Make Hay

So long
So long
So long
So long
So long
My old friend died that way:
The accumulation of time
And the passing of days
Though she dug in her heels
Drug her wheels in the clay—
She dotted her eyes;
Crossed the teasels in her leaning dray
Where buzzards make circles
(And tillers make hay):
A dozen in kettle, committee & wake;

Where wind made the dust,
And sin made the snake,
And Mama made us.
But what did I make?

And how was I to know,
Down in our old goldmine
Where you were the king of the radio
And I was the keeper of Hi-Fi,
And I was the queen of the rodeo
(And everybody’d know),
And you were the keeper of the lions;

And we were gored, and abased,
And adored, and erased,
All before our time?
It was before our time.

So how was I to know?

How was I to know,
While the tune hums,
And the hand strikes the gong,
And all of us plough our row,
And the notes run
Out of measure and out of time and landing wrong?

Well the day is long,
But not so long.

My old friend died alone,
Save for the friends
And family she had known
Surrounding her bed,
None of whom in that room
Could with certainty have said,
“I’ve dotted my eyes
Crossed the teasels in my leaning sled,
Where buzzards make circles,
And tillers make hay:
In windrow and bale,
With tedder and rake;
Where Adam made ribs
And cattle make steak.”
(And the rattling nib writes,
“What did I make?”)

And how was I to know
Seeing my seconds pass in a line
If there was a way to reckon love
Except as a symptom of time?

And honey, it stretched out below us,
Humming every note
From the lowest to the highest,
but even at the highest,
We were bored, and amazed,
In accord, in a daze,
All before our time.
It was before our time.

So how was I to know?
How was I to know?
How was I to know?
How was I to know?
While the day slows,
And the sun stares, stalling,
Into the dimming barrel of night,
Where the stars are falling?
I’ve got no say,
But still,
I’m calling for my old friend.

We sow and we reap, again.


Drag City put this track online for the one-year anniversary of Divers. Read more here. Thanks to Paul Zaba for help with the lyrics.