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26. Spring Returns

Look at how the blossoms burst from the shad trees
See how the violets know when to appear
Look at how the woodcock dances as the sun sets
Listen as the peepers sing their cheerful evening tune
Bathed in the glow of the rising moon
The geese echo from the marsh and say
Spring returns

The sun has risen high above the spruce
There's a fragrance to the plowed earth
Fertility long bound's set loose
There's a deeper sense that life is truly worth winter's cost
The depth of our longing, the reach of the frost
Our voices rise, as well, and say
Spring returns

May paints the world again with color
June explodes with blossoms in tree and field
July and August's bounty fills the cupboards
September brings on change again as summer starts to yield

Look at how the leaves twirl their colors in the wind
Listen to the crickets sing their last songs
The bones of the trees begin to show
Birds gather in flocks it won't be long before the frost
Wood smoke drifting like memories lost
Food and wood and hope are stored
Winter's here

October winds bring down summer's glory
November tucks the fields and trees to sleep
December through March lock the earth in slumber
April opens up the promise that spring will always keep

25. Alone

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don't believe I'm wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

There are some millionaires
With money they can't use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They've got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

      -- Maya Angelou
 

24. Who Can Deny the Spring

Who can deny the Spring
The way that a flower changes everything
The strength and the beauty it brings
Who can deny the Spring

Faith to move mountains in every seed
Patience through cold winter days
Courage to open when warmth finally comes
Strength to break through the clay

Who can resist the light
The tendrils of dawn from the darkness of night
Everything clear and brought into sight
Who can resist the light

Who isn't changed by love
The heart understood, welcomed home, beloved
The song of the soul is music enough
Who isn't changed by love

Life isn't one life but a weaving of lives
A garment that others have sewn
Stitched from their dreams, their struggles and joys
They walk with us as we make it our own

Faith to move mountains in every seed
Patience through cold winter days
Courage to open when warmth finally comes
Strength to break through the clay

Who can deny the Spring
The way that a flower changes everything
The strength and the beauty it brings
Who can deny the Spring
Who can deny the Spring

23. One of These Days

One of these days, one of these days
Standing together, we’ll banish the hate
Peace comes from justice - there’s a world full of grace
As we face the truth squarely, we'll find love's embrace

One of these days, one of these days
We’ll set free the prisoners and put violence away
Rage is a sign post that the world’s gone astray
We’ll need our strength and our courage in the coming days

Gone is the lie that everything’s fine
Truth’s long past due and now is the time

One of these days, one of these days
We’ll see eye to eye as anger gives way
To global compassion, undivided by race
We flow from one river - our source is the same

One of these days, one of these days
Standing together, we’ll banish the hate
Peace comes from justice - there’s a world full of grace
As we face the truth squarely love will heal us one day

One of these days, one of these days

22. I'll See You Again

You loved to ride down Williamsburg drive
When the cherry blossoms burst into bloom
You'd plant some pansies, open windows up wide
To welcome spring's breath into our rooms

And I'll see you again as crocus and hyacinth flower
When the fragrance of spring awakens and sings
That's when I'll see you again

We'd sup outside as the sun settled low
As the heat of the day found a lull
Catching fireflies as evening came on
Hearts at ease, bellies so full

I'll see you again when the honeysuckle scents the air
When the summer stars shimmer and spin
That's when I'll see you again

I remember us raking leaves down to the street
We'd roll and jump in the piles
As evening came on you'd set them aflame
How sweet the smell of those fires

I'll see you again when autumn leaves color and fall
When the hills are ablaze and the frost comes to call
That's when I'll see you again

Winter was just at its end
A mild and unusual season
You were ebbing away, your energy spent
You left us as nighttime came on

I'll see you again when the first snow quiets the dawn
When the wind is chill but the fire is warm
That's when I'll see you again

21. When I Was Young

I had a lot to say when I was young
The urgency of fire, the gift to speak in tongues
All the passion of my soul in every word as it was sung
I had a lot to say when I was young

