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  • Love is a Garden (annotated lyrics)

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  • A Long Intermission


Love is a Garden


GIVE THANKS

When you wake up in the morning do you ever say thank you to God?
It’s easy to be worried, but it feels way better when you are not
Think about the way that the sun comes into your heart—
it brightens up the window and it brightens up some of your thoughts

We don’t have to be sure of everything to give thanks
just to notice a kindness as we go on our way
We all know the pain of living every day
but watch the world change colors when we give thanks

Who’s that causing all the drama in your life
it may be your best friend, your mom, or even your wife,
but think for a minute how it would be if they were gone
and drop what you’re doing a call them up on the phone

Think of all the ways that you could’ve died in your sleep—
a meteor tsunami or that sugar that I slipped in your tea—
but look at who woke up and made it to a brand new day
and give up your worrying and join me when I say


SKIN

Skin is your tie to me
a sweet little go between
connecting the things I keep
to the hidden in you
darker or lighter we
all crave that simple heat
the love and the mystery
of the one from the two

Why’s it so hard to see
our skin makes family
and that’s a good thing baby
we’re meant to make our love grow

Skin is a ghost machine
a loved and a hated thing
but worn by the poor and king
who draw lines with their clothes,
but your skin can preach to me
your skin calls mine to sing
a song not for whispering—
I would hear every note

Why’s it so hard to see
each shade of majesty—
you’re looking good my brother
We’re meant to make this love grow
Why’s it so hard to see
all that you mean to me
for who you are my sister
We’re meant to make this love grow

Skin is your tie to me
a curse from Adam and Eve
but far from the garden we
still find blood at the root


HOLD ME (January Drifts)

Please don’t ask how I’m doing
when you see me look away
I’ve got a lot on my mind, babe,
and I’m not mad at you anyway

Just need you to hold me
Hold me

It’s piling up by the road side
and climbing the eves of my house,
it comes like drifts in wintertime
and I’m feeling ready to move further south

Hold me like the sun will warm the ice and break,
hold me just like that
hold me just like that

And you can ask me tomorrow—
tomorrow is another day
I don’t know how much sense I’m making
but I’ve got nothing left to say


THEY SAY ENOUGH

When the cords we bound together
are starting to decay
when the words “always” “forever”
are starting to bend and fray
when the cold comes between us
more and more each day
They say enough—
whatcha say, what?

What have we come to
if love is a feeling
and I don’t feel it?
You and I both know
that love’s worth fighting for
and I’ll fight for you

And people will try to convince you
of things that you want to hear
like “You’ve got every right to be happy—
you’ve got to do what you feel”
but love is a garden
and it takes two to tend it
day by day, baby we can mend it
But they say enough—
whatcha say what?

Love is humble


HOW LONG

Honey I don’t know if it’s gonna take,
but love, we’ll try, we’ll give it our all
Sometimes we can’t catch a break,
and love’s just spent beyond recall

How long will you treat me like I’m nothing?
How long will you hide your face?
How long can a man go on forgotten
carry my sorrows day by day?

Dig my heart out seeking gold,
my hammer raised in a crescent arc
I don’t know how much these shafts can hold—
the mine trembles, bones in the dark

How long do we have to count our losses
How long will you hide your face
How long can I wrestle with these thoughts and
carry my sorrows day by day?
How long will we have to bear our crosses
How long will you hide your face
How long till you meet me in the darkness
Carry my sorrows day by day

[Rest]


SANDSTONE

Sandstone and burnout
time takes everything
paths overgrowing
from autumn to spring

and the things I remember
the things I forget
like the shape of your body
when we laid down to rest

Soft-sodden wilds
retracing our steps
the house and the heather
where the birds make their nest

and the things I have hidden
and covered with stones
the warmth of your eyes and
the length of your bones

