Anadromous

by Elliot Knapp

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    Anadromous CD in full color jacket with lyric sheet.

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1.
07:25
2.
3.
4.
08:56
5.
6.
7.
8.
04:31

credits

released November 14, 2013

Elliot Knapp: Acoustic guitars and vocals.
Justin Phelps: Recording, mixing, mastering engineer.

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Elliot Knapp Seattle, Washington

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Track Name: Nobody Saw
Sarah and Elliot walked to the water
A moment among many moments together, alone, hand-in-hand
Sarah and Elliot sat by the sound
Not speaking but staying and sensing, intent on the sun’s juggernaut arc
And no one else was there

They didn’t notice two eyes in the water
Shy observation set in a glossy mat of fibers—never dry!
Bobbing, submerge
Something was bound to happen

Sarah and Elliot became two seals out haunting the harbor
Separated by thick, green, liquid distance
Returning to circle unseen
Floating, white wet bellies to the sky
Hauling out at night
And no one else saw

Sarah and Elliot reaching the rocky point
Familiar and firm although far from the parting close at hand
Sarah and Elliot leaving the light house
Resigned and returning reality wedging between so unkindly
And nobody else was there

They didn’t hear silken wings hinging
Antennae feelering above, flitting, keeping tabs, fleeting—relative freedom!
Tied to the air
Something was bound to change

Sarah and Elliot became two butterflies up orbiting wind spirals
Dancing together flexing new legs, resting light on leaves
Drinking flower dew
Autumnal, entwined
Dreaming they were people
And nobody saw
Track Name: Suspended (Omgoi)
Dark July night and I know nothing
But the comfort of the heat
And wonder folding pages back
And stories read aloud to meet

All I know is what can happen:
Anything a boy imagines!

Let’s go to that place, Mom
Where the world is just the way it’s written
Pages past the point of worry if the story’s even true
Take me to that place, Mom
Where we float in disbelief, suspended
The laws of science kneel before a plea
To see a different way that things could be!
And read until I fall asleep and dream until I fall asleep and dream!

Back in the time of the careless
Jumping stones are not far off
When a tree falls
Sometimes the pictures change
If they are stared at long enough
And then a river runs
Plowing its way through the dead earth
It brings life
Lots of fat people like to swim in the crystal green water
Spots of lit color appear in the sky
Rupturing the other colors
Only vines of evil trees are destroyed
The roots extend below the surface
There the dwarves are mining gold for their underground metal cities
And the roots split into their houses, angering them
Some goblins are living in the bottom of the tree trunk
They decided to make a sideways elevator that goes below the ground
On the other side of the heat and the darkness
There is a tribe of elves
Who like to hunt the dragon turtles
It is a good fun sport
But when the night falls
It always lands on one of the elves
The wind picks up
And carries memories and spirits through the hollow
And with those a new drift
All of the land is bound together by thought
And if a paroxysm occurs
Coral reefs will rise above the water
The fish will want to know where their land went
The rain will have some explaining to do
Something snaps
The pages hinge
The cover swings down
Darkness

Dim lamplit bedroom, I know nothing but the covers tucked in tight
And flying on the wings of words, truth read from pages in the night
A boy is sure of what is real—I know it’s there and I can feel!

Let’s go to that place, Mom
Where the world is just the way it’s written
Pages past the point of worry if the story’s even true
Take me to that place, Mom
Where we float in disbelief, suspended
The laws of science kneel before a plea
To see a different way that things could be!
And read until I fall asleep and dream until I fall asleep and dream!

The story ends, the pages spent—real life is spun around my mind
And I go forward looking back to worlds that I knew I could find
I stood before the spring green trees—the magic beckoned from within
A boy who stepped into the wonder—you won’t be seeing him again
Track Name: The Winding Thread
The forest is alive—there’s something out there!
The young men and women return home with empty eyes
They leave at break of dawn and slip silent through the trees
When they emerge there’s something missing
Something’s taken, piece-by-piece

Everyone knows, but they’re afraid to find out what’s been going on
So, one morning I waited by the brook that runs just past the forest’s edge
And one by one, the young ones walked, each solitary nuptial pledge

I followed a girl in a flower dress between the mossy mushroomed stumps
My heart was pounding through the ferns and logs that ivy-draped lay slumped
Around the dewy rock pile and she vanished, leaving me alone

The quiet still, though hardly vacant
A ghostly thread encircling my head

There’s something in the woods, the forest hums
The young women and men hardly have the strength to rise
And in the city fail to pave a straighter road
To where the price is youth and debts are ever-owed

They all look out through window screens at passing clouds as profits fall
So, I broke into a run that took me reckless through the underbrush
The branches tearing at my legs, a sudden fall—a sullen hush

I stiffened—prone—in the damp brown leaves; the winding thread caressed my chest
My eyes and ears could see and hear scant little coming down to rest

Then through chlorafiltered parasols
A spinning cone of nearly-space, slightly heaving

I felt soft fingers reaching in
I forgot trifles
I bent to every inconstant else I found

Out in the trees there’s something living
Back at home my mind is lost, absorbed in ancient bargains
This short while is but a respite from my undiscovered life debt
And I tell myself there’s time to work—that people can forget
You’ll see me near the forest’s edge at dawn
Track Name: Rocky Bones
The skies were clear the morning that the strange rains came
The children played in flat, wide fields—the plows turned earth
Each leafy shoot ensured no plot lay fallow
The war had ended, sons returned and daughters bloomed
The town square heaved, and commerce boomed, the terraced hills
Led snowmelt down each season desert crept a row closer

The augur told the men who found her mountain home
Forget about what you’ve seen here—leave me alone!

