Speed of the Stars

Song Within The Shell

[rev. June 11, 2016]

Feather and beak
A melancholy week
On the town
All the rain falling down
The solemn roofs in the deluge

The same home
The same home
The song within the shell

The open sea, anyone with me
Bewitched and becalmed, hardly even harmed
Weather uncontained, forever unchained
The flagrant delay between the night and day

The common memory
Where the waters meet in my world

The surging of the tides
The beating heart of earth
Only blinding light to bind me
Wind of kings brings all this heaven to the shore

Incessant ambition
Cognition of a thousand other worlds

The burning forest path
The parting of the ways
Use your blinding light to find me
Wind of kings sings
Wind of kings sings many meanings
I'm unsure



[rev. June 21, 2021]

Hey I hope
The winter sun will shine upon my heliotrope
A kaleidoscope
Land on sand like any man who comes
And it's all an encounter with themselves
And they think of their lord
And they cut the cord

Once I thought I could fly just because a bird I caught
But it came to naught
Once I said if only your sweet words could go to my head
And love instead

Watercolour world, ten to four
Nobody I know been there before

Watercolour world, postcard fade
Lazy afternoon in the shade

Watercolour world down by the pools
Crabs all around like lovesick fools

Watercolour world
Watercolour world
Watercolour world


When You Think Of Falling

[rev. June 11, 2016]

Icarus in the clouds
Riding around so proud
Man, he's got it made
Oh boy, please stay in the shade

Your eyes against the sun
High against the sky a storm has come
When you think of falling
The earth is calling out to us
Oh so generous

Little Egypt on the street
The Sphinx, the sand, the deserts at her feet
Man, she lookin' good
Oh boy, doing what she could

You see into the haze
The time does bind around your days
Before you think of speaking
That's the future leaking memories
Yours if you please
Uh-huh, yeah
Mmmm-mmmm, Mmmm-oh yeah
Oh yeah, oh yeah
Oh yeah


Black River

[rev. Aug. 13, 2023]

A million eyes in the wilderness
Sail on beyond forgiveness
There remains light in the distance
It contains a night of existence

A thousand voices in emptiness
The echoes of our own weariness
The creaking timbers saw to us
A jungle continues to surround us

And there's a picture on the wall
And it defines us all

Water all around
Water to sustain us
Water all around
In order to contain us

And there's a point upon the map
I just slap away another mosquito if you crack
The black river carries you away
Into the whitest day

And there's a picture on the wall
And it defines us all

Water all around
Water to sustain us
Water all around
In order to contain us

And there's an arrow in the air
And everywhere another jaguar if you care
And the black river washes you clean out
Of the sweetest mouth

There's a fortune everywhere
??? [starting around 5:22]

There's a fortune everywhere
(???) [starting around 6:02]
(...They don't think like us
They don't talk like us
Why do you think they'll let you live
Your Bible will not protect you from their ???
Let's go, not sit down, think of me)

There's a fortune everywhere


Autumn Daze

Set me free
Set me down here
Let me be
Let me drown here

I'm gonna drift around here

The way the summer washes from the sky
The way waves just vanish in my eye

Let me see
What I found here

The way waves...

She comes and forms beside you
So amazed
At the rays so deep inside you

Autumn daze
At the ways so deep inside you

Autumn daze
Forms beside you

Autumn daze
So deep inside you


Back Wherever

Diatribe against evil written on a check
When evening fell apart you were smitten by a speck
On The Wreck of the Hesperus sittin' on the deck

Back wherever we started from again
All of us want to be there then

In the most obvious deluge we denying a storm
Your ancestral shadow providing a form
The hands of the motherland reliant and warm

Back wherever we started from again
All of us want to be there then
Try, try, try to comfort him
Back wherever we started from again

Caesar was a gambler, he rolled the dice
Bonaparte the conqueror who came apart twice
Iscariot in the moment before he sold out Christ

Back wherever we started from again
All of us want to be there then
Try, try, try to comfort him
Back wherever we started from



[rev. Aug. 13, 2023]

In the shallows of a cup
Or the great golden goblet you drank to despair
Or the raging seas upon the coast of Italy
And the shores and the wars and the whores you found there

In the travels of the crane
In the vast open deserts and swamps in the air
Instant freeze upon the grape of Sicily
And the shores and the wars and the homes you found there

The worm in the flesh
In the heart of an apple
The wound in the mind
In the tops of the trees
The saint in the fields
Who casts away our days

