Monarch Lyrics

Monarch — Annotated Version

1 FERNWEH
Wet rain, waiting under a cloud that’s full of rain
Cold feet standing upon a shore that’s cold and grey
Endless horizon, that melts away from left to right
Blurries the edges, where sky and ocean reunite

2 SNOW
Please don’t let me fall into hesitation yet
Cause it’s these moments when silence
starts sliding downhill quick
And I’m watching trees go flying
never digging in my heels to walk among them
And the amnesia of this traveling
begins to blur the memory of what I set out for
Snow, my contact between me and something I remember
A voice moving softly through the trees followed my people
around the Caspian Sea
And have we ever really listened
with our stiff necks and broken wisdom?
Picking berry-laden branches
And did our trade or our surrender
make us any less of pretenders?
Tell me
Break whatever’s in me
that makes me dull and makes me dream
of lesser colors lesser things;
you can unzip me from the seams
Kick all the props, cut all the strings,
divert generational streams
dig out my heart and make me scream
if that is what will make me sing

3 THESE ARE THE DAYS
These are the days we’re making up as we go
we drift through the hollows to find the old road
don’t remember days of your sorrow,
remember when you heard the call
carry today & tomorrow,
and rightly count the who’s and whens
Some people say money, and others say plans
but I’m hungry for freedom that never changes hands
spring, summer and autumn leave me restless
will winter bring its peace to man?
But hidden in time there is a constant
if we can only enter in
I’ve been to your house once
the doors were tall & wide
so I was surprised when it was warm inside
Take me to a room I can lay down in
and let me hear the songs they sing
or quiet my mind — let me hear softly
the simple song you’re whispering

4 EIGHT LONG MONTHS
Eight long months with nothing showing
With not one coming, and in the swelter nothing growing
July’s heat brought us to our knees
But we’re still crawling
When the Spring came with rain,
it came all at once in a down pour
And the hail came with,
with all its knives & its fists and left our garden sore
Their heads looked down
& their backs bent over like orphans
And I wondered if what I planted in the ground
had any chance of becoming what I’m hoping
Nine long months — we just returned from a wedding
Things like these make me think of where we’re heading
The heart’s trapeze has no comfort of the netting
But the tears that are shed in a drought
are more precious for the letting
And the Fall came gentle
and the blossoms that were wrinkled began to open
And the August that had pressed on us so hard
September had broken
So prune it off — we’ll see
Or pull them up if no fruit is setting
Because the Fall is here
and because the garden’d be fairer for replanting
December comes — and a baby is awakened
And frost may fall, but our hope wasn’t taken
And the summer earth was dormant
But the winter fruit is persevering

5 CITY
City of gold, city of face
city of love, city — no base
city undone, city low play
city street-drunk, city turns none away
And we saw through our windows
every door where the men go
She was low cut, she was dumb-faced
a ribbon of lust wherever she lay
see her undone, see her freeze-frame
see her drunk li(m)p, see her tease play
And we watch still as she goes downhill
City hangs out where the beasts sway
City’s passed out in the hallway
Before she fell down what did she say?
“I haven’t seen a bird in twenty-three of these days”
To say we told her so was no thrill
But we don’t mind a quiet kill

6 APOLOGY
Sorry love,
I didn’t mean to hurt you, I apologize
I love your hands
Please come out,
out from behind the red holly tree
I’ll prune their horns
Foolish tongue
Speak kindly to a lady, your ever-wife,
And wash her arms
Holy light—
See it — through the window of her skin
A mirror shines
Sorry, love—
I didn’t mean to hurt you, I apologize
Know I love you

7 I USED TO THINK
I used to think that we would never know enough
that we were caught between a shadow and a bluff
a scent so fleeting, so misleading, us
a storm cloud’s passion
spirit, ashes, us
We can sink our teeth in whatever fare we want
we can fill our rooms or leave them vacant, waiting
endless options, rooms of boxes, us
filled or empty,
feigned or living, us
And when we cross the street
and leave the salesmen wagging tongues
behind the cemetery field
is the wild open
we were meant to be a tributary running down
cause the valley’s meant to be
to be filled with children

