The Animals Built Babel

from by haïku

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lyrics

How do you awake from gnashing dreams
Thunderous loud he calls you in your sleep
Upon the small, crafted figures
Clothed in thick soft skins
Of brown and white and pink

And calling he thus does
From his chamber in the morning
Till the darkness falls
They know not what they seek

How do we teach the animals
Who built a tower high
Teeming like gnats they climbed
Until the swore it rose to sky
And into blueness they did find
The mystery of thee

O darkness, o the darkest night
Calls softly ‘to thy knee’
They rest their heads with bated breath
And frost upon their lips
‘Tis kiss of death and youths first pierce
Which rankled in my chest

‘For war within’ I hear him cry
‘A swordsman to the heart
Strike hammer to the iron hot blade
To stab and tear apart’

‘This death you bring’ so curiously
They ask without a start
‘Does it hurt the mind, the nerve,
The arteries, the heart?’
‘Brings pleasure’, says the darkest knight
‘Oh solemn song for thee,
I do not bring you peace or wholeness
Merely gravity’

But these small words are uttered
As the figures stare at dust
Their minds are all a-cluttered
With red diamonds, silk and musk

For gravity pulls downward
Only in towards the ground
And the animals who built their Babels
And their cities soon were found

Swarming in the undergrowth
Of damp and rotten roots
Gnawing at its aching branches
Sawing at the tooth

The swordsman and the darkest knight
Ride out in victory
For with small words and darkness
They had conquered liberty

Building prisons out of freedom
Singing songs to death
The animals see hollow bows
And praise them for their strength

O darkness, o the darkest night
Calls softly ‘to thy knee’
They rest their heads with bated breath
And frost upon their lips
‘Tis kiss of death and youths first pierce
Which rankled in my chest

‘For war within’ I hear him cry
‘A swordsman to the heart
Strike hammer to the iron hot blade
To stab and tear apart’
‘This death you bring’ so curiously
They ask without a start
‘Does it hurt the mind, the nerve,
The arteries, the heart?’

‘This death you bring’ so curiously
They ask without a start
‘Does it hurt the mind, the nerve,
The arteries, the heart?’

credits

from For War Within, released April 28, 2013
Music and lyrics by Angeline Armstrong, Cello part written by Caleb Tong

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about

haïku Melbourne, Australia

Wild. Melancholy. Keatsian. Raw. A little bit tribal; a little bit classical; a little bit indie; a little bit rock; a little bit folk.

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