I’m going to quote as if randomly from my study book on English and American poetry, heavily underlined in rainbow colours, and mix this with my favourite Doors lines, without making clear who said what. Why? Because my feet are cold. Because I love the fact that I took this book with me to my new home. Because poetry is where you find it.
(I compiled this a while ago, now I can add, sadly: to honour the death of Ray Manzarek.)
((This is a tl;dr work of a fan. My 20 favourite Doors songs can be found here. My door photos can be found everywhere, but especially on Thursdays.))
(((“Tl;dr” means “too long; didn’t read.” Yeah, a bit longish. Yet a trip, and a trap. Get some coffee. Ice-cream. Irish coffee.)))
Words be quick
Words resemble walking sticks
They will grow
Watch them waver so
I’ll always be
Better than a birdman
Before the beginning of years
There came to the making of man
Time, with a gift of tears;
Grief, with a glass that ran;
Pleasure, with pain for leaven;
Summer, with flowers that fell;
Remembrance fallen from heaven,
And madness risen from hell;
Strength without hands to smite;
Love that endures for a breath;
Night, the shadow of light,
And life, the shadow of death.
Successful hills are here to stay
Everything must be this way
Gentle streets where people play
Welcome to the Soft Parade
All our lives we sweat and save
Building for a shallow grave
Must be something else we say
The Soft Parade has now begun
Listen to the engines hum
People out to have some fun
A cobra on my left
Leopard on my right
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
The old get old
And the young get stronger
May take a week
And it may take longer
We’re perched headlong on the edge of boredom
We’re reaching for death on the end of a candle
We’re trying for something
That’s already found us
Beauty is truth, truth beauty
Silver stream, silvery scream,
Thus, though we cannot make our Sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.
I’m getting out of here
Where’re you going?
To the other side of the morning
The busy Sun (and one would guess
By its drunken fiery face no less)
Drinks up the Sea, and when he’s done,
The Moon and Stars drink up the Sun.
A vast radiant beach in a cool jewelled moon
Couples naked race down by its quiet side
And we laugh like soft, mad children
Smug in the woolly cotton brains of infancy
Now they are wedded, she is a good girl
Naked as children out in a meadow
Naked as children, wild as can be
Soon to have offspring, start it all over
Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain
And all the children are insane
Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world (…)
Has really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain
No more money, no more fancy dress
This other Kingdom seems by far the best
until its other jaw reveals incest & loose obedience to a vegetable law
‘O mother, mother, make my bed,
O make it saft and narrow:
My love has died for me to-day,
I’ll die for him to-morrow.’
Let’s reinvent the gods, all the myths of the ages
Celebrate symbols from deep elder forests
[Have you forgotten the lessons of the ancient war]
Give us a creed
A night of Lust
Give us trust in
Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.
The music and voices are all around us
Choose they croon the Ancient Ones
The time has come again
Choose now, they croon beneath the moon
Beside an ancient lake
Enter again the sweet forest
Enter the hot dream come with us
Everything is broken up and dances
There will never be
Another one like you
There will never be
Another one who can
Do the things you do, oh
Will you give another chance?
Will you try, little try?
Please stop and you remember
We were together, anyway, all right
When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
“Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away.”
We used to believe
in the good old days
We still receive
In little ways
The Things of Kindness
& unsporting brow
Forget & allow
Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
Desperately in need of some stranger’s hand
In a desperate land
For transient sorrow, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.
Please believe me
The river told me
Want you to hold me
Licence my roving hands, and let them go,
Behind, before, above, between, below.
Do you know the warm progress under the stars?
Do you know we exist?
Have you forgotten the keys to the Kingdom?
Have you been born yet & are you alive?
Whatever moves, or toils, or grieves, has its appointed sleep.
I see you live on Love Street
There’s this store where the creatures meet
I wonder what they do in there
Summer Sunday and a year
I guess I like it fine, so far
The trumpet of a prophecy! O wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
Morning found us calmly unaware
Noon burn gold into our hair
At night, we swim the laughing sea
When summer’s gone
Where will we be
O great creator of being
grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives
Where are the feasts we were promised
Where is the wine
The New Wine (dying on the vine)
Motel Money Murder Madness
Let’s change the mood from glad to sadness
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean
What have they done to the earth?
What have they done to our fair sister?
Ravaged and plundered and ripped her and bit her
Stuck her with knives in the side of the dawn
And tied her with fences and dragged her down
To the river
Blood in the streets in the town of New Haven
Blood stains the roofs and the palm trees of Venice
Blood in my love in the terrible summer
Bloody red sun of Phantastic L.A.
Blood screams her brain as they chop off her fingers
Blood will be born in the birth of a nation
Blood is the rose of mysterious union
There’s blood in the streets, it’s up to my ankles
Blood in the streets, it’s up to my knee
Blood in the streets in the town of Chicago
Blood on the rise, it’s following me
I follow straight without complaint or grief,
Since if my scent be good, I care not if
It be as short as yours.
It’s getting harder to describe sailors to the underfed.
Peppermint, miniskirts, chocolate candy
Champion sax and a girl named Sandy
There’s only four ways to get unraveled
One is to sleep and the other is travel
One is a bandit up in the hills
One is to love your neighbor ’till
His wife gets home
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Do you know we are being led to slaughters by placid admirals
& that fat slow generals are getting obscene on young blood
Do you know we are ruled by T.V. /…/
Did you know freedom exists in a school book
Did you know madmen are running our prison
No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn
Wow, I’m sick of doubt
Live in the light of certain
I’m sick of dour faces
Staring at me from the T.V.
Tower. I want roses in
my garden bower; dig?
Royal babies, rubies
must now replace aborted
Strangers in the mud
They are waiting to take us into the severed garden
Do you know how pale & wanton thrillful comes death on strange hour unannounced, unplanned for
like a scaring over-friendly guest you’ve brought to bed
Death makes angels of us all & gives us wings
where we had shoulders smooth as raven’s claws
Before I sink
Into the big sleep
I want to hear
I want to hear
The scream of the butterfly
The Child is father of the Man
Shake dreams from your hair
My pretty child, my sweet one
Choose the day and choose the sign of your day
The day’s divinity, first thing you see
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.
(I touched her thigh and death smiled)
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.
Her cunt gripped him
like a warm friendly
“It’s all right.
All your friends are here.”
When can I meet them?
“After you’ve eaten”
I’m not hungry
“O, we meant beaten”
Enter these arms, for since you thought it best
Not to dream all my dream, let’s act the rest.
We need great golden copulations
Love is a sickness full of woes,
All remedies refusing;
A plant that with most cutting grows,
Most barren with best using.
In his heart is a blind desire,
In his eyes foreknowledge of death;
He weaves, and is clothed with derision;
Sows, and he shall not reap;
His life is a watch or a vision
Between a sleep and a sleep.
We live, we die
and death not ends it
This is the strangest life I’ve ever known
And hope felt strong, and life itself not weak.
I love the friends I have gathered together on this thin raft
I will not go
Prefer a Feast of Friends
To the Giant family
Location: Capalbio Scalo
Photo: © signature mmm
James Douglas Morrison: “An American Prayer” in full