Halloween Boat

Halloween Boat

I’m in my Halloween boat with a hole in my heart the size of a girl
Pacific postman, 30 West by 50 East
On a black sea that joins up countries
My life is one second slow
‘says here on my watch
That’s how I know
I’m a map-pin on a dead sea marking out 30 West by 50 East
On the off-chance that anyone should wish to know

A trail of letters waltz on the tide back to Maritime Plaza from my Halloween boat
And it’s so cold, you can hear the moon

My life is one second slow
‘says here on my watch
That’s how I know

There’s a hole in my heart the size of a girl, 30 by 50
In my pocket, a letter
A “let’s make it better” note
But I’m all out at sea,
Asking the harbour to come this way
Closer, to swallow me

And there’s a hole in this boat the size of a star
That I plug with the letter
The “let’s make it better”

A peep show for Jesus
He looks through the stars

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

Help Me Warm This Frozen Heart

Help Me Warm This Frozen Heart

Outside, the fairground in snow,
Revolves like a waltz, funeral slow
And summer has gone, collapsed like a chair
Like the heart of a bird, a bell on the air

Inside, the wireless in snow
The orchestra drowns, funeral slow
And autumn has gone and with it the bloom –
The harvest of stars, like moths to the moon

Help me warm this frozen heart

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

I Am The Sub-librarian

I Am The Sub-librarian

I am the sub-librarian
Come in on the council bus –
Chalk Farm to Highgate Woods
Sportsbag of borrowed books

A steady diet of Brautigan
‘Tapestry’ on the walkman
Paranormal ill-health from dusting off the top shelf

I am the sub-librarian, counter girl, tea-maker
I am the sub-librarian, swan feeder, spectacle breaker
I am the sub-librarian

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

 

 

 

I Am The Teacher’s Son

I Am The Teacher’s Son

Started mailroom
Moved up through Clerical
Now Obituaries
I am the teacher’s son
I am the teacher’s son
I am the teacher’s son
I’m the teacher’s son

Never seen a sky so big
Like it’s been saving up for years
Clouds from Russia press-ganged in
Until the dateline disappears
I have loved and lost
Like the river’s lost and found
But I’ve never fought the tide
And I’ve never fucked around
I’m the teacher’s son

My favourite sound is churchbells
And my greatest love’s the sea
Though I never learnt to swim –
Never trusted it with me
I wrote a novel in my twenties
Though it never left my head –
A thousand words a sitting
’til all the characters were dead
I’m the teacher’s son

My father was a poet
Though he never got the chance
‘cos his words looked like another’s
If you took them at a glance
But he met a girl so pretty
That he asked her to a dance
And there his words they died liked flowers
There his words, they lost all power

I’ve been told I have his ways
I’ve been told I have his grace
But he left me on my birthday
And the only thing remains :
I’m the teacher’s son

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

I Came To Your Party Dressed As A Shadow

I Came To Your Party Dressed As A Shadow

I came to your party dressed as a shadow
And you never knew, you never knew
I rolled through the halls like a velvet wave
As quiet as an empty stage

I blackened your eyes
And stole the light from your glass
But in the cold calm of the morning
Lay like a death-kite on your lawn

I came to your party dressed as a shadow
Without invitation, without a motive
I parked three streets from the moonlight –
The soft walk to your house on a silver string
You were dancing in the backyard
To a biscuit-tin beat
I slunk between the notes
Posting them off to the night

This is symptomatic of you and me :
I have jars full of your breath
I have shelves of your words
But you have nothing of me
But a space where I would be

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

 

I Didn’t Get Where I Am Today

I Didn’t Get Where I Am Today

I didn’t get where I am today
I stayed home, snowed in
I didn’t get where I am today
I cried off, I phoned in
Some days the faith eludes you
Some days the reason why is silent on the riverbed
Hangs deathly in the sky
My dreams are tortured silhouettes
My hands are ribbon sliced
The only light’s a cigarette
The bed feels cold as ice

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

I Have Moved Into The Shadow

I Have Moved Into The Shadow

The night is closing in
The clouds are frozen still
The birds are feathered down
The churches ring the hour
Where once there was a cheer
Now stands a sorry crowd

Across the frozen lake
Beneath the tattered flags
A carnival of skates
The scissors scratch their names
Where once I held your hand
I cannot bear to stand

This city is a cauldron of blackened snow and strangers
I moved here from the country
I didn’t know the danger
I’m haunted by the bottle
I’m haunted by the angels

In letters from my sister
She asks me how I’m feeling
I say that I am better
But I lie in every letter
I have moved into the margin
I have moved into the shadow

Move closer to the fire
Or else you’ll meet the ghost
I loved you like a brother
I loved you more than most
But still you left me vacant
Still you left me cold

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

I Must Leave London

I Must Leave London

I must leave London
It is bad for my soul
It’s making a hole that will erode me

I cannot subscribe
I cannot tow the line
And Robert Elms, you’re selectively blind

She shall not miss me and I care not
‘cos she’s doing me in and she’s wearing me thin

A last goodbye to the Boundary Estate –
You stole my heart in Summer rain
A last goodbye to the Boundary Estate –
You stole my nerve but never again

She shall not miss me and I care not
‘cos she’s doing me in and she’s wearing me thin
Where the Queen makes way for the Burger King
Goodbye to the stench
Goodbye to the din

 

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

Incurable

Incurable 

The doctors shake their heads
They chain around the bed
They’re looking for a reason to why I’m still not dead
The medicine’s not working
I haven’t sleep for days
The light is shone right through me
The skeleton is weighed
Incurable, I’m helpless – the mind and body weak
I have so much to tell you but I can’t seem to speak
Incurable, I’m lonely
The city empties out
I live inside the shadow – the shadow of a doubt
The cannons fire across me
I cannot make the trial
The seasons crash around me
The bones are in denial
My temper is a tower
The church will not provide
You closed the drawer upon me
I am unclassified
The romance of the season is wasted on the weak
I stayed in bed through snowfall
I tried to get some sleep
Invisible and broken
The spirit has moved out
Words that were unspoken, I cannot live without
A strange light beckons me this way
A strange life beckons me this way

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

Jacknifed

Jacknifed

I am jacknifed in your diary
I may be home alone, I’m not lonely
And I’ll be stronger when I’m stronger
I’m at my bleakest, at my weakest

I am worn out and I’m frustrated
I tried to work you out but you’re a stranger
I’ve got the rulebook – it’s missing pages
And I could guess but that’s so dangerous

Turn around when you get to the coast –
There’s nothing there to see but sea
Leave those mountains left unclimbed
And put a line right through me

 

 

(Lyrics – GA Johnson)

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