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6 PennyCrossings v7.png
Penny Crossings
Lyrics

A Bee Dreams of Pollen

(instrumental)

Festival for Postmen

There's a festival for postmen scheduled for today.

In the woods just out of town they'll throw their mail away,

Speaking of their lives and wives to others like themselves

Who have pedalled long and lonely miles with but a sack

Of envelopes to calm them as they think about the world.

 

I watch the first one shuffle past, clutching a bleeding

Leg, where a snivelling, wheezing terrier has barely

Scratched the flesh. In the postmen's other hand is

A bowl of grapes and camomile. Yes, they've each brought

Their own plate!

 

There's a festival for postmen and it's nearly underway!

I'm waiting for the rest to come and show me how they play!

I see one more arriving, patting down his mail, tempted

To look through it and find familiar names, but I see

He'll never weaken: his eyes don't even stray!

 

Other groups are coming now, not as slowly as the first,

And some are even laughing now they've shared the know: it

Doesn't hurt! But some don't act like people. Ah! Stalls are

Raised: there they lay, closely and firmly, under the

Blue, cloud scattered sky. And in a circle all around

Startled elms and oaks and pines wave at them. Picnic

Blankets, cuddly toys and sandwiches litter the grassy

Clearing as voices fill the air.

 

There's a festival for postmen and I'm watching from afar

As postmen from around the world share a merry laugh

There's a festival for postmen and I hope it never ends.

There's a festival for postmen and I hope it never ends.

Of Reed and Willow

(instrumental)

Snowman

Look at the rainbow: a marble of light,

Rolled through the sky and bumping the clouds.

Is each colour laughing at my thoughts

As I go in search of a meaning?

 

Where is the snowman we made/the dead man we saved/From the

In the snow that fell yesterday?

 

For the eyes of the dead

Show what you already know,

And if there's a reason

For thinking what’s dead’s awake,

Why shouldn’t in winter

I let the dead talk to me?

Well who cares for a long life

When we can all dream

If we don't like it?

 

In his black button eyes,

And his long carrot nose,

And the stick of his mouth,

He seemed to know

That in the frost of our minds

We were hiding from life

In case we all learnt

Who we all are

And didn't like it.

 

Look at the dew drops, like worlds of new reason,

Come from the sky, reflecting the rainbow.

A beetle is scurrying from the rain fall,

Grimy but caring only for life.

 

Where is the snowman we made

In the snow that fell yesterday?

 

For the eyes of the dead

Show what you already know,

And if there's a reason

For thinking what’s dead’s awake,

Why shouldn’t in winter

I let the dead talk to me?

Well who cares for a long life

When we can all dream

If we don't like it?

I don’t like it.

Cloudyman

Puff puff cloudyman,

Grow wings overnight.

Scamper through the smoke rings

At the stuffed end of my pipe.

 

I'm tired and no longer

Am making shapes of you,

Just sit and watch the shapeless

Clouds of smoke that replace you.

 

How wise was the answer

That you’re happy in the sky?

Of course I wouldn't mind it

But I'd be too scared to try.

 

Well, signs of winter are here, and

While signs of winter are here:

 

Nothing worth dying for's worth doing well,

And nothing worth dying for's worth knowing well.

No single cloud managed a storm on its own

And I'll fly with you if I have a way home.

 

How he can smile!

But he can't show me

The wet hands by his sides

While he holds both

Of his wings in them tight.

 

How he can shine!

But he can't decide on

Which way to blow next,

While I see from down here

That upwards is best.

 

Because signs of winter are here, and

While signs of winter are here:

 

I will still being blowing rings through the holes

Of cobwebs I've tried to keep under control,

But they never stop, like spider's who are sad,

And hide till they're big enough to eat from my hand.

 

Have I fallen? Have I fallen?

‘Cos he's fallen, fallen...

 

'Cos I can't hear you breathe

And I can't hear you blow

And I can't hear you fly

Overhead with me in tow.

