Posted by: janetleigh | May 15, 2008

Ain’t nothin’ out there gonna mess with me

O lay me down this tired ol’ J
…..round yonder under miz ol’ willowtree
pondering what side of heaven this might be,
…..surely nothin’ out there gonna mess with me,
……….no, nothin’ out there gonna mess with me

O baby, I got the time an’ I was born free
…..only livin’ and lovin’ been on my mind
so leave me be
…..just leave me be
……….there’s nothin’ out there gonna mess with me

O lover boy mine, come on by, ’bout an hour or so
…..when my mind ain’t lazy
and my thoughts can flow
…..gonna give you what you need cuz my heart ain’t cold
my you’re such a lovin’ man
…..I’m a lovin’ woman
……….I’m told.

O darlin’ let me sing my tired ol’ songs
…..ones about loves
and ones about wrongs,
…..cuz I’ll never get tired of singin’ the blues
……….like I’ll never get tired of lovin’ you

So leave me be
…..just leave me be
there ain’t nothin’ out there
…..gonna mess with me
just livin’ on lovin’just livin’ as me
…..and nothin’ out there gonna mess with me
no honey
…..ain’t nothin’ out there
……….gonna mess with me.


Photo by Andrew d’Entremont



  1. girl,, i am reading three different accountings of the life and times of janis joplin right now,, and i swear to god i can hear her singing this to me!!!!!

    what a trip… this is excellent….

    That’s what I call serendipity, for sure, Paisley. So glad you caught a rush here! I admit I was mesmerized a bit with Joplin back then; my favorite song she covered was ‘Me and Bobby McGee’ of course! *laugh* She was one of a kind, by cracky. And she did blow her cords (eh, maybe some chords, too) with whiskey & cigars, I swear.

  2. enjoyed the colloquial flare. i can imagine caroline ingalls reading this to her charles – or the gal good old huck finally captured with his charms.

    Thankee, thankee, Scott. Glad you like it, but who’s Caroline Ingalls and ‘her’ Charles?

  3. I like the kind of lazy rolling feel of it. Almost as if the words themselves were a raft floating down the river. And the photo is beautiful!

    Hello, and Welcome, White Rose! I love your description especially, “as if the words themselves were a raft floating down the river.” You really got down with it, I can tell..:) Also, glad to have you on our Heart of a Poet I Promise blog Thursdays, White Rose. See you soon!

  4. I love the music and rhythm here. It plays itself. Wonderful poem, and photograph.

    Thank you for a lovely comment, Deborah..:) I hope you’re doing well. Your Earthquake Haiku really tore into my heart with sadness.. :( It’s almost unbearable to think about, isn’t it?

  5. Very nice, Janet. Hey, I’m liking reading your blog from my toolbar. :-)

    Thanks, Allen..:) Hey, but do you know when I use it, huh, huh *wink*

  6. That reminds me! Good People! That’s you, my dear readers! I’m here to tell you that you’re missing out in something truly terrific. That’s the World Class Poetry toolbar – brought to you by Allen Taylor above – the owner & blog manager of World Class Poetry blog! This toolbar has so many features, one of which Allen mentions above is the convenience of clicking a button on his toolbar and a drop-down menu appears with many of our favorite poetry blogs that you can click on and it takes you directly to the blog. How neat is that!?! (Doesn’t that sound just like that obnoxious TV Directway ad gal? *groan*) Regardless, check out the toolbar. It’s not a hassle to install – and I have no affiliation to either Allen or the toolbar. I just think it’s so neat and you deserve to know this, too!

  7. JL
    love the song–I hear Billie Holiday–love the old willow too

    Thanks, Scot. How astute of you to know this is a song. My one and only. It took me an hour to find the photo so I appreciate your mentioning it..:) Do you play an instrument – like guitar or blues harp?

  8. Where have you been? I haven’t seen you at my blog in ages!!!

    Is everything alright?

    Aren’t you going to come and join my new blog? Your Poems Your Stories?

    Janet! Where are you! You are usually one of my best commenters!

  9. Thanks for the heads up. I just switched my poempoempoem site to a new webhost in the last couple of days and the email accounts must have gotten thrown by the wayside! I didn’t even realize. Duh. So glad you told me. I am fixing it now (I think).

    Whew! Glad to know you got that straightened out, Anna..:) See you soon!

  10. Janet:

    This poem truly sizzles. I re-posted it on FFTR immediately and found a great pic of a woman whose hair is also willow branches. Your commentors are bang on here. This poem is mississippi delta musings, and it is pure harmonica, slide guitar, and Indian flute, with the snake rattle sounding as you pommel us with your sensuality and heat. My God, this poem is so esoteric and erotic at the same time, and your narrator is all long hair pigtails, yellow ribbons, cruxifix shiny at her sun tanned throat, blouse tied up short with a flare, bare feet in the river grass, parting the lily pads and stroking the water with her shapely toes, dreamy, faraway looks, smoldering, steamy–and yes, as one has noted this heroine could be Janis Joplin, or Joni Mitchell at a blues juncture, her husky soprano pulling out the vowels and lines, and letting them drift into the hot wind shaking the willows over her head, your head, the narrator’s head; and yes, Billie Holiday is there too, sharing the pain and vibrant voice, and love what WHITE ROSE said, ” almost as if the words themselves were a raft floating down the river,” and imagine our surprise to envision Caroline Ingels crooning this to her Charles, hey, that is imagination in high gear…as your narrator is /pondering which side of heaven this might be/, touching one of those halcyon moments when your heart is inviolate, when no pit viper lurks, when love is the only hunger knawing at her gingham, and then to extend that wonderful invitation to her lover/ come on by, bout an hour or so/when my mind ain’t lazy/and my thoughts can flow/…hey, this is Porgy and Bess time, complete to the strains of SUMMERTIME and the long peals of jazz, low down and emotional, finding the joy in a handful of nothin and a heartful of everything; and yes, your protagonist is a singer/let me sing my tired old songs/one about loves/and one about wrongs/ and then you hit the coda, the punch up/cuz I’ll never get tired of singing the blues/like I’ll never get tired of lovin you/…Christ, what man has not dreamed of his woman uttering those words, or words like those, or lyrics like that? Your narrator leaps off the river bank, dances, twirls, seduces, cries, moans, croons and puts the love into the flow of the stream, into the very air, making the humidity double-thick sticky; and you somehow found a voice, a poetic lyrical voice that all Southern belles could transcribe, could identify with, and all those other belles too. Bravo, lady, you hit the mark again!


