Entre Las Americas (2012)

Third International


Inspired by The Stairs of Separation, (on Ellis Island in New York harbor); the place where families were sometimes split up forever after their entry into the United States was processed.



On the steps of this great hall  

Families they were torn


For reasons that were known to few

I would lose sight of you

And I’d wonder

And in due, time, you, find

We have been, blind, to things so simple

You say of course, but no remorse

These are our shores, it’s elemental


I’ve laboured these past fifteen years

Swallowed pride and drowned my tears

A mad  dance

I’ve sailed across the cruel sea

 Left all that was dear to me

For this chance

Now you ask me to explain

 My purpose, what I hope to gain

It’s senseless

Treat me like a criminal

Charged with heinous capital


It’s what you call rational

But I stand tall

For this is my land

Now it’s been done

This welcome

It’s the sad song

Of Ellis Island


These are the powers now breaking the dawn

These are the houses that keep you warm

These are the dreams you once had in your sleep

These are fine raiments you get to keep

When you leave Ellis Island


Third International


A comment on the way in which we infuse certain people with unwarranted powers. Our belief in mediaspeak gets questioned.




From Speaker’s Corner

To New York’s Washington Square


Everybody everywhere

Got solutions to it all

Me I’m mystified

How did we get so smart this day?
How did we realize?


It was the blue collar boys

From the local conservatory

Making medicine

With a minor celebrity

Talking up a storm

As they paint it white and black

Genesis reborn

If they could only turn the clock back

And Baba, he says

“Come with me”

Do what I do

See what I see


Don’t confuse me with the evidence

Or bore me with the facts

I got ‘em on the back foot

And I’m leading the attack

You might look like an elephant

I might look like a sheep

But they’re stealing from the working man

And subjugate the weak

And that’s you

That’s me


Now I feel like I’m a child

Who’ll never grow up

I feel my hope is distended

I think I’m stuck

I’m feeling lightweight and pointless

Wishful and guiless

Guilty with the truth

It’s a holiday I’ve been looking for

Since I’ve been watching you

Keep feeding me placebos

Tell me it’s a panacea

It’s like watching last night’s TV

The morning after just get me outta here


And Baba he cries

Come with me

Do what I do  See what I see

Baba he cries

“Close your eyes”

It ain’t a lie

If everybody lies

Baba he croons

His schadenfreude

Scripted lines in celluloid

Baba he says

“The only One”

Take him with you

He is my Son

Third International


We are hurtling through space on a little blue rock. Out of control. Your control, at least. It's OK.


                 Living on the Sun


Dark is the day, where the dream shadows play

Jambalaya’s day is done

And all that was hope, now it swings from a rope

The passing tide was fun

Now, how did it happen ?

We had the action, we had it won

Day, day after day

There in your face, he stared and he shone

Now, now here we are boy

Alive in the stars

Here on the sun


Standing here parched, ‘neath the bridge rainbow’s arch

The glory that was the West

You turn to your neighbor, and say “Who's this saviour?"

Who lives in infinite jest

But, it’s not the same

We’ve not seen rain these last fourteen years

Now, at this late hour

See desert flowers bloom in your tears

Now , here we are boy

Alive in the stars

Here on the sun                                                     

Third International


In the 1500s the Conquistadors landed on the northern coast of South America, exporting Catholicism and fealty to Queen Isabella. In exchange, indigents gave up their gold, silver and freedom, and got a centuries old tradition of military dictators. Caudillos.


