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The stars don't look bigger, but they do look brighter.

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The Stars

Look at the stars tonight
They are shining extra sparkley
That must mean the heavens know we are together, forever
The stars look like they are glittering
That shows a good sign
For our futures together
Now baby Tell me that's what you want
Tell me that's how you planned the rest of our lives
Look at the stars
Don't they look Magnificent? !

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The Stars Are My Greatest Disappointment

The stars are my greatest disappointment-
Once they were other worlds beyond this one,
Once they were the land of dreams,
Beyond all dreams-
Once they were where we would go
When we had to go somewhere else-
Once they were many things
They can no longer be-
Now that we know what they really are
Worlds of extremes
Beyond our human being-

Forgive me dear stars,
I look up at you at night
And still want to love you,
But here in myself I know what we have learned
You will never be home for us.

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The Drover Of The Stars

IT is little I care for earth's kings,
Its emperors, sultans and czars,
As I lie in the darkness and dream
All alone with my sheep and the stars.
For as dust of the moment are they,
Now agleam and now still on earth's breast;
But the stars, spreading wide in the night,
Travel on, ever on to the west.
My sheep, snugly camped in the dark,
Misty-white with the pale grasses blend;
But where is the camp of the stars?
And whither, O Night, do they wend?
Through leagues of dry distance we came,
Where dust-wreaths, wind-woven, upcurled,
Since Dawn dropped the rails of the east
And let the Day into our world.
Slow-moving we travelled the plains,
Trudging on through the sun and the wind,
Till Day galloped out of the west,
And Night set the sliprails behind.
And now, by my camp-fire alone,
A tryst with pale Wonder I keep —
That mystical Lady of Dreams,
Whose hour is the sleep-of-the-sheep.
Foot-tired in the grasses they lie,
Mist-pale in the darkness, and dumb;
Yet who was it mustered the stars,
And whence and what leagues have they come?
Who keeps them from straying apart?
Who urges them straight on their route?
No answer — none tell me; and lo!
The Night, though it listen, is mute!
Watch 'neath the stars of the Cross,
Orion, and Venus and Mars;
I am but a drover of sheep —
But who is the Drover of Stars?

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Don't Look Back

How does it feel up there
breathing in the fine air
You can't look down
but you do not care
when every face knows
the lonely place you've become

And you can dream up there
with your soul laid bare
and close your eyes
on the life you share
and you can pretend that it won't mean a thing
when it's gone

Cuz now you see
you're so good looking
you should be on TV
but now you're on the radio

don't look back
don't look back
when you hear me calling
don't look back
don't look back

don't look back
don't look back
when you hear me calling
don't look back
don't look back

How does it feel up there
breathing in the fine air
you can't look down
but you do not care
when every face knows
the lonely place you've become

And you can dream up there
with your soul laid bare
and close your eyes
on the life that you share
and you can pretend that it won't mean a thing
when it's gone

cuz now you see
you're so good looking
you should be on tv
but now you're on the radio

don't look back
don't look back
when you hear me calling
don't look back
don't look back

don't look back
don't look back
when you hear me calling
don't look back
don't look back

when you hear me calling you
when you hear me calling you
when you hear me calling you

I know that nobody knows
where it comes from
or where it goes
or the time you will find

don't look back
don't look back
when you hear me calling
don't look back
don't look back

don't look back
don't look back
when you hear me calling
don't look back
don't look back

when you hear me calling you
oooooooo
you hear me calling you
oooooooo
you hear them calling you
oooooooo
you hear them calling you
oooooooo
you hear them calling you

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Sun-Up

(Shadows over a cradle…
fire-light craning….
A hand
throws something in the fire
and a smaller hand
runs into the flame and out again,
singed and empty….
Shadows
settling over a cradle…
two hands
and a fire.)

I

CELIA

Cherry, cherry, glowing on the hearth, bright red cherry…. When you try to pick up cherry Celia's shriek sticks in you like a pin.


When God throws hailstones you cuddle in Celia's shawl and press your feet on her belly high up like a stool. When Celia makes umbrella of her hand. Rain falls through big pink spokes of her fingers. When wind blows Celia's gown up off her legs she runs under pillars of the bank— great round pillars of the bank have on white stockings too.


Celia says my father
will bring me a golden bowl.
When I think of my father
I cannot see him
for the big yellow bowl
like the moon with two handles
he carries in front of him.

Grandpa, grandpa…
(Light all about you…
ginger… pouring out of green jars…)
You don't believe he has gone away and left his great coat…
so you pretend… you see his face up in the ceiling.
When you clap your hands and cry, grandpa, grandpa, grandpa,
Celia crosses herself.


It isn't a dream…. It comes again and again…. You hear ivy crying on steeples the flames haven't caught yet and images screaming when they see red light on the lilies on the stained glass window of St. Joseph. The girl with the black eyes holds you tight, and you run… and run past the wild, wild towers… and trees in the gardens tugging at their feet and little frightened dolls shut up in the shops crying… and crying… because no one stops… you spin like a penny thrown out in the street. Then the man clutches her by the hair…. He always clutches her by the hair…. His eyes stick out like spears. You see her pulled-back face and her black, black eyes lit up by the glare…. Then everything goes out. Please God, don't let me dream any more of the girl with the black, black eyes.

Celia's shadow rocks and rocks… and mama's eyes stare out of the pillow as though she had gone away and the night had come in her place as it comes in empty rooms… you can't bear it— the night threshing about and lashing its tail on its sides as bold as a wolf that isn't afraid— and you scream at her face, that is white as a stone on a grave and pull it around to the light, till the night draws backward… the night that walks alone and goes away without end. Mama says, I am cold, Betty, and shivers. Celia tucks the quilt about her feet, but I run for my little red cloak because red is hot like fire.

I wish Celia
could see the sea climb up on the sky
and slide off again…
…Celia saying
I'd beg the world with you….
Celia… holding on to the cab…
hands wrenched away…
wind in the masts… like Celia crying….
Celia never minded if you slapped her
when the comb made your hairs ache,
but though you rub your cheek against mama's hand
she has not said darling since….
Now I will slap her again….
I will bite her hand till it bleeds.
It is cool by the port hole.
The wet rags of the wind
flap in your face.

