Homemade Wine

by Penelope Swales

/
1.
07:38
2.
3.
4.
5.
05:24
6.
7.
04:29
8.
04:51
9.
10.
11.
05:18
12.
04:18
13.
06:18
14.
15.

about

Recorded independently and then distributed by Black Market Music, this is Penelope's third album on CD.

credits

released January 7, 1997

Dedicated to my mother, the bravest woman I know

tags

license

all rights reserved
Track Name: Swallow
Swallow
© Penelope Swales 1997

Warm air, strong sun, warm wind
Is pouring in the door of this house
That some other people call home
I am alone, there’s no-one home

I can see on the opposite hill
The ripplin’ rill, the sweet sunshine
And the North wind are playing
Makin’ rollin’ waves
In the waist-high golden grass

As Spring comes to this land
People take the warm, glad soil in their hands
But I have no patch to dig and my home is
Wherever I now stand

And y’know, I just wanna go home
But I have no such destination,
Just a vague location in mind
I’m tired and I can feel it’s time
I’ve still so far to go til I can make it mine

As people make their Summer plans
And I’m listening to them, I feel so forlorn
Coz I’m still living in the Winter wind
To begin my Spring, I must first find a home

When I see the nests people have made for themselves
My sore heart swells I get all maudlin
Homesick for a place that no longer exists
Where someone else dwells, I must move on

This driftin’ around is all very well
But it’s startin’ to tell on me
I must make something for myself

And when will my actions
Get in step with my desires
I worked so hard so I could leave
And now I’m yearnin’ for those home fires
I have these conflicting needs
For freedom and for somewhere quiet
I guess I’m still adjusting to this
Post-nuptial life

Warm air, strong sun, warm wind
Is pouring in the door of this house
That some other people call home
I’m all alone, there’s no-one home
For one sweet hour or more
I can take the floor and pretend it’s mine
Oh, but when they come back, I must contract
And restrict the space I occupy

And y’know, I just wanna go home
But I have no such destination,
Just a vague location in mind
I’m tired and I can feel it’s time
I’ve still so far to go til I can make it mine

And y’know darlin’ I’m longin’ to see your face
Not just for a festival or a weekend
But to be having you all ‘round the place
I long to be sitting strong and stable
At my very own kitchen table
And watchin’ you walking in
Singin’ hello darlin’, how ya been?

But for now, I’ll just rest in the sun like a storm-tossed swallow
I’m still so far away, and my migration path sways
But I’ll get there, one of these tomorrows
I’ll rest in a stranger’s house like a storm-tossed swallow
While inside me the need and the urgency grow.
Track Name: The Old Man in the Rock
The Old Man in the Rock
© Penelope Swales 1997

The younger daughter of a conquering race
Walks through a desolate landscape and contemplates
Unwilling pioneers that came to this place
And what of the people that came before
Where did they go when it rains
I crawl under a jutting rock for shelter

Chorus:
And a voice says
“Sit down, stay warm, keep dry
The rain will be over by and by
It’s rare I have a visitor these days
Sit tight and listen with me
To the sweet sounds of the harmonies
Can you hear the spirits singin’ in the rain?”

You know I listened
And realised I could hear music
And see things in the sky
If I was religious
I mighta thought it was a choir of angels
An atheist woulda said it was a trick of the light.

Chorus

And the spirits sing…..

He said “The people who once walked this land
Had a name for me and a story
But I no longer know where they are”
He said “The people who now come walkin’
On the path below look sad and awkward
And they just follow the line of the scar”

He said “Do you know where my people are?”
And I knew only too well
Streets and bars and welfare departments
And prison cells
I suddenly thought – maybe I should leave
But he said no, daughter, stay
Anyone who listens hard enough can find spirit of place

And a voice says
“Sit down, stay warm, keep dry
They’ll be returning by and by
My people will survive, coz they are strong
Sit tight and listen with me
To the sweet sounds of the harmonies
They’ve been singin’ since before you came
And they’ll be singin’ after you’re gone
Ra-dat-da…..
Track Name: Blood in this Stone
Blood in this Stone
© Penelope Swales 2007

What good would it do
To tell you I miss you
I missed you before you left
No amount of cajolery,
Threats or controllin’ behaviour
Could have got you
The things that you wanted
And I must admit it’s true
I’ve wanted to say to you
Where’s the man that I fell in love with?
But I know that we all have our dark side
And this has been yours
And the things that you’ve done and you’ve said
Are the walls of your torture chamber, yeah.