    Awww, Glenn, you always make me feel like I wrote some dern masterpiece of epic proportion. And you know what..? I like feeling that perhaps I have pulled something like that off, even if it ain’t so. Those few minutes of feeling high has to last for me.. get me through my stinky ones! So, many many thanks being sent your way for all your kind words, words that convey stories of their own, delight me with endless imagery and sensate imaginings, shows me your emotional depth and generous spirit in praising other people’s work..:) Ohh, God, re-reading this sounds like we’re having a lovefest here…sorry, folks! Just two olde pharts having a mind-meld here. Quite harmless, really. heh heh really!

  11. send glenn to clarksdale mississipp…juke joint festival—google it….wow

    Do you mean Glenn of Feel Free to Read blog, Scot? Have you ever been to the Fiddler’s Convention in the Carolina’s?

  12. play guitar well, banjo some, going for a mouth bow and you?

    Buffy St. marie, Ozark Mountain Daredevils used these on mountain music

    Ha! You strike me as a guitar player/musician type, Scot, and I like banjo, too. I’ll have to check out the link because I really like Buffy St. Marie. I give her credit in my Eva poem (pg. 4 here, I think) for her song, Tall Trees in Georgia. Have you heard Eva Cassidy sing Buffy’s song?

    As far as my musicality? Scot, I stink on guitar, stuck in 3/4 time, play blues harp like a kazoo, play the castenets fairly well, and still want to learn the thumb piano..:) Friends wonder how I can have a son who’s a music genius – but, hey, there’s a gene hiding somewhere..heh heh

  13. Hello Scot, what are you doing here :)

    This is a lovely, lovely piece Janet, I was singing it on the second reading and it made me smile, and believe me I needed that smile today!

    I’m glad this piece made you smile today, especially since you need one today, Jo. Hope things have started looking up for you by now. It made me smile to know you actually sang this song/poem and wish I could have heard you. For some reason the thought of Cat Power singing it comes to mind, and I don’t know why. I think of Cat Power and you sharing something in common…? (This is the Madame Oracle part of me thinking, btw…lol) Thanks for stopping by again, Jo, it means a lot to me..:)

  14. Yeah, Scot, I’d love to make it to Clarksdale, Mississippi some day. Though I was raised in the north, I have juke joints in my blood, or genes, or visceral somewhere. Perhaps in another life I followed Robert Johnson around until the hell hounds pulled him down, or broke rocks alongside Ledbelly. But alas, I’m just an old fart poet white guy who works for a living, and those bucks don’t go far with gasoline at 4 bucks a gallon, and Mickey D’s getting 20 bucks for dinner out for me and my wonderful old lady, Melva.


  15. Those willows hug us, assuring us that everything is as it should be, magical. You deserve a hug. :)

    {{{hugs}}} back to you too…:) Nice of you to attribute “magical” to “Ain’t nothin’..” as it’s a wonderful, sublime descriptive word.. and thank you for stopping in to my world again, Tom.

  16. Glenn
    it is a laid back time of blues–I am not too far to drive, but the gas mess is limiting–but lots of old white guys there–did I mention the food? I feel a blues poem creeping out

  17. JL
    no, never been to the convention–but love the fiddle–makes me want to make a fool of myself!

    I’ve been to the Fiddler’s Convention 3 times and it’s a wild time, Scot! Everybody camps out and one time we got caught in an extremely bad downpour and our tent and the tents all around us slid down the hill and we all ended up looking like pigs in a sty. Mud everywhere. One other time while sitting around a neighboring campfire, the host was standing next to a Bar-B-Q pit telling stories and he set his hat on fire but there was so much talking, laughter and guitar, fiddle & banjo playing going on all around us that the host, who was also a volunteer fireman, couldn’t hear us all shouting, “YOU’RE ON FIRE, CHIEF! YOU’RE ON FIRE!” We put him out before any permanent damage was done, but it was the funniest thing I’d witnessed in a long time. lol And by the way, there’s nothing wrong with making a fool of yourself. I do it all the time. SOMEone has to do it, you know!? ;>

  18. yeah, i hear it as a song, too. write another!

    I’m working on it, Rick! :) p.s. I put another of your paintings up on my other site. It looks great with the accompanying poem by Jo Hemmant!

  19. That’s your site? The poetmeister site? Oh, how wonderful, I couldn’t figure out who it belonged to. Had to be someone with a big spirit, so it figures it was you. Thank you, thank you, Janet.

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