In Our Garden. After the War. Your Eyes Close. I Breathe Out.

by Ava Marie

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released June 13, 2014



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Ava Marie Poultney, Vermont

5 piece Indie from central//western Vermont. Collections of songs constructed from the memorable remnants of reoccurring dreams, and early childhood. We talk in our sleep and miss the ocean.

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Track Name: In Our Garden. After the War.
the morning was an open wound
and your belongings scattered all down the road
like the empty frames of dead deer
buildings burning inside your throat
forever's not made up of flesh and bone
its the iron hull of a landlocked boat

rinse, rust, thin, and fray
no black dress just bark bits
and a few feet of clay
heave a satchel of seeds
wait til the first week of may
dig up the roots and i will know you again

and you were the ash of a house fire smothered by dirt
tilled til the rows of mounded earth
sprouted pine from your sleeping limbs
and on the day i am born blissful and blithe
to a gardener and his wife
you block the sun from my eyes
ribbons of ivy

sky closes the shutter snaps and retains
the deep blues and pale golds
and the great seas of grey
and it washes us clean til all that remains
are two silhouettes atop a great plot of clay
Track Name: The Keeper of Crippled Horses
before you were born you were the keeper of crippled horses
before water you were an arrow in a wounded knee
before we shared a limb you were severed from another
and when that sore spreads to a wound you will be cut from me

do not look for me in groves of bearing loam and tangerine
or in the sun soaked oaken halls of a vernal nursery
i'll be that moth caught in your screen door
i'll be the rotting rowboat your harboring
i'll be that floral box in the attic filled with all your withered weathered things

and though the temperature is dropping
and we've changed the tense when we speak
an empty locket a few torn garments
are all thats become of me

and before you were held
you were an absence filling more space than bodies
a phantom limb cut from plant matter
you were a well carved in the conduit of my throat
and as the spade struck i sang out with each harrowing note
a black wing torn from dusk
born from the loss
of soil eroding back into skin
you were absence you were held
you were absence you were held
Track Name: Bowed Ships, Cradling
your father passed down his ledger
and left you his name
and in the eve we are but passengers
in passing cars fleeing brush fires

and the thick blooded heat flooded your checks
bold as moss along interstate 5
and you cursed sure as sweat when you unbuttoned your dress
and fell asleep in the backseat on the passenger side
said i know your face but remind me of your name
its been a long, long time

and what of the broken bronze mirror
you found in the creek bed when you were a boy
and what of the highways when it rains
and what of the stranger speaking sternly
at the head of the table
what of letters with improper postage
they are alive the same way that i am
when all i can hear are bowed ships cradling
Track Name: White Twine
when your stomach swelled wolves circled the stable
snow spun round fences like a spool of white twine
when the pipes froze and you cried in the kitchen
cradling shadows like a fixture of light

and in the morn red and gracious
a maze of limb
nodes woven like a nest

when your stomach swelled tall grass burned acres
severance is a season not a stone nor a mound
the hives fell to a hush and all the fields filled with poppies
and our lungs filled with honey
and spring seeped out our mouths

and the telephones ringing but we don't live there anymore

please wake up you kiss my head
pack your things make your bed
grab your coat, the front yards under water

and you wade through the tall grass out onto the road
and get left alone
and the brine it sings and the gulls they moan
and get left alone
and the bed you branded and the house you stole
they are left alone
water becomes of you branch to bone
your eyes close your eyes close
Track Name: Save For All, a Dry Place
Oh how the days are long now
And we sleep beneath sparsely thatched reeds
And your bones reminded me
Of something my grandfather might of sung
At an old oak piano
Soft and grey
Salt stained keys

I heard the faintest cry
From the whimpering brine
As you called for your lost daughter
And all the heavy machines
Plead oh save but for me
When I am weak will you carry my bones
To a familiar ending
Or at least a dry place
Track Name: There is No Telling
And if in time
The gathering moss should envelope our home
Oh stillborn seed and its husk you now hold
I would still walk the miles to gather water

And if during the night
You are stirred by an entanglement of shadow and vine
And our vessels left empty, broken, and blithe
I would not weep

For you will stay the tired eyed girl in a hospital gown
Snow faced in the shadow of a church tower
In an old port town
And though the night is dark and disparate
It howls harsh notes of may

Oh great loom of loam be so still
I would gnaw at your heathers until
I am found by your hands
Or by a colony of soft and patient clay