II

THE ALLEY

Because you are four years old
the candle is all dressed up in a new frill.
And stars nod to you through the hole in the curtain,
(except the big stiff planets
too fat to move about much,)
and you curtsey back to the stars
when no one is looking.
You feel sorry for the poor wooden chair
that knows it isn't nice to sit on,
and no one is sad but mama.
You don't like mama to be sad
when you are four years old,
so you pretend
you like the bitter gold-pale tea—
you pretend
if you don't drink it up pretty quick
a little gold-fish
will think it is a pond
and come and get born in it.


It's hot in our street and the breeze is a dirty little broom that sweeps dust into our room and bits of paper out of the alley. You are not let to play with the children in the alley But you must be very polite— so you pass them and say good day and when they fling banana skins you fling them back again.

There is no one to play with and the flies on the window buzz and buzz… …you can pull out their legs and stick pins in their bodies but still they buzz… and mama says: When Nero was a little boy he caught flies on his mama's window and pulled out their legs and stuck pins in their bodies and nobody loved him. Buzz, blue-bellied flies— buzz, nasty black wheel of mama's machine— you are the biggest fly of all— you have the loudest buzz. I hear you at dawn before the locusts. But I like the picture of the Flood and the little babies getting drowned…. If I were there I would save them, but as I can't save them I like to watch them getting drowned.

When mama buys of Ling Ho, he smiles very wide and picks her the largest loquots. The greens-man gave her a cabbage and she held it against her black bodice and said what a beautiful green it was and put it on the table as though it had been a flower. But next day we boiled and ate it with salt. It was our dinner.

Christmas day I found Janie on my pillow. Janie is made of rubber. Her red and blue jacket won't come off. Christmas dinner was green and white chicken and lettuce and peas and drops of oil on the salad smiley and full of light like the gold on the lady's teeth.

But mama said politely Thank you, we are dining out. She wouldn't let you take one pea to put in the hole where the whistle was at the back of Janie's head, so Janie should have some dinner So you went to the park with biscuits and black tea in a bottle.

You feel very sad
when you climb on the fence
to watch mama out of sight.
The women in the alley
poke their heads out of doorways
and watch her too.
You know her
by the way she holds her shoulders
till she is only a speck
in a chain of specks—
till she is swallowed up.
But suppose
that day after day
you were to watch for her face
and it didn't come back?
Suppose
it were to drop out of the string of white faces
like the pearl out of my chain
I never found again?


Mabel minds you while mama is out,
she washes while she sings
Three blind mice!
they all run away from the farmer's wife
who cut off their tails
with a carving knife—
Wind blows out Mabel's sheets,
way you blow in a bag before you burst it.
Wind has a soapy smell.
It's heavier'n sun
that lies all over you without any weight
and makes you feel happy
and crinkly like bubbling water.
There's no sun on the empty house—
sly-looking house—
you can't see in its windows
that watch you out of their corners.
Perhaps there's a big spider there
spinning gray threads over the windows
till they look like dead people's faces….
Jimmie says:
Jimmie's hair is white as a white mouse.
His lashes are gold as mama's wedding ring
and his mouth feels cool and smooth
like a flower wet with rain.
You wouldn't believe Jimmie was different…
till he showed you….


Blind wet sheets flapping on the lines… sun in your eyes, dark gold sun full of little black spots, you have to blink and blink… round eyes of Jimmie…. Jimmie's blue jumper… blue shadow of wall… all the world holding still as when a clock stops… streets still… people still… no streets… no people… only sky and wall… sun glaring bright as God down at you and Jimmie… shadow like a purple cloth trailing off the wall…

Wild wet sheets flapping in the wind… big slippered feet flapping too… big-balloon-face rushing up the alley… houses closing up again… windows looking round… … Mabel pulls you in the gate and shakes you and tells you not to tell your mama… And you wonder if God has spoiled Jimmie.

III

MAMA

Mama's face
is smooth and pale as tea-rose leaves.
That ivory oval of aunt Gem
you sucked the miniature off
had black black hair like mama.


Pit-it-ty-pat, Mama walks so fast, street lamps jig without bending a leg… lights in the windows play twinkling tunes on crimson and blue bottles like bubbles big as balloons… Faster and faster… and pink light spurts over cakes doing polkas in little white shirts, with cake-princesses in flounced white skirts.

Pit-pat—
mama walks slower…
slower and… slower…
Eyes… lamps… stars
acres and acres of stars
bells… and sleepily
flapping feet….
You're glad mama walks slow.
It's nice to be carried along
up high near the stars
that look at you with a grave, great look.


Every night
mama sings you to sleep.
When she sings, O for the light of thine eyes Dolores,
there's a castle on a cliff
and the sea roars like lions.
It leaps at the castle
and the cliff knocks it down
but always the sea
shakes its flattened head
and gets up again.
The castle has no roof
so the rain spins silvery webs in it,
and Dolores' face
floats dim and beautiful
the way flowers do when they are drowned.
Step by white step
she goes up the castle stairs,
but the stair goes up into the sky
and the sky keeps going up too,
and none of them ever get there.

When mama sings Ba ba black sheep, the stars seem to shine through her voice so everything has to be still, and when she has finished singing her song goes up off the earth, higher and higher… till it is only as big as a tiny silver bird with nothing but moonlight around it.

IV

BETTY

You can see the sandhills from our new room. Butterflies live in the sandhills and lizards and centipedes. If you keep very still lizards will think you a stone and run over your lap. Butterflies' liveries are scarlet and black. They drive chariots in air. People in the chariots are pale as dew— you can see right through them— but the chariots are made of gold of the sun. They go up to heaven and never catch fire. There are green centipedes and brown centipedes and black centipedes, because green and brown and black are the colors in hell's flag. Centipedes have hundreds of feet because it is so far from hell to come up for air. Centipedes do not hurry. They are waiting for the last day when they will creep over the false prophets who will have their hands tied.

Night calls to the sandhills and gathers them under her. she pushes away cities because their sharp lights hurt her soft breast. Even candles make a sore place when they stick in the night.

There are things in the sandhills that no one knows about… they come out at dark when the young snakes play and tell each other secrets in the deaf logs.

Sometimes… before rain… when the stars have gone inside… the night comes close to your window and sniffs at the light…. But you must not run away— you must keep your face to the night and walk backward.

When it rains and you are pulling off flies' legs… mama lets you play houses with Lizzie and Clara. Because you are the Only One— and because Only Ones have to live alone while sisters stay together, Lizzie and Clara give you the dry house and take the one with the leaking roof.