What good would it do
To tell you I feel for you
I could feel it all along, comin’?
No amount of frustration,
Tears, joy or elation
Could have bound me to you
In the ways that you wanted
And maybe in parody
You might well say to me
Where’s the woman I fell in love with
And all I can say is she was creation of mine
I am way out beyond you
Your moment of reckoning
Now is upon you

And all I can do
Is hang my head before you
And watch you suffer
And I suffer too,
But not quite as much as you wish I would
And should I never have loved you
Just coz I never could have loved you
Quite as much as you wanted
But for all of your squeezin’
I swear there’s still blood in this stone
Oh, for all of your pressure
I swear there’s still blood in this stone
For all of your anger and jealousy
And cruelty so careless
I swear there’s still blood in this stone
And the things that I couldn’t have said
Are the walls of my torture chamber, yeah

What good would it do
To tell you I love you,
And I’ll love you when your love is ashes?
But I can’t solve your problems or ease your pain
And maybe it would do
Some good if I told you
I’ve always believed you can cut it
But whether you want to’s the question
That remains
And the things that we’ve done and we’ve said
Are the walls of this torture chamber, yeah
But for all of this
For all of all of this
I swear there’s still blood in this stone
But for all of this
For all of all of this
I swear there’s still blood in this stone
Oh, for all of this
For all of all of this
I swear there’s still blood in this stone
Track Name: More Real than the Original
More Real than the Original
© Penelope Swales 1997

My memories do me no service
In bringing your image to my mind
Your image in my mind’s eye
Your imprint in my body

My memories do me no service
In drawing my attention
To the little room inside me
Where your ghost dwells
More real than the original

As I stand by this hilltop window
That frames the panorama of a silver-laden night
The city’s wearing rings upon her fingers
A hoop of gaudy jewels around her waist
As I observe the magic of a windy full-moon festival
I watch, but I do not participate

As I watch from this high vantage
So do I watch your progress through the crowd
Playing the same games with different faces
Down among the rhinestones on the horizons distant waist
I’ve traced your footsteps with you unknowing
I’ve watched you progress through the crowd
By subtle questioning and word of mouth
I watch but I do not participate

Upon the surface, our interaction
Like a rapid stream
Laughs and bubbles, never lingers
Oh, yes, I’m quick on my feet
And I’m aware, yeah. I’m aware
That looking in at me
You see the opposite of what I see looking out

My memories do me no service
When I make small-talk by your side
When I return your smile so wide
When you turn away, my eyes trace your lines

High on the windy hilltop of my mind
I can see you sprawled across
The jewel-encrusted breasts of the city
I trace your lines between the pinpoints of light
Like some ageing astrologer shapes
His favourite heroes in the sky

I watch you progress through the crowd
I watch the montage of your face
I watch but I do not participate

My memories, they do me great service
I recalling your foibles to my mind
Through opposing windows,
I have opposing views of you
How I saw you then
How I see you know
How I saw you then
How I see you know

Knowing you like I know you
I can only laugh
Playing the same games with different faces
Dancing the same steps in different places
And even so, your image in my mind
And even so, your imprint in my body
And the little room inside me
Where your ghost dwells
More real than the original

And I still love you, though detached
I still desire you, although satisfied
I laugh, I laugh at you, and me
I laugh, but I do not participate
I laugh, but I do not participate
Track Name: Starfish
Starfish
© Penelope Swales 1997

Married and divorced and at the age of 26
I’m off to find that lonesome road again
To ride around my boundaries
Now, I’m not sure just what is left
I dunno where those borders lay

