Hill of beans - Weather The Storm

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Hill of beans

Oxbow lakes
 Well you say we should go round things that interrupt our flow
But when I see a short cut il is there I want to go
Patiently you wail for me until we're both delayed
And you wonder would I ever see
That’s how oxbow lakes are made
Well you know how this will tire me as you wait round the bend
You say you still admire me but you want it all to end
And you tell me there's no hurry by reason I'm not swayed
And I give you cause to worry
That's how oxbow lakes are made
Now I could not sec it coming as I punched on ahead
Till the walls collapsed around me and a glance filled me with dread
That I had left you stranded and a dreadful price was paid
As out to sea I headed
And an oxbow lake was made
Thai's some reward for patience and faithful loyalty
As the river burst its banks and it washed all over me
Through the new cut channel in a thundering cascade
Now I'm lost in a pounding ocean
While an oxbow lake was made

Brighton Belle
My Granddad drove a steam train
My father drove a truck
Right across North Africa
Taken prison at Tobruk
And when the war was over and he’d returned from hell
Mv Granddad got promoted to the pretty Brighton Belle
Her colour scheme was brown and cream
Some called it sand and sable
There were curtains at the windows
And a lamp on every table
Her job to drive all cares away, in luxury propel
Us from the tears the war torn years on the pretty Brighton Belle
The train stopped at the platform
Let out a cloud of steam
My father walked me through it
Like entering a dream
And he gave me to my Granddad and no one saw to tell
How I rode on the footplate of the pretty Brighton Belle
My mother pushed her bicycle
My father drove away
The railway went electric
Granddad went to work each day
In a clean shirt every morning and he came home clean as well
The best he said was when he quit the pretty Brighton Belle
In the middle of the platform
On East Croydon station
Standing in a glass case
Was an ancient stuffed Alsatian
Collecting for the orphans of the railwav men who fell
In the war that came before the pretiv Brighton Belle

Clear water
I want clear water from here to the horizon
Want some calm sea for the journey still ahead
Fair weather as we head out for the sky line
And a clear sky in the morning and every sunset red
I want clear water as we sail out to the edge
And all I want to hear is the ripple from the bow
Let us be at case now and know our true position
Like a compass to the star like the team hooked.to the plough
And as for the history
Best it left unwritten
Few would belieye if we told all we have seen
Comedy and tragedy
Have come along unbidden
And they are the port and starboard that we’ve sailed in between
I just want clear water from here to the horizon
Maybe scarred and battered
But who’ll say we were wrong
When the journey not the goal was the only thing that mattered
And the wounds you though had healed
Could still be opened by a song
If we hear the timbers creak
It will be the give and take
Of forces from outside for we know our craft is strong
As long as wc can speak without raising our voices
When the music of the storm is in the calming of the song
And at night upon the deck
I want to feel the salty spray
Like warm tears on my face
For t he passing of the day
And watch the wheeling stars
Till the light breaks in the east
May the journey never end
And let me be at peace

Gertrude and Alice
Gertrude and Alice moved to Paris
And lived on the rue Fleurus
They played their part
In promoting new art
By buying a painting or two
Pablo and George were able to forge
A mutual dependency based
On selling their paintings
Tacitly stating
It was duty as well as good taste
Alice’s looks and Gertrude’s books
Created a social whirl
In their arty salon
They workcd hard-to get on
With each of Pablo’s new girls
When war arrived
Miss Stein learned to drive
And ordered a brand new Ford
She rattled round Paris
With passenger Alice
And they helped in the hospital wards
Poor Madeleine
Gets caught.in the rain
This morning she has no defences
Last night with Henri she left her parapluie
Now she’s soaked to the skin as she hurries chez lui
While soldiers shiver in trenches
The books Gertrude wrote
Gave rise to the quote
A rose is a rose is a rose
Though quite what it meant
Or its literal intent
Was never quite fully disclosed
The cold morning mist
Slowly lifts
Over the river Seine
M’sieur Kirov returns for his gloves
His wife still not dressed
And he stays and makes love
And now he is late for his train
Artists and writers stimulate and excite us
Though most of them alpha and male
Alice heard Gertrude say
That she found Hemingway
Paradoxically earnest and frail
Gertrude and Alice moved to Paris
And lived on the Rue Fleurus
They played their part
In promoting new art
By buying a painting or two