Rain like curly hairpins
blows on Lizzie and Clara's two heads
turned like one head—
two mouths
spread into one laugh.
Lizzie is saying:
why don't you want to play—
when you feel you'd like to braid
the crinkled-silver rain
into a shining rope
to climb up… and up… and up… into the wet sky
and never see any one again.

Our gate doesn't hang right. It must have pawed at the wind and gotten a kick as the wind passed over. The sitting sky puffs out a gray smoke and the wind makes a red-striped sound blowing out straight, but our gate drags its foot and whines to itself on one hinge.

What do you think I've found—
two wee knickers of fairy brass,
or two gold sovereigns folded up
in a bit of green silk,
or two gold bugs
in little green shirts?
If you want to know,
you must walk tip-toe
so your feet just whisper in the grass—
you must carry them careful
and very proud,
for their stems bleed drops of milk—
but Lizzie and Clara shout in glee:
Pee-a-bed, pee-a-bed—
dandelions!
You look in the eyes of grown-up people
to see if they feel
the way you feel…
but they hide inside of themselves,
and so you do not find out.
Grown-up people say:
The stars are bright to-night,
but they do not say
what you are thinking about stars
not even mama says what you are thinking about stars.
This makes you feel very lonely.


It's strange about stars…. You have to be still when they look at you. They push your song inside of you with their song. Their long silvery rays sink into you and do not hurt. It is good to feel them resting on you like great white birds… and their shining whiteness doesn't burn like the sun— it washes all over you and makes you feel cleaner'n water.

My doll Janie has no waist and her body is like a tub with feet on it. Sometimes I beat her but I always kiss her afterwards. When I have kissed all the paint off her body I shall tie a ribbon about it so she shan't look shabby. But it must be blue— it mustn't be pink— pink shows the dirt on her face that won't wash off.

I beat Janie
and beat her…
but still she smiled…
so I scratched her between the eyes with a pin.
Now she doesn't love me anymore…
she scowls… and scowls…
though I've begged her to forgive me
and poured sugar in the hole at the back of her head.


Mama says Janie is a fairy doll
and she has forgiven me—
that she's gone to the market
to buy me some sweets.
—Now she's at the door
and a little bag tied to her neck—
I run to Janie
and kiss her all over….
Ah… she is still frowning.
I let the sweets drop on the floor—
mama
has told you a lie.


Chinaman
singing in street:
gleen ledd-ish-es, gleen ledd-ish-es—
hot sun
shining on your face—
it must be a new day.
But why aren't you happy
if it's a new day?
Because something has happened…
something sad and terrible….
Now I remember… it's Janie.
Yesterday
I took Janie out
and tied my handkerchief over her face
and put sand in it
and threw her into the ditch
down in the black water
under the dock leaves…
and when mama asked me where Janie was
I said I had lost her.


I'm glad it is night-time
so I'll be able to go to sleep
and forget all about it….
But mama looks at my tongue
and says she will give me senna tea.
When you smell the tea
you shut your eyes tight
and pretend not to hear
the soft, cool voice of mama
that goes over your forehead
like a little wind.
And then you lie in the dark
and stare… and stare…
till the faces come…
yellow faces with leering eyes
drifting in a greeny mist….
I wonder
if Janie sees faces
out there… alone in the dark….
I wonder
if she has got the handkerchief off
or if the water has gone in the hole
where the whistle was
at the back of her head
and drowned her…
or if the stars
can see her under the dock leaves?


It's smoky-blue and still over the red road. Wind must be lying down with its tail under it— doesn't even flick off the flies. And you can hear the silence buzzing in the gum trees, the way the angels buzzed when they flew through the cedars of Lebanon with thin gauze wings you could see through. Nice to hear the silence buzzing— till it comes too close and booms in your ears and presses all over you till you scream…. When you scream at the silence it goes to jingling pieces like a silver mirror broken into tiny bits. Perhaps its wings are made of glass— perhaps it lives down in a dark, dark cave and only comes up to warm its wings in the sun…. It's cold in the cave— no matter how you cover yourself up. Little girls sit there dressed in white and the dolls in their arms all have white handkerchiefs over their faces. Their shadows cannot play with them… their shadows lie down at their feet… for the little girls sit stiff as stones with their backs to the mouth of the cave where a little light falls off the wings of the silence when it comes down out of the sun.

Moon catches the flying fish
as they dive in the bay.
Flying fish
spin over and over
slippity-silver
into the water.
Mom bends over jungles
and touches the foreheads of tigers
as they pass under openings made by dropped leaves.
Tigers stop on the trail of the deer
while the moon is on their foreheads—
they let the stags go by.

Moon is shining strangely on the white palings of the fence. Fence keeps very still… most times it moves a little… everything moves a little though you mayn't know it… but now the little fence wouldn't change places with the great cross that stands so stiff and high with its back to the moon. Moon shining strangely on the white palings of the fence, I am shining too but my light is shut inside of me and can't get out.

Old house with black windows— blind house begging moonlight to put out the shadows— why do you want so much light? You creak when the wind steps on you— you cough up dust and your beams ache— you know you will soon fall, the moon just pities you! Don't waste yourself moon— come on my bed and play with me. Wrap me up in blue light, you who are cool. I am too hot, I am all alive and the shadows are outside of me.

There are different kinds of shadows.
The blind ones
are the shadows of things.
These are the tame shadows—
they love to play on the wall with you
and follow you about like cats and dogs.
Sometimes
they hiss at you softly
like snakes that do not bite,
or swish like women's dresses,
but if you poke a candle at them
they pull in their heads and disappear.

But there is a shadow that is not the shadow of a thing… it is a thing itself. When you meet this shadow you must not look at it too long… it grows with your looking at it… till you are all alone with nothing around you… nothing… nothing… nothing… but a shadow with its eyes full of black light.

There's a shadow in the corner of the shed, crouching, lying in wait… a black coiled shadow, watching… ready to strike… but I mustn't be afraid of it— I mustn't be afraid of anything. Poor evil shadow, the candle would chase it away only she can't get at it. Do you think that every one hates you, shadow with your back to the wall, afraid to lie down and sleep? But I don't hate you. Even the moon means to be kind. She just treads on you as I'd tread on a worm that I didn't see. Don't be afraid of me, shadow. See—I've no light in my hand— nothing to save myself with— yet I walk right up to you— if you'll let me I'll put my arms around you and stroke you softly. Are you surprised I'd put my arms around you? Is it your black black sorrow that nobody loves you?