To make a friend of solitude
It’s not an easy task
It’s not as if there’ no-one ‘round to love me
But I’m aware that all my internal terrain has changed
And I don’t know what’s the wasteland
What’s the minefield
But darlin’

Spring will come again, my love
And you’ll find me
Sleepin’ like a starfish
In the Melbourne Spring mornings
Spreadeagled in your bed
We will soar together
Farther, much farther
Than bus or plane could take me

But for now, I crave the solitude I’ve always feared
I need to make my peace with silence
Make a friend of distance
Somehow strike a truce will all my inner thoughts
Stretch and unfurl in the stillness

But I will return
This cold city’s in my blood,
You know it
I will return
And you’re the fire that got my
Circulation going
The fireworks within
Are not easily forgotton
But it would be so easy
To make the same mistakes again

So I’m back in the heart
Of the sweet Summerland again
Gentle hills in which I hide my head
I carry the lead weight of illness
The dead weight of grief
It’s here I can set down my burden

And sit in the sun
Days go past, my friend and I do nothin’
But sit in the sun
And watch the pageant of my thoughts parading
The cleaning out within
Is only just beginning
Darlin’ you don’t need me
To make your mind my garbage bin

I know you miss me
I can feel it in the wind
And I miss you
You can hear it on the phone line
But it would be too easy
To make all the same mistakes again
I just don’t want to do it that way this time

So bravely setting forth at the age of 26
I’m off to find that lonesome road again
To ride around those boundaries
Now, I’m not sure just what is left
Dunno what’s the desert,
What’s the wasteland
But darlin’

Spring will come again, my love
And you’ll find me
Sleepin’ like a starfish
In the early afternoon
Lying on our backs
We will talk forever
Laugh and joke and marvel
At our love for one another

I will return
This cold city’s in my blood,
You know it
I will return
And you’re the fire that got my
Circulation going
The blossoming within
Is only just beginning
Darlin’ I appreciate your patience
While I’m dealing with these things
Track Name: I Thought Judge Dredd was a Cartoon Character
I thought Judge Dredd was a Cartoon Character
© Penelope Swales 1997

When I first saw a real-life gun,
I was 15 years of age
It was on the hip of a fresh-faced cop
At Flinders Street Station
As I recall arming the force was a new innovation
I was homeless at the time, and overnight
The whole feelin’ on the street just changed

Is it a threat, or a promise
That ugly phallus that you’ve got?
11 years later
33 people have been shot
And they all had families
And they all had friends
And they had enemies on the force
And that’s where their
Right to be human ends

Chorus:
I thought Judge Dredd
Was a cartoon character
Supposed to be a joke
But it’s a chilling caricature
Judge and jury, prison warden
And grisly executioner
All rolled into one
On the edgy streets of Flemington

When Mark Militano was shot
His Mother found out from the news
When Jedd Houghton was shot
They sent plain-clothes cops
To video the funeral
When his mother went to view the body
All his jewellery had been taken
He was shot at point-blank range
Sleeping in a Bendigo caravan

Coz you see, the cops thought Walsh Street
May have been revenge
After they killed Graeme Jensen
Never gave him a chance to answer any questions
And although he was dead
The papers tried and found him guilty
Dead men tell no tales
And it makes a good story
Chorus

The community workers
At the local legal centre
Made a graph to show how many had fallen
Underneath the trigger
Y’know it was out of date
Only one day later
Why so many more in this state, huh?
Than elsewhere in Australia

Now, I’ve heard that in the raids
Before they shot Gary Abdullah
A young man was raped with a shotgun
A baby slapped right in front of its mother
I’ve heard there’s good cops
But I’ve also heard there’s bad
And darlin’ you know they don’t get
A whole lot worse than that

Oh, the families waited four long years
For the Coroner’s Inquiry
And all the got was cover-ups
From further up the hierarchy
And cops refusing to answer questions
On the grounds it may incriminate then
If they’re so justified
Why does the truth intimidate them?

