elliott wilshier

elliott wilshier


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next of kin

Written By: elliott wilshier

on the top of my piano
and in my mind’s eye also
there’s a picture of my grandma when
she was my age
she was never my age

she looked that way the day she died
she looked that way when my mother first cried
she looked that way the day she was born

beneath the pictures in the loungeroom
and in ‘60s’ costume
there’s a picture of my mother when
she met my dad
before she even knew she had...

there was a smile on her face, a glint in her eye
a hope that no lens would dare falsify
pride like no other i’ve ever known

here comes a man with a gun in his hand
but all he shoots is time
built so it can shoot anyone’s clan
suspending them in mime
children see faces almost their own
hear stories of lives ‘past tense’
but they’re just as tense now as they grow up alone
maybe one day it all makes sense

and when i’m dark and lonely
and in my mind’s eye only
there’s a picture of my sister as
she’d be at play
had she even lived but one day

she’d have had her own room, she’d have played her own game
she’d even have her very own name
she’d be taking photos of her own

hewers of wood

Written By: elliott wilshier

50 of us
straight to work, no fuss
another eight hours of life to shun
nine o’clock and we’ve begun

schedule to keep
but half of the time we’re half a sleep
director’s start to holler
man and machine and dollar

voices sounding husky
cigarettes and coffee
monday through to friday
down our virtual highway

chatter to distraction
unpleasant reaction
keep thinking of the laughter
and the ‘happy ever after’...

down below, in the boiler room
i’ve a small surprise in store
safe and sound in the boiler room
a gift to settle up the score

a recipe i cooked-up alone
a little remedy
internet ingredients, cooked-up alone
and very soon we’ll all be free

time moves in reverse
we work ourselves into a hearse
no matter how long you spend on the run
you never seem to get anything done

we’d forgive you for thinking it’s comedy
but late at night it’s a tragedy
i was once in love, i’ve been thinking of late
(mind you, that could have been something i ate)

months, years, days, weeks
everyone’s up respective creeks
let these actors out of their cage
out of the frying pan into old age

in a race we’ve lost, we try to win
pull and push through thick and thin
scratch and claw and kick and bite
praying one day it'll all turn out right

yes - the future spoke my name
endless peace, unbridled joy
in a dream it spoke my name
inspiring my secret toy

won’t be long now, say your farewells
kiss goodbye your roll of red tape
no turning back now, say your farewells
and join me on this great escape...

take care

Written By: elliott wilshier

when we were young they’d say “take care”
take care on the swing and take care of your bear
take care of your brother and of your toys
take care when you play with the other girls and boys

when you’re at home, when you’re at school
crossing a road, swimming the pool
we love you, but we may not always be there...

wasn’t always fun, didn’t always seem fair
all the same we learned to ‘take care’

then children grow
and seasons turn
dreamers awake
and bridges burn
there’s no more time to play
there’s tax and rent to pay
the so-called grown-up world can really
take your care away

the birthdays come
the faces go
addresses change, hearts exchange
to and fro
a house in disarray
the caretaker’s away

and then, all of a sudden, you walked in that day
who’d have thought that you’d have been the one to stay...

now i see as i look into your eyes
no matter how full the moon the sun will always rise
friends, lovers, children, husbands, wives
here and there, we all take care of each other’s lives

we make our homes and build our schools
we cross our roads and swim our pools
i love you, and i’ll try my best to always be there
give and take, our lives we share
so you - of me, and i - of you - will take care
let’s take care...