Red sky - Weather the storm

Go to content

Red sky

When you look to the hill you must climb,
And your doubts will not disappear
But don't look down, look ahead
Isn't that what they said
It's a long way up from down here
To be fearless does not mean you're brave
To be brave means you have to know fear
Each crevice, each grip,
Each foothold, each slip,
It's a long way down from up here.
Rise with the morning and run to the hills
Until you can't run no more.
Like a bird set free from the chains of the night
And rise from the valley floor.
The bigger the hill the more shade
Deep in the dark lurks the fear
On the top all alone
The only shadow's your own
It's a long way down from up here.
And you’ll remember each painstaking step
And the thump of your heart in your ear
Let it beat like a drum
Marshall courage to come
It's a long way down from up here.

Rise with the morning and run to the hills
Until you can't run no more.
Like a bird set free from the chains of the night
And rise from the valley floor.
The picture is broader high up,
With a view that cannot compare
Three-sixty degrees
Might bring you to your knees
It's a long way up from down here
So rise with the morning and run to the hills
Until you can't run no more.
Like a bird set free from the chains of the night
And rise from the valley floor.
So rise with the morning and run to the hills
Until you can't run no more.
Like a bird set free from the chains of the night

 Wagon on the Motorway
Driving on the motorway
 I saw a truck ahead of me
 And in it was a young girl and her fellow
They were coming from the west
And she had a baby on her breast.
 And the truck was painted bright in mauve and yellow.
That steering wheel held in a grip
 As tight as the “roll up” on his lip
 They never even gave me a single look
 As she dreamed out at the fields
 Whilst the baby took its meal
And I surveyed the scene as I overtook.
The road was a ball of string
They were unravelling
Looping words to the story
They were travelling

Well I saw him clench his jaw
As his left foot hit the floor
The road was steep and he changed down a gear
He glanced at his girl and child
And she turned from the window and smiled
And she fingered a lock of hair behind her ear.
All they owned was in that truck
And I thought about us and wished them luck
Continuing the journey they’d begun
It was just like yours and mine
A little further back in time
The pots and pans in a van with a baby son.
Even wild birds sometimes need
Garden crumbs with their hedgerow seed
Watching out for foxes, stoats and weasels
One thing a fuel gauge cannot show
How far you “new age” three will go
Freedom’s more than just the price of diesel.
I could not help but wonder
When the sky is black with thunder
Incessant rain and wind and freezing fog
Is freedom’s scent as sweet as those
Wood smoke saturated clothes
The slack skinned bongo drums and smelly dog. 

 In the Dreamtime
The scent of smoke on desert wind  Beneath the Southern Cross
Far beyond where time begins And generations lost.
I could not be further from you now
 With both feet on the ground  But in the Dreamtime
 Souls take flight  I am a closer to you now
If I should lay me down to sleep
By forest green or shining lake  
I could arise to find you gone
To take for granted my mistake

Mountains crumble forests vanish
Seeds awakened by the fire
Water earth and air have borne them
And I can feel my own ones near


Flames are dancing in the fire
Timeless songs are on the air
In the wilderness they're crying
But there is laughter everywhere


One Day Away from You
One day away from you
Left on my own I list the changes that
I swear I’m gonna make
But never do When I get home.
One day away from you
Each unkind word
I spoke in anger hurts me more than when in
The moment’s heat It first occurred.
One day away from you
Each thoughtless deed
That was my fault opens the wound and rubs
In salt and stings And makes me bleed.
One day away from you
Is like a week
A week is like a blue moon month of dreary
Sunday afternoons And leaves me weak.
One day away from you
Is all it takes
You’d think by now
I’d learned the lessons of
The past But haven’t yet
From my mistakes
One day away from you
I do deceive Myself to thinking
I could cope without you
Pity on this fool What webs I weave.

Lost Boys
We’re going out tonight
Looking for a bit of fun
There might be a fight
It could be with anyone.

We’re not scared of danger
Danger’s just a flirt
Fear is still a stranger
When you know you can’t be hurt.

We’re the ones who drive too fast
Get a little high on speed
Tag our names show we existed
You can cut me I won’t bleed.

Drugs are not the risk
Take a second look
It’s the risk that is the drug
The dare that gets you hooked.

We can drink till morning
Doing it all night long
When we go off without warning
Just the timing that is wrong.

Rebel, hero, coward, yob,
All you do is change the name
To whatever suits the job
It has always been the same.

We’re the ones who flew the Spitfires
Charged the trenches, walked through mines
Sailed with Nelson, stood with Harold
Roared at Caesar, held the lines.

We’re the conscience of objectors
Rabble listed just for drink
We’re the ones whose lives are over
In a second, in a wink.

Brawlers, dreamers, scally wags
Poets, spoilers making noise
For those who sleep in battlefields
The Peter Pans, the true lost boys.