V

JUDE

When you tell mama you are going to do something great she looks at you as though you were a window she were trying to see through, and says she hopes you will be good instead of great.

When you are five years old
you spend the day in the Gardens.
The grass is greener than cabbages,
and orange lilies
stand up very straight
and will not curtsey to the sun
when the wind tells them.
Only pansies bow down very low.
Pansies make little purple cushions
for queen bees to stand on.
Bees
have brown silk hair on their bodies.
If you are careful
they will let you stroke them.


The trees over the marble man catch up all the sunbeams so the shadows have it their way— the shadows swallow him up like a blue shark. When you scoop a sunbeam up on your palm and offer it to the marble man, he does not notice… he looks into his stone beard. … When you do something great people give you a stone face, so you do not care any more when the sun throws gold on you through leaf-holes the wind makes in green bushes…. This thought makes me very sad.

Jude has eyes like tobacco
with yellow specks on it
and his hair is red as a red orange.
Jude and I
have made a garden in the field
that no one knows about.
We creep in and out
through a little place
where the barbed wire is down.
We lie in the long grass
and crush dandelions
between our two cheeks
till the milk comes out on our faces.
We hold each other tight
and the wind tip-toes all over us
and pelts us with thistle-down.


Jude isn't afraid of shadows—
not even of the ones that have eyes in them.
And he can look in the face of the sun
without blinking at all.
Hush! don't say sun so loud.
The sun gets angry when you stare at him.
If you peek in his glory-windows
he spreads into a great white flame
like God out of his Burning Bush…
till you put your hands up on your face
and tremble like a drop of rain upon a flower
that some one throws into the fire…
and then
the sun makes himself small,
the sun swings down out of the sky—
littler'n a star,
little as a spark
little as a fierce red spider
on a burning thread…
and then
the light goes out…
shivers into blackened bits….
You hold on to a wall that whirls around
and the gate is a black hole.
You grope your way in like a toad
that's blinded by a stone…
and mama puts on cold wet rags
that get hot soon….
Hush! don't let's talk about the sun.


When you pass by the ditch where Janie is You run very fast and look at the other side. Jude says Janie did love me only she couldn't forgive me, and that you can love people very much and never, never, never forgive them…. so we poked a stick in the bottle-green water. But only weeds came up and an old top with the paint washed off.


Jude and I
wave to the new moon
curled right up like one gold hair
on the bald-head sandhill.
Mama peeps out the window and smiles.
She thinks
I am playing with myself…
Run, Jude, run with the wind—
but hold my hand tight
or the wind,
looking for some one to play with,
will take me away from you!
Wind with no one to play with
cooees the orange-trees—
stay-at-home orange trees,
have to nurse oranges,
greeny-gold.
Wind shouts to the grass—
run-away-grass
tugs at its roots,
but the earth holds tight
and the grass falls down
and wind boos over it.
Wind whistles the bees—
bees too busy
with taking home stuff out of flowers
won't look back—
bees always going somewhere.
Only Jude and I—
heads over shoulders
watching all roads at one time—
run with the wind,
going to nowhere.


Jude and I
were weeding our garden
when we heard his whip—
must have been a new whip
to cut off dandelion-heads at one swing….
He was the kind of boy you knew when you had Celia….
with nice clothes on and curls
crawling about his collar
like little golden slugs,
and his man was leading his horse.
I wish I hadn't run to meet him….
If you hadn't run to meet him
he mightn't have trod on your garden and said:
Get out of my field you dirty little beggar…
he mightn't have struck you with his whip….
How the daisies stared….
I hate daisies—
stupid white faces—
skinny necks
craning over the grass!
I said It is not your field,
and he struck me again.
But he didn't make me run.
His hand
smelled of sweet soap…
he couldn't shake me off,
but his man did….
Funny—how the sky fell down
and turned over and over
like a blue carpet rolling you up,
and the grass caught at your face—
it couldn't have been spiteful—
it must have been saving itself.
Hot road… silly wind playing with your hair….
The road smelled of horses.
I only got up
when I heard a dray.


Mama has sung ba ba black sheep,
and put a chair with a cloth on it
between me and the light.
But the clock keeps saying:
Dirty little beggar,
dirty little beggar….
Some day
I will get that boy.
I will pull off his arms and legs
and put him in a box
and hide the box
under the bed….
I wonder
will he buzz
when I take him out to look at his body
that will have no arms to whip me?
Mama drew my cot to the window
so I can look at the stars.
I will not look at the stars.
There is a black chimney
throwing up sparks
and one tall flame
like gold hair in a blaze….
I know now
what I shall do….
I will set fire to him
and he will burn up into a tall flame—
he will scream into the sky
and sparks will fly out of him—
he will burn and burn…
and his blazing hair
shall light up the world.


Before he hit me— I knew he was going to— I thought about Jude…. I thought if he'd fight… but he shriveled all up… he lay down like a fear.

Mama never knew about Jude. You always wanted to tell her, but somehow you never did. You were afraid she'd smile and say he wasn't real— that he was only a little dream-boy, because the grass didn't fall down under his feet…. He is fading now…. He is just lines… like a drawing…. You can see mama in between. When she moves she rubs some of him out.

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The Stars The Stars

at night
the stars shine
and then early morning they fade away
deep within my heart
i know
they do not die

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Don't Look Down

Diamonds in the sunset, now your time has come
Pretty yellow bird fly away into the sun
Don't look down
Do not look down
Spread your broken wings and learn how to fly
Take the diamonds from the sun,
wipe the tear from your eye
Don't look down
Do not look down
When the candles burn down worlds turn to stone
That's when you've got to fly, fly away home
Don't look down
Do not look down
Get out of town
Follow the sound

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(Don't Look Now) It Ain't You Or Me

Who will take the coal from the mine?
Who will take the salt from the earth?
Who'll take a leaf and grow it to a tree?
Don't Look Now, it ain't you or me.
Who will work the field with his hands?
Who will put his back to the plough?
Who'll take the mountain and give it to the sea?
Don't Look Now, it ain't you or me.
CHORUS:
Don't Look Now, someone's done your starvin';
Don't Look Now, someone's done your prayin' too.
Who will make the shoes for your feet?
Who will make the clothes that you wear?
Who'll take the promise that you don't have to keep?
Don't Look Now, it ain't you or me.
CHORUS
Who will take the coal from the mines?
Who will take the salt from the earth?
Who'll take the promise that you don't have to keep?
Don't Look Now, it ain't you or me

song performed by Creedence Clearwater RevivalReport problemRelated quotes
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Don't Look Now

