6. Over

Crying Wolf

You turn out the lights and sit alone,
trying to pretend that it’s anguish,
start at the ring of a telephone,
throw down all your food at the banquet,
keep a close eye on all you own,
while leaving it all to languish….
Is this what makes you happy?
Is this what brings you joy?
Your excuses are so crappy…
silly boy.

You take all the love and throw it aside
to wallow in your sorrow,
expect everyone to know how you feel inside,
to forgive and forget come tomorrow;
repaying all your debts with uncommon pride
but denying that you ever borrowed….
Is this what makes you perfect?
Is this what makes you free?
Just how long did you rehearse it,
or does it just come naturally?

Crying wolf from the depth of your sheep’s heart,
crying fire from the depth of the well
in an endless parade of repeat starts,
just how long will it last – can you tell?

Until all your friends and lovers
are simply bored with the pretence?
It’ll be too late then to discover
just exactly what you meant
and what was true
and what was false…
the wolf turned into human,
the killer with remorse.

Crying pain as though that should be pleasure,
crying anger as though that should be revenge,
crying sorrow as though that were a treasure –
your treasure will find you in the end.

When all of your friends have gone away,
unwilling to put up with the danger
that lies in each spiteful word you say,
you’ll be left, a greying wolf in a manger
and when you’ve raised your last howl
and destroyed all that you can
with rotting teeth an slack jowls
you’ll be left a lonely man.
And when it’s nearly finished
and you know the end is near
with true sorrow undiminished
there’ll be no-one left to hear….
Your desperate cries,
they all come out as bleats:
you thought you were a wolf-man,
but you’re really
just a sheep.


So here we are, alone –
our children have grown up and moved away.
living their own lives, they say…
it all seems very strange to me.

I don’t understand their ways:
our children amaze me all the time
and I often wonder why they make me feel
so sad and suddenly old.

Now we’re left with an empty home,
from our nest all the birds have flown for foreign skies.
We’re discarded, of no further use,
though we gave our kids all our youth and all our lives –
we really tried.

Now there’s only my wife and me;
we used to have a family – now that’s gone
and only memories linger on…
it all seems very wrong to me.

To our sorrows they were quite deaf
and as soon as they could they left us to our tears.
We always tried to teach what was good –
yes, we gave our kids all we could through all the years.

So here we are at last;
the time has gone so fast and so have my dreams.
I simply don’t know what it all means,
this pointless passage through the night,
this autumn-time, this walk upon the water….

I wonder how long
it will be till this song
is sung by our own sons and daughters?

Time Heals

Thinking back, it seems that I
can lie beside you as I never truly did,
in afterglow –
no afterwords at all.
Only writing love songs when it’s gone and dead;
only paying words out in strings of half-forgotten sentiments…
I mean…
I meant…
I never really quite could say the way it was.

The first time that we met I said 'I bet that she’s the one’,
but I was talking to myself then, as always.
As time went by our steps entwined, unwritten lines drew taut
and I tried to find a way to make it all safe….
Into the play – what a production! –
into the days and ever more suction:
you hold me close, but hold me farther
away from yourself – I make me a martyr,
for pain and love go hand in hand….
And hand in hand go you and my friend,
you are his and I am yours and just cannot evade you;
my days a dream, my nights unseemly,
stolen moments all I live for,
but theft is no way to persuade you
to come with me, leave him behind you;
my hurtful eyes try to remind you
it’s all I can do to keep from screaming
'I love you, I love you!’ – I wish I was dreaming,
but the steps we take all leave footprints….

Sooner or later the whole thing will be blown:
you will leave him or I’ll be left here, alone.
Either way someone loses someone
but I won’t mind that, I just would quite like to know
who we love the most –
well, I guess that’s ourselves.

The days are strange, at night we’re strangers,
lie in bed and lie inside our heads,
we come no closer than as dancers.
Your eyes are change, your presence danger,
won’t look me in the face and yet
you kiss and make up the answer
to all the questions that fly unanswered, unreasoned –
death in the sky, death in the season.
If you leave me now, it might nearly kill me….
Remember me?
Remember we three?

It all seemed so important at the time,
we came so close to wrecking all our lives,
and now it’s all just song lines.
Time heals,
time heals –
oh, but I still bear the weals.

Thinking back, it seems that I
can lie beside you as I never truly did,
in afterglow –
no afterwords at all.
Only writing love songs when it’s gone and dead,
only paying words out: streams of half-forgotten sentiments…
I mean…
I meant…
I never really quite could say
the way it was.

Alice (letting go)

When you told me that you loved me
I had no reason to doubt it
so I went about my life in such a selfish way
and never really thought about it.
Oh do I have to let go?
Oh I had my chance and I’ve blown it,
’cause I loved you so much all these years
and somewhere in myself, between my pride and fear
just couldn’t find a way to show it.

I know it doesn’t give you any joy
to give me such pain
but you’re in love with him now, my old friend –
I know all about that, there’s no need to explain
but why do I have to say goodbye
when I love you still, and can only feel that I’m dying?
Still, every word I say just seems to come out wrong
and none of them deny the fact that you are gone
and that I’m left here, crying.

