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When the rooks were laid in piles
by the sides of the road,
they were crashing into the aerials,
hanging from the laundry lines.
And, gathered in a field,
they were burned in a feathering pyre,
with their cold, black eyes.

When the swallows fell from the eaves,
and the gulls from the spires,
the starlings, in millions,
would feed on the ground where they lie.
and the ambulance men said
“there’s nowhere to flee for your life,”
so we stay inside,
and we’ll sleep until
the world of man is paralyzed.

Oh, the falconer awakes to the sound of the bells.
Overhead, and northbound,
they are leaving his life.
And each empty cage just rings in his heart
like a bell,
underneath these cold stars,
in their trembling light.
And he cries, “Amen, let their kingdom come tonight.
Let this dream be realized.”


from Rook: Live at Florence Gould Hall, released September 17, 2016



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