posted on August 31, 2008 at 8:56 pm

on the first day of spring i ran to your door
with a bunch of small blue petunias
and wearing my heart on my steve
no one was home
so i sat and waited on your blonde brick wall
as mushrooms pushed ever upwards in the sienna brown earth
oh lovely victoria
ghost gums and spirit walker
in tiny toy-like towns boys like me
in corduroy breeches and woolly heads
little mists in the graveyards
or standing in the sweet shop
“i’ll have threepence worth of those
and…how many do you get of these for a ha’penny?”
dad starts up his valiant
mum hangs out the washing
in the windy blue garden
i bury my soldiers like robert louis stevenson did
and later i still find them
cheerful despite their time in the ground
at the back fence the trains run
everynow and then
a rush of metal a snort of smoke
i’m singing that song, you know the one
“i could never love you
the price of loves too dear
but darling i’ll stay with you
and give to you one year
and we’ll sing in the sunshine
we’ll laugh everyday
we’ll sing in the sunshine
then i’ll be on my way”
how sad that the woman has made up her mind to leave
how quickly that year will pass
as her anxious man watches the calendar inevitable shrink down
will she make it exactly one year…?
or roughly one year…?
will he be able to convince her
to stay a few extra months
or will she depart earlier than expected
due to his downturn in mood
and his sulky unacceptance….?
i stand in the backyard singing this song
trying to imagine her
quietly packing her bags
folding her stockings and her brassieres
and her petticoats and her knickers
collecting her lipstick and nivea cream
and her photos and her little record player
she jumps on the train that goes thru my backyard
and for a moment
we lock eyes
the fleeing singer
and me
the sentient boy
the boy still singing her song
even though the year is well and truly over
and what was young is now old
and the fire that had burnt now cold
and her train takes her away
to towns i’ve only heard of
lying on the mysterious river miles away
the song makes me sad
and that makes me happy
love must be an important thing in peoples lives
i think of 2 other songs
“anyone who had a heart
would look at me
and know that i love you”
“if our love ceases to be
then its the end of my world for me”
women sang these songs
women with powerful voices
love was giving their voices wings
why their love was obvious to anyone
anyone who had a heart
did i have a heart i wondered
would i recognize her love for her man if i saw it?
when a world ceases to be…is that the loneliness?
the emptiness….?
frank sinatra sang
“spring is here…
why doesnt the sky delight me
why doesnt the breeze invite me
maybe its because nobody loves me…
spring is here….i hear”
spring …..
frank sits in the 1950s
trapped there forever
while nelson riddles orchestra
decorates his loneliness
with flurries of flutes
and lugubrious cellos
all this love
and only loneliness
was weighing down on my boylike soul
ha ha
i was young
i was wandering the streets of our town
riding my bike round the empty school
as the evening slowly descended
mums voice in the distance calling
in the semi dark
all those songs were holding me back
all that love gone bad
all the lonely people
what becomes of the broken hearted
beneath the veneer of our town
was a legion of hurt and lonesome lovers
unable to make a move
or ever recover
like a silent disease incapacitating people
robbing them of their worlds
filling them up with emptiness
i wondered why…?
who were these cruel ones…?
the ones who left
the ones on the train
the ones discovering new charms in somebody elses arms
“i met someone new” they sing in songs over and over
not old like you
always someone hovering on the perimeter of life
“he’ll never love you….the way i love you!”
they sang
but still someone new
(someone knew)
that someone is always there
to bring your song to an end
the train goes roaring by again
deep in the night
while i, a boy, lies in bed
the jilted and jilting lovers come and go
red brake lights blur on my frosted window
but i sleep on and on
dream of life
dream of love
dream of being grown up
singing my own song of spring
even as i enter winter
for the last time

120 Responses to “underground spring”

  1. avatar
    fantasticandy | 31 August 2008 at 10:09 pm #

    bloody lovely slim!

