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.


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

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 bad luck raised suspicions, on a path that was beat down.

No one dared to look within or see the wise men in the town.

It was happening for eons, as long as Grandad could recall.

Like a dark foreboding plank walk or a dream in which you fall.

Until the child spoke her words that, “Maybe somethings wrong with me?”

So we made a meeting with the Doc, down at Family Psychiatry.

The doctor raised awareness and we all took a look.

Things are looking so good now, might take Grandma off the hook.

Now life is far from perfect however the family’s not so sad.

Looking in the mirror, not blaming blind luck, good or bad.

Dennis Mantin


Woke up in the mid-day.

Greet my bed at break of dawn.

There are some sounds like in a melee.

Woman appears with nothing on.

I wake up in a panic.

Confused, I dress, run to the car.

Not a moments hesitation.

Within a clue of where you are.

Then remember that I don’t care.

Somehow, this thought calms me down.

Now I’m back into the bedroom.

In the darkness to laying down.

Dennis Mantin


Sleet crackles down upon the windshield. One degree to cold for rain. Blew the stop sign with a yield. Thought of you and back again.

It’s 3a.m. and black as Tuesday. They don’t have a cure for this. The accusations of a rude way. Where truth and lies could coexist.

The abyss appeared in all her glory. Speaks so sweet and knows your name. Are many ways to tell a story… Just one plot, it’s all the same.

All as pretty as a picture. All as calm and coasts are clear. They are looking for the sick cure. There’s not something like that here.

You are gone, and that’s the good news. Made it home, safe once more. The sleet is warm in pale blue hues. I will leave that at the door.

All are pretty as a picture. All are calm, and coasts are clear. All are looking for the sick cure. There is nothing like that here.

Dennis Mantin


One word broke through our darkness in a storm at break of day.

Had no time to bake or worry. I was the one who got to stay.

No crime in fall or failing. The hand that gives can be the fist.

You seemed to lose your way there. Like a play in fog and mist.

She will only call for me now. All steps are set and clear.

I’m not saying I don’t worry. There is courage, then there’s fear.

Send you to another freeway. Send you back, and then you’re gone.

Send me no more thoughts or letters. Send and mute and off is on.

Dennis Mantin

Being An Asshole

I don’t believe that I am alone in this… However, there is something empowering about being a self-righteous arsehole.

When you have someone dead to right in a selfish narcissistic moment of mindless self-indulgence!

Staring at their phone after the light turns green.

A family of 4 or 5 complete with strollers taking up the entirety of the sidewalk while casually taking up the entire sidewalk as they discuss plans for the day!

I could go on ad nauseum. However, I have work to do…

Dennis Mantin

Next Right Thing

I could sit here wishing on rainbows.

Not going to change that I can’t sing.

So I keep on rhyming here and writing.

Looking for the Next Right Thing

I could accept you, but the pain shows.

That’s not something that I can bring.

I carried that, and that’s not nothing.

Got me here, the Next Right Thing.

I still don’t know how the story goes.

Something like a prayer and a wing.

I’ve always had that innocence.

Like a child, the Next Right Thing.

Got no worries, just an afterglow.

The kind that light can bring.

There is something here that I don’t know.

It just accepts the Next Right Thing.

There are moments in the gutter.

Where only angels sing.

Singing songs of love and wonder.

Dreaming of The Next Right Thing.

Dennis Mantin

The Computer Push

My credit card company is at the forefront of efforts to get me to interact with  computers…

The grocery store down the street, the drugstore, and the dollar store have all invested heavily in self checkouts. These are the most apparent signs I see of a society in disintegration. The removal of minimum wage jobs through technology, benefitting students, single parents, and the elderly.

I am certainly not the first to make this observation. However, judging by the number of people I see using self checkouts; either people don’t care about this or they are unaware of the consequences?

Dennis Mantin