This is sheet music for a lament I wrote at the Songwrite conference in 2018. The first is the original version, more suitable for a soloist leading a time of reflection:


This second one is the same, but transposed down two tones to something more suited to congregational singing.

Lament (lower setting)

I'd like to say it started innocently enough, but that would be a complete and utter lie. We had convinced ourselves that we were working for art, or for science or religion, but we knew that what was slowly taking shape in Mike's shed could not possibly end in anything but disaster.

Amado rinyin ma se goti
Ilune ufa ranyi
Irevahazhe ongadu ranyi, irekaje uhoq ranyi
se gone mak se goti
iregafe ginyin uteta ifofi reta rinyin
Iremeline ushenyaqan rinyin, lamegh melin tinyi ushenyaqan te ginyin
ireguqare inyin te guxu ib ireguqare inyin te gushenyaq
Bala ijahal ranyi tongadu, i tudor, i tulun
bam i su gici ruzha

There was a young man who wore shoes
Who woke up and felt quite confused
He ate a mushroom
and decorated his room
with pages of old NT News

If I had a dime for every girl I’ve met
I’d have a pile of dimes from the floor to my head
But I’d give them all away, I wouldn’t think twice.
Because that many dimes would just get in my way
It would only be about seven dollars anyway
Just getting rid of them all would be well worth the price.

And if I had a dime for every girl on the Earth
I’d have three billion dimes, and the pile would be worth
about 300 million dollars, that’s a lot for man like me.
That much coin would make it hard to draw breath
And at over six tonnes, it would crush me to death
And I’d wonder why I ever took the expression so literally.

But if I had a dime for every girl like her
I’d have just one dime, but I’d still prefer
that dime to any other dime that came my way.
You’d ask me why I like this dime, I’d say it’s a metaphor
Then I’d have to explain it and it wouldn’t work anymore
We’d just look at each other awkwardly, and get on with our day.


Garry with 2 Rs

The Sun seeks his rest

The dancer celebrates life

The mountains look on

Like Saturn, Jupiter’s gaseous surface rotated quickly, with a complete Jovian day taking just under ten Earth hours. Orbiting high above the surface of the planet, it wasn’t helpful or convenient for the Endeavour residents to measure time according to Jupiter days, so the central computer divided sifts into twenty four Earth hours and ran a standardised calendar known in the Jupiter system as Jovian Standard Time.

While in theory a JST day was the same length as an Earth day, relativity would gradually throw the Jovian chronometer out of synchronisation with the Earth Calendar. To compensate, at irregular intervals during Jupiter’s solar orbit (which took twelve Earth years to complete) Endeavour’s chronometer programme would add between six and twelve leap hours, during which scheduled manual tasks were kept to a minimum while staff management programme prepared to restart. It was the closest thing the local workers ever got to a public holiday, which was fine because the nearest beaches were on Io. They were extremely cold and made from sulphur dioxide instead of water, which didn’t do much to encourage family trips to the seaside. People tended to drink a lot instead.

Oil belongs in cars

Cars belong on roads

But oil doesn't belong on the road


Oh sad the song. Oh long and dark the sight.
The serpent wings her way through constant night.
No end and no beginning to her plight,
nor stars to shine. 'Tis only blackest blight
that greets eternal Elu's endless flight

I don't know. It's just a waterfall. Sure, it's majestic, peaceful, life-giving, ancient and amazing. But it's just a waterfall. There are heaps of them around.

Now, a waterfall flowing with TV advertisements. That I'd pay to see.

Before there was time, there was Elu. Before there was earth, fire, water, air or even brehm. Before there were stories or songs, before there were men to sing them. Before even the coming of the Companions, there was Elu.

It is said that Elu is eternal; that She has always been and will always be. This of course, is nonsense. In the Dreamsong, where there is neither time nor space, such words have no meaning. The truth, to whatever extent it can be expressed by those of us who live in the Song of the Companions, is that Elu lies behind us and before us; beyond us and within us. It is Elu, the Great Dragon, who gives light to our world, life to our bodies and brehm to our songs. May the power of the Dragonsong always be honoured. May the Song of the Companions carry us forward. May the brehm of our own songs, as fleeting as they are, carry beyond our own world to echo in the Dreamsong.

And may Elu have mercy on us for the song we bring this day.

It is a remarkable fact of human society that a man may stand in a crowd in a bustling market place and still feel completely alone.

I had arrived at my accommodation at Altaria City some three days earlier. I had spent the time familiarising myself with the area. I knew where to buy food, water and basic supplies. At first every stall looked the same, but soon my eyes began to pick out the idiosyncrasies of each one that allowed me to gradually form a map; the large yellow fabric tent, the bent and abandoned bicycle with the broken mirror. I knew where I was and what I was doing, and yet I was still a complete stranger to these people.

Every day I stood in front of the post office, staring up at the arrivals board, hoping to see news that her ship had arrived. Every morning the ship captains would approach me with brochures advertising safe passage to distant locations and new lives. One offered me space in his cargo hold on a run to the Imperial City.

"That's not going to work," I told him. He frowned at my accent and moved on quickly. And every morning I moved on just as fast; she still hadn't come.

I trudged home past the the security checkpoint. It was best to keep your head down there, even if you had nothing to hide. Last week a noisy traveller had had his tongue cut out for speaking to a squaddie. I slipped meekly past them and headed for the dining room of the off-worlders' embassy.

There once was a man named Timmerick
Who found himself trapped in a limerick
Said Timmy "Oh hell no,"
And he promptly dismantled the prescriptive metric and rhyme that had held his lonely soul captive for too long.
He now runs a charming bed and breakfast for disenfranchised phonotacticians in Brussells.

That daring young man named Timmerick

Orange, faded and tied down.
There could be nothing sadder
than canoes on a trailer
miles from the nearest river

Tied there with such hope
with such glorious aquatic ambition
now faded and gathering dust
Would they even float anymore?

If we took them down

Cut them free

Cast them adrift

Would they be sea-worthy still?
Would they ride the currents
and cut the waves
as they once did
or dreamed of doing?

Or would age and sun
and neglect take their toll?
Splitting fibreglass shells
and dissolving perished leather straps
leaving only the twisted shape
No longer a canoe
Just warped and broken plastic.

Sinking to the bottom.

After a month of practice with clenched butt cheeks, I think I'm finally ready for hot cheese.

It's the night before the Who Can Spend An Hour Sitting On Something Ridiculous Olympics. We've been training for months, massaging, stretching, strengthening and conditioning our rumps for that glorious moment when we will all spend an hour sitting on something ridiculous on the global stage as a message to the world that there is hope for unity after all.

All of us want to win. To be like Arthur Widgewell, who founded the sport in 1983 by spending three weeks sitting on a chocolate covered copy of the constitution of Bolivia. That was before all the safety rules were written, of course. Back then, people spent superhuman amounts of time sitting on on ridiculous things with much wilder abandon.

Water: One part Oxygen to two parts Hydrogen. One of the simplest compounds in the universe and one of the most precious. Without it, life as we know it on this planet would not exist. A fundamental building block of our entire ecology.

The surface of the planet is two thirds ocean. You and I are seventy per cent water. The Earth and us are not so different.

In the seventh circle of Hell, sinners must endure dying for all eternity. People seem to imagine death being a moment and the afterlife being forever.

Believe me; Death is more than this. It's true that death is a part of life. and since life is forever, so too can death be.

People like to imagine a doorway to the other side. It's comforting image. But there is no comfort in the seventh circle. Here, death is a door slammed in your face and locked tight as salvation. You're trapped inside as the house burns around you.

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