Peter Hammill

Palinurus (Castaway)

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Oh, I'm looking for a white note
to consolidate the key,
like the pilot of a night boat
in a strange, uncharted sea: Palinurus,
as unsure as he can be of his direction...
hell, this section's all Greek to me.
There's so much I had to mention
that seems to slip my mind;
still, I swear that my intentions
never left my hopes behind
like the captain who's been trapped
in the blind eye of the whirlwind...
so he turns in search of the divine.

I've got no answers either,
I've got some stoties on lucky days...
the sea-lanes are crowded with people like us:

From soprano through to basso
my voice so strains to tell,
but I'm lost in the Sargasso
of ideas that didn't gel by a fraction,
so the action is dispelled.
Me, I've got dull reactions, protraction of doubt as well,
so it's no more abide with me,
over the side with me...
well, I know that damn well...

Oh, this hump-back of emotion,
it all seems to go so fast:
one moment prince of the ocean
and the next upon the raft.

Writer/s: Peter Hammill

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