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NOT ABOUT NIGHTINGALES (2017)

Few Little Lines

If in the end the ties are broken 
And blood like Ludlow's flow again 
Tell the world to weep not for 
The letters never sent 

Sing the songs you wrote for your child 
Who spends her time in the willows 
The pages folded edges bent 
The letters never sent 

For the letters never sent 
Let's try to hold friends of old 
Dearly in our hearts and sing 

I'll write just a few little lines 
I've no fine hand but it's fine 
Cause the time that we spent 
Love was better than the letters never sent 

Rain like age it floods and grows 
A passing storm of beauty's youth 
And the clouds of endless song 
One day roll along 

But all the things that were never said 
That danced upon the edge of words 
Find a home in what they meant 
In letters never sent 

For the river never she writes 
To the sea but endlessly flows on while we 

We sing I'll write just a few little lines 
I've no fine hand but it's fine 
Cause the time that we spent 
Love was better than the letters never 

Tethered like a stone thrown in the ocean 
To the weight of the days we spent 
Tell me love was better than the 
Letters never sent 

Hold fast the flowers fade 
And roads are made out of the glade 
So sing no soft lament 
For the letters never sent 

For the letters never sent 
Let's try to hold friends of old 
Dearly in our hearts and sing 

I'll write just a few little lines 
I've no fine hand but it's fine 
Cause the time that we spent 
Love was better than the letters 
Better than the letters...

                               //

River For Your Dam

Dust off your hat 
And throw away your cigarettes 

Changing are the ways 
That you spend your last dime 
Dry your eyes brother I got mine 
It seems as though you know 
Which way the river flows 

Do you only want a pen for your plans 
Do you only want a river for your dam 

Sweep the floor 
And write letters to the ones you love 

The coffee's getting cold 
And the tobacco that you rolled 
Is the music in your music show 
But when it's time to go home 
Will you change your tune? 

Do you only want a pen for your plans 
Do you only want a river for your dam 

It's raining on the sun 
There's flames about the moon 
You are one and you are 
To see you through 
What will you do 

Dust off your hat 
And throw away your cigarettes

                               //

I Was Trying To Describe You

To describe you I looked at the mountains 
Doubting that those shades of blue could define you 
To describe you I dug through the tomb 
But all the riches in that room live inside you 

I could say you look like sweet Liza Jane 
And I could say you look like Barbara Allen 
But your face is timelessness traced 
On to times of no telling 

Cedar groves and just a little bit of honey 
Sweet corn rattling in the sun 
Steeping leaves and butter for the bread she made 
The lake speaks of endless waves 

And the feeling in brings 
When there's a bird that hears another singing 
Listens on to the song that glistens 
Oh, makes the distant hills ring 
Make the hills ring 

When the spring brings the rain 
That slips through my fingers 
But I hold out my hands anyway 
Up above me the morning dove's done grieving 
Just to listen to the blue jay 

That is how you look to me 
That is how you look to me

                               //

A Cure For His Soul

Old Bill Jones gonna lose his mind 
If he carries on this way 

He sat down on a bumblebee 
Too high to know 

But he'll break no mistake when you take 
You're bound to fall don't stall after all 
Time won't wait for you and me 
Things ain't what they seem to be 

And he will sleep in the deep don't weep 
He'll be back again don't know when in the end 
He'll find a cure for his soul 
That don't take its toll 

Old Bill Jones got a losing hand 
But he'll play it anyway 

He found himself a pretty little gal 
But she had to go away 

And in time he'll find a heart as kind 
And the ties that bind they'll soon unwind 
He'll be free to love again 
Drink from the well while you can 

And he might wait hesitate too late 
The sun has set with regret I'll bet 
He'll find a cure for his soul 
That don't take its toll 

Old Bill Jones gonna lose his life 
If he carries on this way 

But the day will come for him to fly 
Across that ocean blue 

Til then he might lost sight of what's right 
And the price he'll pay and pay every day 
As the blues fall down like rain 
And it will drive the man insane 

And when he tries his eyes do cry 
And the tears bring fear it might take years 
To find a cure for his soul 
That don't take its toll

                               //

Thought You Had A Home

I remembered a song that I used to sing 
Reminded by eyes as blue as the sky 
'Twas about the moon making ravens wing 
Beating on the wind make the valleys ring 

