NAVIGATORS (©Words and music by Paul F. Cowlan)

Another gift of the night. Where do these whispers come from?

On the last night of November I had a dream,
I don’t know from where.
I was with this band, playing in some bar room,
and a lot of my good friends were there.
I swung the guitar back behind me,
the band stopped playing, I was by myself;
and the crowd were clapping their hands and singing,
‘Out on the stony road to somewhere else.’


It made me think of the old maps, red and blue and gold,
with dragons in the deserts, and monsters in the sea, and stories to be told;
and I could not help but wonder, “What would the artists say
if they could see the world today?”

It made me think of Marco Polo, it made me think of Mandeville,
and how even they couldn’t always say what lay beyond the hill;
but now they’ve filled in all the spaces and there’s nowhere left to hide,
so you have to take your journey from inside.

Under the heel of Progress the moon will be the next to go
to the banks and the mines and the military, while the premiums are low;
and the international companies will all want to have their share
of the silver, virgin goddess of the air.

Do you believe in miracles? Do you believe in anything at all?
Or is it only Death makes you catch your breath? Is your soul up against the wall?
Through rush and the smoke and the benzine does a dream or two get through,
Or is all this just so much talk to you?

Desert sands and treasure islands, navigation charts
and trial and error calculations based on guesswork and surmise.
Take your bearings from the sky, or birds in autumn flying high,
a river running to the valley, sunset and sunrise.


Get back to the old maps, the red and the blue and the gold maps,

and remember that it’s really up to you to paint the new maps red and gold and blue.