And there is no telling
But for a house by a harbor
Our flashlights dim across the pale water
Burnt reeds in the current
We spoke of frail things
There is no telling beyond here
Track Name: Oh Why Did I Lay So Still?
forget me
and the hull that was burning
and the hum of aeroplanes as they sank from view
and that damp dark place
it takes and takes and takes
oh why did i lay so still

salt steam
and our bodies as newborns as i recall them
i want to stand where your mother stood
before she walked outside
and was claimed like a moth by a porch light
now she hangs up when you say "hello, hello?"

and your name i wont recall
but the earth was damp and soft as we lay down, down
and you dreamt of broken teeth and a brother lost in breach
now he draws shadows across your brow
and you close the door
run the water and keep the lights low
all is just as it should be

hush, dusk dwells in corners and wolves wait
in thickets blurring into blankets
sleeping faces and the fragile framework of yesteryear
and the weight
of a ghostown bleeding shingles and worn paint
and a note pinned to the wall by the doorway
that read we are never coming home again

close the door and run the water
all is just as it should be
Track Name: The Lucid Host
I broke both your fathers hands
and washed your wounds and garments
stole off with a herd of mares
and burnt his crop and harvest
and when you came to you were smiling
and said you dreamt of honey
suckle rows and brimming shoals
of salt air and bent book bindings

you are temporal and still
as the fossett sputters and fills
the kitchen sink
in a house you can't recall

scrape the blood off of your knee
the sky was empty we spoke sternly
constellations never leave me again
you were just a baby
and our backs bridged over and the roof caved in
and we stood there arms extended
and neither spoke we just gawked and moaned
for the night sky offered only blackness

you are the lucid host of an uninhabited land
skin the color of moths upon moon kissed glass
and your name was the song of cicadas

and i called you in the evenings in first breaths of spring
every 13 years for a season
and the waters still running and a woman sings soft
theres a warmth and a whirring as she wraps you in cloth
then you notice shes crying but shes laughing it off
shes says sweetheart im sorry
she is here then shes gone
Track Name: Fever, Sap, Skin
today i found you breathing
3000 miles away
you stole a car and cut your hair short
and drove out to bristol bay

there was canvas stretched and ready
and you danced lilac over azure and slate
if at all Id paint the night sky
across the features of your face

but my hands were made null and feeble
from wintered wood and infertile clay
instead im dragging reeds across the pavement
in celebration of our bodies bleeding out on the highway
im holding flint and tinder hoping that the frost finally melts away
id keep you if i could keep you warm

Ink, salt, silence, lead me to the harbor
and i will come knocking in the months around the cold holidays
fever, sap, skin i know you like the moan of heat pipes
and your first word was your mothers maiden name
Track Name: With Broken Feet
With broken feet
The day still mourning
The braying calf you left tied to my post
And I wept for her
And the mound she was fated
And for your silence as you heaved with sore palms spade in hand

And I dreamt of the scattered parchment
And the cradle that it claimed
Alma, wont you come in from the cold? And I woke to the cry of gulls
And the floorboards splintering

And through the smoke and soot
I shivered with a whisper like ice growing over a window pane
And beneath our bed where our daughter hid
Reciting take my song but leave my frame
It’ll be found by the morn scarlet adorned
And they will need something to bury beside the white birch
That covers this coast and the pillars and bones
That lie collapsed upon this bed of burnt earth
And after the war and the funeral
And after a day of argument and reunion
They will need a garden to tend
And a body to mend
And last of all someone to yearn for
When the night is still and full of harvest
They will need a name to beckon
Track Name: Your Eyes Close. I Breathe Out.
Fluttering eye lids against damp bed sheets
When I breathe in you exhale with a murmur
It means your absence it means a sickness stirring
Like timid ghosts from the rafters of a sunken boat house

It means black ships
And fistfuls of hair
It means a feverish daughter
Clawing for a blanket that just isn’t there
It means your breath
Haunting the corners of a mirror
In the oil soaked frame
Of our sorry dwelling we held so dear

And if i were to bury my head
In the cold sea
Beneath the driftwood and brine
Would you be waiting
Like a stone mill
In a white field
Stale loaves and draws full of ash

And when you breathe in
The world is held together by patchwork and loose bits of fishing line
And when you exhale
I am coming up for air and rowing home for the first time

Oh crow oh Yule how you’ve waned my dear
The bats return to rouse in your silvered hollow
And there is a hum and a whirring
And a loneliness in your footprints from our sill
To where I dare not follow
And there are bones beneath the floorboards
And thorns in the doorway
And in the attic a potters wheel unbound
But here beneath the blankets
Before all, after the great war
Your eyes close and I breathe out