It's something I just can't explain 
Like a flash of sun in a drop of rain 
As the day begins to break its back 
It's turned to the home 

You thought you had a home 
On the mountain so high 
Where cloudless is the mind 
As you laugh and you cry 
But down there in the valley 
On the cradle there's a crow 
Waiting for your son to grow 

Treading heavy through the 
Leaden hours of dawn 
Through the afternoon 
The moon's the ghost of the sun 

Behind the cold horizon 
There's a home where you'll rise 
And the songs are as sweet 
As a heart is bright 

But something down inside the soul 
Like lightning makes the thunder 
Oh my God is this what we have made 
Is this the place 

You thought you had a home 
On the mountain so high 
Where cloudless is the mind 
As you laugh and you cry 
But down there in the valley 
On the cradle there's a crow 
Waiting for your daughter to grow 

Feels like flying my friend 
From dreams of ghosts in my head 

It's something I could never know 
Til I pulled on the string of the bow 
It's a friend that's gone the Lord's child 
A song that makes the Devil smile 
You know you thought you had a home

                               //

To Say Hello

Wake up friend of mine 
It's time for me to go 
I'll see you tomorrow 
Until the yarrow we're below 
I'll feel inclined to say hello 

And ask you 
What's above love in a world 
In which the dove must sing 
For the ones in the ditch 

Don't you wish 
You could stitch what's torn 
Before your children are born 

And hold them to your body 
And whisper we are sorry 
We took so much 
But still we gave you life 

Wake up friend of mine 
You've been working hard all day I know 
But I feel inclined to say hello 

For loam and hands of leather 
Have sewn the home together 
But the sage and the heather's 
On the edge of the knife 

How to give more 
Than we take of life

                               //

Friends With Silence

It goes roaring through the sunshine 
It comes crying out of pain 
It goes dashing like the wind 
Through the Appaloosa mane 

But I can hear it calling 
When sound all seems insane 
I'm friends with silence 
In an old fashioned way 

Some phone is always ringing 
The highway's humming low 
Even on the mountain 
In the shade of the grove 

But I can feel its patience 
On the most restless of days 
I'm friends with silence 
In an old fashioned way 

I'm friends with the sound of sunlight 
As it falls onto the ground 
I'm thankful for the places that it takes me 
And for all the thoughts I've found 

When I can't find the right word 
If I got nothing to say 
I'm friends with silence 
In an old fashioned way 

I can hear them changing stations 
On the other side of this wall 
Somebody's yelling 'bout something 
Somewhere down the hall 

If I had the money 
I'd leave this place to stay 
I'm friends with silence 
But I've got debts to pay 

I'm friends with the sound of moonlight 
As it falls onto the ground 
I'm thankful for the places that it takes me 
And for all the thoughts I've found 

When I can't find the right word 
If I got nothing to say 
I'm friends with silence 
In an old fashioned way

                               //

Not About Nightingales

To embrace the star on which this body rests 
Like a nightingale in its branched nest 

I shiver as I hold the hope I might save 
As though someone I love walked across my grave 

And the home I've known grown apart from these bones 
Will hold me to my choices like fossils in stone 

How all these things I hold so dear 
Become a practice of the moments here 

Is the song of today 
The story of old 
The weeping of the weary 
The sweat of the bold 

I raise my right hand to the ocean to vow 
As my left holds what I have now 

I listen closely for the soft whispered answers 
In rooms of poets and growers and dancers 

How all these things I hold so dear 
Become a practice of the moments here

                               //

Some Times

You don't feel the vines 
Growing up your sleeve 
Reaching toward your heart 
Beating for... tell me 

You don't feel the moon 
Glowing in your palms 
Illuminating songs 
That slip away 

You might never feel 
Find it hard to heal 
Just remember it's not real 
But a dream of you 

You don't feel the ground shake 
Or maybe you do 
Confused in the soles of your shoes 
Mistaken for a train painted grey 

Sometimes I feel 
Just like you do 
Sometimes I feel 
Like belong 

Sometime it feels 
Like everyone intends to take 
Sometimes it feels 
Like everyone's awake 

Someday you will feel 
Find a way to heal 
Just remember it's not real 
But a dream of you