by Marker Starling

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Through the air Half-remembered Burning softly As the rain From that sky All the hopes That you gave Like a light Climbing through the tide Carried on the breath Of that mountainside We are fields Empty to be filled We are fields All the trials and the triumphs To let go or hold on to Chances came then were gone Never taken But like a spree Note by note, you ran through them Like a spree Tell yourself you outgrew them Hurt is aching Isolating Try to face it Brace against it Vanished gestures Hollow volleys Bitter tributes To your folly Words you had to speak Straws you had to grasp Ways you thought you were Ways you tried to be Running deeper Slipping steeper In the marrow Compass arrow Blinded eyes again Better medicine Hopes and ashes Intermingling It was in you Given into Silent burning Stony-turning All the falls and the rises Disappointments, surprises The endeavours, travails of your lifetime And now I see Is it true - I have spent them? Now I see It is true - I have less left Spun in golden thread Fortune smiled again From that sky Ever beckoning Turn now Twist in the wind Never pinned
Childman 04:28
Childman That's what you am Child It has its up and downs Leave a line on your face When you smile Or laugh or frown It wasn't made for you You must try, leave a line In the place Where you were to yourself true You're the one who makes it impossible You're the one Puts up your own obstacle You blind yourself, cut your losses and grieve The death of what's alive The letter not received Childman That's what you am Child You couldn't see You could only look The words you said came from the copybook The words you bought and sold Had them down cold But what you wrote in your name Cannot be played the same You know you can't afford to be late The price is higher the longer you wait But if you try You'll see twice as much With your eyes open all the way You'll turn a deeper touch Cloud crowd You can't even it out Childman You will stand up when You know you can You know you're not really so innocent You can't say you always had good intent And the powers of the bad They did what they could To make you do only the things That felt good
Life is not a game You can play back again And all those beautiful strokes Remember how they went You try now to depict them Once again With measured steps You walk the final test No regrets But will you stand up and be counted Tow the line Some go insane or go blind Obeying innocent Deceitful cryptic signs Believing true The bald-faced lie Cold metal flavour straight They used to show the way But curveballs dashed against the glass Of all their storied claims Forget-me-nots and nicknames They sold us grief With cloying words and killing phrases But beneath we saw the letters turn to violets On a meadow-page A fortune fair Forgive my sentimental despair Its echo-touch will trouble me Not overmuch Its poison press engraved in me a maze Hung deep with flowers of defeat Whose hue exhumed a long-gone play I beg you grant me this chance to make it through The hard-earned bars that comfort also close the rainbow
Monody 00:15
At the end of what you thought was just a stop in the clock Found out you got older than you thought At the end of what you thought of as a great somnambulant game All you found among the remains was a few frames On the other side was an angel sea On the distant shore it was never to be Teeming with the thoughts slipped out of reach Fell away like the sand to the distant beach 'Cause though you might forget it for awhile You can get it back when you need it Try to keep it for a little while Try to keep it on your mind You can get it back Though you might forget it for awhile You can get it back when you need it Try to keep it for a little while Bright sparkle turning in your mind Silence might dull the light And strike the line In the meantime You laid devastation waste Felt like getting a taste for it Another time, another place But you couldn't get away From your own face Say yeah yeah yeah Say yeah yeah yeah Say yeah yeah yeah 'Cause you'll never ever know for sure If it's fresh and fair or clear and pure You'll never know if it's really true Until you play it through And let it all come out That's the only way you'll ever know what it's about You'll never know for sure If it's fresh and fair or clear and pure You'll never be without your little doubt
Author 04:15
Like a face bears a noble expression It's not the words you love It's the voice of the author It's not the story spoken But the impression furnished In dusky theatres of old In auditoriums dark with age The speeches actors would unfold The poems fluttering from the stage Garlands of love Daggers of hate Waistcoats and gloves Prop-pieces of eight Fiery hues For burning at stake Better pay your union dues They'll write a part for you Sound out the words Shore up the rhymes Practice the moves Know your marks and your cue-times Plates in the floor Rotate you through walls Who says you can't do it all? Grab a few moments now Curtains will become your drapes Catching all your good mistakes Choices to discard or keep But don't play us cheap Brackets will enclose your name Fix your sights and take your aim Through the footlit breach You strive to reach Giving back his own to each I'm in the crowd I'm in the stands Raising my voice Clapping my hands Masterful work Success is assured I'll type my 300 words
Starting for the door Pushing back the roaring tide Falling through the floor Of a broken trick of pride Because you've come to see The waves that break will go on breaking past the day You've played your final play With gestures new and strange You reach to touch the brand new leaves that turn and pall Between the spring and fall You read between the lines You see it all between the moments of each day What speech can never say Somewhere outside of time You'll find the rhyme to strike the chord whose sounded song Will rend the right from wrong Stamping at the flames Of an all-destroying fire Tamping down the hum Of an all-enclosing wire And yet we'll surely last The river sons and ocean daughters of our hopes Will keep us off the ropes With each succeeding wave Do we grow stronger or more weak than those before Who struggled to the shore?
It's easier to cry in the movies Than it is in real life People hide their eyes in the movies Like the actors say their lines Dark flow the tears that the laughter choked In a torrent gone for broke Fast flow the thoughts that the day withheld The the letters failed to spell Crook an ear to a sigh Take a tear for a ride I'm just crying at the movies I'm just crying at the movies Crying at the drying of the eyes The sovereign sigh of sighs I'm just crying at the movies It's lonelier to cry in a crowded street Than it is to cry alone People pass you by They don't meet your eye They pretend they've never known Dark run the streets that the sunshine fled In the canyon, voices spread Help spell the words that you long to speak The advice you long to seek Put a match to the fire Let the tears flow entire I'm still crying at the movies I'm still I'm still crying, crying, crying, crying Crying at the...
Maiden Name 02:07
This cry like a lighthouse we'll send Like a lighthouse we'll send Each night like a song without end Like a song without end We're tethered to a faded aim To a faded aim We're severed from a maiden name From a maiden name This cry like a lighthouse we'll send Like a lighthouse we'll send
In Stride 04:53
You pay to play from day to day From ports of call their voices fall But the ship passes over Ever striving, never to stay At every stage, at every age It's hard to turn the page At every pass, retry your class For every stroke, you're rich but broke All the traps and the trappings Ever endless to every end For every turn, for every burn It cuts, it breaks, it stays You keep with care That ember rare You shield it close Against the foes More than a pledge A promise kept The book is writ It's you who lives it You feel the pain Don't take the blame The fear is free Strength costs a fee And forces waned Can be regained You shine a path And that's how I knew that You'd take it in stride I always knew that you'd take it in stride No matter the cards you're dealt The blows you're dealt Never mind, you would take them in your stride You'd take it in stride I knew that you'd take it in stride Shot through with the rays of your hope All our days For all places and times You would take it You would take it You would take it You would take it all In stride In stride In stride
Mount Shasta 05:31
Drifting in a daze Sun-soaked scatters Writing off the page Hopes in tatters Soon...soon Locked up tight and nothing's getting to me All the same I can't help feeling doomy Soon...soon Man the battle stations for the fight Knowing that this time We might be right Time slowly Swims under Pinpoints of light Tide draw the shore nearer Life-forming light And you You start new Begin again Inward glimmer Spiral sparkle dancing Framed in falling dusk and pitted shadow Steeped in sugar Lunar pool reflections Ripples lace the pace of cryptic contours Pylon, fill the sky Long-questing sentry Piling on what questions seek to answer Pound for pound Forgotten, overtaken Dazzle garland darkness Elevating Stella starlight Twilight boon companion Seven skies of roaring borealis Long-sequestered Guardian of April Keep the summer eyes Of isles' light tranquil Sharpen all the dull Discarded fragments Naming all the nameless Forms and figures Freshening the faded Jade of embers Fastening the clasp of loneliness Blazing through the glades of late December Hearken back the maps of undone stations Shield the heavens' bright escaping silver Feathers scale the skies With trails of mercy


