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lyrics

And for a moment there
I was ground down
I had my chin on my chest,
infested surround sound.

But I took a breath.
I took a moment.
No,
the rest of this poem's
dedicated to our closeness.

The remainder of my fame
is aimed at saving all the
hopeless.
I'm committed to this human face and
focused.

So now I'm lifted up
and now I'm lifting others with me.
When my silence is serenity's
a sign I'm living simply
and I'm simply living
in this complex world that we've been given.

And I salute the Amish
and all the other life affirming products
of considering our tolerance for process.
It's like a long conversation
in which everyone's involved,
like a deep breath
before you make that phone call.
It's like a solemn, sullen song
that's been written and exists
solely so some lungs can laugh,
only after, in sadness, they've
sung along.

So let's make a contract now:
a contractual agreement
that we'll only be what we really are.
And if you're scarred, then
let me see your scars.
If you're lonely
I get lonely too
and I'm here to rest with you.
Or to wrestle you.
If you need a vessel for the truth,
I'll be a son of a bitch
or the father of our youth
but I'd rather just rest
Let's get arrested.
Only time can test
all this time that we've invested.

If our settlement gets better
in these seven solemn days
I'll be a weatherman
predicting all this rain on faith
that intuition is correct
or I'm supposed to be wrong
like
writing a song
when the notes
have a will of their own
or herding cats into a barn
when they haven't heard
reports that there's a storm on.

And now I'm lifted up
and now I'm lifting others with me.
When my silence is serenity's
a sign I'm living simply
and I'm simply living
in this complex world that we've been given.

And I salute the Amish
and all the other life affirming products
of considering our tolerance for process.
It's like a long conversation
in which everyone's involved,
like a deep breath
before you make that phone call.
It's like a solemn, sullen song
that's been written and exists
solely so some lungs can laugh,
only after, in sadness, they've
sung along.

I'm saying
maybe our sadness
is a natural reaction
to the sad state of living
that's been so in fashion.
This is babylon
and this is heaven on Earth
and since the day of my birth
every breath has been work
and it's worth it.
A solemn, sullen song is just the surface.
It's a tool to be used
for a purpose.

Celebrating life,
celebrating yearning,
celebrating sadness
and our infinite capacity for learning
how to be sad and joyful in the midst of all this mess...
learning how to love life in our faithlessness.

Learning how to love,
especially ourselves.
Forgiveness is a practice that's essential to my health
forgiveness is the difference between heaven and hell
that's not some afterlife shit, I'm talking now.

Sometimes I distance myself
because we're not living deeply
but there's nothing more shallow than alone.

And that's the burden of vision
it's this gift I've been given
and it can help or it can hurt the world I know.

And now this pit that I've lived in
self-indulgent and rigid
looked a whole lot different from below.

And now my life on the surface
is authentic, it's purpose
is to be who I'm here to be
and grow.

So now I'm lifted up
and now I'm lifting others with me.
When my silence is serenity's
a sign I'm living simply
and I'm simply living
in this complex world that we've been given.

And I salute the Amish
and all the other life affirming products
of considering our tolerance for process.
It's like a long conversation
in which everyone's involved,
like a deep breath
before you make that phone call.
It's like a solemn, sullen song
that's been written and exists
solely so some lungs can laugh,
only after, in sadness, they've
sung along.

credits

from Clothe Yourself in Righteousness, released September 23, 2011
Written by Jon Watts
Violin by Marina Vishnyakova
Cello, Mixing and Mastering by Jake Thro

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Jon Watts Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Quaker poet-producer-songsmith in West Philly.

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