Decay

A collection of the lyrical musings of Darren Knott, 17 March 1991 — 20 December 1992.


Index

Cast These Rocks
Choose to Whisper

Draw Me...

Hand (of the Blade)

Inspiration

Lady Absolute

Maybe Sooner, Maybe Later
Moths and Flies

Odd to the Eye

Poerty and Wine (It's Not Enough)

Robert's Poem

Sad Annie
Something's Got To Give
Step In The Right Direction
Sunday 23rd August, 9.30pm

The One You Would Find
The Return Of Tom Brannigan (Days and Nights)
There Were Broken Bones
Thorn
Thousand Miles Or More

Up and Coming

Wild Weatherman Blues

Yours or Mine?

~


Inspiration

She comes to me not as I need her.
No, lately she seems so distracted.
She used to come to me so often.
She used to dance inside my head
— Spreading fire.

It causes me frustration so bad.
That she will not come as I call.
Oh sweet lady of inspiration
Won't you fill again my mind?
— Spread your flame.

Something there is about her wandering mind.
She plays with fingers and twirls with her hair.
She rolls over her pondering, quiet and alone.
Seems confused and lost — so preoccupied.
— But it's now that I need her.

And I would help her if only I could.
Perhaps she'd be free to help me.
So to my lady, will your troubles you share?
Least let me try to help ease your mind
— Inspire me once again.
..

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The One You Would Find

Under the clouds that lie low in the valley
We walk hand in hand in the rain.
We wandered so slowly through sweet purple heather
In the places that no-one can claim.

Well, we all suffer hardship
When there's nothing to worship.
No icon to follow so blind.
It's funny, I never thought
I'd be the one you would find.

We walk on and upwards to the top of the mountain
And there our feelings lay out.
Pouring it over, always thinking about it,
Lost to our own love torn world.

I could say how I love you
Like stars shine above you.
Would it bring down the sun from the sky?
It's funny I never thought
I'd be the one you would find.

Under this fog that covers our valley
We stumble head first in the rain.
Walking on blindly on roads where love takes us,
Guiding us away from the pain.

No longer our hardship
But still nothing to worship,
Not an icon to lead us in fear,
And it's funny, I never thought
I'd be the one to shed tears.

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Sad Annie

Oh so sad, Annie stares at me today,
Watching from her pictured wall,
The weight of the world on her they say.
The sheen is lost from a fading jewel.

Always mocking, they dragged her down,
But today they will cry.
Whatever mistakes a mother has made,
They're no reason for her son to die.

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The Return of Tom Brannigan (Days and Nights)

Can you see him returning
Like a sheep to the fold?
But look as his face now,
Seems he's looking so old.
He's acting so nervous
As he walks over to us.
The ash of his cigarette,
It falls to the dust.

How many times has he walked the line
And not done as he was told.
Well, hello Tom Brannigan,
Welcome back in from the cold.

He said he'd hold night work.
We said: "He never will".
He claimed it was easy;
For that he's paying still.
We knew he wouldn't make it.
He could never learn that fast.
Although no-one was racing,
It was he who came last.

So many times he's walked the line
Before someone would find him out.
Welcome back, Tom Brannigan,
Come back in from your doubt.

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Wild Weatherman Blues

I been fighting that twister,
Been raining down blows,
Been messing up cyclones
Like nobody knows.

I been kicking up dust storms,
Been whipping down hail,
Been pushing the four winds
That fill up my sails.

Don't it feel good to be that Wild Weatherman?
I'll be knocking up trouble just as soon as I can.

Been spitting out sunbeams
That dry up the earth.
Been heaving the tides back
For all I am worth.

Been wringing out monsoons,
Been keeping up waves,
Be chucking round sandstorms
To my last breathing days.

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Lady Absolute

With a rapier like smile
And eyes as keen as any blade,
You can only obey her,
For her ideas cannot be swayed.
She wants only for actors
So her dreams and her thoughts can be played.

And at night while she watches the stars,
Her lonesome song, it carries so far,
But soon it is lost to the dark,
Like the fire will soon lose each glowing spark.

Just me and her shadows, we will dance,
As she and her Lady Night-time will give me my chance.

She tricks me at daybreak,
But soon hides her dignity.
She flickers as flames do,
But at times she's so hard to see.
She calls for your attention,
Then she's gone so fleetingly.

She writes to a friend we both know
And questions which feelings should show.
It's hard when she has nowhere to go,
That's when her fires must cease to glow.

Just me and her embers still remain.
She and Lady Night-time will be remembered by name.

(Just me and her shadows now embrace.
Just her and Lady Night-time left here to chase).

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Hand (of the Blade)

I go down to the river,
Drag my hand in the water,
Wash my face in the current;
A far off mountain's daughter.
The wind that blows so icy,
Hits so hard across the tree-tops,
Pulls the breath from the people
Who drink near the sweat-shops.

I draw back my hand,
Run my finger down the edge of the blade.
Runs red on steel.

