goblin's gate

by Thy Courage Quail

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released September 22, 2010



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Thy Courage Quail Maine

see also THORN & SHOUT

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Track Name: down down down
we all wanted to go
to some town where we weren't known
but when confronted with a brand new place
we made all the old mistakes

if you recall in later years
the promise that we made
we may yet mingle tears of joy
and kiss each other's face
but even if my last goodbye
should ever reach your ears
on golden plains we will be near

and let it not be said of us
that we did less than try
if spirits have we, they find sweetness
in the by and by
and fondly sing this song
whene'er a warm sea breeze is near
who'd march to the ocean
if salt was meant to come from tears?
Track Name: the forest ain't always yr friend
a dull dark winter and we're
snowed in with no supplies
look out the window where we
should see an endless sky
behold! an ocean of white
with bloodshot weary eyes
we're turning on ourselves
and lift the plaintive cry:

is this the quaint rustic retreat
we made beside the river's bend
or have we learned at great expense
the forest ain't always your friend

well may we die on the ground
beneath the weight of the stars
or should we die in the air
beneath the crush of the ground
directionless as the void
that was and always remains
behind the whirring machinery
of this place

and have you heard the call to arms
that sounds across the forest floor
the key to harmony is living in
a constant state of war

the forest is not your friend
its taste is perfect indifference
like chalk outlines where bodies lay
we pretend
to understand
grasping nothing
and mocking love...
Track Name: chicken / blood in the water / boxcar
I went silent in my anger
like a rotted - out canoe
that offends not by the doing
but by what it fails to do
can't support the passenger
who keeps on right on passing by
like a plane that cannot land
because the landing strip's on fire

and I do not know this city
so it should not bear the blame
but I suspect it might be killing me
the longer that I stay
and it's delicious to admit this
what a worm this sisyphus is
like the dishes served to fishes
in a lake swollen with rain

ah, me
how did I come to be
in the deep end
I fail to see
how years of grasping thorns
has yet to harden these hands
and so I bleed...

--> [crunchy]
Track Name: monk song
I know you now --
I can't say how
there is no sign --
that we shall know you by
there is no form --
no shelter in your arms

and though I know you for the charlatan you are
I will remain the fool I've always been
and faithfully repeat the rituals that you require
in the sacrificial vestments of our skin

the moon is all a glowing for her breakfast
and the ceremony is ready to begin
we will feed it on our gluttony and madness
and take solace in a mythic warmth within

our robes are torn and tattered from their service
our chalices grow ever weak and thin
the scriptorium is full of brittle dust now
the only memory remaining is our sin --
the only entry uneroded is our sin --
the only century unforgotten is our sin ...
Track Name: old fat fox
we played a game to end the world
our lungs to split the sky
the sky still hung as mockingly
and unconvinced as I
as I recall it always did
since day and night were born!
with thermonuclear confidence
the stars they stung like swords

and when we rose abruptly from
siesta in a ditch
the Him that hummed around my head
grew to a frenzied pitch
my palm's panoptosaurus
gazed out through his own eye!
instructing me to weaken,
inviting me to try
O I crept back into the earth
to hide beneath a stone!
and even though I'm paranoid
at least I'm not alone

an old fat fox is rare indeed
and rarer still to meet
for one does not grow old and fat
by being widely seen
Track Name: leaving that behind
I know we - I know we was rivals in some secret way
it's okay - I'm leaving that behind

& I see - the doom I thought I lost is here
like hands - that reach to catch you in a field
I'm leaving that behind

I wore a mask - I wore a mask to hide my face from god
how odd - I'm leaving that behind

w/antlers - & independence made of lead
o how I fled - for leaving that behind

& this cloud - this cloud that follows me
is free - to slip back in the stream
I'm leaving that behind

I paid the priest to tell me I was saved
you paid the cops to make sure I behaved
I'm leaving that behind
Track Name: a light, a light
I saw a light in the woods last night
I took a lantern and a knife and went outside

and I praise the land that called me here
I thank the moonless night that made it clear

that there was magic in the woods
and something seldom seen or understood:
that what is meaningless is good --
I'd hold that wisdom if I could

I took the darkness in my hands
and tried to make it meld with what was bright
there was no fight

the darkness swallowed everything
every flashing eye and beating wing
and what devoured us was good --
I'd hold that wisdom if I could

the night enveloped all around
every northern light and throaty sound
and that oblivion was good --
I'd hold that wisdom if I could
Track Name: out of doors
I go out running on my own
it's late at night and you don't know I'm gone
and if it's moonless
you will ask me over breakfast
"why is your face a bloody mess"
and I will remember
the sweet sting of crackling branches
and say "I guess I had an itch"

I have a spineless inability to stay indoors
that's why I'm padding through
pine needles on the forest floor
and I am out of doors --
out of windows,
out of welcome mats
and out of explanations.
though the fire roars,
the hearth is cold
as the most distant of relations.

let me be
here at least
long enough to forget some of my
more cynical directives.

I will have triumphed if I'm anything
but what the gods expected.
Track Name: a narrow road (song from Bashō)
we shave our heads
on black hair mountain
and change in to summer clothes
you will shed your name to travel
a narrow road, a narrow road

trailing off an unfinished joke
we arrive at the temple unexpectedly
dripping moss beneath a cold spring sky
a narrow road, a narrow road

even woodpeckers leave it alone
a hermitage in a summer grove
one small poem pinned to a post
a narrow road, a narrow road
... of clarity
... of completeness
... of living alone
... to the interior
... dead bees cover the sand
Track Name: THE HUM / to be alone
sometimes people like me
sometimes a sharp sound strikes me
and the railroad feels less lonely
-- the comfort that it brings

starting just this moment
I've experienced an awakening noise
a high-pitched hum behind everything
behind business and poise

the red wheat grows but bucks and bends
the rye bows down before the wind
and we mere specks of ash contend
with greater trials than that, my friend

with greater trials and yet the same
a cleansing cold, a fertile flame
the plunge of bodies and decay
and parts we learn to throw away

to be alone
to be alone
to be alone
to be alone
"oh chosen say why do you weep"
the crone was heard to moan
"because I fled the lion's den
into this christian home"
to be alone
to be alone
to be alone
to be alone
to be alone
but for the Hum
to be alone
'til Kingdom Come
to be alone
to be alone
to be alone
to be alone
Track Name: to-night I set the bottle down
tonight I set the bottle down
and saw reflected in its glare
the mortal whim, a tiny sin
that led me to project it there

now morning comes, and miles away
they're cleaning up what matters
but in a hum of slow decay
my looking glass is shattered

tonight I set the bottle down
and it was on somebody's head
he looked surprised and then his eyes
turned to me as he bled and said:

tonight I set the bottle down
to help me see more clearly
but all that I could think upon
was what I love most dearly

tonight I set the bottle down
and saw reflected in its glare
the mortal whim, a tiny sin
that led me to project it there