What’s the good of songs anyway?
They’re just exercises in solitude.
I should have been ready for today –
I always prayed you wouldn’t go,
but I suppose I always knew you would.

I suppose you say to him now
„I know that some day you’ll leave me”
just like you did to me, and I’d deny it,
but you wouldn’t believe me.
Ooh do I have to let go of you
ooh I don’t think that I can do it –
you’re always going to be the guardian of my soul,
and I’ll always have a part of you to call my own,
how stupid that I never proved it.

Oh I know I’ll never let go
oh because I don’t want to be just your friend.
We spent seven years together in our own way,
I can’t believe the story ends like this today….

Wherever you are do you really think so, Alice?

This Side of the Looking-Glass

The stars in the heavens still shine
up above me:
how lovely they’d seem
if you were with me
but you’re gone through the looking-glass
and I am left to pass these nights alone.

I’m lost, I’m dumb, I’m blind,
I am drunk with sadness,
sunk by madness,
the wave overwhelms me,
the mirror repels me,
the echo of your laugh
drifts through the looking-glass
and I am alone.

No friendship, no comfort, no future, no home,
the past lingers with me:
you’re all the love I’ve ever known
and without you I’m nothing
but empty and silent,
reflecting on all that I’ve lost.
I let you slip away so soon.

Can you hear me? This is my song:
I am dying; you are gone.

These words are not enough to save my soul,
they just mock me from the mirror.
I’m cold and I’m yearning,
I’ve told you I’m burning,
my eyes can’t stand the light…
like a stray dog in the night
I’ll shuffle off alone.

We all make our futures
but I have lost mine;
I’m hoping for a miracle
but finding no sign….

The stars in their constellations,
each one just sadly flickers and falls…
without you they mean nothing at all.


When I began I was full of altruistic dreams,
believed in princes and princesses, kings and queens –
now I find they’re all human inside,
all bitterness and pride,
so why shouldn’t I be like that too?
It seems that I’ve forgotten all I tried so hard to learn;
it seems there’s not an ounce of love or trust
anywhere in the world.

Friends – they’re all harbouring knives
to embed in your back out of revenge, or spite,
or indifference, or lack of other things to do –
in the end just who’s going to be a friend for you
when they kick you in the guts just as your hand holds out the pearl?
It seems that there is nothing left but
hatred and lust in the world.

I don’t give a damn anymore – I’ve only wound up betrayed.
It’s all been absolutely worthless –
all the efforts I’ve made to be gentle and kind
are repaid with contempt,
degraded by sympathy and worthless kindness
and love that isn’t meant.
I’m through with joy and company, I’ve done with pretty words,
betrayed – there’s no hiding-place
anywhere in the world.
I’ve nothing left to fight for except making my passion heard –
I don’t believe in anything
anywhere in the world.

(On Tuesdays she used to do) Yoga

On Tuesdays, she used to do yoga
while I’d sit and watch the box
in a vegetable way,
but always ready to say
to myself that I was an artist,
implying that she was not.

It’s funny the way that self-pity
can take over from self-esteem –
well, I was the prince of pride,
and though I’d cheat I never lied,
as if that were enough to make her happy,
as if that could satisfy her dreams.

Too late now to say that I’m so sorry,
too late to say that I can change and mend
the things that hurt.
She didn’t need to worry,
she always knew I’d get there in the end.

Now I’m tying myself up in contortions,
don’t know if yoga will do me any good.
It’s about time I tried,
though I’d rather be inside from the cold,
studying tantra –
still, I never did that when I could.

I never did the things that really mattered,
there seemed to be some key I couldn’t find
to unlock myself;
I could have done it with her help,
but I was too busy scrabbling for each moment –
now I don’t know what I did with all the time.

Sometimes I’d play the wild rover,
sometimes I’d just get smashed all day…
on Tuesdays she used to do yoga,
on Tuesday she went away.

Lost and Found

(Even the wolf can learn,
even the sheep can turn,
even the frog become at last the prince.)

No more imagined insults
and no more bloated pride –
I’ll see you at the wedding,
I’ll see you on the other side
and I’ll hold my peace forever
but I’ll hold my passion more…
I’ll be holding the door
and waiting for the princess –
I could say I’m waiting for the world
but when it comes right down to it
I’m simply waiting for the girl.
On through the ring of changes
I’ll be at my side in a single bound,
lost and found…
looking to be lost and found.

La Rossa extends her hands –
in the morning light the stigmata don’t show.
She’s already up, making plans;
she thinks it’s maybe time he ought to go.
And she’s friendly like it’s a service
but she’s ringing round his head
though he knows she has no further use for him
still he feels like he’s raised from the dead.
Out to the cold grey daylight, never even wondering, of course,
if one moment of perfect passion is worth a lifetime of remorse.

So it’s no more empty promises
and no more idle threats;
no more „if only”s
and no more „and yet”s;
no more wishes for the future,
no more denials of the past:
I’m free at last,
I’m in love at last.
I’m lost and found….

(Put on your red dress, baby.
'Cause we’re going out tonight,
put on your high-heeled sneakers,
Everything’s going to be alright?)

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