  2. avatar
    Miss DevilMayCare | 31 August 2008 at 11:47 pm #


  3. avatar
    princey | 31 August 2008 at 11:52 pm #

    Yes, lovely writing about love on the first day of Spring (I was hoping you'd write something like this today:). I think those classic love songs are so powerful too sk, the words are so simple and to the point,their voices send the message loud and clear, you cant help but feel every bit of pain&sadness they're feeling and (try to)sing along!(can anyone actually sing like that anymore???)
    Ahh, the smell of Spring is in the air, it's even sunny here in Melby today!
    Love on ya,

  4. avatar
    Anonymous | 1 September 2008 at 12:20 am #


  5. avatar
    kat | 1 September 2008 at 6:54 am #

    lol as in the last time 🙁

    fine writing sk, and fine jazz i bet

  6. avatar
    eek | 1 September 2008 at 7:06 am #

    The arrival of spring is always wonderful.

    But why do you torture me so? Yesterday I got to read about the Painkiller gig I’m not going to get to see; then today you rub in the fact that your are moving into spring while we are heading for fall. …ok…I actually like fall, but I have to bitch about something. Can’t be too happy — it just wouldn’t do.

  7. avatar
    Fireseed | 1 September 2008 at 7:57 am #

    at a damp bbq party in birmingham
    (can you get more romantic than that?)
    i offer the punters a little bit of antipodean warmth in the form of milky way and providence

    royalties coming your way, steve…

  8. avatar
    12str | 1 September 2008 at 9:42 am #

    your first day of spring is our first day of fall here in winterland.. i´d love to be where you are..i´d like to be able to follow spring and summer around the globe… but the first 2 month of fall is quite beautiful here.. a feeling of Tristesse ;)… the sadness that comes after lovemaking.. beautiful!! i ordered my pkiller package just now.. cant wait!!


  9. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 1 September 2008 at 10:18 am #

    “singing my own song of spring
    even as i enter winter
    for the last time”

    I like that.

    “the song makes me sad
    and that makes me happy…”

    Exactly. That’s how melancholic (not depressing) music makes me feel. Often (though not always) happy pop songs (chick music?)depress me, because they’re so non-descript, so flat and lifeless.

    I enjoyed today’s blog very much.

  10. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 1 September 2008 at 11:23 am #

    oh my….
    i can smell night flowering jasmine from next door’s garden and rain…does the smell of freshly washed and dried bedsheets that have spent the day out in the sun evoke childhood…i love that smell…
    love is something that can be written about so flippantly or from somewhere deep in your body…so beautifully painful, give me more…
    love always…

  11. avatar
    iseult | 1 September 2008 at 11:43 am #

    that was wonderful, artesian and cryptic and took me back to a house by a train line a time of former dreams a time it was it was a time of

  12. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 1 September 2008 at 12:50 pm #

    “she has two faces,
    both of ’em so pretty,
    i can’t tell which one is which…”

  13. avatar
    can't win em all | 1 September 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    Nope. I can’t connect with this. Sorry, Steve. Sorry, guys.

  14. avatar
    lily was here | 1 September 2008 at 1:37 pm #

    I thought it was beautiful word gardener.. planting dreams and digging up memories like those toy soldiers. Magical! Yesterday i played your title over and over imagining a kiss like the whip of the moon xxx

    ps long live Cilla, Frank.. Lesley, Connie et al .. and the Tusitala from Bondi

  15. avatar
    ross b | 1 September 2008 at 2:12 pm #

    I generally love Australiana stories, especially small town stories with much description of the trees, the fauna, the smells, terrain.

    And yes, welcome the southern spring!

  16. avatar
    no, cilla, don't luv | 1 September 2008 at 2:51 pm #

    It’s all right for you in Oz, Kilbo, you never had to suffer Cilla’s ‘castrated cat’ singing in her later years – one earful of Surprise Surprise and you’d be fucking glad your 70% deaf, mate!

  17. avatar
    Anonymous | 1 September 2008 at 3:31 pm #

    So there’ll be an enhanced cd of Painkiller that shows the videos as the music plays, yeh?

