Last Thoughts on Bob Dylan

by Al Sharratt

When it hits you, it hits you hard; Like a train in the night It moves beyond sight, Incessantly, relentlessly, Overwhelming every thought, Every waking movement, Every word spoken, Every gift taken, every promise broken Every journey driven, every door opened, Every order given and every gesture, token. But as this storm blows You still don't quite know What has knocked you to your knees, And swept the carpet from under you, Grabbed and twisted and spun you Like the record you were listening to Or the wheel that was carrying you, Like the machine that washed the clothes that cover you, Or the turning of the planet that carries you. And You still can't see who said That thing that you heard When you were lay with that girl, When you wore that coat that you bought Or when you thought that thought. And you still don't know What it meant when the words revealed a picture, And it feels that someone has lifted you from the room And showed you something that you just can't remember When he put you down again. And you still don't know who taught you To see through the man who sold you That magazine you're reading, Or that food that you're eating, Or the drum that's a-beating. But you know that you've changed And you can't quite think how But you know you've been different from how you are now, 'Cause you can see through people Who walk the walk And talk the talk, Who bring people to their knees Just to help them succeed, And use others like a ladder To help them get higher Up the mountain of liars, But You see through them like glass, And you know that they're fast 'Cause every day they wear a different mask That tells a different story And buys a different car So that they can go far With their pretty little chics But it's makin' you sick It's makin' you feel like You're the one With no race to be won, And you say to yourself 'Why can't they see That what they're doin' ain't right, That what they're sayin' ain't real' And you'd do anything just to feel That they still know when to kneel In the presence of the one who can heal All their pains and their ills. And you know that there's hope For these people in their toy box homes 'Cause before it hit you You spoke with the same tones. But no longer, No more do you believe in fate Anymore than in a politician’s aches, Or in the art in the Tate Or in the evolving turned innate, 'Cause you've been shown the difference Between a man who writes and a man who rights, Between the adman's plight and the children who fight, Between the idols who lead and those who heed, Between the poor man's needs and the murderer freed. And you've been swept by the tide of reason On to a beach where no drink can lift you beyond Any other man, woman or unholy bond, Where one person's face is the same as another's, And two different men can live as brothers, Even if they have different clothes or skin, Tongues or kin, fat or thin, cleaner or King. And in this place that you're in There are no sins, Except the sins of deception and rejection, Cowardice and prejudice, Seduction and destruction, For the heights that you’ve reached Are only seen by a few, Like the peak of a mountain Or the sweet morning dew And it seems that you have been chosen To walk a better future, And keep meagre the work of the preacher, ‘Cause you recognise the ways of the villain, And you've walked with Bob Dylan. (Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie by Bob Dylan)

Reproduced with permission.


Expecting Rain