TERRITORIES

 

LAZARUS:

Keep the crows away from the table / Tie back their wings if you are able for you must protect your kin / The heart will break away from the strain of it / From the plow to the fallow  ground, the earth submits / Concern your mind with the fruits of your labor, savor the juice, taste all the flavor before the frost weathers your skin / You’ll learn what you burn will never  grow back again, the flame in your hand will land in your soul so don’t let that darkness in / Winter has come to take what we’ve done. It’s not too late. It’s never too late / We can find  ourselves another way / (We won’t be waiting around the path leads south so follow me down / It’s not too late to dive off the wharf and watch the searchlights fade forever) / The seeds in the  soil swear they’ll be back again and rise from the soil just like old Lazarus with the blessing of a helping hand / We toil ‘til we’re old but will we come back again? We break all these bones just so they’ll set again. Arrange us as they please / Oil it’ll burn to keep the poison pen at bay, preserving the words so they’ll never be changed but can they keep us away?
 

CYPRESS GROVE:

Cicadas drone across this harbor town / The walls brought up now are crumbling down / The trade winds call to a snow‐white dove / Over a cypress grove still warmed by the sun / And what shall it be? Ask me, ask me / What shall we be? You’ve got to release me / What you are now, son, well I used to be one / What we are now ‐ you soon will be / I will fade away. I don’t want to  hurt no one / I don’t want no grave / Sometime this body will give way / We’ve got to make the best of things while we remain / The salt on the rocks will be reclaimed by the tide / The sun  bleaches out the whites of my eyes / As I sit and count the blades of grass, I forget myself as the seasons pass.
 

THREE-LEGGED CROW:

Rabbit’s moon / Hangs abandoned like a ruin / Our house a tomb / Swallows nest in the corners of the children’s rooms / Will soon be flying back to roost / All too soon / We’ll all be flying back to roost / Brother, oh your eyes / Their ragged light is bright enough to blind / Plunge your taloned hands into the fire / Pull out your sons / Pull out your daughters / A three‐legged crow / Called to the people down below / Flying low / Heavy with the burden of a secret only gods can know / Power is too dangerous to hold / Stars will glow / Hot and bright and close.

 

PHOENIX:

I could go for a rebirth / Rise up fast like a phoenix bird / Hand through dirt, I’ll unearth my resolve / From a nest of frankincense / I’ll recount every moment spent / One for every scar / Every hair grayed / A coat of arms over all of us / Branches to branches, dust to dust / Come find me out from my heartbeat / Can’t keep it calm in the dark / The dawn breaks and the night  yields / Bloodied beaks over wheat fields / Captive by the feathers on display / Be the queen of my escape / I’ll be your saving cup of grace / We’ll find some way to overtake them all.
 

FIELDS OF FIRE:
Fields of fire come / From one unsteady hand / Blackened birch undone / Crows call out to command the young / Callous it comes like the setting sun / The smoke, the flames on the horizon / Awaken the old forsaken and run from the fields / The premonition has come too late, we find / The secrets we have left are unearthed by the wind tonight / To welcome the wild, the wolves and  their hymns / Tonight, I let that darkness in / To bask in the silver, solitary and grim / But I guess... / The wicked will rest upon a crooked breast / In gilded rooms, on palace floors / You build me up just to burn me back down / But when I turn to smoke, I’m no longer yours / Silence my call, to cage me in / I’m not coming around / No more shall I hang my head / And the fallen leaves shall be my bed / No, I can’t make it on my own / Though I try to make it / Oh, I can’t make it on my own / So I know...
 

WORDS IN THE EARTH:

When the clouds begin to funnel and the hail falls / You were backlit by the sunset in orange tones / There was something delivered in the air / A glimpse of something holy, stolen / For a moment, it was there / They say there’s repercussions that will follow / When an unbounded heart is tethered to tomorrow / Sown to where the sun may never reach / But what’s kept ‐ I know ‐ burns like coals / A fire, it evokes inside of me / I still have time / My hands will still find the words in the earth / Come tomorrow the oak will tower over us all.

 

THE GREAT FURNACE:

The pressure splits the mountainside / Venting fire into frigid climes / The devil knocked, the earth abides / St. Michael, he can’t free us from the ties that bind / How we dear we find our motherland / Which cradled us gently like a lover’s hand / Staring now, we understand / Can’t claim, can’t calm, can’t comprehend / When the sun fades out, and the tide draws back again / A white flag unfurls to the black wave’s end / What birthed us once will swallow whole / The weapons from heaven that the trickster stole / No yolk, no harness can control / It’s not a beast of burden but a gift bestowed / From field to ash / From clay to clay / Formed in the fire and the fire takes / The vessels break, and are swept away / From field to ash / From clay to clay / We are truly a sight to behold. 

 

CARNIVORE:
Michael, do not pine for me / Can’t capture what you cannot hold / I’m like the sea / Brazen and breaking over bones / On the shore I’ll pick them clean / But I will not, no I won’t / Enjoy all of your suffering / So let me go to the folds of the old coal‐black clouds of the night / A broken incisor / Pulled from a carnivore / Will hang ‘round my neck instead of gold / Casting visions / I’m like an apparition / I’m keeping my dowry so leave me no rose / I cannot / Feign a need to dress in white linens / Instead of clothes soiled with sweat and I ask / “What did you learn from me tonight?” / You shout so loud, shout so loud / “What did you learn from me tonight?” / So let me go to the folds of the old coal‐black clouds of the night. 

carnivore

 

COLD WIND: 
The foxes wait for the wolves of town / To take their prey / To take them down / The money’s good / The money’s alright /But the wind will claim our words tonight / Time is a flood and we all float / In its wake / We lose all that we know / But the water’s good / The water’s alright / It’ll cleanse me down by the riverside / There’s a cold wind blowing me home.
 

SEA & BELLS: 
A shadow set free by lack of light / A little cabin falls into the night sky / Helicopters roam above the trees / Chariots with hooves above, us beneath / The clack‐clack‐clack of the cobblestones / Blots out the voice of God in our bones tonight / The sea and the bells and the house of leaves / A light left on, crumpled pages and tea / Words on my lips but they won’t escape / Off my tongue to find the pearly gates / And the wind will work on the fields and flock / But won’t catch the vowels to help one talk tonight / Seven sisters to doves and then to stars / Teenagers trace them in the back of borrowed cars / And no matter how away you’ve gone / Merope will always leave her light on / To guide you to the river to the raft and the breeze / She’ll always find a way to get you back to me tonight.

 

MY BROTHER'S KEEPER:

October fires come burn away the green / November rains will wash these fingers clean / Water, blood, and all that’s in between / December snows will cover everything / Round come around / Let the snow fall down / Don’t make a sound before the other is found / Round come around / Let the snow fall down / One takes the crown while the other is bound / Abel and Cane / Can’t tell them apart / Each has a serpent curled in his heart / Shedding his skin as the seasons fade / What was welcomed inside can rot you away / I recognized his boot prints in the snow / Down by the mills, where water used to flow / Just like the lies he told me way back when / They circled ‘round and caught themselves again.

 

SEVEN CROWNS:

From the lakes of melted glass / Rise skeletons of cities past / Lanterns light the blackened heavens / Like fireflies suspended / And we’re lost in the valley of the Seven Crowns / Spiders catch the fallen ash / Which lays like leaves upon the masts / Traffic lights direct the rivers / Whose waves are now homeward driven / You said it’d be fire this time / But the wind and the rain came in / The levy broke / And no Noah spoke / We came from the sea / Now the sea comes for us