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The Inside Track

by Ron Nowlan

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1.
Ansel was riding on a ridge When the late sun hit The small white crosses down below Like candles all aglow There was no time to waste The earth spun fast and would not wait He grabbed the tripod found a spot Tripped the shutter made the shot His parents took him out to see The wild Yosemite He saw in nature God’s own art It struck a chord in his heart He climbed its mountains scaled its walls Heard its thundering waterfalls Lost his sense of time Found peace of mind Catch the cliffs of granite in black and white Shape them with shadow and light Fill the frame with beauty and grace From the world of stone and space Stone and space stone and space In the photographs you might feel Something sacred something real Hear an ancient mother call Echo off cathedral walls There is so much more to see Than just a mountain or a tree There is beauty in the forms And peace within the storms Catch the cliffs of granite in black and white Shape them with shadow and light Fill the frame with beauty and grace From the world of stone and space Stone and space stone and space He showed the valleys and the streams (And) fought to realize a dream That our daughters and our sons Would see the same bright sun Walk in serenity By lakes of tranquility (And) look up from the canyon floor And feel their spirits soar Catch the cliffs of granite in black and white Shape them with shadow and light Fill the frame with beauty and grace From the world of stone and space Stone and space stone and space
2.
It was twenty to one but he took the shot Even though they said he had no heart You could see the blood pumping through his veins As they blared his name He tried getting through got caught in a squeeze He tripped fell to his knees There had to be (a) fire he had to be strong (He) bounced up like there was nothing wrong It was Touched By The Devil in the early go Closing in was Stone Cold Throw In the backstretch he found a groove That’s where he made his move He was kicking up dust the earth shook Everybody stood to get a better look He had found a hole on the inside track He was pulling away from the pack Go Mister Jones Can you hear me you’re not alone Mister Jones I bet everything on you Mister Jones To bring it all, bring it all home He thought of every race he’d run (And) what he brought to every one He saw a winner For all that mattered From an underdog a long shot A straggler an afterthought Coming round the circle Feeling life so full Go Mister Jones Can you hear me you’re not alone Mister Jones I bet everything on you Mister Jones To bring it all, bring it all home
3.
They’re working on my brain To repair the circuits that short and turn me off To clear the conduits they say got blocked By the quake and the aftershocks You lie down and talk ‘Till they hear all they need to know So they can tell you exactly where to go To avoid the undertow They’re gonna find her and take her away And put something in her place So I won’t think so much About her wkiss or her touch They’re working on my brain So I don’t implode when someone says her name Or obsess which drains Me of the energy to stay in the game It’s so much safer today Than McMurphy in the cuckoo’s nest They show you how to meditate and rest And breathe away the ache in your chest They’re gonna find her and take her away And put something in her place They say I will feel more alive But what about the me that won’t survive They’ve charted a course They’re gonna send me to a brand new shore With only blue skies and opening doors I’ll be better than I was before They’re working on my brain To repair the circuits that short and turn me off To clear the conduits they say got blocked By the quake and the aftershocks They’re working on my brain They’re working on my brain They’re working on my brain
4.
I told my heart To find another way It did not like What I had to say It wouldn’t listen (It) said it would love you anyway I told my heart There were mountains in between The two of you High as I’d ever seen I don’t know if it heard me It seemed to be lost in a dream The heart may not know what it’s doing When love calls Like a drunk who thinks he can make it But only stumbles and falls I told my heart Not to get so high I’m grateful You took the time To let it down easy And tell it why I told my heart Things just go wrong Storms rise As you sail along Hearts break But they mend and still go on The heart may not know what it’s doing When love calls Like a drunk who thinks he can make it But only stumbles and falls I told my heart It would be alright In the morning Well I might have told a lie I think it’s Going to take a while
5.
Michelangelo saw an angel In a block of stone He freed it with a chisel And graced us with its form I’m no angel But I could be Someone You should see Look a little closer Let your mind see the parts But remember Go careful ‘round the heart Give me life Give me wings Give me all I can bring And if you give me a chance Give it some time You never know what you’ll find Maybe someone who’d Like to be Always near you And likes to see you free Who’ll walk beside you In the sun Through any Storms that come Won’t you give me a chance Give it some time You never know what you’ll find Did you ever see the world In someone’s eyes And you knew right then and there That’s where you’d like to spend your life Fire and ice Quakes and wars Take their toll Leave scars And imperfections On every stone God knows I’ve got faults of my own But if you give me a chance And give it some time You never know what you’ll find You never know what you’ll find You never know what you’ll find
6.
Cyber Baby 04:11
Cyber baby I give you the world Because you’re my girl It’s big and it’s waiting It’s yours for the taking The doors are open the bad and the good I’d label them all for you if I could One is peace where angels dwell And the next one could be hell Cyber baby you’ll make new friends From across the street to Pakistan I hope they never turn on you I hope all your friends are true Cyber baby there are mobs out there Out for blood and ruled by fear They’ll try to shame and bully you Into doing things you’d never do You are the light And the heart of my heart And if it ever seems Like your world might come apart You know you can call on me And if you do I will be there for you Cyber baby there are a million voices With as many choices But the voice inside of you Is the only one who knows what’s best for you Cyber baby you’ll decide At lightning speed the wrong and right There is no perfection Right the wrongs when you can Cyber baby there’s just one world You get one life you get one whirl There is only one of you So take good care of you May you be real to the hollow Deep to the shallow Kind to the hurtful Loving to the hateful You are the light And the heart of my heart And if it ever seems Like your world might come apart You know you can call on me And if you do I will be there for you You know you can call on me I hope you do I will be there for you
