Up From The Bitterroot

by Skye Steele

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credits

released January 20, 2015

The performers are Dana Lyn, Liam Robinson, Ilusha Tsinadze, Chris Lightcap, Mathias Kunzli, Mike Loren Lavalle, and Skye.
Lyrics and music by Skye Steele, except as noted. Published by Skye Steele Dot Com (ASCAP).

The band was recorded live on September 5-6 2013 at Peter Karl Studio by Peter. Vocals and overdubs were recorded at Calisota by Skye. Additional recording by Drew Brody. Mixed by Mike Loren LaValle at Calisota. Mastered by Nate Wood at Kerseboom Mastering. Produced by Skye Steele with Mike Loren LaValle, with additional production by Ben Cassorla.

Artwork by Andrew Benincasa.

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Track Name: The People Make The Music
1. The People Make The Music

I drink my coffee in Brooklyn, so when I get to Manhattan I’ll be ready to go, yea I’ll be good to go On and On.
Make my money in motion, I’m a true man of action I don’t ever slow down, cause this world keeps spinning Round and round.
I found my path underground, life laid my track underground, don’t know where it’s gonna lead, but there’s a light that I See so clear.

Though I put my hands into it
The people shape the music
And I put my heart into it,
The people make the music.
I put my soul in there so,
The people feel my melody,
I’ve got this song, I’ve got to sing.

I swing my drum sing my song. My voice, my arm, my will’s strong enough to carry me on, enough to carry me On and on.
I keep this fire in my heart. It keeps me warm when I start to feel the cold wind of doubt, alone forgotten and Down and Out.
Though I put my hands into it
The people shape the music
And I put my heart into it,
The people make the music
I put my soul in there so,
The people feel my melody,
I’ve got this song, I’ve got to sing.
‘cause

You don’t know just how long you’re gonna have that voice.
The air’s there longing to hold your music, but you’ve gotta take it and shape it, it’s your choice.
Though I put my hands into it
The people shape the music
And I put my heart into it, The people make the music
I put my soul in there so, The people feel my melody,
I’ve got this song, I’ve got to sing.

people move like the ocean and I watch them go by and I remember
my home, I think of all that I left behind.
Track Name: Hiromitsu & Yuko
2. Hiromitsu & Yuko
for Lisa Diener

The Earthquake came at a quarter to six
gave no notice like a jilted mistress
walked in throwing plates and pictures
setting off all those bombs we built and buried
to keep within our midst.
I ran to you you’re my doorway
you held me till the shaking stopped
then the wave came crashing down upon us
so we ran outside and climbed up on the rooftop
to watch our whole world get washed away.

Now this house is a shipwreck drifting with no mast
and I sit upon the ruins to contemplate the massive face
of the water, of the world, upon which we ride
with no compass and no rudder and no time for pride.

And I don’t know anything of any use in this madness
All I have to offer you is questions and patience
And I wish I could say,
at least there’s a song for you in all of this
but then I’d have to leave you crying
and go away and write it.

The day ends and I know I mustn’t sleep
there’s a glowing from below at night.
Is it the ocean’s incandescent life,
or the god of great darkness come to claim
the one who wasn’t meant to get away?
I felt like a stone when they took me on the third day
and let you slip the sea’s cold grasp.
Still I write you letters that I carry in my chest.

Now this life is a shipwreck, drifting with no home
And I’m clinging to the ruins,
to contemplate your absent face
just like water, all around, while thirst chokes me dry
in the darkness, in the waves, I hear you sigh

And I don’t know anything of any use in this madness
all I have to offer you is questions and patience
and wish I could say,
“at least there’s a song for you in all of this”
but then I’d have to leave you crying
and go away and write it
But I can’t leave, I’ve got nowhere to go.
You and me, we’ll sit out this storm,
and if the only good thing about this time is that it’s gonna end
that’s where we’ll begin.
***
I’ll only sleep to wait for you.
Track Name: No Matter Love
She said, “Why don’t you lie with me?
I can’t sleep in peace with you moving to and fro about the home.
Don’t you wanna drift away with me?
And return early dawn together, never alone.”
How could I explain—could I describe
How I long for that peace of solitude,
how I covet those quiet times
For my nocturnal ramblings and beatitudes.
Oh, how jealous I defend that dominion,
My borderland of waking and gone.
No matter love, I begrudge my companion
That new mind of morning who births my song.