And who are they to tell us
Who deserves to live and die
They talk about dangerous criminals
A menace to society
What I’m tryna point out here
Is that we all have the right to a
Fair trial
While far worse criminals
Are sitting pretty, high and dry

I thought Judge Dredd
Was a cartoon character
Supposed to be a joke, man
But it’s a chilling caricature
Judge and jury, prison warden
And grisly executioner
All rolled into one
On the edgy streets of Melbourne

And Jeff gives us the Casino
And he gives us the Grand Prix
And he gives the cops more power
Then he tells us that we’re lucky
I listen to talk-back radio
I tell you that it scares me
To hear these sleepy dupes saying
That it’s the cops they pity

It’s a tough job, yeah
But someone’s got to do it
It’s a tough job, yeah
I wouldn’t wanna go through it
It’s the Thin Blue Line
Stranger danger, stranger danger
The Thin Blue Line
But don’t be fooled
Coz the cops kills more people
Than the robbers ever do

(I thought Judge Dredd
Was a cartoon character…)
Mark Militano, Jedd Houghton, Graeme Jensen
Gary Abdullah, Jason Southey, Colleen Richman
Frederick Lewis, Helen Merkle, Gerald McGrath,
Marama Simon, Stephen Crome
The list goes on
Judge and jury, prison warden
And grisly executioner
All rolled into one…
Ahh……
Track Name: We Danced
We Danced
© Stephen Swales

One was a time drowned in tears
The cold reign of pain, of fear
We mourn for the loss of those years
The waste of the sunny days
Seen through a leaden haze

Once was a man – well he said he was
He was God’s choice, he was the boss
But he was born to be two feet tall
And so not to feel so small
He stood on the backs of us all

Then came the night that we danced on your grave
The night we threw off our chains
Drank to the future and damned the dead past
You were under the cold ground at last

Yes, there were those with their studied grief
It wasn’t too hard to see the relief
No more pretence that he took as real
Love only a fool could feel
Given only for what they could steal

We came with our faces so grey
Masks for the burial day
Ah, but as soon as we filled in the hole
It’s time to rock ’n’ roll
A splendid time had by all

It was the night that we danced on your grave
The night we threw off our chains
Drank to the future and damned the dead past
You were under the cold ground at last

Ah, but the truth is,
We didn’t bury you at all
We sent your body to be burned
And one fine day
Without ceremony
We dumped the ashes in a dirty roadside toilet
On the way to somewhere else
Oh, life is good
For the living

It was the night that we danced on your grave
The night we threw off our chains
Drank to the future and damned the dead past
You were under the cold ground at last

Die di di die di di die di die die
Die di di die di di die di die die
Drank to the future and blanked out the past
We laughed at your passing
And damned your dead arse.
Track Name: The Wheel
The Wheel
© Penelope Swales 1997

Lost in the maze
Of our own fecundity
We are strangers to ourselves
We spend our lives
Trying to avoid creating life
An accidental pregnancy is a tragedy

In this society
There may well be no family
For the one left holding the baby
We must all try
To recreate the tribe
And lift this crushing weight of responsibility

Aphrodite, Innana,
Bridget, Hecate, Isis, Astarte
Your precious gifts
Have become a curse
In a world devoid of all generosity

We’re fearful of our future
Jealous of the past
We envy our forebears
Confidence in our continuity
And yet for most of us, the odds have been stacked
We have been trapped by our own biology
How far into the past must we delve
To find a land where we enjoyed equality

Aphrodite, Innana,
Bridget, Hecate, Astarte, Isis,
Your precious gifts
Were made a curse
By those fearful of your power and your secrets

Aphrodite, Innana,
Bridget, Hecate, Hestia, Isis,
We were meant to share
The rearing and our secrets
I’ll read the fire and sing your names
Pray the time here yet remains
That we may help the Wheel regain its balance

That sanity may yet prevail
Singing will replace the wails
Greenery cover the rails and beams of this world

And the Wheel of Life
May yet regain its balance
The wheel of love
May yet begin to make some sense
And the Wheel of Life
May yet regain its balance
The wheel of love
May yet regain its innocence

People, don’t you wait too long
To act on what you know is wrong
Rewrite the rules, rephrase the songs
Of this world
I’ll read the fire and sing their names
Pray the time here yet remains
That we may help the Wheel regain its balance
Track Name: Something Fragile
Something Fragile
© Penelope Swales 1997

Oh, what can you say about longing
‘Cept that it exists
‘Cept that it’s here?
Oh what can you say
About long-standing commitments
‘Cept that they exist
And sometimes they interfere?