  18. avatar
    Anonymous | 1 September 2008 at 4:40 pm #


    you’ve hit the mark


    Between Planets

  19. avatar
    Paul Lightfoot | 1 September 2008 at 4:47 pm #

    Wow Jonestown Massacre – Kings Arms Aucklnd this Friday night! Cool! I won’t be missing this one! Ricky Rene Maymi’s in town! Shit I hope he doesn’t wanna thump me one! Haaa!

  20. avatar
    Paul Lightfoot | 1 September 2008 at 4:49 pm #

    The BRIAN Jonestown Massacre I meant sorry.

  21. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 1 September 2008 at 5:05 pm #

    This enchanting blog made me think Of Judith Durham’s (The Seekers) wonderful songs “I’ll Never Find Another You” and “A World Of Our Own”. Those songs clicked with me when I was VERY young.

  22. avatar
    davem | 1 September 2008 at 5:20 pm #

    There’ll never be another quite like you.
    Just brilliant today SK. Made me think of the goldfish I lost nearly 40 years ago.
    Nelson Riddle’s arrangement on Nat Cole’s version of Nature Boy is to die for.
    Oh, and I’ve a soft spot for early Cilla, up as far as Step Inside Love.
    You’re a genius. I could (and have) spend my life just reading your words. Amazing.
    Love to all. BJM Paul? Fab. I’m jealous! Ricky is such a talented yet really nice man.

  23. avatar
    davem | 2 September 2008 at 6:00 am #

    Strangely quiet at TTB?

  24. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 2 September 2008 at 6:56 am #

    ok what bastard kidnapped steve and has him locked up in their closet?
    alien abduction perhaps?
    sucked through a wormhole in reality?
    left keys inside of home and can’t get in through locked door?
    outside washing the car and mowing the lawn?
    love always…

  25. avatar
    captain mission | 2 September 2008 at 7:11 am #

    heard painkiller on the radio again today, actually yesterday, on fbi (happy 5th birthday radio station). what’s really strange i was in fbi at the time. absolutely true, chatting to some people from music australia about something really horrible like insurance, with a lovely man from an old band called ‘tall tales and true.’ i dashed out there and said to the young folks at reception, ‘hey is this mr. kilbeys cd painkiller?’
    they looked at me blankly and said have a listen the dj will announce it. so i did and they didn’t. or at least i didn’t hear them, but i knew it who it was so it didn’t matter. it’s great your getting some airplay man. maybe i should hang around at jjj today.

  26. avatar
    lily was here | 2 September 2008 at 8:36 am #

    Captain Mission, thats so karmic! The track you've heard twice on radio is Steve's absolutely beautiful cover of The Go-Between 'The Wrong Road' song which, yes was played on Fbi Radio today and on last week's Tune Up show courtesy of Stuart Coupe.

    Groovers, u can download this from Karmic Hit's website & make sure u donate so the crew there can keep on giving us all this brilliant music!


  27. avatar
    lily was here | 2 September 2008 at 8:42 am #

    And put fuel in their Buicks and feed the pets on champagne and caviar!


  28. avatar
    matt davison | 2 September 2008 at 8:43 am #

    come to auckland mr killer

  29. avatar
    Anonymous | 2 September 2008 at 8:57 am #

    He may be overseas with Elli?

  30. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 2 September 2008 at 10:15 am #

    shit, hope things are ok…

  31. avatar
    iseult | 2 September 2008 at 11:05 am #

    it's time


  32. avatar
    Anonymous | 2 September 2008 at 12:02 pm #

    I’ve been gone a while…HK and Tassie…no time for reading but have just caught up. Will Painkiller be playing anywhere other than Sydney as I’ll be out of town on the 10th….

    Hello Isolde and all other old timers.


  33. avatar
    Anonymous | 2 September 2008 at 12:12 pm #

    our thoughts are with you, sk, wherever you travel.


  34. avatar
    Anonymous | 2 September 2008 at 2:57 pm #

    Who the fuck is Rick Maymi?

  35. avatar
    athanasiuspernath | 2 September 2008 at 4:20 pm #

    Steve, all the best on your mission, may everything be alright, both with her and you both.

  36. avatar
    davem | 2 September 2008 at 5:31 pm #

    Thinking of you, hero of mine!