In the nowhere, in the nowhere of her smile
On the triumphant cheers and the jeers of a crowd anywhere
In the cooling breeze that blew across Galilee
And the priests and beasts and feasts you found there

Half a song never sung
Half a bell never rung

The worm in the flesh
In the heart of an apple
The wound in the mind
In the tops of the trees
The saint in the fields
Who casts away our days


Honolulu Bayside

[rev. Aug. 13, 2023]

Stormy holiday
Honolulu bayside
Turn them on, a soul man [0:43]
Turn into a dog

Walking in the mist
Fairy kissed me
Walking through the door on the mall

The groves of oak within the walls
Down by the living sea
With wonder vash/vast [1:12] and club of stone
Where I want to be

Secret side of day
Honolulu bayside
Deep in the hills
The magic kills

The gardens of the dead and gone
Meadows of mercy
Fearless wolf and snow white swan
My baby waits for me
Baby waits for me

Veil of the winter past has lifted from the land
Sail off the summer sun, it's fallen on the sand
Morning of the future coming close at hand
Rapid and intrepidly as other worlds whirl in


Vela Velox

[rev. Aug. 13, 2023]

Vela velox
It's the speed of the stars that shocks me
The whole universe, it softly rocks me
In its own lovely way

Buyer beware
The moss upon her marble stair
I don't care if it crumbles
See me tumble out of the air

Inopportune time
In opposite way
We stay attracted
Just the way the light's refracted

The nonchalant sea
The sound of the emptiness of sleep
When you keep waking up

Stupid dream
Astral travel in the age of steam
Yes it seems like a great idea
Here in my own little year

Defining the signs
Finding no alignment, we stay connected
Just the way the moon reflected

The churning of space
The turning faces of the sun
Everything comes undone

Vela velox
Vela velox

Velox vela
An apostle with a boxed-in feeler
A tequila worm or a healer peeling out of the blue

A sudden drop
A sudden stop in seconds, you reckon we move
But I've nothing left to prove

Out of the dark
Like a planet moving in an arc
Now you're half in the light

Vela velox
Vela velox


The Archaeologist

[rev. June 11, 2016]

Some come in broken
Some come in pain
Some come unwoken
Some come in vain

The thunderous roar of a baby mouse inside a drain
The visible voice of the wind that sings between the rain

Some go forever
Some go for a week
Some go for never
Some go for a peek

The furious breath of the ear inside the beak
The curious step of the oblivion that you seek

Some call it magic
Some call it fate
Some call it logic
Some call it weight

Lonely Bible of the rival at your gate
The trumpets of Calvary arriving much too late
Arriving much too late
Arriving much too late


Words Are Wasted

Walk with the wind
Talk with the silent dead
Words are wasted in the fog ahead

The speed of the stars
The poppies and graves
They cut them all down to save the Empire's face

La, la, la-la-la

Gone with the mind
Gone with the revolution
Gone with the revolving fascination

The eyes of black moon
The kings and the queens
They throw 'em all up where the Empire has been

Don't speak of the past
Don't break apart from me
Words are all wasted deep in the heart of me

The battles we lost
The wars that we won
The peace that will be when desire is done


PledgeMusic Exclusive Bonus Tracks

Another Day

I crash-landed on this red desert planet
Two thousand scorching, burning days and nights wandering in my hallucination and deliria

I invented a horde of thirsty companions, who variously staggered and stumbled
Under that merciless, changeless, crimson, sun-studded sky and cruel stars scoffed at our meagre efforts
For moisture we sucked each other's blood, clotted, rotted, corpuscular essence oozed
From suppurating open wounds at our wrists, where we did graze most hideously

The most real of my imagineers was a young child of indeterminate sex
Who suckled hungrily from my veins, draining my own reality to feed its phantom flesh
However, after its feeding, the vampire child would become remorseful, apologetic
And cling to my back, kissing me on my neck with its bloody little lips
And saying, sweetly, encouragements like, "Only another day, only another day"

Another of my friends I called Niamh
A pale conjectured thing of little substance
A frightful, haunted, blistered woman
She spoke in whispers in some language I could not possibly know
And yet her mutterings were made lucid in my mind
And I understood this gibberish like a mixture of Gaelic, of Mandarin and Aztec Indian

She drooled and raved and disappeared and berated me for creating her
But she wished greatly to be released and her spirit longed for extinguishment
She lay down and tried to die but my little sexless urchin would at once leap from my back and prod her back to life
With its little talons and small sharp yellow canines that savaged Niamh's white thin arms, severely

