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Tell me what’s that smoke rising on the edge of town?
Tell me what’s all this stuff that’s washed up on the beach?
Is that the smoke from the fires of the people we’ve beaten down?
Is all that remains this flotsam, of the people we couldn’t reach?

Sometimes I feel like a dog chained up in a tiny little concrete yard,
Or a lion sleeping in the shade unaware of a distant telescopic sight,
Or a rainforest monkey paraded on some Parisian boulevard,
Or a jackal busy chewing its leg off from the snare that’s holding him tight.

Tell me what’s that sound from underneath my floor?
Tell me what’s that smell drifting down my street?
Is that the sound my grandad heard just before the First World War?
Is that the smell of burning flesh and a million marching feet?

Some days I feel a cold wind whistling through my bones,
And other times my veins feel like they’re filled with solid air.
At night I dream I’m in a strange room full of obsolete telephones,
Or standing in the middle of a hurricane with a thousand-yard stare.


from Songs of Love and Death, released May 1, 2017


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Tim Hopwood EC, South Africa

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