Brushbloom

by The Tree Ring

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1.
We’re waiting in between The frost is hanging on in the shape of a tree White where the morning sun can’t reach On grass that once grew green But has no say in how rich its pigment will be My nervous vanity’s been slow To see The coyote’s coat looks like her home In the dusty leaves I always shared a fear With the sawtooth agave who blossoms and then disappears Til I got a taste of what I’d be If all of this light Hadn’t fallen so easy around me Now the violet hands of the May jacarandas are blossoming There were days that I may not have made it if they weren’t lining Granada street Every spring they recover the colors in me I am starting to notice their bark through the dark winter weeks Making me learn them patiently And deep Like anything I’ve ever believed I’ve known since my swollen mirror broke skin that even my best merits wait dormant for someone to draw them out of me And though I was so sure Which virtues I have earned The dry rainshadow knows I’ll learn those lines are blurred
2.
Sleep Softly in the pink heat Bleeding from the evening softly fleeing from the Blue East to the coast lets just lay low Steep Somewhere in a half-dream Buried in the line between the chaparral and Pine trees All our clarity waits deep laced in the seams The mountainside will show its jagged face to you As the shadows travel slow through the golden afternoon Until I got up close I’d never known The brushbloom glow Scattered on the desert floor Every year the patience of the colors makes me Love them more Like floorboards in our homes Every glimpse of light I see Is just as soon a memory And though my logic longs for absolutes I’m only sure of moments I once knew And all the things that I’m not proud of but I know I don’t regret They have made the contrast clear Every year the faces of these people grow more dear to me They make me see They make me
3.
04:07
From a moonsoaked peak I am looking east To a boundless, colorless sight Where the untamed sky’s being sectioned by Airplanes drawing straight white lines On the valley floor light from tiny bulbs Oscillates like flames from the homes Someone once explained why they dance that way But it makes no difference to know From here I can almost see the Salton Sea Dark in a void between the manmade things And if you look close you can see the ghosts of the wonders we tried to fake We have yet to shape anything that shakes me the way that the wind up here Whispers through the branches
4.
My steps are louder than a train through the heavy snow that lays Soft and seamless Overflown Under the Penny Pines disguised in the dull white of the day The bark that shows looks like a shadow so My stark quandaries rush to the top A flood in a hummingbird pause In my youth I was consumed in pursuit of what to do With every stone unturned And sold or thrown or burned Pushing through a fragile expanse I’m shaken by the weight of my hands Who am I to hurt the ones who give me all I have? The mountain frees me from entitled feelings Forgive me I’ve just found myself The pressure makes me someone else Loneliness is self-sustaining And phantom pain no less forgiving In the city I forget how much I’ve known of both The dreams about my father make my surest footing shake In the quiet I crave nothing but grace
5.
Even these trees Are huddled tightly in the sharpness of the morning Wearing nothing but some rotten apples on their sun-starved arms Small underneath A wall of grey that hardly lets the daylight to me And no sound But my mouth So loud An early freeze Instills in me the wishful dreams of what else could be Because the vivid ghosts of once before come when our bellies growl But when I see The stubborn earth is far more gracious than it could be I breathe deep and howl If the cold air made our bodies shake How could we say the morning was a waste Sometimes the shoulder seasons fill us more than what we’re waiting for Cause without warning We’ll find the new spring We’ll point the car east In search of new things And in the soft heat We’ll find an oak tree You’ll find a soft spot And lay beside me And under young leaves glowing in the sun We will agree these moments are enough I'll admit that times are harder now But I swear I’ll never turn them down Like the seabird hovering in flight If I am sustained, then I am alive
6.
From the North Grove the haze has turned gold As it savors it’s last breath It will fade away to slowly expose The endless blue West Every time I look away from my feet The sea’s gotten clearer There’s another forest deep underneath It just needs a revealer And it shimmers like stars without the fog How I wish I was pure but I am not Up here my doubts about who I want to be Are smaller than ever But I spend almost all my worry on things I’ll never remember Now I’m level with the pelicans Resting on a mass I can’t see They appear to love the hunt just as much As anything can be loved In an instant they fold back their graceful wings And with no hesitance let their weight fall free When each outstretched beak Collides with the sea The wild thirst returns to me
7.
Under unsure skies my eyes evaluate the light To decide how much they can afford to let inside And interpret the colors to try and show my mind what’s true No matter how defined and brilliant are the hues I tend to read them blue A surplus of comfort tends to form a crippling hole That lets you eat all night and never quite feel full But leaves us haunted by years when we were still too young to know We had as much as any human life can hold But still worried if there could be more When the dawn explodes In this tawny meadow The birdsong swallows my angst and fills my throat Because the fear of my secrets has stolen up too many years And I am tired of being blind to all that’s here So I pine for day I’m finally not surprised to find That freedom only comes inseparably tied To promises that guide Me honestly toward my own mind
8.
04:01
Stay in my sight I’m dead without reference I’ve learned my tendency With no one close enough to see I feed all my enemies Stand in the light It loves to be on you We best let it stretch our shape If we get too lost in the days Routine will find our darkest traits But if we remember when we got to see the city with no lights on Nothing washing out the stars except the fires in the front lawns I believe we can keep them safe Away I know my eyes Were clouded without you By words that I wrote before There’s an ocean in my mouth I forget how I was drowning If we remember when we got to lay so quiet by the lakeshore Under all the yellow tanagers that buzz around the scrub oaks On the morning after you were there to see me hit my lowest low I sincerely believe we will never be thieves

credits

released October 30, 2012

WRITTEN AND ARRANGED BY JOEL P WEST

PERFORMED BY THE TREE RING with CAMARADA:
JOEL P WEST vocals, guitar, pump organ
DARLA HAWN drums, vocals
KELLY BENNETT violin
DANIEL RHINE bass, vocals
JON TITTERINGTON trumpet
ERICA ERENYI cello
TRAVIS MARIL viola
DANA BURNETT piano
BETH ROSS BUCKLEY flute

RECORDED, MIXED, & MASTERED BY CHRIS HOBSON
www.treeringmusic.com | www.camarada.org

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The Tree Ring San Diego, California

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