Of course mirages tormented us, hallacies [3:25] loomed, calls of crystalline aquanova [3:29]
But when we arrived and stooped to drink the water we'd withdrawl
And we would drink deeply of dust

Once we thought we saw a caravan ??? [3:39] drift serenely ahead
Replete with princes upon camels and moveable feasts and the like
But now I realize that, too, was just another fantasy
That I was alone, I was utterly alone, I was less than alone
No one had ever never been so completely alone
And still my pack of phantoms followed me begging for my blood

I dreampt up a pantheon of horrid gods for more holy abuse
And they gazed down disdainful at me, a mere mortal man and my gang of ghosts
And I suffered from their neglect
Because with one blink they could have mitigated my circumstances righteously
And set me down in some cool Scandinavian glade, wandering to the lake with my daughters
On a soft summer evening for a swim in the refreshing grey water

Vultures circled above, but I had nothing for their beaks and claws
Which were probably more conjecture, mere conjecture anyway

One day a screaming bird found and attacked my urchin
And I was amazed to see these two locked in an embrace of savagery
The urchin pulled off the wings and tried to sew them onto my back so we could fly
But all it succeeded in doing was ravaging my sunburnt shoulders
And the wings dragged uselessly behind, inoperable
The feathers falling out, one by one, like Hansel and Gretel's trail through the forest
We left feathers to show where we had passed

By this method I realized we were tramping in circles, but still the child goaded me on
Another day, just another day
Another night, or maybe not even that

Another day, just another day
Another night, or maybe not even that

And then my heart broke with sorrow, and my clothes fell away, and my flesh skin fell away
And then there was only my spirit, still marching under the viridian hell sky
Burnt, dried out, useless, pitiful
Another day, just another day
Another mile, just another mile
Another life, just another life



[rev. Jan. 14, 2019]

(No real lyrics, just some odd dialog interspersed with the music in a couple places.)

[female voice]
...they can find some way to rapidly change the planet.
Throughout the forest beyond the greenhouse...
Life itself will have to be transformed.
Line the main hatch to make the desert blue, to make it more like home.
...a department which scientists call ??? [2:49]

[female voice]
The final day of ??? [3:59] is much better before
And it seems that one science fiction daydream in particular might have given us a glimpse of the shape of things to come.

[male voice]
What's going to happen is that we will kill the raja [4:12]
Like a family...
I suspect we will be tolerant [4:15]...
??? [4:16-4:23]
I've got pictures, about half women and half ??? [4:27]...
??? [4:28-4:31]


2023 Reissue Bonus Tracks

Sir Francis Drake

(Heave, ho
Heave, ho)

(Heave, ho
Heave, ho)

Sir Francis Drake
What a trip
See him wave
Then get caught in a rip

(Heave, ho, heave)

He's in a bar
He's drinkin' whiskey
He goes home
Feelin' frisky

(Heave, ho, heave)

He's always happy
But he's never right
He sleeps all day
And he sails all night

(Heave, ho, heave, ho)

Hanging back
On unseen feet
He pursues
Imperial fleet

(Heave, ho, heave)

He does his show
He takes a bow
Under the stars
When the weather will allow

(Heave, ho, heave)

Under the stars
Under the sun
He brings it home
For everyone

(Heave, ho, heave)

Just like Jesus
He returns
Disregards the cold
And ignoring the burns

(Heave, ho, heave)

Hoist the sail
Sing his song
All the children
Gotta sing along

(Heave, ho)

Weigh the anchor
Shiver my timber
Sir Francis Drake
Is slim and limber

(Heave, ho, heave)

Walk the plank
Let me be frank
This is where
The old boy sank

(Heave, ho, heave)

This is where
This is where
The old boy sank

(Heave, ho)


Red Star

Red star smokin' in the sky
They're gonna burn away all your life
Red star smoulder
Red star itch
Red star jacked up
Red star glitch

You're gonna regret it
You'll never forget it

There was a city in a valley
Standing there sucking on a lolly
You were a girl that lived upstairs
Standing there with all your graces and airs

You're gonna regret it
You'll never forget it

Red star
Red star

The way your eyes roll 'round and 'round
When the days stroll in, comin' down

You're gonna regret it
You'll never forget it
You're gonna regret it

Wound up sore, I wanted more
Ingenue, I wanted you

Red star flare everywhere
See black inside the crack
City white burning bright

Red star shimmer
Red star die
Gonna burn away your eye

Red star stagger
Red star fall
Now I cannot see it at all

You're gonna regret it
You'll never forget it