  37. avatar
    princey | 2 September 2008 at 10:55 pm #

    Hope everythings ok too sk, we miss you.
    Take care and love always,

  38. avatar
    linjo | 3 September 2008 at 5:46 am #

    A lovely read thank you Steve.
    I too am hoping that all is well at Chez Kibley and the boy is just having a bit of a rest up.
    Linda x

  39. avatar
    Anonymous | 3 September 2008 at 10:39 am #

    ok ok…we do miss you when you’re gone…

  40. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 3 September 2008 at 11:31 am #

    everything ok, killa?
    love always…

  41. avatar
    davem | 3 September 2008 at 12:28 pm #

    Hope things are ok Steve.

  42. avatar
    restaurant mark | 3 September 2008 at 12:41 pm #

    just getting to this one…and glad i did. just beautiful steve…made my head fill with lyrics from 100 sad songs. my favorite sinatra song is “in the wee small hours of the morning”…beautifully sad.
    hope all is well steve.

    take care everyone

  43. avatar
    flyingbird | 3 September 2008 at 2:30 pm #

    Please write, Steve.

  44. avatar
    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark | 3 September 2008 at 6:03 pm #

    I’m starting to get a little worried, too, Steve. Hope you’re just busy!

  45. avatar
    matt davison | 3 September 2008 at 9:46 pm #

    killer Are you out there……

    The TB has been on auto pilot too long..

    miss ya


  46. avatar
    tim | 3 September 2008 at 10:44 pm #

    haven’t checked in for a while…guess i picked the right time…what a blog…i won’t spoil the moment with words…ciao baby..luv

  47. avatar
    Cee | 3 September 2008 at 11:17 pm #

    estoy at tu lado hasta el final

  48. avatar
    questionsaboutfaith | 3 September 2008 at 11:29 pm #

    More wild poetry—great! Bring it on!

  49. avatar
    princey | 3 September 2008 at 11:50 pm #

    “spring is here…
    why doesnt the sky delight me
    why doesnt the the breeze invite me
    maybe it’s coz sk isn’t heeeere…”

  50. avatar
    captain mission | 4 September 2008 at 1:21 am #

    err just checking in, hope everything is hunky dory and your just taking some time out from blog land. (all these other posts got me spooked).

    thanks lilly, i didn’t know what that song was and how fantastic i can download it from KH.

  51. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2008 at 3:32 am #

    Hey SK

    I hope you and your family are OK and nothing is wrong.

  52. avatar
    Peter Podcast | 4 September 2008 at 4:38 am #

    Dear people
    Whilst the Time Being is on a short break I have nominated this blog for some kudos.
    Please vote at
    In the best blogs category.

  53. avatar
    kat | 4 September 2008 at 5:13 am #

    ok cool on the voting. we all know sk deserves the best. ching! might i add i am really glad that painkiller has arrived. thanxxxxx

  54. avatar
    davem | 4 September 2008 at 6:17 am #

    Hope all ok Steve.
    Painkiller Kat? Hope mine’s on it’s way too!!
    Effing brilliant.

  55. avatar
    eek | 4 September 2008 at 6:50 am #

    You can vote for TTB in each of the categories in which he’s nominated (there are four) and the total votes show up in the Best Blogs category too. You know you always wanted to vote early and often — here’s your chance! 🙂

  56. avatar
    isolde | 4 September 2008 at 9:39 am #

    and while you’re in the voting mood

    it’s time to

    vote for Under the Milky Way and Reptile accoustic

    in the Weekend Australian newspaper Greatest Australian Songs

    vote before 5 September!

    hello dear B.Bon

  57. avatar
    princey | 4 September 2008 at 10:08 am #

    This “short” break is taking toooo, toooo long, come back killsy!
    love from a greek geek

  58. avatar
    CSTCoach | 4 September 2008 at 12:23 pm #

    best wishes sk, and safe travels if you’re gone overseas. hope all is well. sending good vibes your way.