Bicker and Rue
Old lovers held by a chain
Its links to the past hardly bearing the strain
Of the weakness to break it and start out again.
Held by a chain.

Old lovers bicker and rue
Bottled up secrets shared between two
Twisting the knife and turning the screw
Old lovers bicker and rue.

Old lovers they know where it hurts
Stirring the mud, dishing the dirt
Kicking the bruise and tugging the shirt
Old lovers know where it hurts.

Old lovers pretend they don’t care
If she straightens his eyebrow he moves from the chair
But whilst she is sleeping he touches her hair
Oh, they pretend they don’t care.

Old lovers living a sham
Take it or leave it they don’t give a damn
Wake with a start at a car door’s slam
They do give a damn
Give a damn.

Old lovers have storm before calm
Mix comfort and fear like the twenty-third psalm
Walking the valley of death arm in arm
Old lovers have storm before calm.

Old lovers, they won’t venture far
Freedom’s a draught from a door left ajar
Wrapped in her breathing he stares at the stars
Old lovers won’t go very far.

Old lovers rejoice and they grieve
The warp and the weft both parts of the weave
The rough tweed jacket with a silk lined sleeve
Old lovers rejoice and they grieve.

Old lovers bare it and grin
And the tide going out sigh and breathe in
The three-legged race that no one can win
They bare it and grin.

Old lovers they fuss and they fight
They scratch and they spit, warring into the night
Then they reach for each other, turn out the light
Old lovers fuss and they fight
Then they turn out the light.

Now This Has Started
It comes like a thunderbolt
Leaves you devastated
A certain look, a sudden smile
And you are captivated.
Sometimes that’s the way it goes
And you are transported
Of course she has no way to know
What she has started.

The first time that your eyes meet
A merest glancing
Enough to make your heart a fool
Set it to dancing.

Stumbled words, you learn her name
And when from you she’s parted
Till she is yours you’ll know no peace
Now this has started.

What weakness turns a man from love
To seek possession
So deep and dark can passion grow
His heart becomes a prison
And he the jailer of that cell
In jealousy he guards it
Till true love flies through walls of stone
From all she started.
A vacant cell, a silent shout
Echoes of freedom
An empty cage, a child’s rage
Tears and confusion

Lessons learned in lost belief
Is now in grief imparted
To flourish love must fly on wings
Through all she’s started

So rare a thing, a second chance
Therein lies danger
To slip the bolts of pain and take
Gifts from this stranger
And never ask where she has been
That journey left uncharted
Love returns through unlocked doors
To what she started.

Easter Lilies
For a long  time she stood at the flower shop window
The daffodils dearest at this time of year
Inside she emptied her purse on the counter
“I want to buy all of the daffodils here.”

By her eyes it was plain to see she’s been crying
As she tucked back a strand of loose hair from her face
“I want to spend all of my money on flowers
And I need every daffodil here in this place.”

 Clutching her harvest, a corn sheaf of flowers
She clambered aboard the late rush hour tram
And by Schweigaards gate, a small pool of water
Had formed on the floor as if wrung from her hands
It just seemed to add to the lost look about her
As the grey rattling city went grumbling past
She sat like a small child testing for butter
Her face lit in yellow from the flowers tightly clasped.

 Once in her apartment she lay down the blooms
And divided them up into glasses and jars
Till daffodils filled every space in the room
Then she lit every candle she found in the house
She bathed and she dressed and corked open champagne
Which made pigeons fly from her window sills
Closing the curtains on birds in the rain
She stood among flickering daffodils.

 Surrounded and centred she pondered her feelings
Sofa’d and cushioned on feathers she lay
Holding on to the pillows lest she float to the ceiling
And just like the cigarette smoke drift away
She wondered just where the wind might deliver
An unwritten letter, a torn envelope
Though candlelight warmed she suddenly shivered
And the yellow flowers shimmered with brightness and hope.
Icarus Survived The Fall
      Icarus survived the fall he didn’t really die
He lived to offer this advice for all of those who try
Flying up to reach the sun when warned they’d come to grief
You live for stolen moments and all time is a thief.
Time will steal your youth away and dreams that fire your soul
It was not pride or vanity that robbed me of my goal
I blame inferior materials when things grew hot
Instead of saying how I blew it look how near I got!

Is your cup half-empty, or is your glass half full?
Is that guy a fool to try or is he really cool?
Nobody made nothing who never made mistakes
I’m grateful for this opportunity to put things straight.
Remembering only my fall denies the swallow dives
And forward rolls with twists I made out of that clear blue sky
My near perfect entry into the Aegean Sea
Gained nine point nines from every judge except East Germany.

Is your cup half-empty, or is your glass half full?
Is that guy a fool to try or is he really cool?
Nobody made nothing who never made mistakes
I’m grateful for this opportunity to put things straight.
Is your cup half-empty, or is your glass half full?
You can call it either way there isn’t any rule.

