1. Over My Back

From the recording The Dwindling Road

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Inspired by one of my favorite paintings, Munch's, The Scream.


Over my back, a shape in black
In no hurry but still gaining ground.
This road I’m on is almost gone
And my persecutor’s step resounds.
Is it the preacher with his sermons on the fire?
Is in the innocent I left to razor wire?
Is it the mistress who I loved beyond the pale?
Is it some scapegoat who I served up to the trail?

Over my back, why not attack?
Why keep me hangin’ from deliverance?
If I’ve brought blight, made wrong of right,
Is it too late to offer recompense?
I started out upon the narrow and the straight
But the world wants you with your head upon the plate.
I tried to steer away from silver-tongued deceits
But there’s no passing till you falsify and cheat.

Over my back, hooded in black
Silhouetted by a blood-red sky.
Where have I failed? Who have I nailed?
Why is it silent to my alibis?
If life’s a game, why, it was crooked from the start
Is it then wicked to upset the apple cart?
It’s true I never prayed to gods who would not speak
Nor did I stray where buzzards prey upon the weak.

Upon its back, a heavy sack,
Is it a weapon or a cross to bear?
To make a stand or lend a hand?
Either way I know I won’t be spared.
Is it the bag lady I gave the very least?
Is it the kid who starved while I was at the feast?
Is it the demon I was sure could never be?
Is it some savior who I hung in effigy?

Over my back, the thunder cracks,
I’m on the brink of an uncertain fate.
Whether to light or endless night
Why does this persecution not abate?
Is it for coveting the spoils of this earth?
Is it for venting would I should have been in mirth?
Is it the sentence for my vanity and sloth?
Seems I’m about to know the vengeance of the moth.