released May 10, 2010

Produced by Zack G at Buenos Bandits Sound
Tracks 5 & 7 produced by Jeremy Greenspan at Pistachio Studio
Tracks 8 & 11 produced by Leon Taheny at Angle's Up Studio

Written by Chris A. Cummings
All songs SOCAN

Brass arrangements on tracks 2 & 10 by Owen Pallett
Flute & string arrangements by Chris A. Cummings
Additional arrangement advice: Sam Allison and Matias Rozenberg
Mastered by George Graves at Lacquer Channel

Paintings by Jana Gontscharuk
Design by Jan Lankisch

Recorded between June 2006 - March 2009 in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

A different version of Fresh and Fair was released on Play Records in 1997 - my heartfelt appreciation to Peter Jarvis and Melleny Melody of Play Records

Mount Shasta was commissioned by Oliver Husain for the live performance and film Mount Shasta (2008)

Thanks to:
everyone who played
Sam Allison
Ryan Carley
Zack G
Jana Gontscharuk
Jeremy Greenspan
Richard Guy
Oliver Husain
Michelle Kaminer
Jan Lankisch
Nicholas Pagee
Owen Pallett
Josh Peace
Ambrose Roche
Lina Rodriguez
Matias Rozenberg
Matt Smith
Tom Steinle
Leon Tahney
Cab Williamson

Sheesham and Lotus appear courtesy of Sepiaphone Records


all rights reserved



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