Who will take the coal from the mine?
Who will take the salt from the earth?
Who'll take a leaf and grow it to a tree?
Don't look now, it ain't you or me.
Who will work the field with his hands?
Who will put his back to the plough?
Who'll take the mountain and give it to the sea?
Don't look now, it ain't you or me.
Chorus:
Don't look now, someone's done your starvin';
Don't look now, someone's done your prayin' too.
Who will make the shoes for your feet?
Who will make the clothes that you wear?
Who'll take the promise that you don't have to keep?
Don't look now, it ain't you or me.
Chorus
Who will take the coal from the mines?
Who will take the salt from the earth?
Who'll take the promise that you don't have to keep?
Don't look now, it ain't you or me.

song performed by Creedence Clearwater RevivalReport problemRelated quotes
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Betty

You can see the sandhills from our new room.
Butterflies
live in the sandhills
and lizards
and centipedes.
If you keep very still
lizards will think you a stone
and run over your lap.
Butterflies’ liveries
are scarlet and black.
They drive chariots in air.
People in the chariots
are pale as dew—
you can see right through them—
but the chariots
are made of gold of the sun.
They go up to heaven
and never catch fire.
There are green centipedes
and brown centipedes
and black centipedes,
because green and brown and black
are the colors in hell’s flag.
Centipedes
have hundreds of feet
because it is so far from hell
to come up for air.
Centipedes
do not hurry.
They are waiting for the last day
when they will creep over the false prophets
who will have their hands tied.

Night calls to the sandhills
and gathers them under her.
she pushes away cities
because their sharp lights
hurt her soft breast.
Even candles make a sore place
when they stick in the night.

There are things in the sandhills
that no one knows about…
they come out at dark when the young snakes play
and tell each other secrets
in the deaf logs.

Sometimes… before rain…
when the stars have gone inside…
the night comes close to your window
and sniffs at the light….
But you must not run away—
you must keep your face to the night
and walk backward.

When it rains
and you are pulling off flies’ legs…
mama lets you play houses
with Lizzie and Clara.
Because you are the Only One—
and because Only Ones have to live alone
while sisters stay together,
Lizzie and Clara
give you the dry house
and take the one with the leaking roof.

Rain like curly hairpins
blows on Lizzie and Clara’s two heads
turned like one head—
two mouths
spread into one laugh.
Lizzie is saying:
why dont you want to play—
when you feel you’d like to braid
the crinkled-silver rain
into a shining rope
to climb up… and up… and up… into the wet sky
and never see any one again.

Our gate doesn’t hang right.
It must have pawed at the wind
and gotten a kick
as the wind passed over.
The sitting sky
puffs out a gray smoke
and the wind makes a red-striped sound
blowing out straight,
but our gate drags its foot
and whines to itself on one hinge.

What do you think I’ve found—
two wee knickers of fairy brass,
or two gold sovereigns folded up
in a bit of green silk,
or two gold bugs
in little green shirts?
If you want to know,
you must walk tip-toe
so your feet just whisper in the grass—
you must carry them careful
and very proud,
for their stems bleed drops of milk—
but Lizzie and Clara shout in glee:
Pee-a-bed, pee-a-bed—
dandelions!
You look in the eyes of grown-up people
to see if they feel
the way you feel…
but they hide inside of themselves,
and so you do not find out.
Grown-up people say:
The stars are bright to-night,
but they do not say
what you are thinking about stars
not even mama says what you are thinking about stars.
This makes you feel very lonely.

It’s strange about stars….
You have to be still when they look at you.
They push your song inside of you with their song.
Their long silvery rays
sink into you and do not hurt.
It is good to feel them resting on you
like great white birds…
and their shining whiteness
doesn’t burn like the sun—
it washes all over you
and makes you feel cleaner’n water.

My doll Janie has no waist
and her body is like a tub with feet on it.
Sometimes I beat her
but I always kiss her afterwards.
When I have kissed all the paint off her body
I shall tie a ribbon about it
so she shan’t look shabby.
But it must be blue—
it mustn’t be pink—
pink shows the dirt on her face
that won’t wash off.

I beat Janie
and beat her…
but still she smiled…
so I scratched her between the eyes with a pin.
Now she doesn’t love me anymore…
she scowls… and scowls…
though I’ve begged her to forgive me
and poured sugar in the hole at the back of her head.

Mama says Janie is a fairy doll
and she has forgiven me—
that she’s gone to the market
to buy me some sweets.
—Now she’s at the door
and a little bag tied to her neck—
I run to Janie
and kiss her all over….
Ah… she is still frowning.
I let the sweets drop on the floor—
mama
has told you a lie.

Chinaman
singing in street:
gleen ledd-ish-es, gleen ledd-ish-es—
hot sun
shining on your face—
it must be a new day.
But why aren’t you happy
if it’s a new day?
Because something has happened…
something sad and terrible….
Now I remember… it’s Janie.
Yesterday
I took Janie out
and tied my handkerchief over her face
and put sand in it
and threw her into the ditch
down in the black water
under the dock leaves…
and when mama asked me where Janie was
I said I had lost her.

I’m glad it is night-time
so I’ll be able to go to sleep
and forget all about it….
But mama looks at my tongue
and says she will give me senna tea.
When you smell the tea
you shut your eyes tight
and pretend not to hear
the soft, cool voice of mama
that goes over your forehead
like a little wind.
And then you lie in the dark
and stare… and stare…
till the faces come…
yellow faces with leering eyes
drifting in a greeny mist….
I wonder
if Janie sees faces
out there… alone in the dark….
I wonder
if she has got the handkerchief off
or if the water has gone in the hole
where the whistle was
at the back of her head
and drowned her…
or if the stars
can see her under the dock leaves?

