Sparks Of Ancient Light





Lord Salisbury

Lord Salisbury said to me,
"Though we spend our lives in isolation
Girdled `round the Emerald Sea
No fear shall we know."
Look away, look away, look away
To the lamp-lit square
At the ebb of May
Look away, look away, look away
For our survival

Lord Salisbury takes his time,
The Gouvernment sits in contemplation
All is ordered and in its prime
No fear shall we know
Look away, look away, look away
to the fog-bound ship in the icy bay
Look away, look away, look away
For our survival

On the mantelpiece is a silver clock
And it counts the hours and they won`t turn back
The evening sets and the room forgets
The day that went before
And through my window
Iron wheels on a cobbled mews
You will know changes soon

Lord Salisbury read the news
And puts the paper on the table
Many paths will be ours to choose
No fear shall we know
Look away, look away, look away
To the fleets of steel and the waves of gray
Look away, look away, look away
For our survival

The Queen is old but she lingers still
Like the fading ring of a distant bell
And Oscar Wilde in his prison cell
Laments a brighter day
And in some window a red flag flies in a meeting room
You will know changes soon

Lord Salisbury said to me,
"Though we spend our lives in isolation
Girdled `round the Emerald Sea
No fish shall we know."
Look away, look away, look away
To the lonesome cry of the modern day
Look away, look away, look away
For our survival


(A Child`s View Of) The Eisenhower Years

You`re on your way back home
In a brand new station wagon
A pile of rolling chrome, ten miles to the gallon
Your mother puts her makeup on,
You watch her crunch the gears
It`s a child`s view of the Eisenhower years

Your father knows what`s best, no one can upstage him
He thinks he`s so well dressed,
Finds new things to outrange him
Elvis on the television, G.I.`s in Korea
It`s a child`s view of the Eisenhower years

I don`t mind the innocence so much
In fact it`s charming
The comedians have got a certain touch
That`s so disarming
Even though the aliens from space
haunt the weekend matinees
Super heroes keep the citizenry safe

There`s a beep in the sky in 1957
A metal ball that flies through Soviet heaven
Papers shout the headlines, politicians fan the fears
It`s a child`s view of the Eisenhower years

I don`t mind the innocence so much
In fact it`s charming
And the girls in their hoop skirts
Have got a style that`s so disarming
Even though the neighborhood is new
Everybody looks like you
At the soda fountain or the schoolyard too

See the baseball fly out across the diamond
Jimmy Jones an I, we`ve both got good timing
To be born into greased-back world,
All hips and teenage sneers
It`s a child`s view of the Eisenhower years


The Ear Of The Night

You put your tongue in the ar of the night
Expecting rejection but finding instead
A sudden connection that left you surprised
And it gave you electrical thoughts in your head
Emboldened by this you attempted a kiss
On the brow of mystery passing you by
And thus were afforded a simple reward
In the shape of a chord from street corner choir

Through her window you could see her
With her solitary air
You felt a sudden twinge inside you
From her military hair
And though you`d have normally acted quite formally
This was a moment to open a door
You instantly mated and constantly dated
Though your mother hated the clothes that she wore
Oh well


Hanno The Navigator

It`s a good day for going to sea
Hanno the Navigator said to me
There`s an open sky and a steady breeze
Out beyond the pillars of Hercules
Above the foam-kissed waves
Seagulls scream
Up in the masts of our trireme
And it`s a good day for going to sea
Hanno the Navigator said to me

Water, water
From horizon to horizon
All I see is water

Steer beyond all maps and charts
Down along the coast of Africa
The first Phoenicians on this beach
Where the monkeys jibber and the parakeets screech
The strangest women run wild down there
Covered head to toe in fur and hair
They fight like demons, better let them be
Hanno the Navigator said to me

Water, water
From horizon to horizon
All I see is water

When you pull close to your fire at night
With your family framed in the candlelight
safe inside these walls of stone
In the only village you`ve ever known
The rain-soaked moon pours splintered crystal shadows
On your windowsill
Like sparks of light in the shifting skies
Our ancient ships go sailing still on