I remember when you came into my heart
Our love was like the sky at night, secrets now unlocked
We danced and twirled as galaxies no ending and no start
I remember when you came into my heart

We're travelers through time
A few stops 'long the way
With the lonesomeness that only travelers know
But we'll share a cup of kindness
Taste the tenderness of May
Keep vigil through the night before we go

Now colors overtake these ancient hills
It's the middle of October and the wind begins to chill
Tonight I'll make a fire, let my thoughts drift where they will
As colors overtake these ancient hills

20. Round and Round

An apple a day keeps the doctor away
With bills I couldn't pay if he came
Seems like the darkest hour's here
Though the dawn is nowhere near
The only thing we have to fear
Is more of the same...and we go

Round and round
Sometimes up and sometimes down
Full, then hollow just like the moon
Time waits for none
We're old who once were young
The song is over 'fore we've learned the tune

Well the road to hell is paved
With good intentions so they say
One rotten apple can make 'em all go bad
People whose homes are glass
Shouldn't be the ones to cast
Words as sharp as rocks and twice as sad...and we go

Well a stitch in time saves nine
But it's too late to tend to mine
Sorrows have burst the seams and spilled everywhere
One good turn deserves some more
I guess that's what friends are for
To bring some hope back when you're in despair...and we go

19. Into Starlight

I saw the evening turn into starlight
Cygnus the swan fixed in her flight
I saw the moon rise, a golden pearl
I saw her beams cut through the night

Shining down on me, down on me
Shining down on me, easing my sorrows
Shining down on me, down on me
Shining down on me, easing my woes

I heard the owl call to his lover
Soulful and melancholy his plea
I heard the fox call to his vixen
I heard the sirens out on the sea

Sing their songs to me, songs to me
Sing their songs to me, easing my sorrows
Sing their songs to me, songs to me
Sing their songs to me, easing my woes

I felt the wind rise from the south lands
I felt its heat feather and fray
I felt the pulse of time in the heavens
I felt the tide surge in the bay

Flood the moonlit shore, moonlit shore
Flood the moonlit shore, easing my sorrows
Flood the moonlit shore, moonlit shore,
Flood the moonlit shore, easing my woes

Sing their songs to me, songs to me
Sing their songs to me, easing my sorrows
Shining down on me, down on me
Shining down on me, easing my woes

I saw the evening turn into starlight

18. People Gonna Rise

People gonna rise, rise up in freedom
Rise like the phoenix from the ashes of fear
People gonna rise, rise up in justice
Speak truth to power til all nations shall hear

That we share one world, one sky, one sun that shines
We know one thirst for freedom,
Rising up together we’ll stand side by side

People gonna rise, rise up in mercy
Share the world’s riches, break prisons’ chains
People gonna rise, sisters and brothers
Bring forth their wisdom, their courage again

People gonna rise, shine like the morning
Break through the darkness and reach for the sun
People gonna rise, rise up in freedom
Lay down the weapons, the bombs and the guns

People gonna rise

17. Crow Song

Look at me, I'm a crow, and I want you to know
Just how happy I am to be me
My clan's all over the world, murders of crow boys and girls
From Labrador to the Coral Sea

We care about kin, that's when our tender selves kick in
Birds of a feather, through storms and through calm
I speak corvid and jazz, I caw and sometimes I give you the ras
I'm town crier and burglar alarm

Genus Corvus for those who do Latin
Born in the wild wood, don't need satin
Don't mean to brag but my IQ's off the charts
I'm adaptable, a problem solver
A constant improver, a constant evolver
I can figure the whole from just a few parts

I can fly like the wind, gather in countings with friends
I'm at home with the wild ones of this place
I am more than meets the eye, I'm mischievous and I'm sly
Though humans all look alike, I'll remember your face

Look at me, I'm a crow, and I want you to know
Just how happy I am to be me

16. Common Prayer

There was talk of angels singing
Stars aligned to point the way
Kings and sages gifts were bringing
Abiding peace to come and stay

A stable, starlight, pilgrims weary
A girl into a woman grown
Laboring 'neath winter's constellations
What child is this of flesh and bone