I go to the fire,
Warm my hand to the brazier;
Cheek bones seem to glow red,
Heat is my shining saviour.
I never was opinionated
By people I never could greet,
There was no empty violence.
The hand draws circles complete.

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Moths and Flies

Captured like moths,
These kings and queens of beauty,
Drawn headlong to the light
That beckons, as their duty.
And I would follow them too
Were it not that their goal was of fool's gold
Of which too many people cling
While sores burn and cuts sting.

Like flies in a web,
Such a slave to the spider's jaws.
Silken ropes to be bound and tied,
That stretch from roof to floor.
And I would cut them down
Were it not for the tiresome dream
That would end even the bravest soldier
With a burden heavy on his shoulder.

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Robert's Poem

But take these words
On the edge of a stifled cry.
Bury them so very deep.

Dying for denying.
Your words sometimes overheard,
Laying down your naked soul
And for what price you pay?
Never maybe to know.

Beneath exquisite poem takes
Over imagined hill-top views.
Below, the deepest caverns dark.

Down tonight again to go.
Yonder my friend you seek,
Low tonight in the moon
And across a sacred sky.
Not your words but thoughts to understand.

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Odd to the Eye

In the sweet gardens.
Surrealistic images
That flash like chains of lightening,
Grow in bright colours.

The sculptures in glass.
Surrealistic images,
Blown and shaped deformity,
Memories that twist.

The lobbies of steel.
Surrealistic images
That walk the narrow passage
In and out of doors.

The models of clay.
Surrealistic images,
Glazed and fired intensity
Spun at the wheel.

The temples of gold.
Surrealistic images
Sold among those who worship,
Pay as they pray.

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There Were Broken Bones

Looking for a paradise to end his days,
But I too have seen the morning come.
Days were long but the summers cold
In his country house under a pale sun.

For a short while he watched the street,
Where the people kissed where statues stood.
Ice will melt with a flame held near,
When it's gone, it's gone for good.

Fountain pens and water falls.
Time to watch small things crawl.
Everything near as still as stone.
Everywhere there were broken bones.

Sleep walking on an ocean of iron waves,
Stepping stones are sinking each frozen step.
People will always change what you say.
He never could guess which secrets were kept.

Looking for a sunset into which he'd ride,
Truth, purity and virginity won't mix in one soul.
Death by sex is not a mere threat of words,
White hot metal burns inside the hole.

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Up and Coming

Long been swimming
This water gets so dark.
Lurid in a cunning sense.

In one fell swoop from rags to riches
Through unmarked trail and jagged glass.

Line by line in single file
Onwards, upwards cold step mile.
Test of strength, yo by your trial.

Long been walking
This mountain gets so steep.
Dangerous in different ways.

Top to bottom with one square blow
From highest peak and lowest path.

Long been coming,
Coming since time began.
Wondrous in a casual style.

Chains are weak in many links,
Just one to break before we fall.

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Poetry and Wine (It's Not Enough)

Man can't live on bread alone.
Needs more than poetry and wine.
Seeing through this looking glass
I can see crude colours shine.

I didn't want to go this way
But I could see no other choice.
It's only when man cries for help
That he finds he's lost his voice.

When you wipe away the blood
From your hands and your brow,
People will cry,
People will die,
Even if they all shout out loud.

No-one's ever stopped to ask
Just why fire burns.
No-one's ever stopped to ask
Why there's walls at every turn.

Been walking your way now
But you've turned me away
To punctuate with light and dark
As it cuts in half the day.

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Something's Got To Give

Watching it now
It's going down
It may smile
But its eyes are dead.

Too many things that need our attention.
Too many things held in sweet apprehension.

And something's got to give.

Don't get excited
It seems too new
Just a reworking
Of another old ideal.

Too many things can hide in pretention.
Too many things invite re-invention.

And somethings's got to give.

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Thorn

Sweet lady.
Born of a glowing light and tornado wind.
Pure woman.
Tell me of the chance I have to win.

I been walking, now I know I'm lost.
How come you never told me that our paths had crossed?
If I'd held out my hand would you have led?
No, I guess that you would walk away instead.

Sweet lady.
Like a candle that holds its flame in rain.
Pure woman.
Colour all the blood that's in my vein.

Lady, won't you ever stop to count the cost?
All these broken bones on rocks are tossed.
If they'd called to you then would you help.
Could you think of someone but yourself?

Sweet lady.
Hard as oak that stands upon the ledge.
Pure woman.
Watch me come from the horizon's edge.

Soft lady, won't you tread upon this earth so warm
Instead of sticking in my side as sharp as thorn?
Could you ever stop breaking the innocents?
Wish I could help but I fear my time is spent.

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Maybe Sooner, Maybe Later

Walked back from the tower
That stood strong against a dark sky.
Crossed the ridge over the river
And gazed down to the river.

