chapter two – the old man

the old man welcomes you aboard the boat.
you look left; you look right; you look south; you look north.
you see scallywags, scoundrels, just a tad down, grills missing teeth;
legs missing feet walk like a skewed beat.

you get to thinking that maybe it's not the right move.
your circumstances at home, maybe they'll improve.
maybe you'll pick up a job, get a spouse,
have three kids and a dog, live in a country house, but no:

but there's no way that i can go back.
the sea is blue and the past is black.
if i could see the future i would let you know,
but time will say nothing but i told you so.


his face is twisted like the trunk of a tree
grown on the side of a cliff, all its roots clinging to scree.
well there's a map and a plan and a distant land across a deep sea.
the goal of the company

is to find a machine; you don't quite comprehend.
he says the fate of the world is completely in your hands.
he says he'll train you to do what heroes do.
you do a double-take and balk at this loose old screw.

you just check right out as he wraps up his speech.
exit the harbor, you look back at that sliver of beach.
you held those rocks in your hand as a kid on the shore long before,
but the past is no more, can you feel me now?

you get to thinking that maybe there's nothing left to lose.
the old man's crazy, but then again, he's paid his dues.
well you can tell he's lived more life than you have,
and as he goes below decks, you lose sight of the land. alone:

but there's no way that i can go back.
the sea is blue and the past is black.
if i could see the future i would let you know,
but time will say nothing but i told you so.