Bless our lives with life abundant
Let planets hush as birth unfolds
Heaven and earth are joined this moment
Love embodied, peace untold

Fill our hearts with living scripture
Let our voices speak, our truths be told
Only in the giving does grace stay with us
Only in our loving does peace unfold

There's truth that only longing fashions
Seeds within that time must grow
From our sorrows, cares and passions
A common prayer we deeply know

15. Winter Light

Here in the light at end of day
December still upon the snow
Deep winter hush upon the bay
Silhouettes etched in twilight's glow

The earth still turning
The heart still yearning
The breath of life so steady so slow
Here at the end of winter's day
Come Thou and rest my soul

Birches and maple now lay bare
The lushness of summer long distilled
Buried within the winter heart
The promise that Spring will fulfill

The earth still turning
The heart still yearning
The breath of life so steady so slow
Here at the end of winter's day
Come Thou and rest my soul

14. Pearls

She's got a thing about pearls,
spread out against all her gold.
She's elegance defined,
making us stop to behold

She's got a thing about pearls that
she scatters on the waves of the sea
on the fluttering leaves,
in the hearts of all who can see.

With every heron and gull who bathes in her light
She weaves a magic spell
The moment I saw her, that was the moment I fell

She's got a thing about pearls -
she likes to toss to the skies;
constellations shine,
reflected back to us through her eyes.

She's got a thing about pearls,
how they glisten and glow,
from the planets, the moon
She knows how to light up your soul.

13. Rise and Fall

Let me just say that you surprised me
I'd forgotten how it feels to fall
The silver of the moonlight shining in your eyes
The fragrance of the flowers on the wall

You said you never cared that much for roses
But that moonlight, yes, had always been your guide
I remember how your voice so slightly trembled
How the moon held so steady in the sky

Rise and fall
The motion of the planets, the turning of the sea
Rise and fall
The story of the love 'tween you and me

Love doesn't always come by fire
Sometimes it's quiet like the tide
Now the heart is full and now it empties
Now the song begins and now it dies

Let me just say you still surprise me
I'm still learning what it really means to fall
I trace your heart on mine
The moon, the rose entwined
The fragrance of the flowers on the wall

12. One Time One Place

Love has had a million names
And love more than one face
But I knew only you once in a dream
Drew close and yet we never kissed
No rings, no bells that chimed
And yet in other ways, you are still mine

We thought we had the time,
the future endless as the sky
Now eagles make us green
They own a love that lasts for life

And I don't live now by the sea
And I don't watch the stars
But I would bet that you still do
Wherever you are

And love it had a million names
And love more than one face
But dreams only one time
Only one place
Oh dreams they had one time, one place

11. Still

So here we are - our children have grown and gone
Life's lessons so painstakingly drawn
Vanish like frost with the day
Life - humbling, that much is sure
So little stands fast, is secure
The vagaries of time hold full sway

But still, you stir a song in my soul,
Weave all the strands to a whole
Gathering the joys and the sorrows
Love, though spun from threads so fine
In time makes the strongest vine
Holding us close though some strands are broken
In love still, here we are

Winter day - shuffle 'cross ice and snow
So much to do, so many miles to go
The late afternoon is golden
Who knew - that life would go by so fast
The future become the past
The newness of love grow old

But still, you stir a song in my soul,
Weave all the strands to a whole
Your kindness and courage amaze me
Love, though spun from strands so fine
In time makes the strongest vine
Holding us close though some threads are broken
In love still, here we are

You - glance back as you go out the door
I've known that gaze from afore
Even before we'd met
I love - that you are who you are who you are
That together we've come so far
That together we travel yet

10. L-O-V-E

L-O-V-E, Love
L-O-V-E, Love
L-O-V-E, Nothin’ but Love

Say what you will, love is a wild ride
Tumbles and thrills, free falls and land slides
Just when you think it must be over
Here's love

Moments will come, hearts beat as one heart
Harmonious drum, one ending, one start
When we can't even count the broken pieces you're holding
It's love

