A Poem By Nick Drake’s Mother

Poem written by Nick Drake’s mother, recited by Nick Drake’s sister Gabrielle Drake.

The Shell (A Skin Too Few)

Living grows round us like a skin
to shut away the outer desolation
For if we clearly mark the furthest deep
we should be dead long years before the grave.
But turning around within the homely shell
of worry discontent and narrow joy
we grow and flourish and rarely see the
outside dark that would confound our eyes
some break the shell…
I think that there are those who push their
fingers through the brittle walls and
make a hole…and through this cruel
slit stare out across the cinders of the
world with naked eyes they look both out and in,
knowing themselves and too much else beside.

In case you don’t know who Nick Drake was.

Please beware of them that stare
They’ll only smile to see you while
Your time away
And once you’ve seen what they have been
To win the earth just won’t seem worth
Your night or your day
Who’ll hear what I say.
Look around you find the ground
Is not so far from where you are
Don´t too wise
For down below they never grow
They’re always tired and charms are hired
From out of their eyes
Never surprise.

Take your time and you’ll be fine
And say a prayer for people there
Who live on the floor
And if you see what’s meant to be
Don’t name the day or try to say
It happened before.

Don’t be shy you learn to fly
And see the sun when day is done
If only you see
Just what you are beneath a star
That came to stay one rainy day
In autumn for free
Yes, be what you’ll be.
Please beware of them that stare
They’ll only smile to see you while
Your time away
And once you’ve seen what they have been
To win the earth just won’t seem worth
Your night or your day
Who’ll hear what I say.

Open up the broken cup
Let goodly sin and sunshine in
Yes that’s today.
And open wide the hymns you hide
You find reknown while people frown
At things that you say
But say what you’ll say
About the farmers and the fun
And the things behind the sun
And the people round your head
Who say everything’s been said
And the movement in your brain
Sends you out into the rain.

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7 responses to “A Poem By Nick Drake’s Mother

  1. Excellent poetry, excellent track.

    M
    __________
    Marie Marshall
    author/poet/editor
    Scotland
    http://mairibheag.com
    http://kvennarad.wordpress.com

  2. There’s an error / typo in the text from the mother’s poem,
    Near the end, she phrases
    “They look both out and in”
    where you wrote
    “They look both out and end.”
    Too beatiful not to correct, kind regards, Henk

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