                                                                   CAUDILLO                                          Jan 2011


It was out of the dawn light they sailed

Clutching sticks of fire they came

From Isabella’s lands

With words from the book of their good

On the beach at Cartagena we stood

And kissed their hands

And the night when the angels they came and they took us away

And the wax promises that they made to us on that day

Hooked on the lines

And the stories and rhymes

We were told


We had Caudillo

We had the sun


In the barrios, on the plains

In the temples grand and the jails

Lies heritage and hope

Confront this immaculate one

And I refuse to be gone

Or be controlled

As the Nazca lines in the hills have shown us

The mysteries of our time unfolds

Righteous now in their might

They own us


We have Caudillo

We have the sun


Now they have come for your sons and your daughters

The future is ours we are told in this dream

Darkened to black are the Amazon waters

They slash and they burn in the forests of green

But this day that you bring with your son

The white man

We lock away deep inside


Into the light of this brightening new life

We’ve been shown


We have Caudillo

Third International


Ageing mule looks back on borderland life



It rolls down the jetway and hits on the run

I smell your diesel burned in the sun

Lost in a state of mired indecision

The faintest of hope keeps me carrying on

Kicked out of time, chased wild euphoria

Distant drums played and in the mirror we danced

The dance of the hours, the last action hero

He’s withered and grey, now he’s lost his romance

And he takes it slow

Way down low

You can call it Mexico


The cinco de mayo

In Nuevo Laredo

Down on the Rio Grande

Well the DEA lost their way

Down on the Borderland

Down in Mexico

If I get low

You can find me way down

In the ground


Truth and the stranger

Oil and the ice

I’ll catch you later

I won’t think twice

The mercy of shamans on the redeye tonight

Darkness vacated and the morning is bright

Preachers and outlaws and sinners and saints

All got the message and even those who ain’t

All make the journey as each one must

To the land of the spirits , and the diesel and the dust

Down in Mexico

Third International


An early morning walk from the Haight through the Tenderloin, touching the street people as they pass by.


Sunday Morning in the Mission


Cruisin’ out of Haight Street

A night in Buena Vista park

The eastern glimmer

Of the morning she comes

The sky was not quite dark

And then a voice form the corner she poses

“Are you looking for a friend?”

This could be a child, God knows this

Could be the end

And to the beat of your heart as you listen

To the sound of your soul as it sighs

Sunday Morning in the Mission

And you’re glad you’re alive


Now the diligence

Of you missionaries

You take this uphill road

But in eloquent objection

I share my heavy load

‘Cos dreams are done

And lives are lost

And the future is etched in this stone

And now the hopes and wishes all run dry

You find you’re not alone

And to the beat of your heart you will listen

To the sound of your soul as it sighs

Sunday Morning in the Mission

And you’re glad to be alive


Third International


Just gotta love 'em. Get wrapped up in 'em. Live for 'em.    .........and for get about what's real.



You see it, in a store window

You see it, in your mind’s eyes

You see it, at a friend’s house

You want it, you don’t know why


You see it, over and over

You see it, in magazines

You don’t know which way the wind blows

You don’t know why you dream


And so the paradoxic conclusion to your ambition

To gather more profusion

You will add to your collection

And I’ll look up to you

And maybe wish I’d been like you

‘Cos at the end of the day

You’re the king of the hill

What’ll I say?

Maybe I will


The one with the most toys wins


How do I

Come to know you?

How do I

Come to see?


Type your face value

Maybe you are just like me

Well I don’t know

I don’t know nothin’

I just feel


Why should you even listen?

You got the world at your feet

Third International


Originally titled 'THe Music at the Edge of the World", that mouthful got pared down to "The Edge". It's about a place in the highlands of Costa Rica, above the clouds, where time stops and in a moment you can be propelled outward, into the stars. Lost in the firmament.


                                                                                 THE EDGE                                   


Down in the hills south of here

There passes there a road some ride, some fear

“Cerro Del Muerte” there she stands

You ride it down through distant lands

Cartago, Three Kings

And into the sky, so high, it makes you sing

There you go, say hello, to San Isidro

El General es Jesus Cristo!




Never mind to look behind tonight

That is where the devils play, alright

The wildcat on the loose she fears to prowl

The howler monkeys, they don’t howl

And the Fer-De-Lance just sits and hides and waits

Me? I’m looking on down on the clouds amazed

In stardust powdered silence gaze

On heaven’s gate


And you hear the music

You listen to the music

You become the music at the edge of the world


Tomorrow, the the cool of the mist

Shatters as the morning sun burns its bliss

And kisses kiss prehistory once more

And the hills they shake and slide are torn

Carried down by the Portalon

Throw in my heart and watch drown for evermore


Bury me, bury me, bury me there one day

Toss my soul, throw it away

I’ll be your eyes, I will be one

I’ll keep watch, I’ll watch the sun

And from this place I’ll stand and face

The truth that when this life is done


You will hear the music

Listen to the music

You become the music at the edge of the world