  59. avatar
    restaurant mark | 4 September 2008 at 1:20 pm #

    hey everyone…steve alright? hopefully things are well.

    take care

  60. avatar
    it'd be nice if he was | 4 September 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    You don’t think he’s the North Bondi man who’s just won 27 million AUS $ on the lottery, do ya?

  61. avatar
    Michael Barone | 4 September 2008 at 1:36 pm #

    I am getting chills and goosebumps.
    I sat down with my morning coffee to read your blog. I was playing "An Audience With The King Of Wands" by Gale Garnett & The Gentle Reign in the background. Intrigued by her sound I did an internet search to find out about her. Apparently she wrote the song "We'll Sing In The Sunshine"in the early 60's. A song I have always loved in "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine" way….
    Then I go over to the Time Being page, read your blog, and what song do you mention and quote….
    Michael Barone

  62. avatar
    davem | 4 September 2008 at 3:52 pm #

    Painkiller hasn’t reached blighty yet Kat.
    Hope you’re ok Steve.

  63. avatar
    Bionaut | 4 September 2008 at 8:18 pm #

    Get your Painkiller fix here!

  64. avatar
    davem | 4 September 2008 at 9:48 pm #

    This is getting silly now Killer.
    All the best for TV on Saturday & I hope my cd/t drop through my door before the weekend!

  65. avatar
    davem | 4 September 2008 at 10:03 pm #

    You’re up to 25th top blog now though!! Wherever you are!

  66. avatar
    Anonymous | 4 September 2008 at 10:15 pm #

    Painkiller is fucking awesome!


  67. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 4 September 2008 at 10:24 pm #

    can’t wait to get my painkiller!!!!!
    where ever you are, whatever’s happening, my love and warm thoughts go with you…
    love always…

  68. avatar
    princey | 4 September 2008 at 11:24 pm #

    Thanks for that link bionaut!
    The songs sound fantastic sk, I finally have enough bucks to order the T-pack, cant wait to hear it and wear it!
    See ya tomorrow night.
    Love Amanda

  69. avatar
    linjo | 5 September 2008 at 1:58 am #

    Hope Steve hasnt got the dreaded lurgy going around. The weather, OS fiends is absolutely atrocious here, he may have a case of SADS!
    Anyway, I am looking forward to seeing the handsome head on Rockwiz tomorrow night!
    Wonder whether those t-shirts come in tight girly ones!(girl fans could wear them inside out to bed!)
    Linda xxx

  70. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 5 September 2008 at 3:10 am #

    now REALLY linjo!!! naughty naughty naughty!!!
    peace and love

  71. avatar
    Queen Hatshepsut | 5 September 2008 at 4:32 am #

    Ok Steve, I said maybe you should take a break from the blog…not disappear with nary a word and start making us all nervous! Wherever you are, I hope all is OK. I miss your words and of course, your charismatic cyber-presence. 😉

  72. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 September 2008 at 4:50 am #

    if what i’m suspecting is true i must say
    a great work of art
    i was with you from the start
    you took us to glorious heights
    we wallowed with you in the base
    you’ve enriched our lives
    and ended in the most poetic way

    your influence will be with me always

    Between Planets
    most western bohemia

  73. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 September 2008 at 4:51 am #

    Thinking of you sk. Hope all is ok with the fambley. We miss you.
    Come back when you are ready, we really do appreciate the tb.

  74. avatar
    Leelinau | 5 September 2008 at 8:38 am #

    JC sk



  75. avatar
    Thelonious | 5 September 2008 at 9:04 am #

    Copme back SK. This old junky needs his fix. Lotsa love. Miss you.

  76. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 September 2008 at 9:52 am #

    See ya mate. It’s been a good one.

  77. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 September 2008 at 10:41 am #

    to quote bobby d

    Situations have ended sad,
    Relationships have all been bad.
    Mine’ve been like Verlaine’s and Rimbaud.
    But there’s no way I can compare
    All those scenes to this affair,
    Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go.

  78. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 September 2008 at 10:53 am #

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

  79. avatar
    read a book instead then | 5 September 2008 at 10:54 am #

    He’s not fucked off for good, you nerkers! He’s gone to Sweden to be with his kid. He’ll be back.