Water, water
When my sailing days are done
I`ll see Poseidon`s daughter

Oarsmen pull and curse and sweat
Underneath this creaking deck
At night I hear their stories told
Strong through storms and weak for gold
An Carthage stands like an azure pearl
Here in the middle of the known world
And it`s a good day for going to sea
Hanno the Navigator said to me

Water, water
From horizon to horizon
All I see is water

Water, water
When my sailing days are done
I`ll see Poseidon`s daughter

It`s a good day for going to sea
Hanno the Navigator said to me


Shah Of Shahs

After these processions comes the sweeping up
The rag and bone possessions, an old tin cup
The army trucks have hauled away the newly slain
The angry crowd retreats, but they`ll be back again
And the prisoner in the palace does not understand
The ingratitude araound him
After all he`s done and planned
But if this is the way that I must be, then he`ll be damned
If he will let them take away his perfect dream

Ministers stuff bank notes into leather bags
Their wifes have packed the jewelry and the luggage tags
The word is on the street now growing day by day
And even the informers know to stay away
And the prisoner in the palace is confused by this charade
feeling strangely unprotected by his miles of golden braid
And if this is the way that it must be then unafraid
He will not let them take away his perfect dream

And these mountains of equipment
Brought from foreign lands
Are now stacked up in the desert being buried by the sand
These rows of helicopters, rusting where they stand
Are butterflies to take away the perfect dream

He cried inside the limousine, and at the airport too
Where the soldier knelt before him and kissed his shoe
He flew across the desert and the open sea
While they tore down  all his statues and his legacy
And the victor greets the newsmen
With his strange and stoic style
They take a houndred thousand pictures
And in none of them a smile
But this is just the way that it must be now for a while
He`s only come to bring another perfect dream


Angry Bird

One day you fell down from the sky
You overthought things, forgot how to fly
You`re an angry bird walking in circles
All alone, angry bird

Now you don`t belong, you stagger `round
Don`t like the air, don`t like the ground
Angry bird walking in circles
All alone, angry bird

Radical penguins led you astray
You say that wings are so passé
You`re an angry bird walking in circles
No way out, angry bird

Now you say it`s pointless, you say you`re cursed
You fill the night with sarcastic chirps
You`re an anry bird walking in circles
No way out, angry bird

You`ve fallen in with the avian fringe
They fill your head with thoughts of revenge
You`re a bird in name only
Pretty lonely, angry bird

On the moonlight branches, on a summer`s night
You could take your chances, you could take flight
Angry bird walking in circles
No way out, angry bird

Your sun is sinking and it`s so absurd
What where you thinking, angry bird?


The Loneliest Place On The Map

This place is so far away
From what passes for civilized life
No shops and no cars and no city lights
Just a river of stars
Over the southernmost ocean so cold
A small group of rocks, seagulls and ice

Some ramshackle huts
A paper in French from long ago
A finger that juts out into the foam
No boats come this way
A few expeditions that pass now and then
They`ll be back someday
But I don`t know when

It`s the loneliest place on the map
Night time is utterly black
I came here by some grave mishap
And I can`t find my way back

It`s all as remote
As the wintry smile that you gave
As you buttoned your coat
And love was erased
So this is goodbye
I see you silently rowing away
The desolate sky threatening rain

It`s the loneliest place on the map
And night time is utterly black
I came here by some grave mishap
And I can`t find my way back


Sleepwalking

The stranger comes to town
And he is greeted like a prince
Society declares him wise and funny
Celebrities are only decorations in this place
What really matters here is old money
His temporary lover has amber-colored skin
In a lush apartment in the city center
Bankers like this company, they always let him in
There is no door to tell him "Do Not Enter"

They`re following a dream, following a dream
Sleepwalking

Our boy`s become a member of a most desired club
He has a fine address in the East 60`s
If hipness could be diagrammed then he would be the hub
Girls follow him around like sexy pixies
There`s a talk among the moneymen in Miami Beach
The train is leaving, you don`t want to miss it
Whatever it is he`s offering, it`s there within your reach
So here is the ring, why don`t you kiss it?