Gammel Dansk
The daylight quickly fading
With his headache wearing off
The collar of his overcoat
Muffling his cough
A siren from a ship
Barely made him raise his head
Since he'd missed the boat to Malmo
He'd try Gothenburg instead
Outside the snow was falling
Like torn up belting slips
Confetti for the jilted
Wedding night of passing ships
And if they ever find her
She'll be one more on the list
And if they never find her
How long would she be missed
Black skeletons of cranes
Against the snow at night
Witness dockside shadows
That negotiate the night
Lost sotds flew like seagulls
Who have slipped their earthly chain
Risen and returned
As the snow turns into rain
While the Filipino sailors
With a flag from Panama
Silently slipped mooring’s
He stayed anchored at the bar
The barmaid poured his beer
Without a second glance
And set it on the counter
With a shot of Gammel Dansk
Any dockside dive
Is a harbour not a home
Life is black and white
And the world is monochrome
While the Filipino sailors
With a flag from Panama
Left the harbour safety
To the open sea once more
Their world moved slowly backwards
As the vessel headed past
He leant forward on the counter
And drained another glass
As he pulled out his cigarettes
Loose change spilled on the floor
Like a clue left for the cleaner
As he tilted out the door
And through the bones of cranes
The wind began to blow
Birds settled on the water
And the rain turned back to snow

Shed song
 Amongst the tins of nails and things
Is where Granddad and me
Turned his shed into a church
Of masculinity
No female bothered to intrude
Into our sacred space
Content in manly solitude
Or in shared state of grace
Tobacco oil and creosote
This temple's incense clung
To perfumed pincy wooden walls
Where voodoo gas masks hung
Where priestly purple bottled meths
Along with tins of screws
And ancient saws and chisels stayed
That I never saw him use
This shed was never made for work
But built for sanctuary
Where we both took communion
Of biscuits with our tea
And I soaked up crumbs of knowledge there
Behind the creaking door
Expounding on the day to day
Or times before the war
On shelves where ghosts of laughter slept
Decayed to sooty dust
Time wrapped around those memories
Like moss and creeping rust
But in that sleep the truth of dreams
Seeped into limber walls
Until by simply breathing in
Each one could be recalled
Intending to rebuild his shed
When Granddad passed away
Dismantled it too turned to dust
Till just three planks remained
So one for him and one for me
And one for lives and schemes
That overlap each history
Aboard this ship of drcams

Close shave
 Now Charlie Summers has a barber’s shop
And the prettiest wife in town
I saw him on the street the other day
He said why ain’t you been around
Come in tomorrow I’ll give you a shave
And it won’t ecost you a cent
I rubbed by chin in puzzlement
But the next day there I went
Now he didn’t smile when I said hello
And climbed up on his chair
Just a shave today is all he said
I ain’t got time to cut your hair
And he tucked the towel around my neck
And he pulled it back real tight
I rubbed my chin as 1 looked at him
I thought something round here ain’t right
He took the cup and he whipped the soap
And he slapped it on my jaw
1 thought to myself that’s a little bit rough
As some splashed on the floor
He covered my face till just my eyes
Peered out from under the foam
When I watched him move to the razor strop
I wished I’d stayed at home
He stropped that blade about fifty times
As miserable as sin
He jerked my whole head backwards
He put the razor under my chin
He leaned to my ear in a threatening tone
That was full of stress and strife
His smokey breath seared me to death
He said have you been seeing my wife
Charlie I said as I spat out foam
How long have we been pals
I don’t know what you’re talking about
It must be someone else
He finished the shave and he towelled me down
Aud I went to pay the bill
No, charge says he that’s down to me
And 1 walked out past the bill
I wondered what made him think of me
Fooling with his wife
And him with a blade in his right han
Sharper than any knife
Whether or not he’d hit the truth
I will take it to my grave
But when I rub my chin
1 think of him
That was a pretty close shave

