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

There are no politics in this, simply bewildered questions.


There must be so much hate screwed up behind that face
for you to fix a time and place to blow yourself away.
Do you have the time to answer questions from a shadow-dancer
who could have been your victim; another time, another place?

What drives you to the edge to set the detonator?
Who picked you for the privilege? Just when did you decide?
Did you dream of angels calling? Faces bleeding? Children falling?
When you hear the voice of God does he always speak in hate?

Who do you hope to touch? It won’t change so very much.
Simply tighten all the knots and slam some open doors.
When the shock and grief have faded, and the damage has been calculated,
all the lives and loves you hated continue as before.

Who the hell and why the hell? People don’t remember very well.
They simply dig their heels in and refuse to compromise.
‘A blow for freedom’ or ‘a crime’. Now the high-explosive’s primed,
check your watch and note the time. You won’t be on your own.

Step into a crowded store. Soon all the world will know.
The busier the better for the news.
Does it matter who you kill? They could be friend or foe.
But each of us has just one life to lose.


Why was there so much hate screwed up behind one human face
that it made you pick a time and place to blow the world away?
Can’t steal what they won’t give you, so pull the pin and take them with you,
innocent and guilty, if you have a score to pay.