This is the turning of the year
The final scene before the curtain falls
The squirrel, warm within his bed

of leaves cannot hear the wind
that blows around the chimney pots
For like the pilgrim of the year gone by

Once he was a young man
who laughed in the spring
And lay beneath an upturned sky
on long hot summer days

But with autumn he grows mellow
He looks over his shoulder
Down the long year path of no return

Already he is but a memory
Fading like a shadow on the wall
But time with restless footsteps
hurries by and now beside the road
There stands the pilgrim
of the year to be

Falling leaves turn to gold
Silver flowers on my window
Spirit of the fading year
He knows not where
He cannot say, oh no

Naked trees in the sky
Stars are shining clear and cold
The minstrel of the ages
sings of oh so long ago
An age old tune without a name
No one knows

In the white falling snow
The pilgrim travels on
His face towards the sun
Beyond the open road he travels on

Past the lamp shining windows
And faces by the fire
Before the midnight hour
For Christmas time
has come around again

Go to sleep, little child
You shouldn’t be awake
Go to sleep little child
Time to let the night go by

Waiting for the sound of a magic sleigh
The chimneys not too tall they say
Or the roof too high for a reindeer to fly
No not too high for a reindeer to fly

The clock strikes twelve
on a street below
They hurry to a church to pray
“Forgive our sins and negligence
Accept our humble penitence
It’s been a year ago today
Since we were here”

Choir gently sings an anthem
Not too loud or out of key
Congregation turn eye corners
When the plate goes round to see
Who gives the most on Christmas day
The most on Christmas day

Twilight days are slipping far away
Just sand into an hour glass
For winter time is slowly passed
And cannot last forever

North wind turn your back
upon the doors that you have blown
West wind melt the organ pipes of ice
That glitter on the eaves
of the houses in the town

And the sun wakes up the flowers
That slumber through the winter
And warms the sleepy faces
Waiting for the spring

The skies of steel
and fields white with frost
are memories of yesterday

And while scarecrow children
search the hedgerows and splash
through muddy pools for secrets
The spirit of the spring
with the sunbeams on her hair
shakes the sleeping earth

And with the pilgrim by her side
She murmurs in the trees
And in the ears of all who listen
“Now time to wake for winter has gone”

With flowers in her hair
She smiles again and like a child
cares nothing for tomorrow

She spreads her wings
Catch her if you see her
in your mind’s eye
For she smiles in a Mona Lisa way

Sun is rising
from a cloud above your head
When you instead are sleeping

All is knowing, all is growing
And no one knows
which way their mind is blowing

And now she finds
her work is almost done
And like a child
cares nothing for tomorrow
And like a child
cares nothing for tomorrow
And like a child thinks only for today

The pilgrim wanders with the spirit
of the spring, enchanted
As if tomorrow will never come

But time is running out
And as she bids him farewell
Only the echo of her voice remains

For now she flies
On the bare back of the south wind
Across the naked mountains
Above the winding rivers
Breathing gently on the meadows

Scattering her flowers
into the grass and the hedgerows
Fading through the back door

Long summer day
Golden fingers pointing at my doorway
Meadow sleeping
Watching for the sky to turn you on

The air filled with heytime
Blowing past a flower-print lady
On a seat in the park
Wears a paper on her head
She never read at all
She’s just keeping her mind in the dark
Keeping her mind in the dark

You know she’s cool
She’s just like an ice-cream man
And don’t you see what I mean
She’s doing the best that she can
Doing the best that she can

Hey Mr. Sunshine
Like a Harlequin you’re dancing
on my picture book today
Ooh It’s a good time
And I’m floating far away

Chew on a candy-floss
in the pouring rain
Kids are crying again
Kids are crying again

Holiday time
Down on a beach with the crowd
Trying to look for the sun
Taking whatever you can
And your deckchair is an island
In a kaleidoscope world

Jamming cars, crowded bars
Standing trains or smell the drains
The quiver in the heat of the city street
God, I must get away

Hey Mr. Sunshine
And I’m floating far away

Down the wide open road
The pilgrim travels on
His face towards the sun
Beyond the open road he travels on

And the waves steal the footprints
Of the summer from the sand
Beneath the silver moon
The North wind blows
the fading leaves again

Around and around
All has nearly turned full circle
The warm lazy days of sunshine
And brown rivers
winding through the meadows
are a tale of yesterday

The pilgrim sighs
And draws his mantle close
about him in the smoky evening

He watches the leaves wither and fall
Frost has rimmed the pools with ice
And hung diamonds
in the spider’s web

For this is the turning of the year
The final scene before the curtain falls
And now beside the road there stands
the pilgrim of the year to be

Falling leaves turn to gold
Silver flowers on my window
Spirit of the fading year
He knows not where
He cannot say

Tahsin Ünlü

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