It’s smoky-blue and still
over the red road.
Wind must be lying down with its tail under it—
doesn’t even flick off the flies.
And you can hear the silence
buzzing in the gum trees,
the way the angels buzzed
when they flew through the cedars of Lebanon
with thin gauze wings
you could see through.
Nice to hear the silence buzzing—
till it comes too close
and booms in your ears
and presses all over you
till you scream….
When you scream at the silence
it goes to jingling pieces
like a silver mirror
broken into tiny bits.
Perhaps its wings are made of glass—
perhaps it lives down in a dark, dark cave
and only comes up
to warm its wings in the sun….
It’s cold in the cave—
no matter how you cover yourself up.
Little girls sit there
dressed in white
and the dolls in their arms
all have white handkerchiefs
over their faces.
Their shadows cannot play with them…
their shadows lie down at their feet…
for the little girls sit stiff as stones
with their backs to the mouth of the cave
where a little light falls off
the wings of the silence
when it comes down out of the sun.

Moon catches the flying fish
as they dive in the bay.
Flying fish
spin over and over
slippity-silver
into the water.
Mom bends over jungles
and touches the foreheads of tigers
as they pass under openings made by dropped leaves.
Tigers stop on the trail of the deer
while the moon is on their foreheads—
they let the stags go by.

Moon is shining strangely
on the white palings of the fence.
Fence keeps very still…
most times it moves a little…
everything moves a little
though you mayn’t know it…
but now the little fence
wouldn’t change places with the great cross
that stands so stiff and high
with its back to the moon.
Moon shining strangely
on the white palings of the fence,
I am shining too
but my light is shut inside of me
and can’t get out.

Old house with black windows—
blind house begging moonlight
to put out the shadows—
why do you want so much light?
You creak when the wind steps on you—
you cough up dust
and your beams ache—
you know you will soon fall,
the moon just pities you!
Dont waste yourself moon—
come on my bed and play with me.
Wrap me up in blue light,
you who are cool.
I am too hot,
I am all alive
and the shadows are outside of me.

There are different kinds of shadows.
The blind ones
are the shadows of things.
These are the tame shadows—
they love to play on the wall with you
and follow you about like cats and dogs.
Sometimes
they hiss at you softly
like snakes that do not bite,
or swish like women’s dresses,
but if you poke a candle at them
they pull in their heads and disappear.

But there is a shadow
that is not the shadow of a thing…
it is a thing itself.
When you meet this shadow
you must not look at it too long…
it grows with your looking at it…
till you are all alone
with nothing around you…
nothing… nothing… nothing…
but a shadow
with its eyes full of black light.

There’s a shadow in the corner of the shed,
crouching, lying in wait…
a black coiled shadow,
watching… ready to strike…
but I mustn’t be afraid of it—
I mustn’t be afraid of anything.
Poor evil shadow,
the candle would chase it away
only she can’t get at it.
Do you think that every one hates you,
shadow with your back to the wall,
afraid to lie down and sleep?
But I dont hate you.
Even the moon means to be kind.
She just treads on you
as I’d tread on a worm that I didn’t see.
Dont be afraid of me, shadow.
See—I’ve no light in my hand—
nothing to save myself with—
yet I walk right up to you—
if you’ll let me
I’ll put my arms around you
and stroke you softly.
Are you surprised I’d put my arms around you?
Is it your black black sorrow
that nobody loves you?

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I look up at the stars

(after Samuel Ha-Nagid)

I look up at the stars
and they sparkle like drops of hail,
but where they are shining, with awesome power
there existence had to be planned to the finest detail.

They burn as if their power will never be spent,
are scattered in galaxy upon galaxy
and are numerous, almost without end,
as beacons to the glory and power of God.

Yet He calls them by name,
constructs their disposition, the way
that they are set
like a omnipotent magician

or maybe He gathers and leads them
as His shining flock,
while He shepherds even every stray one
by His great power, at His mere will.

[Reference: “I Look Up to the Sky” by Samuel Ha-Nagid.]

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The Stars Look Familiar

I dreamed of the stars so much, they seem familiar
Like once what was your lovers touch, just reached back to kill ya
and if I ever go astray, I'll say that I knew ya
Tomorrows same as yesterday, so what good will that do ya
To fall upon ourselves each night
and crawl like vampires from the light
and later on well they all say
They never cared much anyway
I've dreamed of myself so much, I must seem familiar
Like once what was my lovers touch, reached out to thrill ya
and if we ever go astray, I'll say that I knew ya
Tomorrows the same as yesterday, what good will that do ya
You're on your marks and off your face
Hung out in some exotic place
and in your hand but out of reach
Once more you go into the breach
We fall upon ourselves each night
and crawl like vampires from the light
and later on well they all say
They never made much anyway
and I dreamed of the stars so much, they seem familiar
like once what was your lovers touch, just reached back to kill ya
But if you ever went astray, I'd say that I knew ya
tomorrows same as yesterday, so what good will that do ya
You're on your marks and off your face
Hung out in some exotic place
But out of reach within your hand
Is something you don't understand

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Patrick White

Could I Breathe The Stars

Could I breathe the stars, I would expire in light.
Were I the harvest moon, I would retract my claws.
Were my heart anything other than what it is,
I would be a windfall of silver apples burnished by crows
and not this rag of a man with a mouthy wound.
I would not be this perversion of radiance mutating
in these acephalic mirrors warped by shape-shifting space.
I would see clearly the angry red berries of the hawthorn
and adopt them as a solar system. And think I was blessed.

And, o yes, spiky woman, when love was in eclipse
if I were not so afraid of falling upon you like a sword,
I would notch the moon like a gunsight
with its own valleys and mountains,
and let the light shine through like Bailey's Beads,
and place it on your head like a laurel of fire,
the enlightened corona of a door I've left ajar.
You agitate the spiders in their morning webs
into vibrating like the needles of sewing machines
or the clappers of fire alarms, as the sun
takes the pulse of its dreamcatchers,
looking for signs of life from the night before.

I am a creature of darkness. I know the abyss.
It fills you like a universe you just can't seem
to get your heart and arms around.
It's bigger than the wingspan of your spirit,
the one vacuum nature doesn't abhor.
No end of it. No beginning you can hope for.
You embody the impersonality of it intimately.
The dark mother of the abounding stars
whose beauty adds an edge to the emptiness
that keeps you from pleading for oblivion
in an isolation deeper than the dead.

The irises were surgically removed from your eyes
and you're out looking for rainbows at night with a match.
But there's no one to keep your promises to,
and just at the bend in the river, where you laid
a poppy on the grave of the white crow
to pay your respects to the end of the road,
you plunge over the edge of a finger-pointing precipice
like a willow of water into an ocean of awareness
and there's no one there to catch you. And the dreamcatchers
aren't the safety nets they said they were.

