Famous Graves

1. People don’t last too long this way,
Lying hungry for another part.
Up one of us jumped like he wanted to leave,
We pulled him down, then heard him remark,
“Die here and you’ll be famous,” said he,
“Leaving your name to travel well.
And you may pass to heaven then,
Having come by way of hell.
But it’s the ones that leave here living
Who must know much better than I,
If this ground ain’t fit for living
Then it’s surely nowhere to die.”

So it was we hid in gravesites
And at night we‘d hide our heads, ‘til
Finally with eyes shut tight I crawled
Into the sand beneath my bed.
I crawled beneath my bed.

2. Now in the weeks that followed,
I couldn’t count the men I saw.
For everyone who told his story,
Others gave us nothing at all.
Halfway between two worlds were they,
Maybe somewhere further on.
How could we be so different?
I lacked the means to understand.
But daily did I speak to them,
Waiting long for words of reply.
Making sure I talked to all,
Since any one of us could die.

Was then a man responded to me,
Shouting as he said,
“I’ve been waking up angry for so long,
Won’t you follow me from my bed?
Follow me from my bed.”

3. I had a dream that woke me,
It was not like all the rest.
Therein the famous men appeared,
I saw them fit for battle dressed.
Of their words and gestures, all were lost
In the midnight, smoke and noise.
I shook my head and argued then,
“Oh, what would you tell me, boys?
If you’d only change the map tonight
Or lay the future plain,
Help us surround the rising sea
And stop it, push it back again.

“But if you all must fade away, of each
I ask you spare a thread
to stitch the mantle of my soul
And cover me on my bed.
Cover me on my bed.”