7.
I’m looking for summer I haven’t seen her Since thirteen or so Long time ago We shared afternoons Rings around the moon Seats at the home parade Ice cold lemonade There were a few dark clouds They called me out I said give it your best shot Show me what you got Heaven roared It lit up and it poured I went eye to eye Never felt more alive Are these not the eyes That saw her so clear In everything Everywhere Went to the county fair Thought she’d always be there She was not around I searched the grounds I felt (I was) far from home And all alone She never said goodbye Left me there just wondering why Someone said that she Had waited for me In a boat with time Singing Auld Lang Syne But she couldn’t wait Said she had a date To row down a stream To keep the dream Are these not the eyes That saw her so clear In everything Everywhere I listened to the band play Laisser les bon temps roulee I didn’t feel the spark I didn’t hear the heart ‘Till I closed my eyes And to my surprise Found (her | she was) inside Very much alive So now I’m going back Gonna trace my tracks In the grains of sand (In) the lines in my hand Walk down the street To my own heartbeat To my own time In my own mind Ah ah ah ah
8.
They turn to you And hope to see You smile ‘Cuz you give it free I saw you In the corridor Comforting One more There are people at war With themselves And turn their guns On everyone else You disarm them If only fora while With your kindness And your smile You’re so giving Of yourself Always thinking Of someone else To give Your love to And move it forward That’s what you do They can keep Their taj mahals Their canyons And great walls For the wonders Of your love You’re beautiful Angel of ages You brighten the day You lift us up Out of our darkness And show us the way You don’t see Every day A smile that takes Your breath away That makes you Question The life You’re living You’re beautiful Angel of ages You brighten the day You lift us up Out of our darkness And show us the way
9.
I’m waiting for the message You said you would send Hope you don’t mind If I ask again Will you come with me To the cape And lie on the sand And listen to the waves break The sea said he’d be there And so did the sun But the frenzied world as usual Said she’s just too busy to come All you type As Need to get away Haven’t heard from you in a while Is everything OK My messenger says he’ll ring me If he sees anything new But I always check them anyway For one from you Please drop me a line I don’t need a hook Send what you can if you could only write me a book I re-read the words I burn them in my mind I fill in the pictures Between the lines My messenger says he’ll ring me If he sees anything new But I always check them anyway For one from you I’m waiting for a message I’d like to know What your heart says Will you go
10.
I remember when time stood still By the tall pines and the blackberry hills Under a clear blue sky And I was looking in your eyes I heard the morning glories say We’re glad you’re here and hope you’ll stay With the birds and butterflies Vying for your eyes An angel sang but it made no sound It did not need to go around You must have heard as well ‘cuz I Saw the smiles in your eyes You moved in harmony Through the mystery Like you weren’t even trying I wish (that I could follow | wished I could have followed) you I wish I could have made it through The needle’s eye The world was reaching for the sun For the warmth it offered everyone But it turned to see the sun and sky Shining in your eyes All our lives we try To find out where heaven lies People search the starry skies And miss the heaven in your eyes You moved in harmony Through the mystery Like you weren’t even trying I wish (that I could follow | wished I could have followed) you I wish I could have made it through The needle’s eye You asked me to follow I went as far as I could go I couldn’t reach that higher place You were too far away I’m trimming down even though You might say I’m moving slow I’m determined to make it through To be with you You moved in harmony…
11.
Rome is burning, we must leave Winds are feeding the flames At the circus and the Palatine And the streets with no names Rome is burning the Christians By the arcade There’s blood on the hands of the emperor As he points to place the blame We’ll take shelter from the river And drink from the wells Of life, love and joy Until our hearts are filled Rome is burning, take only What won’t slow you down We’ll stay clear of the forum Where soldiers gather round Rome is burning, keep moving Should I fall There’s a heaven waiting For us all We’ll take shelter from the river And drink from the wells Of life, love and joy Until our hearts are filled Rome is burning in the fires Of violence and greed From the time Romulus Planted the seeds Rome is burning, eyes turning To an inner peace That all the legions of the empire Could never release We’ll take shelter from the river And drink from the wells Of life, love and joy Until our hearts are filled Rome is burning we must leave Winds are feeding the flames At the circus and the Palatine And the streets with no names
12.
You can see him make his way On a bicycle almost every day Over the hills and through the gears Of forty seven years He’s the boy from long ago In a baseball cap pulled way down low In jeans and a faded flannel shirt Flying just above the earth He’s got reflectors and bells You can never tell When you’ll be crushed by thoughtlessness Or scarred by carelessness He zooms by the hardware store He says it don’t hurt no more They had to let him go But they told him he was slow And he’s just rolling There’s a lot to see Still In Katie’s roses In the park and in the sparkling sea He thinks of his best friend Ray By the house where he used to stay And the times they had before He went and died in the war They tore down the Home Plate Where they’d have breakfast on Saturdays They put up a golden bull For the rich and the beautiful The tourists are back for more And pirates still work the shores Promising dreams On the island queen He turns on to Katie’s street She would smile so sweet And stun him with her sparkling eyes Every time he rode by And he’s just rolling There’s a lot to see Still In Katie’s roses In the park and in the sparkling sea He’s the boy from long ago In a baseball cap pulled way down low In jeans and a faded flannel shirt Flying just above the earth And he’s just rolling There’s a lot to see Still In Katie’s roses In the park and in the sparkling sea

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released June 18, 2018

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Ron Nowlan Boston, Massachusetts

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