When we were new and awesome
We’d lie entwined and shameless
strangling a day
Just to see the spectrum pendule
And fathom the still transformation
as light falls away.
How can I explain my despair
And relish and tumult to see those days
Racing over, laying bare
My precious resolve corrupted so many ways
Gone now that ardent joy for surrender,
as I backslide to old lonsesome song
No matter, love makes time tender
And she’ll settle accounts before long.
Track Name: Wild We've Been
This coat still carries a trace of your scent,
though days go by and I’m turning within
I reach for your face in the dark of my bed.
But shadows won’t fill the palm of my hand.

When I was a child I was haunted by blood
in my ears in the dark like an onrushing flood
now a man, my blood seems cooler at last.
But the waters of memory are rising fast.

Deep in the sound of the woods in the night,
I heard your voice and the way we fight
The wild we’ve been, the hurt we’ve done.
All those animal things we call love.

Will I see you again in the city of stone?
Will our eyes meet and pass, has it been so long?
My face and my hands seem the same to me,
but you might not recognize this heart, I’m sorry.

Now the ice is melting down from the roof
and the path in the snow’s showing patches of earth.
My time’s not long in this place of peace
so I’m wringing my pen for every last drop of her ink.
Track Name: Wild Mind
I awoke in a wild mind with no memory of my dream,
My heart beating in time to a terror I could not see.
I arose and I fell
as my strength failed
And I tumbled like I’d been bound and tied.
Shadows disturbed the quiet as my morning hours bled by,
A nagging premonition hidden from my waking eyes.
Though I walked through my day
Unimpeded unafraid
I could sense this presence biding time.
Oh, evening sitting alone,
dark rushing fast
Through memory’s creaking door
that dream I saw at last.
And there I laid a prisoner, and my captor over me,
His face obscure but his figure I knew intimately.
Now he turned and I saw
Grim visage, visions tool,
Both the jailed and jailor wore— and that face was mine.
Track Name: New Mind/Old Mind
New Mind never knew Old Mind was his master.
New Mind played the riddle game well, but Old Mind played it meaner.
New Mind always trusted in himself at least.
Old Mind sniffs the wind— he knows when to flee.
New Mind, Old Mind were twins in the end.
New Mind, Old Mind loved the same thing.
They both know the power of wearing the ring.

Snowfall in the pines on a blue-sky day,
If it’s sharp and cool you don’t need clouds—the wind works in many ways.
New Mind knows the tracks he sees, he can read them like a code.
Old Mind don’t care what’s ahead, he just knows which way to go.
New Mind, Old Mind were twins in the end.
New Mind, Old Mind loved the same thing.
And they ran down the day, circling away
From the prize they both longed to hold—
They’ve touched it, but never seen the face before.
And they don’t know the price of wearing the ring.

As night fell they made camp, and their fire lit the dark.
New Mind curled up to sleep, with Old Mind standing guard.
New Mind suffered fit-full dreams, he woke up feeling pretty weird.
Old Mind whispered the night away, pouring thoughts into New Mind’s ear.
New Mind, Old Mind were twins in the end
New Mind, Old Mind loved the same thing.
****
And if you want to find love
You better love the right stuff.
Track Name: My Mountainside
Got up early
Blue snow morning
Something from my dream lingered
Around the corner

But hidden from my eyes
Were the secrets of my mind

Walked out early
Lofted burdens
Hoisting them to my spine—
Testudine.

In the shadows of my head
Something moved, something fled
Though I turned to face full
Our shared axis turned too.

Onward upland,
I malea,
Snowfield feathered and serpentine
Over falling stream.

As water builds a storm
My blood was transformed
In the mountain’s shady thigh
Each step stranger grew I
On the mountain’s dizzy heights
I brought my old ways to die.
***
mans fall echoes mountain trembles crystal to stone
echoes man falls tremble
tremble f
o tremble fall echoes a mountain
h crystal tremble l
c man to stone l
e fall s to stone
mountainechoesmansfalltremblescrystaltostonestonetostone
***
Up mountainward through the snow
My tracks will remain until the thaw
And in green times you’ll think of me
Wherever you climb there I’ll be
As water rolls, Earth set your speed
Choose not the path, stay by the creek
You’ll know the place when you arrive
Clouds circumflex where I lie
But stay with me an hour not more
Return before dark to the valley floor
And carry me back home to lie
Just in your breast
On my mountainside
Leave me to rest.
Track Name: You Be Yours
Another long night disagreeing;
and we’re both lying awake.
I feel it in my neck and shoulders,
this body needs a break
from tussling trying to make sense
of how we got here from where we’ve been.
Let’s close our eyes for now
and take a little rest.

