and we are in the past

The future looms like cloudy skies
I see you when I close my eyes
When I left I’d hoped you’d follow
This mattress has an empty hollow

Your life is there and here is mine
Our fruit did wither on the vine
Strangled by those loathsome weeds
That sprouted from such tiny seeds

Cultivated by our fears
And watered by our silent tears
I lie awake, my dreams have fled
Where there was hope, there now is dread

Of seemingly eternal night
The deep, the void, before the light
I fall in, then out of slumber
I really should delete your number.

Next, Please

Now I lay me in my bed
I’m really glad this day is dead
It didn’t die of natural causes
While earning any wild applauses

It was poisoned by a bully
Who didn’t understand it fully
It doubled over, gasped and retched
I know, I know– it sounds far-fetched

It couldn’t breathe or run and hide
While I watched it die, I cried
It’s buried in a secret place
With all the rats who lost the race

I hope that it will rest in peace
It won’t help to call the police
Nobody cares that it’s gone missing
And there will be no reminiscing.

Psst, God, do you ever smite bullies?

Baby Steps

Now I lay me down to rest
I may have failed, but did my best
To be patient, kind and true
And do as I said I would do

Throughout the day I did not lie
Pretend, or even falsify
I told the truth, and nothing more
It’s not my fault he was a bore

I put it in the kindest way
And even asked if he would stay
To finish up his tale of woe
But he said no, I’ve got to go

Though I tried to be a friend
It seemed his tale would never end
Gossip is so darn confusing
Its meanness I don’t find amusing

Later, in a traffic jam
Someone cut me off—and damn!
I was transformed from a singer
To someone giving them the finger

Hey, there’s always tomorrow.
Unless I die before I wake.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Now I lay me down to sleep
I feel a bit like Meryl Streep
Giving an acceptance speech
For something so long out of reach

There are so many I must thank
If you’ll allow me to be frank
I’d like to share some gratitude
To a former boss who was so rude

To avoid his sexual advance,
I quit my job and took a chance
I’d been taught to pretend, you see
I learned it well, you must agree

For far too long , I pretended
As if my very life depended
On making everyone believe
That I am just as they perceive

I learned to smile through silent tears
enslaved by my own abject fears
of homelessness and poverty
being crushed by mediocrity

Now I’m free and brave and true
So I think I owe this much to you.

Thanks, you old pervert.


Now I lay me down to snooze
It’s harder since I’m off the booze
But easier than in a tent
I think I’ll give those up for Lent

Chopping wood I got a sliver
To lose two pounds with ease, just shiver
Why is it called a sleeping bag?
It said so on that little tag

I didn’t sleep, could barely doze
It could have been worse, I suppose
The outhouse was so far away
And me without perfuming spray

In the dark I held my breath
And hoped one couldn’t smell to death,
That a madman wasn’t lurking
While the coffee was still perking

The pine trees and the twinkling stars
The river’s rush instead of cars
Flickering fire and chipmunk chatter
Made none of those things really matter

Surrounded by the majesty
Of Eden, where they charge a fee
To breathe the air and occupy
A little space since we can’t fly

Like birds that circle overhead
And swoop and dip and dive instead
I thanked the earth, and then the trees
For never making me say please

Or charging interest.

Yard Sale

Now I lay me down to sleep
I’ve been deciding what to keep
What I value, what to toss
What would feel too much like loss

Shoes and clothes I never wear
Books I only thought were fair
Old cell phones that someone could use
Magazines that are no longer news

Then there are internal things
That weigh me down, not give me wings
Family heirlooms like fear and spite
That sometimes keep me up at night

I wouldn’t want to pass those on
Or sell them out on my front lawn
A two-for-one quick sale of vice
Marked down to a rock bottom price

They’ve cost me most, but now I’ve grown
The most expensive things I own
Are those things that have cheapened life
And caused unnecessary strife.

The best things in life are free–people, too.


Now I lay me down to rest
Look, I don’t want to be a pest
But if you’re up there listening
Why aren’t you doing anything?

So many supplicate, beseech,
And beg with every form of speech
That loved one’s lives might please be spared,
That they might feel you really cared

That you would smite their enemies
Or at least help bring them to their knees
That you’d be on their side in war
So they could have their share and more

That you would send their foes to hell
While making sure that they are well
That you might help their sports team win,
Or destroy the world and start again.

Okay, I get it.

One thought on “Prayer Ditties

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