When they were young
 This for those who were lucky enough to fall in love
When they were young
Not just that usual teenage stuff
A fumble of feelings all fingers and tongues
Intertwining breath, touch like trembling leaves
This is for those who were really free
Though locked in a mutual field of vision
Each other’s eyes are all they see
A jail without walls an open prison
Even when apart, in earshot of the heart
And this is for those who knowing the risk
Threw caution to the wind of chance
Abandoned in the singing mist
As on the precipice they danced
Seeds of sycamore, spinning to the floor
This is for those who without complaint
Lay on a bed of their own making
Their sated hunger left them faint
Through fitful sleep to cruel awakening
For their pity’s sake the cradling bough must break
But this is for those who loved-so strong
That it. shattered the rocks and left them making
Stunned into silence both deafened and dumb
By the terrible sound of one heart breaking
Charred and acrid breeze, lightning blackened trees
But this is for those who were lucky enough
To fall in love
When they were young

Sometimes I wish I could pray
When I was a child I thought as a child
We sang hymns at the close of the day
But now I'm a man I put away childish things
But there's sometimes I wish I could pray
Just to thank someone when the danger is passed
When returned to your family and friends
Or for comfort when you are tired and you're scared
And have problems that seem will not end
Sometimes I wish I could pray
Sometimes l wish I could pray
Most of the time I'm doing okay
But there’s sometimes I wish I could pray
To believe everything has been planned in advance
By one who looks down and is pleased
Or to lift up your eyes and to thank someone
When you're humbled and brought right down to your knees
Sometimes I wish I could pray
Sometimes l wish I could pray
Most of the time I'm doing okay
But there’s sometimes I wish I could pray
Just to thank someone for the stars and the sun
For the cry of a baby at birth
Or to believe there's a home way up high in the sky
When our journey is done on this earth
Sometimes I wish I could pray
Sometimes l wish I could pray
Most of the time I'm doing okay
But there’s sometimes I wish I could pray

Hill of beans
 I'm no good at being noble
We’re not talking Kings and Queens
The problems of three little people
Don’t amount io a hill of beans
And if our hill of beans should tumble
Who’d care or notice that they’d spilled
Daylight burns night dreams and crumbles
Them to ashes unfulfilled
But we’ll always have those days in Paris
And you’ll only have to lift the lid
On memory io keep and cherish
Don’t cry
Here’s looking at you kid
But I’ve still got a job to do
Mere words ring sweet but hollow
You can’t be pan of what I do
Where I’m going you can’t follow
But we’ll always have those days in Paris
And you’ll only have to lift the lid
On memory to keep and cherish
Don’t cry
Here’s looking at you kid
Of all the bars in all the world
And the gin joints in the town
She walks right into mine
God damn
You plaved it for her. plav it for me
Play it
Plav it Sam

West 4th street and Jones
February ‘sixty three’ the cold would chill your bones
There’s a couple walking down the road West 4th Street and Jones
Shoulders hunched against the cold
They walk through melting snow
She smiles for the camera
And he affected not to know
His hands deep in his pockets his head was slightly bowed
All the studied nonchalance that the weather would allow
Her arms wrapped round him like a shawl
To keep him from the cold
Love so warm can melt away
What once she had to hold
Spring came laic in sixty-three and it faded like a kiss
Winter came in early landed like a fist
When Kennedy got shot
In that Lincoln limousine
Drenched us all in blood and splintercd bone
Right on our TV screen
When l kissed my girl on Gower Street how was I to know
That we’d begun to drift apart as l stumbled through Soho
In the unforgiving neon light
The words she could not speak
Were written in her mascara
That dried upon my check
But the world will keep on turning young lovers drift apart
Bob and Suzy’s rhyming steps leave their footprints on the heart
l n the jingle jangle morning
Dylan and Rottollo
In a ‘freeze frame’ photograph
Eternally, tomorrow
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