Year Of The Bird (Volume 3)

by Pale Bird

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1.
Snowmelt 04:55
Aurora Australis, slicing through the ice The first bright spot we’ve had in days Hazard Orange, like a sunrise Creeping over your frozen gaze We’re used to the cold here So when there’s a storm, it’s not as if we don’t care But our possessions are all lashed down Our hatches fully battened Expecting at least as much as we can bear The sun hits the mountain And for a moment it looks like the snow is melting Let’s not get overexcited I was born with a silver lining But I’ve worn that down I still have hope, and her smarter sisters Fear and stubborn persistence Locked up underground The sun hits the mountain And for a moment it looks like the snow is melting We sat down on one cold night with pen and paper and together wrote a list Of all the things we didn’t need To make us happy Until we had no ink or paper We sat down on one cold night with pen and paper and together wrote a list of all the things we didn’t need To make us happy
2.
Hey friends, I’m blowing into town The wind’s coming up and it’s going to get busy Like a 19th Century Doris Day, like a a gusty Thin Lizzy And hey, I’ve never been a Mennonite (He doesn’t dress as well as one) I just read a book by Miriam Toews (Sounds like his idea of fun) Hey friends, I’m blowing into town Hey friends, I’m coming back next week And we all know how this is going to go 16 hours of every day set aside for sleep Which leaves us with a good 8 hours of sitting around at home And hey, I’ve never been an Anchorite (He lived in a church for ten years, but anyway) I wasn’t bricked in, and I left the house Sometimes once each day Hey friends, I’m blowing into town Hey friends, I’m blowing into town Hey friends, I’m blowing into town Let me know if you want to walk 10 or 20k Or hang out in a public park and listen to bats just after dark Or spend the morning eating hollandaise Until we fall into a daze And then we spend the afternoon Watching Naked and Afraid Hey friends, I’m blowing into town
3.
Intermission 00:48
4.
The darkness above the centre of town This unending halo of rust I see it within each of us We’re born from and pass back into this dust We were only 6 hours sailing from land When every cloud cleared from the sky A glowing ravine opened over our heads The dark at its centre drew every eye I’m not a sailor I’m not a sailor I can’t even swim the Australian crawl And I think I should warn you, I’m not that kind of doctor I don’t think you know me at all So were you there all along Waiting for us To turn out the light It’s hardly a smile cutting open the stars Covering over the night
5.
I only see the moon when I look into the sky Irrestible and cold, and so impossibly bright People go on and on About the power of the oceans Who do you think Rouses them into action, Shaking them when they sleep Far away from shore In the deepest plains and canyons I only see the moon on a cloudless night Bright and fiery as the sun Swallowing up the sky The seas only know how to do one thing well Look after each other They won’t let one little puddle be pushed around By some silver motherfucker That’s how the oceans describe the moon Those aren’t my words, I love the moon And when I open my eyes I only see the moon when I look into the sky Irrestible and cold, and so impossibly bright I only see the moon
6.
Little Thing 06:30
Pale Bird picking charcoal bones with a silver bill These people are turning away I think they took the wrong red pill I hear words ringing out A voice of reason still We might listen if it wasn’t From the top of Calvary Hill When any little thing goes wrong I see you reach out for the good book Hey remember when were 14 And the only thing you read Was the Warhammer 40,000 ruleset And this winter, when your path wasn’t so clear You spoke aloud the Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear A sufficient level of detail to occupy my thoughts To give them a pleasant space to pace backwards and forwards Fear, the mind-killer, is buried and is gone There’s a light blinking which says “Ready Player One”
7.
They were there to see me Putting one foot down The old country’s looking fine But I was trying to hide I live in North London now And I feel like a Quisling in those sunny social climes Who the hell has the money? Who the hell has the time? You don’t know letting go So what would that feel like? What if it’s safe to say “no help is on its way”? Are you so scared of dying, or just being forgotten? I have to break the news, but both are going to happen to you If you keep raging at the things No one will say But you won’t say What do you mean, are you afraid? Frightened what will happen If you ask “how do we know Is this the best we’ll ever do Or will we fall so short we’ve been Throwing pebbles at the moon”. It’s a low, constant whine So childish to ask And to ask again After all this time
8.
Every morning you welcome Time back into your room You drank a cloudy liquid Promise me it was apple juice I tried chewing a clove Don’t think that I’m avoiding Believe me when I say I know It is drawing out the poison Your regime is wonderful Teeth, where they’d been pulled Grew stout, pearly and strong Back where they belong I should take a bright demeanour Don’t imagine that I can’t change Think of a colourful, abundant meadow That sounds like an appropriate place This became a revelation Helped me to heal everything else One tiny piece in my missing jigsaw, I’m a Person with a great love for myself My goodness, what a transformation Mind you don’t say miraculous, I Came upon the pieces and I put them Back where they belonged Every time you tell me I do not believe Your teeth grew back I don’t think that This helped one person My mind came back
9.
Not everything has a pattern running through We’re so good at finding meaning in the tea Leaves us with a sense of power Our future could be something that we could can steer towards Shapes on the horizon like rainclouds That turn into the faces of the people that we love (Love is not a word a man my age should use - we’ve expunged, got rid) I won’t stop just because you don’t like it - I’d be lying if I said that I was fine with it Not everything’s a painful hurdle to be overcome A gauntlet I don’t won’t to run Door is locked up, I don’t need to break it down It might lead to some dead end If everything’s a puzzle box my mind just has to open Life gets so dull A bad crossword
10.
You reach right down, lift handfuls of mud in the air To feed the canopies, hungry Hungry and loud From their buzzing silver zeppelin crowd And some kind of flying sedan chairs You bet I was speaking ill of the dead when I said These streets here are all paved with lead But these flagstones remain immune to the tremors They’ll hold this city together Now I am just saying what you already know You can feel how deep the city’s roots go They crumble the topsoil and the hard rock below They’ll sever the city from the land in which it grows So when this land is unmoored and floats out to sea The city has better ideas, just you see And when it gets tired of this ridiculous dance It’ll be its own island off the north coast of France The rock face exposed reveals dozens of doors Beneath the fast feet of the city at day Each one is old but shows no sign of decay Their absent owners paint it away Somewhere in there, behind the door, up the stairs Above a thin piece of word sawn into a square Behind the boxes of clothes on a cluttered wood floor You’ll find an oil painting Photographic in style Of a rotten old door

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released September 20, 2019

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Pale Bird Austwick, UK

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