The horses lapped up barley, the hounds gnawed at bones
The banquet tables heavy hung with peacetime spoils
Rough hands withdrew each silo’s borrowed credit
From far horizon peaks a distant rumble grew
The gullets full from harvest glut drew shortened breaths
The sun shone down the sweat-dressed brows, warnings forgotten

The green witch warned the men below her mountain home
Forget the magic you’ve seen here, leave me alone
When saplings spring from each and every seed you’ve sown
I’ll peel you down to rocky bones!

The war’s end left abundant empty mouths to fill
The men set out to find a way to fill a cup
Above the rim and keep it there forever
Some drops of dust at first and then a cloud of clods
Rained earth to sky and browned the sun never to land
Till every green stalk withered lay on bare stones

The green witch warned the men who stormed her mountain home
Put down your axes and your saws, leave me alone
A sapling thinned for every single seed you’ve sown
I’ll strip you down to rocky bones!

Farmers scouring craggy plains, no holds for roots to gain purchase
Hungry, hunting for meat that flees on two legs
Track Name: Gray Magic Spell
It is the world’s darkest hour
Dawn’s nowhere in sight
And the ones with the power have forgotten what’s right
The clambering hungry are five billion strong
And the ungrateful rich have been feeding them words
The workers are tired and it won’t be too long
Till the only job left will be scratching with birds
We need a solution and we need it soon
Or all that we stand for is utterly doomed!
Or so you tell me!

My day’s long gone, my arms are weak
My eyes are growing pale
No use to you, my hair gone white
These final years a jail
And now you need my help!

It’s wisdom you need from this worthless old man
Gray magic, charmed—a spell!
I’ll tell you:

It all goes on! It all goes on!
It all goes on! It all goes on!
From the fat and through the lean and high and low points in between
It all goes on! It all goes on!
It all goes on! It all goes on!
Across impossible despair and when your end is close at hand

All your efforts are vanity—nothing will change
Collective insanity—every man is deranged
The crystalline children are saddled with debt
And their future polluted by all that we’ve done
Times bleak as this the world never forgets
If we give up the fight then they’ve already won!
We need a reversal of fortune—a trick
Or we’ll fall on our swords and be cut to the quick
That’s what you tell me!

You put me here out of your way
Where I can’t bring you down
A tired antique of past ideals
That no one wants around
But now you need my help!

You beg for an answer this lonely old man
A secret incantation, well:

It all goes on! It all goes on!
It all goes on! It all goes on!
From ascent and through decline and past imagination’s peak
It all goes on! It all goes on!
It all goes on! It all goes on!
Across the years before your mind and when your struggle’s lost to time
It goes!
Track Name: The Whirlpool
Two little boys in rubber boots, climbing down a muddy hillside
Two small boys in parallel with no idea what they would find
The young one’s feet stuck fast in earth, calls to his brother from below
The elder’s cries for help unheard descends to pull his brother, so

Both fall through the whirlpool
And wash up:

Two small boys inside a room with four white walls and scarlet curtains
Two little boys in stereo, the summer dark outside uncertain
Electric light, the pages lit, two faces grinning in the night
Four sleepy eyelids falling closed two dreams from pages shining bright

As both fall through the whirlpool

Andy—you led the way
Andy, you pushed my face in the grass
Andy—you came back for me
Andy, you dove and I fell
Andy—we both had the fever!
Andy—we ran together

Two boys in seawater, bobbing right to left to right
Two boys crisscrossed by wavelengths, the seafloor barely out of sight
The dolphins circle come to see visitors floating from the sky
The boys inhale and hold the breath to see the life that words belie

Then both fall through the whirlpool
And wash up:

Two young men and one small boy picking berries black—September
Two old boys in yellow grass, the muddy hillside still remember
The little one is sleepy so the boys return from whence they came
Though parting ways they’ll join up soon in hopes some things will never change

But all three fall through the whirlpool

Andy—you led the way
Andy, you pushed my face in the grass
Andy—you came back for me
Andy, you dove and I fell
Andy—we both had the fever!
Andy—we raced together
Track Name: Kingfisher
I’m waiting, I’m watching—I’ve seen her here before!
I’ve spied from a distance her lonesome tightrope perching form
She knows when I’m nearing, she never welcomes my approach
She lets me come closer, then flies and cries her strict reproach


Kingfisher, I’ll catch you in pictures and in words
Kingfisher! I know you’re more than just a fickle bird
I’ll have you clasped between my hands
You’ll wonder why you’d ever flown
You’ll whisper secrets to a friend
Your winking wisdom shared—my own!
If only you’d just come a bit closer!

I’m patiently listening for sounds that someone got to near
I’m desperately hoping your friendless flight will lead you here
I’d just like a glimpse of your white and blue fine feathers up close
Every time you fly farther, laughing, turning up your nose

And when I’ve given up, you’ll rest and perch your tiny feet
And when I’m walking unaware you’re right before me
Then we’ll meet!
But you’ll fly

Kingfisher, I’ll trap you in pictures and in words
Kingfisher! I know you’re more than just a fickle bird
It’s safe to open, crack my fingers
You’re happy now—you’d like to linger
No! Hands empty, never were you mine
You’re flying, teasing from behind!
If only you’d just fly a bit closer