Were I a witchdoctor that knew the antidote to love
I would come with strange concoctions
of the Pleiades and deadly nightshade
ground with a sexual pestle in the mortar of my skull
and spiced with a measure of the inconceivable
and have you rise from your death bed
like a miracle among roses that escaped the frost.
I'd stroke the back of your hand like the head of a swan.
And you'd feel it melting like ice. The moon would bloom
like a love letter delivered to a dead branch.
The nightmare of the dispassionate fever
would transmutate into an elixir of life
that would thrill every flower into believing they had
lightning for roots. Wondrous blossoms of insight.

Into the Open. Into the Absence, the nihilistic emptiness
of the cup poured out in a hemorrhage of the heart
when the wine went bad. Someone there in the doorway
gone like a shadow from the sundial of the farewell
they left you with like the wing of a bird
that doesn't sing anymore in the morning.
And even the birch groves don't feel very strong
when they've been cast down by an ice storm
into white canes and crutches of suffering
you once could lean on for emotional support.

I would be a lightbulb in a house well for you
to keep you from freezing and more grandiosely
if I were a pagan architect, I would erect a temple
with pillars of fire for you that even time
when its hair grows out like solar flares
couldn't pull down in a fury of indignant ions.
There would be no lack of heretics, martyrs,
or Norse gods to sing in your flames
because they would have finally found something
greater than their solipsistic selves to sacrifice to
that consumes them with devotion
axially aligned with you. And wherever you walked
true north would be under your feet.

As it is I follow you like an oriflamme
in a pageant of longing I will not be ransomed from.
And even if the court jester to the queen
isn't the grand marshal that gets to carry it,
the one who rides first in the wake of your love,
his armour burning like a mirror of your reflected fire,
I have raised a small banner of blood
on the lance of a thorn the white knights
would think was laughably burlesque
were it not for the fact that it pours out of a dragon's eyes
like the eclipse of a black rose in tears
igneously bleeding in the darkness
to temper its fangs like swords it remits in tribute,
from a burning bridge of fireflies,
to the solitary river of the unhonoured waters of the moon.

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Patrick White

As Much As I Love The Stars

As much as I love the stars, I know
the spirit must seek its lost radiance
in the midst of the filth of this world,
even when its third eye is trying
to wash it off in tears it really means.
Under the half-closed eyelid
of the pine cone pagoda in oceanic meditation
is a fire-seed waiting for immolation
like an overdue urn about to give birth.
And do you see how the moon
feathers the waves with silver,
and the breathing waters so much
like the flesh of a woman undulating
under the caress of an unaccustomed hand
shines back like fish swimming through a starmap?

As above so below. Same with inside and outside.
Astrophysics is psychology. Noumena, phenomena.
Are you looking for a unified, field theory of your mind?
Study that small sacred syllable of a black ant
with the torn wing of a butterfly
under full sail in its mandible
it's taking back to the heap
of a thriving passage tomb burial
like a high card it's going to lay on the table
without intending to call anyone's bluff.

The moon on the lake isn't timed.
Death's not too late. Life's not too early.
Not all the flowers bloom at once
in a wave of mass hysteria at a sports stadium.
Time is as generous to the dandelion
as it is to the hyacinth or the rose.

When a total eclipse of the soul
can be as illuminating to a firefly
as the enlightenment of the full moon
can be to the mad at harvest time
and the night bird sings on the same branch
out of the same longing
as the mourning dove does
on the burgeoning bough,
how far must a wave look for the grail
before it realizes it's swimming in it
and by virtue of it having never been lost or found,
like the universe you're surrounded by
dipping its other wing in the cup you drink from
like blood from your own prophetic skull
or an elixir of love from the goblet of a black tulip,
as an antidote to falling into a cult of trances,
trying to teach rattlesnakes to ghost dance for rain
when everywhere you look as far as the eye can see,
nothing but the bleached bones of their vertebrae
crumbling like aqueducts across a sea of sand
looking for the holy hourglass to green it again?

When things are like this, why send
a caravan of mirages like thought-trains
on a pilgrimage for water on the moon?
Is a course correction more innocent
than its original direction or is it
just another change of heart on the part
of a weathervane that thinks linearly
it's got its hand on the rudder of the wind?

Best thing to do in a storm
is let go of the wheel of birth and death
and either go down with the ship like a constellation,
or trust in a bubble-shaped universe you still might float
like a turbulent waterlily above the turmoil of it all,
anchored to the bottom like a key on a kite
to lure the lightning to your spinal cord
the way copulating snakes make their own caduceus,
twin wavelengths from the same inner matrix
ascending like helical thermals under a dove's wings,
so that dragons are born of cosmic eggs
that know how to heal fire with fire
that can consume itself like life
without ever getting burnt out
even when autumn's coming on
and you can begin to smell
the smoke and ashes on its breath.

Enlightenment the inspiration of the search,
the spirit returns to the candle in your hand,
to dance with the flame of life within you
on your own threshold, in your own doorway as you realize
like someone waking up from a dream
in their own bed, their head on a softer pillow
than they imagined a moonrock could be
at one sixth the gravity of earth, what
was there to aspire to that could possibly be
higher and wiser than a cloud circling a mountain
or down in the valley where the stars slum
once they get off the night shift, more compassionate
than a honey bee in the eye of a stargazer lily
smothering it in a rusty ochre dust storm of pollen
the way we prepared our dead when we lived in caves
to bloom like a hive when its spirit returns to matter
in its next incarnation as a gust of wildflowers on Mars.
Hawkweed and Indian paintbrush I would think.
And the unusual fruits and flowers that can sprout
from a windfall of intensely radiant meteor showers
flung out of the darkness by the hands of generous sowers
that were ploughing the moon for themselves
long before the ox of the mind showed up
like the blessing of a delusional dependency
that makes you think, gone to seed, you need it.
When the truth has always been mindful
and mindlessly green as the thorns and the leaves
of the locust trees in spring coming into blossom
as easily as the mindstream follows its own lead everywhere
with nothing but its own flowing for a navigator.