Nobody made nothing who never made mistakes
I’m grateful for this opportunity to put things straight.
It is in the perception as to failure and success
Extracting something beautiful out of hopelessness
It all depends on attitude interpreting the facts (but)
Next time I fly with feathered wings I won’t use wood and wax.
Saucers (Aquamarine)
See that ring you’re wearing
Is it aquamarine blue?
The colour of a pair of eyes
Of someone that I knew

The tint is that of honesty
Its first impression cold
Its setting best in silver
Whilst diamonds must have gold.

The mystery of sapphires
That must be telling lies
The colour of spring water
Held up to morning skies.

Hers could not imply the depth
You find in darker eyes
And from which well she drew such strength
I only can surmise

The water at the shoreline’s edge
Is of a lighter hue
Belies the secrets of the dark
Hidden in deeper blue
No revelation to be gained

Where the tiny fishes dart
The steel imbedded in her soul
The blade that missed her heart.

Fingers in the water
Sifting through the sand
A splash of silver beads, a jewel
Upon a sun-tanned hand.

Sea water, tears, aquamarine
Can these words mean much more
In glory of cathedrals
Those eyes stared at the floor
Whilst callused skin stone cool and pale
Inside a velvet glove
Hid chapped hands and broken nails
The scars and grip of love.

When Love Has Gone
When lovers  part time can provide
A healing they can build upon
Discerning pain from injured pride
When it seems all love is gone.

 She says she loves him like a brother
He knows he ain’t done nothing wrong
She’s just fallen for another
To him it seems all love is gone.

 I see it on my TV screen
Makes me wince and cry
To think of how it should have been
That this could come between you and I.

 But what of brothers, egg and seed
Closer than father and son
From cold hands hot resentment feeds
When it seems all love is gone.

 I see it on my TV screen
Makes me wince and cry
To think of how it should have been
That this could come between you and I.

 I see it on my TV screen
Makes me wince and cry
To think of how it should have been
That this could come between you and I.

 Reason’s anger’s casualty
Dark despair may follow on.
Hearts as cold as charity
When it seems all love is gone.
Let Me Fly, or Let Me Fall
I used to wind you up
You used to calm me down
You let me play the martyr
So that I could act the clown

The difference between church and stage
Is whether we’re enlightened or amazed
The magician or the priest
Take a little bit from each
And hope some of the magic always stays.

 I used to make you laugh
And you used to make me think
You pulled me from the edge
Oh when I was on the brink
Now you better let me fly or let me fall

It can sometimes fire the engines when they stall
To float without the drive
Is just being half alive
And between the two of us there must be more.

 You used to make me smile
I used to turn you on
The flame may flicker sometimes
Ah but love has never gone
And if anything right now I need you more
Is that a heartbeat or a tapping at your door?

A sense that something’s wrong
A weakening of something strong
Like a lion with a splinter in his paw.

 Better take some chances
Do not lose your nerve
Roll into the corners
And then drive out of the curve

Sometimes you might hear the tires squeal
They’re only trying to get a grip on what is real.
We’re not going anywhere
If there is no rush of air
And you cannot feel the road
Beneath the wheels.

I Suppose (Purple Stain)
I suppose I could have tried to stop her.
I suppose I could have made her stay.
I suppose I could have locked her in a room
Until she came to reason it my way.

I suppose some of it was my fault
No one made me get out of that train
I suppose she took a pinch of salt from tears
And in denial disputed truth of pain.

I suppose I could have made it harder
I could have said I’d hurt myself in spite
Tried a little blackmail for a starter
Got myself beat up picking a fight.

She never saw my bruised and battered features
My injured pride and drunken stumbling step
Walking through the dark streets with night creatures
Pulling at my sleeves their poisoned breath

Whispering the names of her new lovers
Worse than losing her, the hardest part
Was seeing her in my mind with another
Drove a splintered spike right through my heart.

I could not see my image in shop windows
My fingers searched my throat as if to find
The wound she left I rubbed until the blood flowed
And dried to a purple stain across my mind.

I Love Driving West
I love driving west
Like rock and roll
The kick drum is my heartbeat
And the back beat is the snare that traps my soul

Driving west
And as the sun rolls overhead
The white line on the road
Is turning golden
As the sky burns red.
I love riding west
An endless glide

The sun is like an eager groom racing to make
The silver moon his bride
Riding west
And as shadows fall behind
The darkness growing fast
It’s the future not the past
That fills my mind.
I love flying west
An endless flight
High above the castled clouds and
Several sunset hours before night
Flying west
The earth below begins to sleep
I am heading on my way
There’s more left of the day
For me to keep.
I love driving west
A setting sun
The like of which the timeless world has seen
Before I know but not this one
Driving west
This must be the best
This is my favourite road
My evening
Golden eyed screwed up but beaming
Lined with laughter, tears a streaming
Beyond the moon the stars are wheeling
Is that heaven or the ceiling?
I love . . . driving . . . West.
I’m Not Really Blue
I’m not really blue
Just a bit confused
Strangely I am wondering
Which one of us was used

I’m not really blue
I’m not really blue
Just a little bruised
There’s a mark from where I fell
And I tripped up over you
But I’m not really blue.

