Pete Atkin sings

by Clive James and Pete Atkin,
from The Lakeside Sessions, Vol.1

[Much more at]


The perfect moon was huge above the sea
The surf was easy even on the reef
We were the lucky three
Who slid in our canoe
Through the flowers on the water
And tried to read the signals in the sky

We travelled with our necklaces of shell
The moon was waning through the nights and days
And how we dreamed of home!
But we couldn't find the island
Where you trade the shells for feathers
We fainted in the sun's reflected blaze

With cracking lips I turned to tell my friends
The time had come for all of us to die
“She's out a whole degree”
I told them as I floated
Checking readouts at my shoulder
“Re-enter at this angle and we'll fry”

The go for override came up from earth
We took control and we flew her with our hands
And how we dreamed of home!
We saw the south Pacific
As we fought to get her zeroed
Before the heat shield started hitting air

We came home in a roaring purple flame
And gave the mission back to the machines
We were the lucky three
The parachutes deployed
We were rocking like a cradle
As we drifted down in silence to the sea