The last thing I remember thinking was
Yes I'll go dancing with you
Our hearts took to flight
Your eyes were the sky so blue
20 years flash by, phantasmagoria
We're battered and wide-eyed and stewed
But the music plays faster
And yes, I'm dancing with you

Three A.M. blues, doubt speaks so loudly
The paths that we choose, often so proudly
When the last notes are sung
Will the song that's remembered be love

Wrinkles and lines, inside and outside
Miraculous times, leap years and neap tides
Like a comet we blaze
Across the heavens of love

9. Until You Wake Up the Angels

Buckets of rain have been falling
Rivers of tears have been shed
But the morning has come, the horizon is bursting with blue
Open the floodgates of freedom
Tear down the walls that constrain
Hope is rampant today, life is brimming and true

Soar, let the winds lift you higher
Roar the truth that's deep in your soul
Sing, until you wake up the angels
And then you sing some more

Feel how the spirit is rising
Feel the strength as we join our hands
Sometimes the past can be healed in the power of now
So let go the fears that confound us
Know that wisdom abounds
Every heart, every life will show us how

8. Be Now the Voice

What voice will dare to sing
As fires rage and nations burn
We turn against each other
And each walks alone

Shine the light
Break this evil spell
Find the grace to stand up together

Be now the voice that sings out compassion
Be now the song that rises true above the flames
Be now the hands that hold,
The arms that enfold
And welcome the stranger home
We all need to feel a love that is real deep in our bones

Will there come a time
When we find each other once again
Bring each other hope
And shelter from the rain

Shine the light
Break this evil spell
Find the grace to stand up together

Be now the voice that sings out compassion
Be now the song that rises true above the flames
Be now the hands that hold,
The arms that enfold
And welcome the stranger home
We all need to feel a love that is real deep in our bones

The stars were always there
Waiting for the rain to lift
Constellations bright,
Sing a song so holy

Be now the voice that sings out compassion
Be now the song that rises true above the flames
Be now the hands that hold,
The arms that enfold
And welcome the stranger home
We all need to feel a love that is real deep in our bones
Not just for our own, a love that is real, deep in our bones

7. Together In a Dream

There's still a sip of brandy but I'm too tired to lift to lift the glass
We've stayed up till the dawn has come and night time's finally passed
We've said goodnight a dozen times but still we linger on
Here we are, together in a dream

We've known each other through the years, been confidantes at times
Shared our woes from fitfull loves that left us sad and cryin'
Always saw the best in us even when we'd lost our way
Here we are, together in a dream

Love must have a thousand ways
To find a path into our cautious hearts
One of its vines wound through the maze
And set its roots so deep in every part

And even with your leaving, a part of you remains
The sun is still behind the clouds, even when it starts to rain
You circle like a melody and fill me up with song
Here we are, together in a dream

 

6. Safe Beneath the Stars

I'll hold you close, all through the night
Wrapped within the darkness, safe beneath the stars
So much we've lost, driven to flight
So much is hidden in sorrow's deepest scars

Tell me again the names of your kin
Your sisters and your brothers, their daughters and their sons
Each one a flame, a prayer we will send
A song we must sing out louder than the guns

So far from home
So far from our people, from our land
So far away

I fear the morn, its restless tide
May tear us from each other, steal the solace we have known
Onward again, no place to hide
How will we remember the mercies we've been shown

So far from home
So far from our people, from our land
So far away

I'll hold you close, all through the night
Wrapped within the darkness, safe beneath the stars
Here in your arms, a moment's respite
Wrapped within the darkness, safe beneath the stars

5. Phoebe

Oh, little phoebe, sitting in the sun on a wire
Oh, little phoebe, lifting your song higher and higher

You skitter and skim, at home in the wind
You hover, then dart from the frame
Your song to your mate a relentless spate
Of notes that call out her name
Oh, little phoebe, how your life sparkles and shines
Oh, little phoebe, how your song warbles and climbs

Oh, little phoebe, switching your tail as you contemplate
Beetles and ants, spiders and ticks dinner on the wing - don't be late