 

This smoke's a poor replacement

And I'd give it up if I

Could count upon the movement

Of you playing in the sky.

 

But the cloudyman I know

Had wings he gave to me,

And because I lost them,

He's stranded till I rescue him.

 

When clouds don't float

They land.

When clouds don't float

They land.

 

Because clouds don't glow,

They shine.

Clouds don't glow,

They shine.

Peppercorn Hollow

I have no state to speak of

I am all I invest in,

And while I know of others

None may know of me.

 

I have no one to meet me

But I will meet here just the same,

And I have no one to heed me

But I will say things just the same.

 

I wish to find myself one morning

Without a home or bone,

No word or thing I have to honour

Not even the world will have to know.

 

I have no one to meet me

But I will meet here just the same,

And I have no one to heed me

But I will say things just the same.

Garbage Land

'Yes we can talk, boy, we can talk,

But not a bad thing about the green you hear?

You've said some strange things to your ma,

Let's not have the same things said to me.'

'I hear you, but you just won’t see

There's something wrong around here - it's not me.'

 

Everything around here dies, everything around.

 

What is liberty to one who can’t

Use it, tell me what’s the point?

A rock lack’s motion not liberty.

The path you walk is strewn with blood, you’ll see.

 

The dell provides, for that give thanks,

You’re free to sleep along it’s bubbling bank.

 

Everything around here dies, everything around. 

Penny Crossing

Excuse me for your sore luck,

You seem to have some troubles with your feet.

They don't take you where you want them:

And scatter wide the pebbles of our streets.

 

Why do you come from your lands

To tell us how much duller is our sky?

Why do you come from there to here

To say the sun should not bother to rise?

 

How can you not have a favourite

day, hour, minute: time?

Why must your world be so small,

Why must your world be so small?

 

How can you bleed without sepia shadow over the bricks that seep?

Such firm diseases shoot through your pen and move through the opaque sky?

How can your look through the windows of antique stores and see such fear

In a wooden rocking horse that plays and rocks for free?

 

How can you not have a favourite

day, hour, minute: time?

Why must our world be so small,

Why must our world be so small?

A Real Toad in an Imaginary Garden

A real toad in an imaginary garden

Ponders moving house as he croaks at the water lilies.

No lilipad is too small nor wet for him,

But he is proud and demands tall respect.

 

I think so he cries: “Nobody’s tongue is as real as mine.

You and you and you, you are not as real as this tongue of mine.

 

“Don’t catch flies for me to be kind

My problem’s not surviving it’s with smiling.

Just take a photograph of us both together.

Something real to look at when I’m down.”

 

He’s got to be someone’s daydream.

He’s got to be someone’s daydream,

But no wart he wears is too small nor wet for him,

‘Cos they listen when he wants someone to talk to.

 

I know so he cries: “Nobody cares for this tongue of mine.

You and you and you, you are not a friend of this tongue of mine.

And I’m missing someone and you’re missing no one but me,

And I’m missing someone and you’re missing no one but me.”

 

“Don’t catch flies for me to be kind

My problem’s not surviving it’s with smiling.

Just take a photograph of us both together.

Something real to look at when I’m down,

Something real to look at when I’m down.”

 

‘Cos I’m missing someone and you’re missing no one but me,

And I’m missing someone and you’re missing no one but me.”

The Beetle

The beetle awakens in his garden,

Looks at his reflection and cries.

He is growing day by day, though he knows he'll fade away,

For now the day is such a harder trial.

 

Walks up a spring leaf and listens to the sounds,

Night is drawing near and his legs are tired.

He closes his eyes and sees the world,

And sings in his sleep how he has tried.

 

Awaken look to the blue sky,

Fanciful creatures fly there.

He ponders how and why

And knows it isn't fair.

 

Running through the garden

Something following his trail.

He knows he must keep going

Until his every leg has failed.

 

The teeth are drawing closer

And he shakes and frets in fear,

Then his back begins to open,

Something flutters and he's free.

