Hold Your Fire

"Force Ten"

Tough times demand tough talk

demand tough hearts demand tough songs


We can rise and fall like empires

Flow in and out like the tide

Be vain and smart, humble and dumb

We can hit and miss like pride

We can circle around like hurricanes

Dance and dream like lovers

Attack the day like birds of prey

Or scavengers under cover

Look in-

To the eye of the storm

Look out-

For the force without form

Look around-

At the sight and the sound

Look in look out look around-

We can move with savage grace

To the rhythms of the night

Cool and remote like dancing girls

In the heat of the beat and the lights

We can wear the rose of romance

An air of joie de vivre

Too-tender hearts upon our sleeves

Or skin as thick as thieves'

rising falling at force ten

we twist the world and ride the wind

Look in- look the storm in the eye

Look out- to the sea and the sky

Look around- at the sight and the sound

Look in look out look around-

"Time Stand Still"

I turn my back to the wind

To catch my breath,

Before I start off again.

Driven on,

Without a moment to spend

To pass an evening

With a drink and a friend

I let my skin get too thin

I'd like to pause,

No matter what I pretend

Like some pilgrim-

Who learns to transcend-

Learns to live

As if each step was the end

Time stand still-

I'm not looking back

But I want to look around me now

See more of the people

And the places that surround me now

Freeze this moment a little bit longer

Make each sensation a little bit stronger

Experience slips away...

I turn my face to the sun

Close my eyes.

Let my defences down-

All those wounds

That I can't get unwound

I let my past go too fast

No time to pause-

If I could slow it all down

Like some captain,

Whose ship runs aground-

I can wait until the tide comes around

Make each impression a little bit stronger

Freeze this motion a little bit longer

The innocence slips away...

Summer's going fast,

Nights growing colder

Children growing up-

Old friends growing older

Experience slips away...

"Open Secrets"

It went right by me-

At the time it went over my head

I was looking out the window

I should have looked at your face instead

It went right by me-

Just another wall

There should have been a moment

When we let our barriers fall

I never meant what you're thinking-

That is not what I meant at all...

Well I guess we all have these feelings

We can't leave unreconciled

Some of them burned on our ceilings

Some of them learned as a child

The things that we're concealing

Will never let us grow

Time will do its healing

You've got to let it go

Closed for my protection-

Open to your scorn

Between these two directions

My heart is sometimes torn

I lie awake with my secrets

spinning around my head

something that somehow escaped me-

Something you shouldn't have said

I was looking out the window

I should have looked at your face instead...

I find no absolution

In my rational point of view

Maybe some things are instinctive

But there's one thing you could do

You could try to understand me-

I could try to understand you...

"Second Nature"

A memo to a higher office

Open letter to the powers-that-be

To a God, a king, a head of state

A captain of industry

To the movers and the shakers-

Can't everybody see?

It ought to be second nature-

I mean, the places where we live!

Let's talk about this sensibly-

We're not insensitive

I know progress has no patience-

But something's got to give

I know you're different-

You know I'm the same

We're both too busy

To be taking the blame

I'd like some changes

But you don't have the time

We can't go on thinking

It's a victimless crime

No one is blameless

But we're all without shame

We fight the fire-

While we're feeding the flames

Folks have got to make choices-

And choices got to have voices

Folks are basically decent

Conventional wisdom would say

Well, we read about the exceptions

In the papers every day

It ought to be second nature-

At least, that's what I feel

"Now I lay me down in Dreamland"-

I know perfect's not for real

I thought we might get closer-

But I'm ready to make a deal

Today is different,

And tomorrow the same

It's hard to take the world

The way that it came

Too many rapids

Keep us sweeping along

Too many captains

Keep on steering us wrong

It's hard to take the heat-

It's hard to lay blame

To fight the fire-

While we're feeding the flames

"Prime Mover"

Basic elemental instinct to survive

Stirs the higher passions

Thrill to be alive

Alternating currents in a tidewater surge

Rational resistance to an unwise urge

anything can happen

From the point of conception

To the moment of Truth

At the point of surrender

To the burden of proof

From the point of ignition

To the final drive

The point of the journey is not to arrive

anything can happen

Basic temperamental filters on our eyes

Alter our perceptions

Lenses polarize

Alternating currents force a show of hands

Rational responses force a change of plans

anything can happen

From a point on the compass

To magnetic north

The point of the needle moving back and forth

From the point of entry-

Until the candle is burned

The point of departure is not to return

anything can happen

I set the wheels in motion

turn up all the machines

activate the programs

and run behind the scene

I set the clouds in motion

turn up light and sound

activate the window

and watch the world go 'round-

anything can happen

"Lock And Key"