Asked after a sister
Who he wasn't sure was born.
Hoped that she'd be coming,
Maybe sooner,
Maybe later.

Wandered in a forest
Between trees as straight as soldiers
With their march devoid of motion,
Prayers devoid of all devotion.

Asked after a mother
Who he wasn't sure had bore him.
Hoped that she'd be coming,
Maybe sooner,
Maybe later.

Looked into a mirror
That was shattered in ten pieces.
Saw certain expectations
Gaze back in his ten reflections.

Asked after a future
That he wasn't sure would see him.
Prayed it would be coming,
Maybe sooner,
Maybe later.

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Choose to Whisper

Choose to whisper answers
To questions yet unasked.
Choose to name a victim
Of a killer yet unmasked.
But just don't draw a parallel
On what can and can't be seen.
And don't pick up the pieces
If you're not sure what they mean.

Choose to travel pathways
That have no footprints in the dust.
Choose to wear the iron chain
That water cannot rust.
But just don't draw comparisons
On what you have but cannot hold.
And please don't place a price tag
On that which can't be sold.

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Sunday 23rd August 9.30pm

Sitting here thinking
Half light all around.
The dust of soft noises
Fall on the ear.
Candles flicker gently.
The pen makes its scratch.
I look all around me,
There's nobody near.
The evening is sticky.
The air it is damp.
Everything seems heavy,
Even my eyes.
Peace falls like dewdrops
Under my feet.
A breeze touches the paper,
It stays where it lies.
The view from the window
Reveals only dark.
So many things out there,
A playground to creep.
The evening grows later.
My head it grows numb.
The stairway is calling,
It's time I should sleep.

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Cast These Rocks

Cast these rocks of hardest stone
Strewn upon the dry ground like autumnal leaves.
I shall pick my way through them,
Each step I shall carefully choose.

As each pond shall choose its lily pad
And each ocean will choose its islands.

Your chains of iron and gold free to enslave.
Your gauntlet free to grip.
But your trust is all ways misplaced
And your mind free to foolishness.

You have the power to hold me.
But not the power to keep me.
When the day comes
And you finally know your own mind.
It's then I shall admit to you
I know of fear.

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Yours or Mine?

In your hands for safe keeping
I will place an object of your choosing.
From a sceptre to a sugar bowl.

Disappearing down tonight,
Out of sight, out of mind.
Enveloped in grateful darkness.
Anxious, each half hearted glimpse.

In amongst cobwebs of silver
Spun and hung like nets.

Scattered cages, suspended high.
Bars bent and broken, forced.
Dusty and disused, remnants of jails,
Testament to a renewed freedom,
But the freedom of who?

If I was to say it was yours
Would you also take mine?

In your head for safe keeping
I shall place an idea or legend
For you to use as you will.

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Draw Me...

Draw me a line over which I will not step.
I have followed you solemnly
In each of your footsteps from here to here after.

Flowers in glass; both of which are easy to crush,
Their images refracted
An easy air of susceptibility.

Draw me a breath; give me air to ease my lungs.
For eyes that cannot see
The twilight here has nothing to offer.

A gun in the hand is worth two against the head.
Been holding out too long
And too many times a vacant possession.

Draw out the pain; venom in almost every vein.
I've been bitten so many times.
After each new bite I need more of your poison.

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Step In the Right Direction

The wild cry of birds.
Disappearance on the edge of time.
No reaction in the face.
A pathetic picture, so weak and so hopeless.

Something has stopped.
Standing on the edge of the hole.
Some one looking down,
Eyes open wide, taking in all that lies before them.

Turn things away.
A dream, they say, is just a dream,
Some glittering prize,
Something to hold when no one remembers.

Untie your hands.
Raise your strength and roll the stone.
Push with all your might.
There is no easy way to improve a position.

Take up the slack.
Drawing back the rope to its mark.
Holding on with hands,
Hands that carry so many blisters.

Drifting too far.
The safest shores are always so far away.
A distance can be breached,
It's all too simple to drop all defences.

Hitting so hard
Every blow as hard as the first.
Spreading out the weight,
The load is even but still so unsteady.

Saddest of all.
Things are never really clearly cut.
Take a simple stride,
A step in the right direction must be hopeful.

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Thousand Miles or More

Shake for your thoughts of thunder and fire.
Shake for the grace of new fallen snow.
Conclusions you draw are both foolish and wise.
Under each new turned stone something must grow
In a thousand miles or more of unclean night.

Written up to a different story
Filling up a plain white page.
Nothing here to change direction.
Nothing here to mind intention
To shake it up and try once more.

From inside a graveyard or a castle in the sky,
What signals muted by the coldness of stone?
Cathedral bells toll into each coloured window.
Each beat of the heart is measured in tone
In a thousand miles or more of unclean night.

Pulling up to push on further
A sleeping thought that can never be
Shaken together and mixed too hard.
All too easy to blow right apart
Makes the heart beat faster still.

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This page © 1998 Darren Knott.