GOING FOR THE GOLD    (©Words and music by Paul F. Cowlan)

Any alchemist will recognize what this is about. Yes, it is autobiographical.


Wingbeats at the window in the midnight sky;
black feathers and a beak of gold, emerald eye.
Hear the screech and the fluster, like a hail of stones.
Razor’s edge and needle claws, skin and bones.

Are you ready for the open sky?
Are you ready for the next high tide?
The Queen of Sheba, Babylon and Prester John.


Draw back to the fireside. Bolt the door.
Another life, another sky, but you’ve heard that voice before.
Full of frozen hunger, loneliness and greed;
everything you’ve ever feared. Everything you need.

Are you ready for the storm at sea?
Are you ready for the golden key?
The raven and the burning wheel, and a blade of steel.


And it’s growing louder as the moments pass,
Till there’s a sudden scream, and tearing silk, and a spray of broken glass.
A dark wind beats about you, claws fly at your face;
but as you fall to your knees and taste the blood it turns to an embrace.

Are you ready for the peacock’s tail?
Are you ready for the Holy Grail?
Wind and water earth and flame, and a stranger’s name.


When you feed the furnace with a blaze of stars,
watch the colours changing from Saturn into Mars.
The sun and moon are dancing as the ash grows cold,
and you know it’s true at last when you are going for the gold.

Are you ready for the perfect fire?
Are you ready for your heart’s desire?.
Living dreams and a broken mould.
Are you ready for the gold?