All the light is gone, and everything’s wrong.
We’re both trapped in our minds.
But we’ll see by day another way--
You go yours and I’ll go mine.

I hope the neighbors didn’t hear us crying
and what we said.
But the walls are thin in this house—
it’s not much but we did our best
at hustling trying to make a go,
this town’s hard on you, I know.
Just lay it down for now—
we’ll pick it up tomorrow.

When the morning comes we’ll be gone,
But you’ll be yours and I’ll be mine.
And we’ll see by day another way—
You go yours and I’ll go mine.

When we swore forever we both meant it, didn’t we.
All those beautiful things we said, I’m trying to believe,
But what you did high that night,
brought the cold truth home,
And I cried myself to sleep on our wedding bed
all alone.

***
I’m not your savior now,
But you’ll be fine—
You be yours
And I’ll be mine.
Track Name: In The Sun
Like snow clings to the trees,
Then falls in the slightest breeze--
One moment in the sun,
Bright shining and then it’s gone--
For that moment in the sun,
For a moment in the sun,
We were born.

Just frozen bits of sky
That gather on boughs of pine—
From formlessness lended shape,
Then light and warmth evaporate—
For a moment in the sun,
For that moment in the sun,
We were more.

Unnumbered and multiform
Issue of same birthing storm
Arms outreach and interwov’n,
Join bodies dissolve into snow
For a moment in the sun,
For that moment in the sun,
We were one. We were one.
Track Name: Your Silence
Today I get up early, make the coffee, and go back to bed
For a while.
Get back up, delete some email, drink the coffee, think about the groceries
I need to buy.
I’m doing all the things I do
On all the days when I don’t hear from you.
And wonder when waiting ceases,
When a day is just what it is—
Life I live, your silence.
Life I live, your silence.

Check my phone, check the mail, check the laundry, check my hair—
Nothing’s changing.
Walk a circle, take a breath, tell myself to stop and then
Start again.
I’m doing all the things I do
On all the days when I don’t hear from you
And wonder when waiting ceases.
When a day is just what it is—
Life I live, your silence.
Life I live, your silence.


That was another time,
you and I like two trees falling
I envied you your twisted roots,
you coveted my poise.
We f_lled each other time and again,
took to it like a calling.
We two, alone in the woods,
no one there to hear our noise.

So I’m doing all the things I do
On all the days when I don’t hear from you.
And I’m saying all these thing I say,
And only I know I said them all yesterday.
And I wonder when waiting ceases.
When a day is just what it is.
Another day of empty spaces.
Maybe that’s all that a day is.
Life I live, your silence.
Life I live, your silence.
Track Name: Growing Song
Creation comes
like blood around in circles,
so we’re one
becoming two my little you
will dance upon this holy loop
and stretch it out into a wire
you walk along above the burning lights,
your shadow hurled into the
sky lands upside down against a
cloud so soft that even shadows
wouldn’t break upon it,
so you reach the other side to find the
line you crossed you cannot leave
behind connects right to your heart. The
shadow joins you once again, these
two constant companions,
in the end when you’re alone,
you see are one so take the rope in hand and
coil it gently... as you go

Crying aloud, into the future where you’ll be
Crying again, tied to a world unraveling
Crying aloud, into the future where you’ll be
Crying again, into the future.
Faces betray
a longitude an attitude
that brings me over from my side—
the line I, stumbling, obscure
and set the hook in like a jerk—
your hands, a reel, move in a
circle I feel and watch my world stand
still while I fly waterborn. We
are all fishes till eviction hurls us headlong into what we
are all fishes till eviction hurls us headlong into what we
are all fiction till existence hurls us headlong... and we roll

Crying aloud, into the future where we breathe
Crying again, drowning and blind until we scream
Crying aloud, into the future where we breathe
Crying again, into the future.

Places we’ve been
like songs forgotten still I sing
into a new old melody
that loops around too short in my sleep
I see a crowd of lovers, a stage
where everybody sings and stomps.
A circle breathes and breaks apart,
the song is all us singing,
not a code a map pierced with a
pin, together but not in the
same place so the melody is
orbiting-- velocity or
else location-- never at the
same time never at the same time
never at the same time never
at the same time never at the
same time never and forever
to the same place… where we roll

Crying aloud, into the future and we sing
Crying again, for all the voices that we dreamed
Crying aloud, into the future and we’ll be
Crying again, into the future....