The Empire Strikes Back

from Year of The Bird (Volume 2) by Pale Bird



Why are you whispering? What’s there to whisper about?
The forecast says the rivers are rushing, they want to turn the Windrush around
Well fuck those people, fight those people, forget those people, frighten those people
But don’t apologise never apologise for those people

I passed by an antique shop in Kyoto in Japan
When I came across an old bus sign from the town where my youth unfurled
Like a familiar flag caught up in a light breeze
Clinging to the pole, showing limited flashes of colour
Dreaming about leaving and turning into a man
And now this bus had followed me half way around the world

Hadley and Leegomery, Dawley and Sutton Hill
Must have seemed exotic to these antique-brokers
From Kyoto and Kanazawa, Tokyo and Osaka
Hukei and Hiroshima, Takamatsu and Fukuoka

These are places, truth be told, where I may never return
The old familiar feelings of fear and death are overpowering
Twenty years of absence haven’t made the heart grow fonder
The twisted root remains even as the tree is flowering

Reminding me of who I am
(I don’t want to be told about who I am)
I can make up my mind about who I am
And if not, I’d rather not know
If I look too hard I see a future free of fantasy
A different instability
And that’s when it’s time to go

Why are you whispering?
I think I told you before
The light at the end of the tunnel looks like a gaping maw


from Year of The Bird (Volume 2), released July 1, 2019


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Pale Bird Austwick, UK

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