 

Upon the grass he feels his feet

Are falling very light.

Now he spreads his wings and flaps them hard,

And so begins his flight.

 

The beetle looks below

And scans the clouds and sky

While he moves across the sun

Until the old day retires.

 

Awaken look to the blue sky

Fanciful creatures fly there.

He ponders how and why

And knows it isn’t fair.

The Bird Lost His Wings

He blinked his eyes as he awoke

And tried to flap his wings.

The blood that was their logic fell

Short of the feathery limbs.

 

His whistle flooded from his lungs

And fell into his nest.

His wife turned her soft head to him

And shared his loud distress:

 

"If we have young I must have wings

To fly and catch each meal,

So should I try and search for them

Or trust that they will heal?"

 

"But there's no blood," his wife exclaimed,

"To show that they have been torn off.

Perhaps they dreamt apart from you

And took themselves aloft?"

 

"To where, to who, to what, my wife?

Where should I go to look?

And must I hop from branch to branch

To get down from our nook?"

 

So he did a' hop and drop,

With claws a' scratching ground,

And how his perky tail did flit

And knock the dirt around.

 

Until he met a cat with whom

His lost wings now shared their side.

The darkest thing, but both his wings

Now elevated feline strides.

 

In their anger they beat at him:

"You would have had us eaten!

You have scared us long enough,

By days you’ve had us weaken"

 

The cat just picked a nail and said:

"Why let you limbs endure?

See: mine hang loosely in the air

Yet still they have allure."

 

The wife behind now sweeps her nest,

Says: "Why'd he go alone?

I might've shared one wing with him:

With both I now leave home."

The Penny Queen

Yesterday the Penny Queen

Came softly to my window.

She said: 'Here's a penny, I'll

Bring you one more tomorrow

If you please me by the way

You spend this one first today.'

She said: 'Be wise.'

 

Yesterday I spent my penny

In the open marketplace-

I paid a pretty woman carrying

More clothes than she'd ever clean,

I said: 'Go change your washing

For a day of rest. Be heard.'

She said: 'Thank you.'

 

And again the lovely Penny Queen

Perches on my windowshelf,

Singing: 'How did you ever learn

To care so little for yourself?

Can it be you are my husband?

Oh, if you are my Penny King,'

She said 'Come home!'

 

I then followed the Penny Queen

Right back to the marketplace.

She said: 'This is my home,

And here you met my other face.

Just yesterday you gave me back

The penny that I gave to you!'

She said: 'Kind you!'

 

'When did we part, Penny Queen?'

I asked, beholding hers as mine,

'And how did I forget that you were

She that I had wedded kind?'

She answered: 'We had come to doubt

If there was meaning in our love,

So planned to go and send you off

Into the arms of richer souls

Until you forgot who we were,

And then I would return with half

Of what our kingdom served to be-

And if you brought it back to me

Then you would be my Penny King

Once more, and I would be your Queen,

My King!"

Leprechauns

All leprechauns are my friends.

 They meet me in the garden

 And they give me all their gold,

 And they never get angry at me.

 

 All leprechauns know my name.

 They call it out through fern and frond

 Whenever we're alone,

 And they never make fun of me.

 

 They play with their beards under their green caps

 Until the boots of big strangers arrive -

 Then they decide to hide from or befriend him,

 Hide or to open their sacks wide for him!

 

 No one loves a liar. No one loves a loser.

 No one loves a liar. No one loves a loser.

All leprechauns are my friends.

All my friends are leprechauns.

My other friends all back away

When I told them how

Leprechauns were as real as they.

 

Did they believe me?

 
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Album Notes

 

Beetle is an early example of a genre of anthropomorphic song lyrics, many of which find there way onto this album. However, my animal lyrics were written in a Beatrix-Potter mode, with the animals as characters, not symbols.

Glen Spoors, November 2021

Korelai Music is a brand of Lost Isle Media
korelaimusic@gmail.com
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