Moving Pictures

"Tom Sawyer"

A modern-day warrior

Mean mean stride,

Today's Tom Sawyer

Mean mean pride.

Though his mind is not for rent,

Don't put him down as arrogant.

His reserve, a quiet defense,

Riding out the day's events.

The river

What you say about his company

Is what you say about society.

-Catch the mist -Catch the myth

-Catch the mystery -Catch the drift.

The world is, the world is,

Love and life are deep,

Maybe as his skies are wide.

Today's Tom Sawyer,

He gets high on you,

And the space he invades

He gets by on you.

No, his mind is not for rent

To any god or government.

Always hopeful, yet discontent,

He knows changes aren't permanent,

But change is.

What you say about his company

Is what you say about society.

-Catch the witness -Catch the wit,

-Catch the spirit -Catch the spit.

The world is, the world is,

Love and life are deep,

Maybe as his eyes are wide.

Exit the warrior,

Today's Tom Sawyer,

He gets high on you,

And the energy you trade,

He gets right on to the friction of the day.

"Red Barchetta"

My uncle has a country place

That no one knows about.

He says it used to be a farm,

Before the Motor Law.

And on Sundays I elude the Eyes,

And hop the Turbine Freight

To far outside the Wire,

Where my white-haired uncle waits.

Jump to the ground

As the Turbo slows to cross the Borderline.

Run like the wind,

As excitement shivers up and down my spine.

Down in his barn,

My uncle preserved for me an old machine,

For fifty-odd years.

To keep it as new has been his dearest dream.

I strip away the old debris

That hides a shining car.

A brilliant red Barchetta

From a better, vanished time.

I fire up the willing engine,

Responding with a roar.

Tires spitting gravel,

I commit my weekly crime...

Wind-

In my hair-

Shifting and drifting-

Mechanical music-

Adrenalin surge...

Well-weathered leather,

Hot metal and oil,

The scented country air.

Sunlight on chrome,

The blur of the landscape,

Every nerve aware.

Suddenly ahead of me,

Across the mountainside,

A gleaming alloy air-car

Shoots towards me, two lanes wide.

I spin around with shrieking tires,

To run the deadly race,

Go screaming through the valley

As another joins the chase.

Drive like the wind,

Straining the limits of machine and man.

Laughing out loud

With fear and hope, I've got a desperate plan.

At the one-lane bridge

I leave the giants stranded at the riverside.

Race back to the farm, to dream with my uncle at the fireside.

"Limelight"

Living on a lighted stage

Approaches the unreal

For those who think and feel

In touch with some reality

Beyond the gilded cage.

Cast in this unlikely role,

Ill-equipped to act,

With insufficient tact,

One must put up barriers

To keep oneself intact.

Living in the Limelight,

The universal dream

For those who wish to seem.

Those who wish to be

Must put aside the alienation,

Get on with the fascination,

The real relation,

The underlying theme.

Living in a fisheye lens,

Caught in the camera eye.

I have no heart to lie,

I can't pretend a stranger

Is a long-awaited friend.

All the world's indeed a stage,

And we are merely players,

Performers and portrayers,

Each another's audience

Outside the gilded cage.

"The Camera Eye"

I

Grim-faced and forbidding,

Their faces closed tight,

An angular mass of New Yorkers

Pacing in rhythm,

Race the oncoming night,

They chase through the streets of Manhattan.

Head-first humanity,

Pause at a light,

Then flow through the streets of the city.

They seem oblivious

To a soft spring rain,

Like an English rain

So light, yet endless

From a leaden sky.

The buildings are lost

In their limitless rise.

My feet catch the pulse

And the purposeful stride.

I feel the sense of possibilities,

I feel the wrench of hard realities.

The focus is sharp in the city.

II

Wide-angle watcher

On life's ancient tales,

Steeped in the history of London.

Green and grey washes

In a wispy white veil

Mist in the streets of Westminster.

Wistful and weathered,

The pride still prevails,

Alive in the streets of the city.

Are they oblivious

To this quality?

A quality

Of light unique to

Every city's streets.

Pavements may teem

With intense energy,

But the city is calm

In this violent sea.

"Witch Hunt"

part III of 'Fear'

The night is black,

Without a moon.

The air is thick and still.

The vigilantes gather on

The lonely torchlit hill.

Features distorted in the flickering light,

The faces are twisted and grotesque.

Silent and stern in the sweltering night,

The mob moves like demons possesed.

Quiet in conscience, calm in their right,

Confident their ways are best.

The righteous rise

With burning eyes

Of hatred and ill-will.

Madmen fed on fear and lies

To beat and burn and kill.

They say there are strangers who threaten us,

In our immigrants and infidels.

They say there is strangeness, too dangerous

In our theatres and bookstore shelves,

That those who know what's best for us

Must rise and save us from ourselves.

Quick to judge,

Quick to anger,

Slow to understand

Ignorance and prejudice

And fear

Walk hand in hand.

"Vital Signs"

Unstable condition,

A symptom of life,

In mental and environmental change.

Atmospheric disturbance,

The feverish flux

Of human interface and interchange.

The impulse is pure;

Sometimes our circuits get shorted

By external interference.

Signals get crossed

And the balance distorted

By internal incoherence.

A tired mind become a shape-shifter,

Everybody need a mood lifter,

Everybody need reverse polarity.

Everybody got mixed feelings

About the function and the form.

Everybody got to deviate from the norm.

An ounce of perception,

A pound of obscure.

Process information at half speed.

Pause, rewind, replay,

Warm memory chip,

Random sample, hold the one you need.

Leave out the fiction,

The fact is, this friction

Will only be worn by persistence.

Leave out conditions,

Courageous convictions

Will drag the dream into existence.

A tired mind become a shape-shifter,

Everybody need a soft filter,

Everybody need reverse polarity.

Everybody got mixed feelings

About the function and the form.

Everybody got to elevate from the norm...