I’ll give you all that I have,
oh all that I have


WARM

Warm under a blanket next to you
with no moonshine showing through
those purple curtains that you made
Summer is here
those witless plants are needing shade
but up the trellises they’re climbing
we’ll eat the fruit that they made

And I want you to know
that I — I’m climbing up next to you


TO THE WELL

Carry along my little one
the summer is fine and you grow
Love the paths you run with your friends
the fruit of the vine hanging low

God, where's the path I walked
you've hidden from his feet
The song of a boy in innocence
is incomplete

Carry on my little one
sicknesses come and they go
I'll find the path I've heard of a well
where healing waters flow

God, am I wrong to ask
that you would comfort me
But I would give anything
to heal my baby

Carry across my little one
tide is high and I row
Seas be kind to my little one
I cannot hold while I row

God, where's the island well
I heard of long ago
Show me the living well
where healing waters flow


ROSE

Rose, she lifts her arms in the summertime
sending all her love in flowers from the vine
petals fall like fingers hers to mine
and we move for shelter from the heat, inside

And we’re gone too long

Silent through the house we steal away
and my heart is throbbing with so much to say
lay a while we breathe as the sun sets
and illuminates our rose, her arms outstretched

And it grows on
till the frost comes

You and I will never get old
(swear to me, my dear)

Cold the morning comes against the house
Where did summer go — when did she slip out?
Rose is pruned by winter’s gardener
They keep telling me I’ll be fine, but I’m lost without her


WHITE LIE

I will ever try to find it in your face
oh a love that would hold me
and the promises that you and I have made—
a white lie on my shoulder

You know I have failed for oh so long—
why do I even try to defend myself?

And I tell you that it’s too hard to explain—
just try to control it
but the fire that I told you I would give
is just a pile that smoulders

How can I pretend for oh so long
that I have some good in me without you?
How can I have hid for oh so long
when it feels so good to surrender?


PSALM 23

The Lord is my shepherd
I shall not want
he makes me lie down in green pastures
he leads me beside still waters
and he restores my soul
and guides me where I should go

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I will not fear
for you are with me
your rod and your staff they are comforting

You prepare a table before me
though my enemies press in close
oil of anointing you pour over me
and my cup overflows

And goodness and mercy
will follow me all of my days
and I will dwell in your house, oh God,
till time passes away


SOMETIMES I WONDER

Can you even hear me?
Sometimes I wonder
Can I really feel you
out beneath the thunder?

Cause there’s what he said
and there’s what she said,
but our love won't survive on the words of others
so I want to hear you
with your own lips
say "come on — come be near to me"

Can I really see you
if I hide behind my brothers?
Climb a tree to meet you
You picked me out (red-faced) from the others

Will you even catch me?
Sometimes I wonder
Stumbling through the darkness
Out beneath the thunder


I DON’T WANT THIS JOB

I don't want this job – I don't need this job –
y'all don't pay enough – go find another sucker –
I don't need nobody – to walk me out the door cause –
I got someone out front – who is waiting for me

I've been shuffling down – dank and dusty hallways –
and it made me numb – but said it did keep us all ways
and I've been filing papers –
for a boss that hawks and hovers –
believing all the while – that I that I had lost my lover

And don't apologize – because I won't believe you (anymore)

So I don't want this job – and I don't need this job –
y'all don't pay enough – go find another sucker –
I have been too distant – from myself and from my lover –
and I won't keep you waiting – must leave one to join the other


THESE ARE THE DAYS

These are the days we’re making up as we go
we drift through the hollows to find the old road
don’t remember days of your sorrow,
remember when you heard the call
carry today & tomorrow,
and rightly count the who’s and whens

Some people say money, and others say plans
but I’m hungry for freedom that never changes hands
spring, summer and autumn leave me restless
will winter bring its peace to man?
But hidden in time there is a constant
if we can only enter in

I’ve been to your house once
the doors were tall & wide
so I was surprised when it was warm inside
Take me to a room I can lay down in
and let me hear the songs they sing
or quiet my mind — let me hear softly
the simple song you’re whispering