8 MONARCH
Afternoon, when I saw your cocoon hanging silent
Won’t be here in the dark of the year when the light’s spent
and bent over a misshapen earth
Bottled up in a drinking cup, I hold and watch you
As the summer yawns and autumn blankets my lawn
What will time do to you?
Restless fingers, clenched fists, now, now — is it time yet?
Raising brows, counting down, now, now — is it time yet?
And when the summer lifts
and the evenings are brisk you will turn south
And the same turns that the monarch learns
from the wind’s mouth, will they lift me?
Morning and the dawn of your wings comes too slowly for me
You tap and you twist but your tough chrysalis
is still holding, it seems
But the trick of the stall
is you won’t get out at all without the struggling
You’ve got to be strong cause it won’t be long till you’re flying
To see the orange ocean with black and white flickered songs
The dream of meeting brothers that I have never known
is calling me out
The sea of flame and flutter the yearn to belong
The first rip in the darkness, and the sense of my home
is calling me out

9 MORNING DOVE
She’s awake in the morning
long before I ever stir
she’s hungry for the oil and the water
and the flour gets rolled for the bread
She has ears for the birdsong
that decorates the darkest blue
her voice is in her hands and the whispering
is her song in the hours before the sun is due
She moves out through the morning
while the stars still wander
over streets, over houses
she pulls a blanket
and the dew of her feet is a washing
She looks into our faces
with the love that she’s received
and bestows it on us like a white carnation
the well of her heart is a clear spring
She sees God in the sunrise
that paints the roofs of everything
she runs with the wind of the morning
she taps on my window and I’m awake

10 TIME, MY TETHER
Time, my tethered umbilical cord, is a rope
to the places and people I am living for and to my hope
Disconnects me from my longings and from my home
Sees me come and go on little voyages — distant shores
Breath of our lungs — like wetted paper cups — contract
and expand in their dual little witnesses of the facts
Are my words watering the roots of your heart, or is there lack?
Cause the birds we’re setting free daily out of our mouths come back
I heard it say: All flesh is grass
It devours with a mouth that never fasts
Do we build our lives on anything that lasts?
Time for seven billion of us to learn love in place
of the gentle caress and ease of wickedness — saving face
Time for these drying bodies to jump in, get wet
Cause the river is rushing — wants to swallow us —
the river of death

11 MEANT
Teach me your heart
Show me where to find
all the secrets there
the ones you know are mine
Let’s take this risk
that says our love is young
that says we’re foolish
Let’s prove them wrong
Cause I was meant to love you
the way you should be loved
Place your hand in mine
for the love and friendship there
Let’s adventure out
past the arcing line
He said: Follow this one thing
Love one another
as I have loved you
as I died for you
When we bow our heads
nevermore to wake
our love’s a garland there
whose flowers never fade

12 NO ANSWERS
There are no answers in the pages
Endless lines where we wait
And our hands plow the furrows
Sketching lines on our face
And I long for you
down roads they’d walk me through
But I have grown tired,
tired of endless guessing
My love, I look for you
There are no answers in these pages
Only lines where we wait
And I stuff my ears to listen
Close my eyes to your gaze
Do I cast my lots with all,
all I have known?
Do I refuse the call
that brings me back home?
And I’ve tossed and turned upon these questions
I’ve piled like stones to throw
I raise my arm, you raise the invitation:
To be loved is to know

13 DEEP DEEP
God of the universe,
I look into the darkest part and
find a billion stars
Come on, how’d you fill that space
so many tiny, tiny things things in me
things I don’t see
big and small and far and near
and climbing closer to the stars
I want to look deep, deep into your heart
God of the universe,
I look into the darkest part and
find a billion stars
And all the times I tried to get close
you say the kingdom of God is in you, baby

14 TONIGHT
Watch me here
alone on the porch
with my heart
flickering like a torch
Do you love me tonight?
Do you love me tonight?
You’re so far away
Little king
awake in his head
hard to sleep
when the queen’s not in bed
Know I love you tonight
Know I wait for the light
the light of your face
When you come home
we’ll sing in the dark
illuminate
with a harmony spark
Wear a white dress tonight
Wear a white dress tonight
and say you’re in love
I’ll sleep for now
with a yawn and a sigh
hum a tune
to remember you by
Oh, I love you tonight
Oh, I love you tonight
My darling, my wife

15 HEIMWEH