They`re following a dream, following a dream
Sleepwalking

But there`s a country house a world away from here
Where accusations fill the room today
Something has gone missing and it`s absolutely clear
A servant left quite suddenly, he didn`t ask for money, he
Just packed up and went quietly away

Back inside the nouveau world the riche are sitting down
They realize it`s time for some assessments
Their charismatic friend is somehow nowhere to be found
Along with their good will and their investments
Someone said they saw him on a plane to Salvador
Or maybe Moscow now the weather`s warming
The lure of easy money keeps him constantly employed
It`s a social service he`s performing

They`re following a dream, following a dream
Sleepwalking
They`re following a dream, willingly it seems
Sleepwalking


Football Hero

In the center of the field stands the favorite player
The ball comes floating in, they say a silent prayer for him
Fifty yards away, a minute left to go
The refs looks at his watch, oh, oh

He cuts it to the right, gets past a defender
A blur of blue and white
The moment hangs suspended in time
One man left to beat
He can see the goal-keepers eyes
There`s magic in his feet, oh, oh

And a single ray of sunlight
Reaches down to touch the golden boy
Seems to light his way towards the net
In his mind he sees the headlines
In the morning newspaper
This`ll be a day they won`t forget

Now he`s on his own, completely in control of it all
The shot comes flying in
Headed for the corner of the goal
Bounces off the post, he watches as it falls
Everyone will say he should have passed the ball

Now the crowd has gone, the stadium is empty
Several hundred times he will watch the replay on TV
Many years from now when his name`s recalled
Everyone will say he should have passed the ball


Elvis At The Wheel

There`s an independent bookstore
The last one that remains
All the others you might look for
Have been eaten by the chains
The soldier on
No one cleans the window panes

It was there I read this story
So strange it must be real
Of a car in Arizona
With Elvis at the wheel
He`s looking up
The sky has something to reveal

It is the face of Josef Stalin
Being formed by drifting clouds
Above the sleeping Memphis mafia
And unsuspecting cows

This is a sign from God! It´s plain
This is a sign that nothing he does for the rest of his life
Will be the same

It´s a medieval moment
A religious episode
He is shaking in his footsteps
On that dusty desert road
His entourage are looking nervous
And subdued

How must it be to feel such passion?
To be caught up in the thrall
In some unfathomable fashion
Like a pink and black St. Paul?

Look at those shiny stars that fall
Look at that moon that doesn`t know whether
To laugh or to cry at it all


Silver Kettle

And in the last days of the world of plastic records
He takes the car into town
He hears the voices of salvation through the static
Just turns the volume down
A chain link fence `round a boarded-up arcade
Towers of glass that petroleum has made
But he wouldn`t have been born
In any other moment in this world

And in the morning he will hear the silver kettle
Calling him out of his sleep
The world outside goes by in plastic and in metal
He`s got his secrets to keep
The daily news forms a pattern on TV
Violence first, then a cat stuck up a tree
But he wouldn`t have been born
At any other moment in this world

One o`clock and the office empties out
He watches as they pass
Nostalgic for something intangible
A time that never was

There is a crack along the plaster in the kitchen
It forms a shape of her face
Just for a moment he will trace it with his finger
One day he`ll paint her away
He sees her now - she`s got a clean white shirt on
She`s someone he`d just love to get the dirt on
And she couldn`t have been born
At any other moment in this world


Like William McKinley

I got a letter, it came in the mail today
I saw by the stamp it was sent from an ocean away
No need to open it up, I knew what it must say
I`ll just go back to the dream I was having
Before love went astray

I´ll sit in my porch like William McKinley
And I`ll let the word come to me
And if it`s too busy I really won`t mind
And there`s no place I want to be
Now and again I will open a window
And stare at the overcast sky
And put you away in a drawer in my mind
And I`ll just bid all of my troubles goodbye

The country `round here is deserted, there`s no one at all
People come here for the summer and leave in the fall
You followed after them, disappeared into the night
Now all that`s left is the footprint you made
In the mud, frozen in white

I`ll sit on my porch like William McKinley
And I`ll let the world come to see me
And if it`s too busy I really won`t mind
And thee`s no place I want to be
Now and again I will open the window
And stare at the overcast sky
And put you away in a drawer in my mind
And I`ll just bid all of my troubles goodbye