Oh, little phoebe, I count on your faithful return
The promise of spring is the song that you sing the tonic our weary hearts yearn for

4. The Question Now

It's not a gun but it is loaded
It's not a fist and yet it's raised
It's not a bomb but it's exploded
Spreading fear most every place

Endless voices on the airwaves
Crusaders calling left and right
In the shadow of their churches
Who knows what prayers are prayed tonight

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ee How the temperature is rising
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ee How the truth is torn apart
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ee
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ee
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ee We must open up our hearts

People scanning all the omens
Count the profits, hide the costs
Screens can tell us our location
What they don't know is that we're lost

We lead our children to the altar
The knife so cold upon our hands
Though we hesitate and falter
We still obey the gods' commands

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ee How the temperature is rising
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ee How the truth is torn apart
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ee
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ee
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ee We must open up our hearts

It's not a clock but it's still ticking
It's not a voice and yet it speaks
It's not the path we thought of picking
Some hands sow and some hands reap

In the night the stars are steady
Even as our planet spins and burns
The question now is are we ready
The question now is

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ee
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ee
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ee
Will we open up our hearts

3. The Light Goes On

Astronomers tell us that the light we see from the North Star
Has traveled for centuries to reach our world
We see Polaris as it was when the Pilgrims landed
Neither of us knowing what time has since unfurled

And the light goes on
Breaks through the darkness and goes on
The light goes on

A hundred thousand light years is the span of our Milky Way
Hundreds of billions of stars spiraling together in space
From where I stand, it looks like a sash of palest silver
Girding the summer night in gossamer lace

And the light goes on
Breaks through the darkness and goes on
The light goes on

Tonight in the backyard, a galaxy of fireflies
Beacons of yellow green signaling for their mates
This one shines four furtive flashes, this a single arc
There's music in the silence as the heavens contemplate

How the light goes on
Breaks through the darkness and goes on
How the light goes on
 

2. Late July

Late July now, the fields are turning brown
Grasses heavy with seed bend to the ground
The sun's still high, how it's heat lingers into the night
But the wheel spins on
It's later when the dawn brings the morn
Hear the songs 'fore they fade away
Give thanks for the light how it fills our days
Abundance and loss are the prayers we pray
Late July

Tomatoes setting fruit, the squash in flower
The corn is pushing skyward, you can feel its power
The urgency to bring forth the bounty of life
And the wheel spins on
It's later when the dawn brings the morn
Hear the songs 'fore they fade away
Give thanks for the light how it fills our days
Abundance and loss are the prayers we pray
Late July

Our children grown, far scattered seed
Our hearts walking in the world, the truth of our creed
Beauty beyond anything we could have dreamt
And the wheel spins on
It's later when the dawn brings the morn
Hear the songs 'fore they fade away
Give thanks for the light how it fills our days
Abundance and loss are the prayers we pray
Late July

1. Sage Advice

Keep to the left, if you have a choice
Use your ears much more than your voice
Love will always shine through
Spring come ever anew,
Though the winter’s long…

Plant your garden, but not too wide
Leave room for wildness, even inside
Life and death are both friends
Each new start has its end
Just like a song…

Give yourself to the winds of loving
Plant your heart like a tree
Take the warmth that the sun will offer
Stand strong when the storms run free
Give away all the fruit you have ripened
May children swing from your boughs
When trouble like snow lays so deep around you
Deep in your roots hold life’s vows

See the forest, but know the trees
Live in wonder; live in peace
Let every star, every cloud
Every heart, every child
Show you the way

Arms around each other
Dance a circle round the sun
As every spring uncovers
Let the sap just rise and run
How I love the love that sparkles in your eyes
Spread your wings and let the spirit fly

Hands and hearts entwining
The very fabric of the soul
Constellations shining
Showing patterns of the whole
How I love the love that sparkles in your eyes
Spread your wings and let the spirit fly

Plant your garden, but not too wide
Leave room for wildness, even inside
Life and death are both friends
Each new start has its end
Just like a song…