When the Gray is Turning

by Steven Kattenbraker

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1.
The Ever After I’ve tried, digging in my heels Going too fast down the hill You’ll come tumbling after Jaws clenched for the blow As they know They’ll meet the ground faster Refuse to eulogize the truth Disinter the call for proof This is not a disaster But we haven’t got a clue What to do With the drunken toastmaster Here it comes around again The chalice and the truce Got ‘head and drink it down again The honey of the spruce All hail, the emperor’s in jail His darlings diving down the well To delay their capture There’s no one left to blow The silent notes Of the false rapture Assail, the fox has left the trail The hounds can’t see past their tails On the hunt for laughter The chase is dragging on The scent is gone Postpone the ever-after Here it comes around again The chalice and the truce Got ‘head and drink it down again The honey of the spruce
2.
Curtain’s Drawn In earnest now, the audition starts Reading from the end to render The plot a ruse Far removed from the leading parts Cast the extra acts, reveal The pomp and purview I scored it for a thousand more Guess we’ll overlap the scenes To give it meaning The curtains drawn, you’re on again Ballasts twist your shadows spin Around you The cloak and veil your second skin Raving eyes are peering in They’ve found you Placed your lines nose to tail Memorized ‘for you can spell They’ve bound you Eye your marks, spots on the wall Fledgling pirouettes fly up from Dizzy falls Through the scene and out the door Perfect and en pointe you barely Touched the floor I scored it for one and no more Guess we’ll overlap the scenes To give it meaning Abraded knees the worst you’ve known The leaded net’s yet to be thrown Around you Your vision wise yet never seen The bone exposed its naked gleam Confounds you Storyline is still too raw Painting scenes you never saw Astounds you In earnest now the curtain falls The trial’s run its course and rendered The plot a ruse Far removed from the leading parts Scratch the extra acts reveal The stark and virtue I scored it for a thousand more Guess we’ll overlap the scenes To give it meaning Curtains close you’re off again Ballasts still your shadows spin Around you The cloak and veil your second skin Raving eyes are peering in They’ve found you Placed your lines nose to tail Memorized ‘fore you can spell They’ve bound you
3.
Lamentations are Lacerations They keep your faults, around their necks And they rub them like dark, potent amulets Spite and scorn, turned inside out Shows the stitches of misgiving and tags of doubt Apologies they aren’t always a state of grace When they’re dusted off and rolled out Just to save face The breaking up, of the ice Has left you drifting on floating bad advice Leave the crow, on the fire Rather starve than come clean as a liar Your glowing eyes and their unassuming grace They eclipse the scars of lies That criss and cross your face Lamentations are lacerations that the heart implores With each succeeding, stinging cut it just beats for more I’d like to help you patch the wound And slam the door behind you We’ll make a hole, and throw it in And promise not to dig it up again Spite and scorn, turned inside out Shows the stitches of misgiving and tags of doubt Apologies they aren’t always a state of grace When they’re dusted off and rolled out Just to save face Lamentations are lacerations that the heart implores With each succeeding, stinging cut it just beats for more I’d like to help you patch the wound And slam the door behind you
4.
5.
Summer Pond 03:16
Summer Pond From the dark, throw the meal Water boils, cast the reel Light the fuse, ‘fore the thunder peels Hope this finds you well Summer pond, will you Stay With me
6.
New, new Colossus Blues Cast out Pulled from the sea Sinking Exile breath free Console Mother Straddles the sea Golden Door welcomes me Console
7.
Spear 06:06
Spear Licking wounds from cushioned falls Is not enough to know the taste of pain at all To betray is simply to change The path transcribed into your veins Yellow ribbons tied to the posts They’re faded white, so many ghosts There were no lies, just differences in interpretation Only stark decisions for us to make There was no chance of mindless repetition The dead prevented reshaping past mistakes Rolling stream beside the road Molten steel and blood, and black liquid gold Every home fears our approach Good intentions shot full of holes Waste no time posing questions to wooden faces Or rest content till the truth unfolds Try to wedge into all the tiny places Like water, when frozen it cracks the stone Hands are calloused from their wringing The metal is hard and cold We’ve learned nothing from our progression Made the spear much easier to throw Hope you’re watching and deciding When it’s your turn you’ll take a different road The phony dove has been released It’s talons sharp, no eyes to see No branch in tow, no branch to rest It’s plunged its beak into its chest There were no lies, just differences in interpretation Only stark decisions for us to make There was no chance of mindless repetition The dead prevented reshaping past mistakes Hands are calloused from their wringing The metal it’s hard and cold We’ve learned nothing from our progression Made the spear much easier to throw Hope you’re watching and deciding When it’s your turn you’ll take a different road