Chorus:
Something fragile’s born
Something Fragile dies
I would be a fool to say
I had any claim
Or any right
Something fragile’s born
Something fragile’s born
Something Fragile dies

Oh what can you say about belonging
‘Cept that it’s elusive?
You and I have both been the odd ones out
What can you say about understanding
‘Cept that it’s crucial and its rare
And I think I know what you’re on about?

Chorus

Like at tender seedling that I sheltered with my hands
Encouraged with my eyes and made a little room in all my plans
Something fragile born
In the space between us
But ah! We were so nonchalant
Now you want me to hold on
Without the sunshine of your certainty
Well, I’m a jaded soul and it may well be too much for me
Something fragile’s born
Something fragile’s born
Something Fragile dies

Oh, what can you say about holdin’ on
‘Cept that it exists and some people think it’s foolish?
What can you say about living in suspense
‘Cept that it sucks. Yeah well, it does.

Something fragile’s born
Something Fragile dies
I would be a fool to say
I had any claim
Or any right
Something precious born
In the space between us
But ah, now. Weren’t we nonchalant?

Something fragile’s born
Something Fragile tries
I could be a fool and say I could guarantee it would survive Something fragile’s born
Something fragile’s born
Something Fragile dies
Something fragile’s born
Something fragile tries
Sometimes fragile things survive
Something fragile’s born
Something Fragile tries
Sometimes fragile things….
Track Name: Homemade Wine
Homemade Wine
© Penelope Swales

I’m not convinced
That I should try to teach you
How to speak my language
Coz even if it does exist
You’ll walk a long way to find
Someone else who speaks that language
And I watch your hand curled around your glass
And I watch you smile into the firelight, yeah
She’s drinkin’ homemade wine

Oh I’m not convinced
That I should try to tell you
What I mean
I watch your eyes, I watch your glass
I watch you smile into the firelight
Smile into the night

And wonder what strange journey I could take you on
If you were not so firmly grounded
In this world of soil, of life and toil
And homemade wine

Homemade wine
Courses through my veins
Runnin’ rings around my brain
And I feel a gulf
A yawning void and wonder
Now, is that really there?
When you look into a good friend’s face
And see death
Into your lover’s eyes
And find no understanding there
It holds the bitterness of death

Years later, you stare into the fire
Curled up like a cat
In your homemade haven
And I watch your eyes
I watch my glass
I feel the void and wonder
Now, is that really there?

Wonder what strange journey I could take you on
Of you were not so firmly grounded
In this world of soil
Of cars and bars and work and pasta
Dogs and laughter
And olives pickled in oil
And don’t forget that homemade wine
Don’t forget that homemade wine
And I, I wanna scream
I wanna shout
I wanna shake you
And cry – “Listen, listen, listen!
This sweet life of yours
It will not last
It is slipping, slipping away
Slipping into the past,
And it’s so precious”

But you know that
Yeah, you know that
And I know that
So pour me some more homemade wine
While I sit and grieve
For an old dead friend of mine
Fading fast, fading into the past
It’s been a long time now
And it’s only gonna get longer
Longer since I saw him last
Only gonna get longer since I last heard him laugh.
Track Name: Waterclock
Waterclock
© Penelope Swales


Now that I’m feeling strong
Look who’s come around to visit me
I have said all along
That I would never, ever turn my face away

And this big waterclock
These saltwater tears
Spins around
To spill and refill again
It’s been wheeling inside me
Week in and week out
Turn around
Spill and refill again

You have always been
Incalculably precious to me
Through our friendship and our blossoming
Through our hard times
And then the time when you turned away from me