No gate, no lock, no pivot, no hinge, no waterclock
trying to put the fire of life out in a bucket brigade
of community-oriented arsonists, departure
never any further off the beaten path from home
than its arrival can be lead astray
by the shadow of the return journey
it casts behind it like the widening wake
of a waterbird's wings unravelling
the flying carpet of the water that wove it
like wavelengths of the hidden harmonies
that are on your side like your eyes are
when you step out of the blazing house of life
once in a while, into the expansive solitude
of your own inimitably creative darkness,
without a candle, a firefly, a lightning strike
for a guide, and look up, just look up
in any direction you wish, and don't pick any one
of the six thousand stars you can see
with the naked eye in the country,
no matter you don't know their names
or myths of origin, or much about shepherd moons,
or what an antikythera is, then run around
looking for an underground circumpolar sage
to show you on a starmap where your shining is at
like the light of the star, though you cry
in bliss and sorrow, delusion and insight,
you can't wash out of your own eye
anymore than you can Venus in the dawn
when you're sitting on a mountain under a Bodhi tree
trying to attain the unattainable empty-handed
in the same breath that's been giving it all away
for light years, inexhaustibly, like a flower-mouth
of enlightenment in everything you say or do,
the world in the creative wake of whatever medium
that's shapeshifting into you like water into fish,
darkness into star, sky into a bird on the wing
in a homesick sunset, or the shining of the source
like the lantern in your hand you needlessly labour
at keeping lit to go look for it without realizing
it's your own blazing that blinds you to the gift
of what the darkness arrays before you like candles and stars
and nocturnal waterlilies opening like a new moonrise
amazed by the occult mystery of the fire that burns
in the subliminal watersheds of your fathomless eyes.

In this boundless space, why should you be surprised
behind all the masks of God, her best disguise
when the hidden secret wished to be known
and she revealed herself, was your own face,
your eyes, your mouth, your ears, your voice alone
pouring the universe like the light of picture-music
into your own ears like the spirit of a word
that can't be enlightened until it's been heard by you.

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Look To The Stars

Oh there is no greater thing to see
Then to see the face of thee
Burned within my mind
I think of you all the time
Even though you have gone
For a very long time
On stuck within this heart of mine
Is a time that is only thyne
Never to fade to black
For just the very thought brings sunshine
To this now lonely heart
I will forever cherish the time
No matter how short it was
For it now stands still within my heart
To bring joy once more at the thought of you
For some loves never end
But run among the stars
Brought back to life
By a simple look to heavens
For that is where we will meet again

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Sonnet: What the Stars Foretell?

Look at the stars, a handiwork of God!
Who knows the mystery of their twinkling light?
Like eyes of God, they shimmer light so odd,
In countless numbers, studding sky of night.

What is their role in human destiny?
What is the need for stars at all, I ask?
They seem to depict faith and harmony,
Whose secrets to unravel- is man’ task.

What beauteous objects fixed light-years away!
Yet, God intended stars for some purpose;
But man can ne’er find it out any day;
God’s glory, perhaps they depict to us.

When stars can look mysterious to man’s eyes,
How much more God must be- who never dies!

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Where Are The Stars

Don't blame me if the
stars aren't in the sky.
The clouds came in and covered them
and you wonder why?
They just couln't take it,
couldn't take it anymore.
They were tired of seeing a heart
that was feeling so sore.

Every cloudless sky
when stars were shining bright
we'd sit outside and watch them
and revel in their sight.
There wasn't a thing to worry us.
Everything was good.
We laughed. We danced
the way two lovers should.

But sometimes good things
don't seem to last.
The happiness leaves
and becomes part of the past.
So don't blame me if the
stars aren't in the sky.
They left when you went away
and now I wonder why?

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The Moon, The Stars, And Me

Tonight i feel a chill in the air
As cold as that look on your face
I hear what you're saying but coming from you
Goodbye seems so out of place
Now how can you stand there and honestly say
There never wee any real promises made
Chorus:
The moon is my witness
The stars will agree
They all heard you promise
You'd always love me
I know that it's true
But it's hard to believe
You lied to the moon
The stars and me
And what about all of those warm tender nights
Did they mean nothing to you
And where are the feelings i thought that we shared
Or have you forgotten them too
Did you think i could just put your memory behind
When your words are still so very clear in my mind
Chorus:
The moon is my witness
The stars will agree
They all heard you promise
You'd always love me
I know that it's true
But it's hard to believe
You lied to the moon
The stars and me
The moon is my witness
The stars will agree
They all heard you promise
You'd always love me
I know that it's true
But it's hard to believe
You lied to the moon
The stars and me
I know that it's true
But it's hard to believe
You lied to the moon
The stars and me
You lied

song performed by Dolly PartonReport problemRelated quotes
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The Ones Who Now Look Back

For most of their lives,
They did exactly what they wanted.
And signs of change,
Were beginning to glow...
With neon messages no one could ignore.

Those choices chosen,
Were made regardless of objections raised...
By those who were told where to go.

And those places told where to go,
Have been taken without looking back.

And the ones who now look back,
Wondering where those who were told to go...
Away to live in their own worlds,
Have done so to live lives...
Without taking theirs for granted.

As those who look back seeking satisfaction,
Have come to realize their own satisfactions...
Had been placed on the wrong track.
With a blaming on others,
As to where their lives lived are at.

'Excuse me,
But can you tell me...
If that boat that sailed many years ago from here,
Is due to make a comeback anytime soon? '

~I'm sorry I couldn't.
I don't live in this neighborhood.
Have you tried asking any ot those people over there,
Standing on the corner watching their lives go by?
I'm sure they haven't been anywhere.
You could spend time with them reminiscing.
And they could probably answer that question for you.~

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Don't Look Back In Anger (Top Of The Pops 22/2/96)

Slip inside the eye of your mind
Don't you know you might find
A better place to play
You said that you'd once never been
All the things that you've seen
Will slowly fade away
So I start the revolution from my bed
Cos you said the brains I have went to my head
Step outside the summertime's in bloom
Stand up beside the fireplace
Take that look from off your face
You ain't ever gonna burn my heart out
So Sally can wait, she knows its too late as we're walking on by
Her soul slides away, but don't look back in anger I hear you say
Take me to the place where you go
Where nobody knows if it's night or day
Please don't put your life in the hands
Of a Rock n Roll band
Who'll throw it all away
So I start the revolution from my bed
Cos you said the brains I have went to my head
Step outside the summertime's in bloom
Stand up beside the fireplace
Take that look from off your face
You ain't ever gonna burn my heart out
So Sally can wait, she knows its too late as we're walking on by
Her soul slides away, but don't look back in anger I hear you say
Don't look back in anger
Don't look back in anger
Don't look back in anger
At least not today

song performed by OasisReport problemRelated quotes
Added by Lucian Velea
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