8.
Passerine 04:39
Passerine The nest is lined with holes Snake skin blazes warning Last night safe at home Windows taunt the morning You’re on your own You’re not alone Passerine Here’s how it all begins Take off unknown Once overflown End unwritten Now bring it in You know it only glows When it’s barely burning Can always paint it gold When the grey is turning You’re on your own You’re not alone Passerine Here’s how it all begins Take off unknown Once overflown End unwritten Now bring it in
9.
Predator 04:32
Predator Knew the danger ‘fore you took aim Wager pleasure on your pain Of all the times to hit your marks Ruts of sharpened scorn smoothed to dull blame The predator and unwilling prey I guess it’s your grace to give away I’d tell you you missed me but that’s your intent Targeted stunt show how close you could get Headlights and steel and a roar of contempt Our blessings were carved from our innocence Honor your lapse with my gratitude More of the same comes to you Feared your tracks were a crooked frame Despite your lucky miss, you’d never be the same You left the scene to remember you by Now I’m inclined to do the same I’d tell you you missed me but that’s your intent Targeted stunt show how close you could get Headlights and steel and a roar of contempt Our blessings were carved from our innocence How hard it was to To be naïve too What you already knew More risk makes a better game Made your gamble You knew you could play and I’ll stay Right here at home The predator and unwilling prey I guess it’s your grace to give away I’d could thank you for the lesson learned Or light my own flame and let you feel the burn I’d tell you you missed me but that’s your intent Targeted stunt show how close you could get Headlights and steel and a roar of contempt Our blessings were carved from our innocence How hard it was to To be naïve too What you already knew More risk makes a better game Made your gamble You knew you could play and I’ll stay Right here at home
10.
Fence Out 04:54
Fence out When we’re, all in And cutting out pictures of faces We’ve lost to time We’ll keep hiding And hoarding are strength with our share Until it shines With open arms, meet the imposed will And downcast eyes, bid the lips be still And we close the gate Fence out the exchange Perhaps it protects us But it works too well. Board up the booth, Got no tickets to sell To the shoe-string charade Got no stories to tell You listen long, you listen well It’s your turn the parlance is stale Perhaps it protects but it works too well No one stops To taste what we’ve grown to expect Is lost on the vine Furrowed dreams, bleed Until pillows are full and betray Our empty heads Blowing rings of smoke, One for each lost year Can’t help but choke Trying to fake the tears And we close the gate Fence out the exchange Perhaps it protects us But it works too well. Board up the booth, Got no tickets to sell To the shoe-string charade Got no stories to tell You listen long, you listen well It’s your turn the parlance is stale Perhaps it protects but it works too well
11.
Orbit Bound 03:00
Orbit Bound Once for all we saw The slow rise and the fall has won It’s done The taming of the sun Flaring out in hiding It’s down, unwound The orbit it’s still bound Bound to the dark and distant To turn, return The stellar lantern burns Once for all we saw The slow rise and the fall has won It’s done The taming of the sun Flaring out in hiding Its down, unwound The orbit its still bound Bound to the dark and distant To turn, return The stellar lantern burns Burn off the daylight Burn away wick to finally set free To see, set free Freehand the meaning The last leaves on the tree Treelined twilight Tree bending softly over to the saw Is all we saw The slow rise and the fall
12.
Signing Off 04:42
Signing off Signing off again I don’t know what’s happening I don’t want you looking in On what I fear is setting in I have always known That I would see you again A false web I’ve had to spin With no thought of falling in We’ll run, run till we fall Then we’ll try to make sense of it all I have always wished That I could reason A place we would meet again When this earthly life ends A pearled paradise A gilded Elysium With all that we’ve loved at hand An eternal reunion We’ll run, run till we fall Then we’ll try to make sense of it all I have always wished That I could reason That we would be born again A journey that never ends Our love remains Sustained in a second skin An oak at the river’s bend A swallow on the wind We’ll run, run till we fall Then try to make sense of it all

credits

released May 7, 2018

Recording/Mixing: Steven Kattenbraker
Mastering: Gus Elg Sky Onion
Artwork: Dreama Kattenbraker

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