  80. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 September 2008 at 11:29 am #

    What do you mean by “book” read a book? What is a book? I need to hear from sk personally. I have twins of my own named “steve” and “kilbey” so he owes it to me. But then again I have four dogs named “marty”, “willson”, “piper”, and “elvis” I demand instant entertainment. Where is my daily dose of bohemian rhapsody? You are crazy read a book, real life never gets in the way of my personal entertainment. I have a goldfish named tristesse… owe me kilbey, now entertain me!!

  81. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 September 2008 at 11:34 am #

    This is a bad time for business but I have a quick question. I paid exactly $1.00 for a full week of verbal fun. Will I get 86 cents back for lost days? Have I been duped? Should I write off the entire dollar as loss? When does the week begin. Does anybody really know what time it is?

  82. avatar
    for the last time | 5 September 2008 at 11:36 am #

    This from Steve’s myspace blog:

    annandale cancelled

    Apologies but the Annandale gig set for the 31st August has been cancelled due to a brief overseas trip.


    Now will you all stop fucking fretting and give the man some space with his family while his daughter’s ill!

  83. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 September 2008 at 1:00 pm #

    dude look after yourself and the ones you love.


  84. avatar
    12str | 5 September 2008 at 1:01 pm #

    Sending good karma through time and space..
    hope and faith
    take care man

  85. avatar
    davem | 5 September 2008 at 1:06 pm #

    Thinking of you SK.
    Take care.

  86. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 September 2008 at 1:25 pm #

    hope peace and love reign in Sweden for you and your family
    cheers from the tribes of germania

  87. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 September 2008 at 1:53 pm #

    tribes of german, you have caused multiple world wars so enough is enough. hope peace and love are the exact words hitler used in his first speech. Are we supposed to omit the obvious? We are all worried about sk and his family but your threats of repeated world domination are innominable. Godspeed Kilbey!

  88. avatar
    sleipnir | 5 September 2008 at 2:15 pm #

    Odin will reap your cities, cultures and children, o soft southern sheep.

  89. avatar
    linguistica | 5 September 2008 at 2:17 pm #

    ‘Germania’ is pronounced with a hard ‘g’, as in ‘god’, not a soft ‘g’ as in ‘Germany’.
    I thank you.

  90. avatar
    don joe | 5 September 2008 at 2:39 pm #

    Flourish and Prosper across all areas of life Killer. The support is there. Twist it to a positive.

    don joe

  91. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 September 2008 at 2:40 pm #

    In that case nevermind, but I still believe you are hell bent on taking over the world. PS. please see “sarcasm” in the dictionary.

  92. avatar
    Fireseed | 5 September 2008 at 2:42 pm #


    warm wishes to you & yours from the damp & dripping shores of albion



  93. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 5 September 2008 at 3:01 pm #

    ” My Life Is A Succession Of People Saying Goodbye.”

  94. avatar
    verdelay | 5 September 2008 at 3:02 pm #

    Same from the same


  95. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 September 2008 at 3:07 pm #

    Brien, drink more whiskey!

  96. avatar
    Cee | 5 September 2008 at 3:44 pm #

    Has Maymi knocked you over the head and dragged you to San Francisco? If so, y’all better call me!

  97. avatar
    Anonymous | 5 September 2008 at 4:16 pm #

    Cee, haven’t you read 9.36 ?

  98. avatar
    restaurant mark | 5 September 2008 at 5:54 pm #

    my thoughts are with you steve…
    by the way, the two painkiller tracks on myspace, outbound and spirit in flame are absolutely amazing and trippy! love them…a great birthday present for me today getting to hear those!

    take care everyone

  99. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 5 September 2008 at 8:46 pm #

    Happy Birthday Mark. You merit a long life because you’re a truly benevolent and insighful guy. As for me “I’ll Never Be Anybody’s Hero.”

  100. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 5 September 2008 at 9:44 pm #

    hope you had/are having a lovely birthday with loved ones, mark…
    steve, if you’re reading comments, i send healing vibes and love to you and your family during this hard time…
    love always…

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