(from the opera Gormenghast; score by Irmin Schmidt, libretto by Duncan Fallowell)


At evening they drift
To a rainbow party
Down by the river shady and wide,

The river that flows
In a serpentine tango
Past blue-headed hills to the green satin tide.

Yellow eyes glow
Under lids indigo;
Shoulders are spangled with meteor dust;

Quips may be heard
Studded with words
Like ‘flamingo’, ‘synthetic’, ‘abhor’ and ‘entrust’.

Lonely . . . or laughing like a doubloon
With a naughty clown –
Everything mixes but not into grey.

The black spotted sun
Sinks like a bun,
Splashing the sky with a leopardskin light:

A question mark drips
From its tangerine lips
But is crushed by the bosom of burgeoning night.

Mandolins croon
To the violet moon.
Thin-wristed lovers share baskets of fruits;

Between fingers and thumbs
Red swollen plumbs
Are breaking like blisters all down their new suits.

Fire . . . fireworks festoon;
The night passes too soon,
With witchery, rapture, desire and dismay.

Then on the horizons
The doctors in phaetons
Assemble at daybreak to take them away.




(from the album Impossible Holidays; music by Irmin Schmidt, lyrics by Duncan Fallowell)



Life is tough
Muscles ache
Had enough
I want a break
Come with me
And all the people go si, si, si, si, si, si, si.

Love is tough
Emotions ache
Had enough
I want a break
Fly afar
And all the people go ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya, ya.

Horizons disappear
We’re in the clear
I’ll scratch your back
In Sarawak

The Grand
In Samarkand
Oh God, it’s Monday!
A fun day!
With tea
On Wai-ki-ki . . .




(from One Hot Summer In St Petersburg; music invited)

I am a Soviet queen
From behind the Iron Curtain.
Life is pretty obscene
But of one thing I am certain –
When you’re sick of revolution and find Lenin a bore
You can strut your polyester near Gostiny Dvor
And if you want a heavy hooey that is red and erect
Hang around at midnight on the Nevsky Prospekt!

Now I’m a liberated queen
From the Russian Republic.
Life’s still pretty obscene
And it’s making me sick!
Demo-crassy is here! Communism – what was it?
The Iron Curtain’s gone and now we’re in an Iron Closet!
But if you want a heavy hooey that is red and erect
Hang around at midnight
Or midday
Or tea-time
Any time you like
Anything you want
On the Nevsky Prospekt!!!!!!