Cento for Neil Peart

Imagine a time when it all began;
I’m young enough to remember the future.
Somewhere out of a memory–

Well I was only a kid, cruising around in a trance,
In a world where I feel so small,
A world of indifference;
I felt the gloom of empty rooms
Closed for my protection.

You call me, you call me…

I hear your passionate music,
Read the words that touch my heart;
There’s something here that’s as strong as life;
Sensibility, armed with sense and liberty —
More things than are dreamed about
In the mass production zone.

I hear, hear the wordless voices:
You can almost see the circuits blowing,
Emotional feedback on a timeless wavelength.
Sound and fury drowns my heart;
Mystic rhythms capture my thoughts, carry them away:
Art as expression, not as market campaign.
The underlying theme:
Love responds to imagination,
Dreams tranport desires,
Come explore your dreams’ creation.

Signal transmitted, message received:
It’s my turn to drive
Anywhere — anywhere but here.

I’ve traveled now for many miles;
Days connect like boxcars in a train,
Illusions are painfully shattered.
I don’t understand all these conditions,
Too tender hearts upon our sleeves;
Every soul a battlefield.
Stratospheric traces of our transitory flight
Show me beauty but there is no peace.
When I think about all I have seen
With all the things I can’t explain
I feel the way you would —
Like a shipwrecked mariner adrift on an unknown sea.

Sometimes I fly into the night.
As the red tide kisses the shore,
I can feel your presence;
It’s a smile on the edge of sadness.
Though it’s just a memory, some memories last forever

I wish that I could live it all again.

As the years went by, we drifted apart.
Too many hands on my time.
If I could only reach that dial inside;
The hours tick away, tick away;
The writer stares, with glassy eyes.

One night we are bathed in light:

When I heard that you were gone,
Washed away like footprints in the rain —
Spontaneous emotion
Changes how the world appears;
Reality withdraws
Like a million little doorways.

The night is turning thin;
You can hear the buildings cry.
With love in the land of the living,

I feel your presence —

No hero in your tragedy,
Just another dreamer who was going too far;
The bridge of death was crossed.
A wave toward the clearing sky;
The water takes you home;
There’s nothing to stop you now —

Oh sweet miracle of life,
It’s a far cry from the way we thought we’d share it:
A struggle to exist, to resist
We each pay a fabulous price;
It slips between your hands like water.
The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect;
But even love must be limited by time.
We can only bow to the here and now.
Life is just a candle, and a dream
Let us not go gently —

I remember—

The time is now again.
Read the words that touch my heart —
Freeze this moment a little bit longer —

Beneath the deep white silence,
Like a teardrop in the ocean
Suddenly —
you were gone.

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