And started this waterclock
These saltwater tears
Spinnin’ around
To spill and refill again
It’s been wheeling inside me
Week in and week out
Turn around
Spill and refill again

And I have missed you daily and nightly
I’ve missed the insights you brought to my life
I have been left face to face with my mistakes
And still I think you left me for the wrong reasons
Despite all my heresies and treasons
Now here we sit, so tentative and quietly
In the glow of hindsight, you see
What I brought to your life
I’ve no desire to rub your face in your mistakes
But still I think you left me for the wrong reasons
And now you start to see what I mean
And I’d love to forgive you
But you gotta know

That there’s been this big waterclock
These saltwater tears
Spinnin’ round
To spill and refill again
And it’s gonna take me
A little time to dry out
Turn around
Spill and refill again

It’s been wheeling inside me
Day, week and month out
And when it turns around
It just starts to refill again
What is it about you?
I, I get on with my life
But when you turn around
I feel my heart fill again
Spin around
Spill and refill again
Do I pour my love out on the ground?
You gotta know
Track Name: All the More
All the More
© Penelope Swales 1997

He had eyes, they were big and green
I swear they’d seen
Into the pit of hell, my love
And what he’s seen there
He was runnin’ in a race with time
What do you do when your hate runs dry?
I dunno, coz I’ve never been there

In the heart behind the barrel of the gun
Writhes dilemmas that can break a human soul
Somehow he’d survived,
Yeah, not quite dead inside,
No, all the more painfully alive

He had hair, it was long and wild
it was the symbol that he no longer was
What he’d been in there
He had hands, they were strong and fine
So much more delicate than mine
They were lined
With scars from teeth and knives

Who knows what demons drive beneath the surface?
So much anger must have sprung from so much pain
Somehow he’d survived,
Yeah, not quite dead inside,
No, all the more painfully alive

He said to me,
“Hey, y’know, no-one joins the army
So they can scrape up their friends
And put them in small plastic bags.”
He said to me
“Y’know, I live with my own conscience
People judge me
But not as much as I have”
And he said to me
“Y’know I just felt like such an arsehole
It was easier to hate the good
Coz I can find no good in me
But when it came to it, I just couldn’t pull the trigger
And I’m just lucky that he never aimed at me”

Oh, he had love
It was deep and wide and desperate
His salvation, his demise
When he’d been in there
Couldn’t seem to give enough
Or soak up enough tenderness
To compensate for the years he’d been in there

And y’know, he was so gentle, he said
“Are you sure this isn’t hurting you?” I said
“Darlin’ love can be as vigorous as violence
I don’t think I need fear anything from you”

He had dreams they were bold and bright
Of walkin’ in a land of Southern sunlight
Coz he’d never been there
He had nightmares every night
‘Bout clutching a dead friend’s body tight
He’d awaken to find he was holding mine

In the heart behind the barrel of the gun
These dilemmas nearly broke a human soul
Somehow he’d survived,
Yeah, not quite dead inside,
No, all the more painfully alive

So, will you judge him?
Signed at sixteen years of age
He’d never known a woman
And he’d never held a baby
And all loaded up
With some romantic ideal
All perpetuated by the older generation
Some myth, some lie
Of manliness and duty

Oh, he had eyes, they were big and green
I swear they’d seen
Into the pit of hell, my love
And what he’d seen there
Track Name: Almond Eyes
Almond Eyes
© Penelope Swales 1997

Young men leave the room
So nonchalant, so casual, but we
All know where they’re going to
We who stay behind roll our eyes
What can you do?

My friend, I’m not impressed
To come back to town to find you like this
And I can see that you’re embarrassed
You say you’ll pull through
Oh god, I hate to see these pinholes in your life
I know you hate it too

You’ve been playing with it for years
My friend, you must have,
You must have got careless
Blasé my love,
You never thought
That you’d get caught
Caught up in it

You know, I’ve grown out of this
Ten years ago, I must admit I was impressed and I,
I took it seriously
Now I just think it’s stupid and it’s ugly
It’s no good to say – will you ever learn
Coz you have learned, and I know that you know better
That’s not the point
There is no point
It’s just not that simple
To break loose of this particular fetter

You have almond eyes
And a weakness for it besides
And I have eyes for you
I have a weakness for you
And I know that you’re partial
Oh, my friend, oh my dear friend
What are you doing?
Oh, my friend, you’re one of my best friends
What the hell do you think you’re doing?