Ripples rolling over me
From a stone thrown in a lake
Of icy tears that fell and filled
An empty aching space.

Rocked in these waves unendingly
I cling to broken dreams
The wreckage of a rescue ship
Torn open at the seams

Whilst through unfathomed depths below
The stone is ever falling
I only see blurred landscapes
From which the sky’s been stolen.

I’m not really blue
Working my way through
What else can I tell you
I haven’t got a clue?
But I’m not really blue.
My love asked, Do you remember
French films made in black and white
Late in the fifties early sixties
Where night is day and day is night

You know the ones that start somewhere
And wander to the middle scene
The only way you knew they’d ended,
“F.I.N.” came on the screen.

I used to love them in the darkness,
Stumbling from the cinema,
Thick mascara and dark glasses,
All my roads were boulevards,
And best of all, my parents had,

No interest in the these story lines,
Each mystery and nuance was,
For me to ponder, these were mine.
I’d watch every actor’s gesture
The way they lit each cigarette

The camera looked through cracked glass windows
And focused on a bead of sweat
In dingy rooms whose naked bulbs
Shed light upon the crumpled sheets
On beds in which were newly written
Love letters scrawled in haste and heat.

I smoked Gauloises, drank black coffee
My breath smelled “of the night” you soothed
Dusty Springfield, said she thought that
Alan Delon’s smile was cool,
But I preferred Jean Paul Belmondo’s
Crooked grin and boxer’s nose
And all the girls were a la Greco
French cars and Italian clothes.

There are secrets in the back beat
There is message in the song
If they thought you liked their music
The kids would have done something wrong
You don’t have to understand
Things no longer black and white
As long as it makes sense to them
The world is turning, it’s all right.

You either get it or you don’t.
It’s not something you can explain
In the end all paths meet up
Like raindrops down a window pane
And each generation starts afresh
Why don’t we speed to France by rail
Sit down at “Le Chat Qui Peche”
Drink slow cognac and eat snails.
I’ll Keep This With Mine (Leaving ‘Liggan Woods)
Although we both are leaving
It’s not in separate ways
Because our paths will always cross
Though never in this place.

Of course I’m going to miss you
Like water from our well
And the moon above the sighing trees
The scented woods as well
We just served out our notice and resigned.

I’ll keep this with mine.
I remember walking
Up the muddy track
Relentless rhododendron rain
Drizzling down my back
A smile of wood smoke in the air
My slipping sliding step
One boot on and one boot off
Hopping whilst you slept

Ghostly washing flapping on the line
I’ll keep this with mine.
All the pictures, they are yours
All the records mine
A silent exit, no applause
To Jack’s beanstalk pantomime.

It’s moments you remember
Not the constant ebb and flow
When the oak fell in the meadow
Or that sudden April snow.
Some things just seem to happen out of time.

I’ll keep this with mine.
You gathered autumn blackberries
That prick and stain the skin
But I’m tattooed by the seasons
That woods have wrapped us in
The spell the trees cast on us
Might have turned into a curse
But we had the power to break it
So I guess it could be worse.
Spring buds already bursting on the vine.

I’ll keep this with mine.
Pull the front door close
And amble up the slope
Abandon thoughts of failure
But never ever give up hope
With hindsight we predict the past
It’s over like a spark.
We squint to see in daylight
But it flashes in the dark.
Still looking to the stars to give a sign.
I’ll keep them with mine.

Red Sky at Night
Such a glowering weary day
As he traipsed over fields
With a droop-tailed dew-dropped drizzled dog
Padding along at his heels.

A split in the cloud threw sunlight
Like a dagger ripping open the sky
He could see by his breath there’d be a frost tonight.
And the wind whipped a tear from his eye.

Screwed to a ball in his pocket
Was the letter that said they’d foreclose
Hawthorn snagged at his jacket
As the anger inside fell and rose
The chasm before him seemed massive
Though used to a living so harsh
The sheep on the fell-side impassive
Nipping the thin winter grass.

Red sky in the morning
Sailor beware at first light
There will not be any warning
There’s going to be a red sky tonight.

Far from his mind was the springtime
The lambing and starting anew,
The wild summer hills in their beauty
And the cry of the lapwing and ewe,

The living a hill shepherd scratches
At the end of the tunnel the light
Would be from a box of matches
There’s going to be a red sky tonight.
Back to content