Can you feel the fire of the soul?

Does it take you to the alter of Eternity?

Are you walking down the streets alone

In the ashes of your memory?

Do the dreams of lovers dreaming dreams

Only fill you up with jealousy?

Is the place that your are heading towards

Someone else’s fantasy?

Would you like to make contact tonight?

Would you like to not be so afraid

Every time a little trouble calls,

Every time another body is laid in a grave?

Who planted the mysteries in your bones?

In the dawn, I see you on the road.


Most of the words are invisible now.

Most of the hearts are invisible, too.

Are you standing in a circle proud,

Trading your time away for pay?

Did you meet reality waiting there

Or did you have to look away?

There’s someone burning the prairie tonight.

$Tomorrow they’ll be a little green.

Maybe you don’t know where you’re going yet.

Maybe you’re just in between

Dualities growing into your bones.

Once you start, you can’t stop being on the road.


The world is changing very fast.

Some people got permission to check out young.

Was life to them only their pain?

Was grief the lives of those that remained?

Was an empty gun pointed at the angel’s head?

Are you tough enough to hear what he said?

A dream doesn’t have to be called false

If in another lifetime it comes true.

It only takes a moment for the wind to shift.

Are you passing the hat? What do you regret?

Your hunger, your work, your past, your fear,

The grass on fire, the drive-by near

Where suffering moves into your bones?

There’s nobody alongside you on the road.


There are three explanations on how to be.

If you never see for yourself who will you believe?

There are so many stories & none of them you.

Can you make peace with your demons, do they intrude?

Does it feel like hell every time you try

To not disappoint yourself, who is that “I”?

Sometimes you just don’t know what’s there.

Sometimes you just don’t want it fixed.

You don’t want somebody to make it whole.

You don’t need somebody that quits

When emptiness sinks into your bones.

You were always there with me on the road.


There’s no easy way out, only common ground.

Did you abandon yourself in a violent town?

Did you lose yourself to the great beyond,

Do silence & acceptance make you strong?

You’re shaking, what’s wrong, let me guess––

Is it someone that you can’t forget?

Is it Sinead when she sings “No Sacrifice”

I can see the flames, do you feel alright?

Maybe your office is in a truck,

Maybe you just don’t give a fuck.

Would you know true love if it passed you by?

Do you love yourself, are you ready to die

As the moon & stars light up your bones?

There was no one you could leave here on the road.


17 December 1993


from The Road (The Abolitionists).

Copyright © 1995 by Jim Cohn.