Friends die, it’s not enough
The loss of priceless individuals is no
Deterrent from this stuff
We all know it’s dangerous
Some think it’s glamourous
But you, you’ve been around for years
And I know that you know better

Generation after generation gets into this shit
If you can’t learn from other people’s mistakes
You’ll just wind up up to your neck in it
It’s like there’s some kind of fucked machismo
Say’s you’re piking out if you don’t do it
And I’m here to say
That’s just 24-carat bullshit

You return, I leave the room
I can handle it, but I’m not gonna watch you do it
It makes me feel sick
And all you say, all that you say
Is that you’ll pull through it
I think you could pull through it

Oh, young men leave the room
So nonchalant, so purposeful, but we
All know what they’re going through
Oh, yeah, mmm-hmm
Ahhh – we all know what you’re up to
Track Name: Turning Point
Turning Point
© Penelope Swales

Thirty’s a turning point for some
But not for him, he still thinks he’s immortal
He said to me “But you’ll be back again, though, won’t you?”
I said to him “You still count on that, don’t you?”

Death’s a turning point for some
But not for him, he still doesn’t realise they’re finite, they’re fragile
I said to him “Oh, well – where are they all now then?”
He said “They’re just out there, living their lives”
I said “You still count on that, don’t you?”

Love me while you may
I may not be around another day

Love’s a turning point for some
But not us, our love got caught in the gears of his motivation
I said “My love is real, I’ll find a way somehow”
He said “Look, I love you, but I really don’t have the time right now”
What do you say to something like that?

When you’re lost out here
Friendship and connection is tenuous and it’s precious
When you’re lost out here
It may well be all we have
In the barren future, diversity of heart
May be the only diversity left
Let’s dare to be precious to each other

Loss is a turning point for some
But for me, well, I just don’t know where to turn
I could have turned away, turned inwards, turned inside out
Still, I turned to you, and you said “Look, I’ve changed my mind, now”

Thirty’s a turning point for some
But not for him, he still doesn’t realise, we’re finite, we’re fragile
I said, “Even if we can’t be lovers, let’s stay in touch”
He said “Look, I love you, but I really don’t have the time right now”
And he said to me “But you’ll be back again, though, won’t you?”
I said to him “You still count on that, don’t you?”
When does it cease to be worth the effort?
Track Name: Turns to Permanence
Turns to Permanence
© Penelope Swales 1997

I’ve seen them come from overseas with fever eyes
Chafing at the sameness of home
Amidst the joy, the squeals of welcome, there is already a restlessness
We have to promise ourselves we will go again

But before you know it
Everything you touch turns to permanence
We put down roots, entwine our limbs and minds
Thoughts of going away
Pale in the light of the everyday
The dream recedes, and you’re left beached in your own land

We come back changed
To the people who have stayed the same
But in time, our difference erodes
The bright, rough-hewn, immediate reality of the road
Becomes but dim memories
Of a time that was all but wasted

And before you know it
Everything you touch turns to permanence
We put down roots, entwine our limbs and minds
Before you know it
Big eyes are looking at you anxiously
If you even mention the thought of going

Dreams and visions fade
Pale in the light of the everyday
Along with the meaning in the photos of faces
You’ll never see again
You get sick of telling
Your traveller’s stories again and again
You just bow your head and take your place.

I’m come aware
That there’s someone curled asleep inside me
The traveller is a different girl
She lives on her wits
When her bright-lit mind’s alive inside mine
She sleeps fitfully,
She tosses and turns

Coz before she knew it
Everything she touched turned to permanence
She put down roots, and her mind became mine
Her dreams and visions faded
Pale in the light of the everyday
She’s like a little embryo suspended in my mind
Oh….