I don't want to face

The killer instinct-

Face it in your or me

We carry a sensitive cargo

Below the waterline-

Ticking like a time bomb

With a primitive design

Behind the finer feelings-

This civilized veneer-

The heart of a lonely hunter

Guards a dangerous frontier

The balance can sometimes fail-

Strong emotions can tip the scale-

Don't want to silence

A desperate voice

For the sake of security

No one wants to make a terrible choice

On the price of being free

I don't want to face the killer instinct-

Face it in you or me

So we keep it under lock and key...

It's not a matter of mercy

It's not a matter of laws

Plenty of people will kill you for some fanatical cause

It's not a matter of conscience-

A search for probable cause

It's just a matter of instinct- a matter of fatal flaws

No reward for resistance

No assistance-

No applause...

we don't want to be victims

on that we all agree,

so we lock up the killer instinct-

and throw away the key...


Hold your fire-

Keep it burning bright

Hold the flame 'til the dream ignites-

A spirit with a vision is a dream with a mission

I hear their passionate music

Read the words that touch my heart

I gaze at their feverish pictures

The secrets that set them apart

When I feel the powerful visions

Their fire has made alive

I wish I had that instinct-

I wish I had that drive

Spirits fly on dangerous missions

Imaginations on fire

Focused high on soaring ambitions

Consumed in a single desire

In the grip of a nameless possession-

A slave to the drive of obsession-

A spirit with a vision

Is a dream with a mission...

I watch their images flicker

Bringing light to a lifeless screen

I walk through their beautiful buildings

And I wish I had their dreams

But dreams don't need to have motion

To keep their spark alive

Obsession has to have action-

Pride turns on the drive

It's cold comfort

To the ones without it

To know how they struggled-

How they suffered about it

If their lives were exotic and strange

They would likely have gladly exchanged them

For something a little more plain

Maybe something a little more sane

We each pay a fabulous price

For our visions of paradise

But a spirit with a vision

Is a dream with a mission...

"Turn The Page"

Nothing can survive in a vacuum

No one can exist all alone

We pretend things only happen to strangers

We've all got problems of our own

It's enough to learn to share our pleasures

We can't sooth pain with sympathy

All that we can do is be reminded-

We shake our heads at the tragedy

Every day we're standing in a time capsule

Racing down a river from the past

Every day we're standing in a wind tunnel

Facing down the future coming fast

It's just the age

It's just a stage-

We disengage-

We turn the page...

Looking at the long-range forecast

Catching all the names in the news

Checking out the state of the nation

Learning the environmental blues

Truth is after all a moving target

Hairs to split, and pieces that don't fit

How can anybody be enlightened?

Truth is after all so poorly lit

"Tai Shan"

High on the sacred mountain

Up the seven thousand stairs

In the golden light of autumn

There was magic in the air

Clouds surrounded the summit

The wind blew strong and cold

Among the silent temples

And the writing carved in gold

Somewhere in my instincts

The primitive took hold...

I stood at the top of the mountain

And China sang to me

In the peaceful haze of harvest time

A song of eternity-

If you raise your hands to heaven

You will live a hundred years

I stood there like a mystic

Lost in the atmosphere

The clouds were suddenly parted

For a moment I could see

The patterns of the landscape

Reaching to the eastern sea

I looked upon a presence

Spanning forty centuries...

I thought of time and distance

The hardships of history

I heard the hope and the hunger

When China sang to me...

"High Water"

When the waters rose in the darkness

In the wake of the endless flood

It flowed into our memory-

It flowed into our blood-

When something broke the surface

Just to see the starry dome-

We still feel that relation

When the water takes us home

In the flying spray of the ocean

The water takes you home-

Springing from the weight of the mountains

Like the heart of the earth would burst

Flowing out from marble fountains

In the dreams of a desert thirst

Something swam through the jungles

Where the mighty rivers roam-

Something breaks the silence

When the water takes you home

I hear the wordless voices

When the water takes me home-

Waves that crash on the shoreline

Torrents of tropical rain streaming down

Beyond our memory

Streaming down inside our veins

When something left the ocean

To crawl high above the foam-

We still feel that elation

When the water takes us home

In a driving rain of redemption