MY EGYPTIAN COUCH

A tremendous thanks to the great Al Stewart, who was, and continues to be, monumentally influential in teaching me about (a). the size and scope of history, and (b). the knack of combining it with personal experience to touch others (especially the young) with an appreciation and curiosity for how our forebears carried us here, even if they wouldn't be proud of what we've become in 2018...

Now here's a book full of photographs
that my ancestors made some generations ago.
They're wearing the lastest clothes in a nautical way;
the Suez Canal, close behind, is frozen in time.
The deck crews stare out of a mime,
and they seem to be considering me
here on my Egyptian couch.

O the life on Edwardian steamships
is measured and slow, while down below
there are fires that shudder and clang and thunder,
and sweat-caked in smoke, there are cauldrons to stoke
to send the ship on her way, tasting the salt and the spray,
and a century later, I scan the equator
from my Egyptian couch.

And the news that every day brings
contains the strangest of things,
but with confident smiles, my forebears decline
to gaze into the wings.

And so they look from the photographs,
and they're curious now, wondering how we turned out...
Well, let's say - like the Chinese adage,
we're living our lives... in interesting times.

LISTEN