The Stain

There’s this stain on things around here… From all the bad things that happened.

No one ever talks about anything. It’s like nothing ever happened.

The silence makes it so. No victims; no crime; no criminals.

I’ve been all of these things. First the stained; and then the stainer.

However I have not chosen silence. Shame has never solved anything.

Dennis Mantin

Just Out of Frame

I see a man who lives in shadows. Hides his face in his hands. Can’t hide his shame.

I saw him down at the river once. He was busy in the bushes, burying the blame.

He was younger and not as quiet. Too many questions left him unsure.

But life and love have had their ways and deception gave him cure.

There’s a beauty in his wanting. There’s a trust just out of frame.

The drugs are his sentence now and the drinking hides her name.

There are secrets in the shadows.

There is justice in the air.

There are victims who know nothing.

Talking about life’s not fair.

There are secrets in the shadows.

There is mystery in the wind.

There’s a stillness in that smile.

And the breaks just past the bend.

Dennis Mantin

The Blue’s

All over but the dying.

I can hear a distant roar.

I’ve resigned my fears of flying.

Oh the mysteries! Why? What for?

All too clever for the answers.

We keep searching for more clues.

Dodging earthquakes, fame and cancers.

There is meaning in ‘The Blue’s.’

Never felt like I was welcomed.

I was strange and stranger still.

Like a begger at the banquet feast.

I just couldn’t get my fill.

Dennis Mantin

I Unafraid (2017)

I was a boy when people asked me…

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

‘Unafraid.’ I thought.

“I don’t know.” I answered.

I just wanted people to stop hitting me. I just didn’t want to be afraid all the time.

I grew tall and people asked me.

“Why are you so angry?”

“Why do you drink so much?”

“I don’t know. ” I lied.

I am 58 years old and I am a father and I know what I want. To teach her and show her love and support her and be her friend… and paint and make films.

“I will tell story.”

Said I.

Dennis Mantin

Shot Down (2005)

Another day, sundown.
Another night, sundown.
Orange to black, sundown.
Fades to midnight blue.
There’s nothing I can’t do.

And here comes the night
And I don’t know why
I hear your voice
And I lose my way.
Where are you now?
Can I touch you somehow?
You’re somewhere near sleep where images fade.
And here comes the sun.
Another night is done.
Here comes the sun.
And here I go again.

Saw the man, shot down.
Heard his voice, shot down . Eyes rolled white, shot down. Breathe goodbye that sound. Fades to midnight blue. There’s nothing I can do.

Another day shot down.
Another night shot down.
Orange to black.
Shot down.
Fades to midnight blue.
There’s nothing I can do.


Sad But True (2015)

There is a heart shaped carve in rosewood.
There’s a line drawn in the sand.
I pray there on grace and wonder,
and there’s a baby, she’s in my hand.

There’s a virtue called forgiveness.
From a force we can’t see.
It’s how I deal with darkness.
Of how I feel when you’re with me.

I struggle now to hear you.
Seek approval in your eyes.
I hate you for your beauty.
Like I love you for your lies.

It’s a sad sad situation
Department sad but true.
You fear that they are coming
And you fear what they will do.

It’s a sad sad situation
Under heading sad but true
You fear that they are coming
No one is coming for you.

Dennis Mantin

Baby Loves Clowns (1995)

I don’t know why my baby loves clowns.
Whose painted on tears never fall down.
I don’t know what she sees in their eyes
Perhaps the line between horror/surprise…

I don’t know why my baby can’t sing.
Why carnival music isn’t her thing.
It fills my head when I’m at the fair.
Searching for clues in clowns everywhere.

I don’t know why she screams at night.
I hope it’s not why she holds me so tight.
Because I’m the type I’m weak for love.
Carnival music I rise above.

Is it the pain or is it the tears?
For some carnival crime from yesteryears.
Maybe it’s you, maybe I’ll never know.
Maybe it’s me, baby let go.


Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the kings horses and all the kings men.
Tried and they tried but she fell down again.

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
She went to her shrink ended up at the mall.
Humpty Dumpty wanted it all.

Dennis Mantin

The Chances Store (1975)

(A song I wrote about leaving high school)

Chances were the premium at the chances store.
Called up their proprietor and asked for just one more.
Inside information suggested relocate
When they closed the chances store it sealed the users fate.

With no plans for the future and the future it is here.
Who knew that the sun would rise and whisper last nights fear?
So we headed for the highway which ended at the light.
Looked upon arrival, no chances store in sight.

Searching for the answers that will ease the fears.
Some will stand there crying and find few are buying tears.
All are someone’s baby lost along the way.
Strangers and sojourners who have lost the need to pray.

And I say, “Pray”

Get down on your knees sweet Charlotte , get down on your knees.
I know you have a mission and I hope it is to please.
Take me to your leader because I think I’ve found the cure.
It’s a love that is botanical with determination pure.

Dennis Mantin

The Voice (1990)

The day the voice moved in with me, he brought his good friend fear.
Said, ‘We all share your heart and soul you’ll soon forget we’re here.’
The day the voice moved in with me, peace and sleep moved out.
The addict he was at the door, and the voice he jumped to shout. Said, ‘We like you we like it here, we know you like us too.
And we know you’ll like our friends, cause true friends are so few.’
The voice would talk for hours about nothing much at all.
And all the noise would wake the fear and the drunk would wake withdrawal. Years had passed in tears and stains and I had to kill the fear.
The voice he left in the middle of the night, said he didn’t like it here.
The voice returns sometimes when I sleep but he’s gone when I’m awake.
The strength it took to kill the fear was more than he could take. And the drunk is with the addict and they live from coast to coast.
And sometimes when I pray to God, I pray you’re not their host.
Singing, ‘We like you, we like it here, we know you like us too.
And we know you’ll like our friends cause true friends are so few.’–Dennis Mantin