GIVE ME PEACE & REST

Give me peace and rest, I ask,
and deliver me from suffering.
But it comes in waves and birth pangs;
My head reels and I cannot deal with this alone.
If you take it all away from me will you give it all back too?
Or will you sit me down like Job and give me a talking to?
Would you kneel down and resuscitate if I was turning blue?
Or do you smile at me because you’ve already been through
what I’m going through?
So break into my bag of waters,
and lift me out by my heels.
Draw my up from my bed screaming -
I’m wanting to be born again.
Running back my memories (All I have is you),
and I am struggling with disappointment (All I have is you).
You scared me in delivery - what else could I do?
Will you remind me you remember me?
All I have is you.
Do I remind you of Nicodemus with confusion on my face?
Was I in your mind when you originally thought of grace?
Will you stand aloof from me while I am hounding at your gate?
Or do you hold me in contempt while I am grieving?
Jesus took a boat out on the lake of Galilee.
He was mourning for his cousin John and he’d rowed out to be
alone, but when he reached the other shore
a crowd had followed him,
but instead of being frustrated
you had compassion and healed them there.
Give me peace and rest, I ask.


DO YOU REALLY

Taking a shower with a known carcinogen
knowing you will never live again
and your brevity is awesome
and you feel it and you wait

Stop trying to worry about it
time goes by tells things that you don't know
while you're trying to worry about it now
Stop trying to worry about it
troubles they will come and they will go
while you're trying to worry about it now

Another year another fear to feed
you feel the frays in your mortality
and the gravity is awful
and you feel it and you wait

Stop trying to worry saying
Hey what will we drink what will we eat
while you're trying to worry bout it now
Stop trying to worry bout it
Father knows already what we need
Why you trying to worry bout it now

Do you really want something else?

See the birds passing winter
Blooms back from wilt and wither
Don’t let the worry of tomorrow
get in to steal from us today

Do you really want something else?


LOVE MY WOMAN

10,000 miles behind us and 10,000 more to sing our love
and I ain't trying for a chemical reaction I was hoping for more from our love
And the spring brings the rain, after blossom comes the fruit—
and then love is our drink — and love is our food

I love my woman, love my woman

Sometimes when we are apart and my thoughts turn to you, my love
I'm reminded of a vision of a highway that diverges for a time, my love
but every good separation shall come to an end and we shall see the good, oh my lover and my friend

I love my woman, love my woman

And the sun might shine down tomorrow
or the wind turn cold and grey
but I'll keep my heart for you whichever way

I love my woman, love my woman


IF THE SUN IS SHINING

If the sun is shining down on me
if the world is spinning naturally
just squeeze my hand so I know you’re there
But if darkness covers over me
and the world is pressing down on me
just squeeze my hand so I know you’re there

Cause time is gonna come
So take my hand — let’s run
Or why do we hold hands at all?

Ooooooo, squeeze my hand

If the road is rising easy
if the rain is falling gentle
just squeeze my hand so I know you’re there
but if we’re lost and breaking down oh baby
and the sky above just storms like crazy
just squeeze my hand so I know you’re there

Cause time is gonna come
So take my hand — let’s run
Or why do we hold hands at all?

Ooooooo, squeeze my hand

So if the sun is shining down on me
or it burns out and we’re about to freeze
just squeeze my hand so I know you’re there


OCEAN SUNSET MOTORCYCLE

And the sunset lingers last on the ocean
oranging those patches of clouds, and then the blue falls/follows hard

And the summer leaves a note for the autumn
gently closing a door somewhere in the sky

And I cannot leave you alone
and I can't get you off of my mind (no, never)

And I watch the waves crawl up to the sand
as high as they can and return their salt to oblivion

And I lay there eyeing the stars through the window
figuring it can't be that with us when holy love fills the void

And I can't get it all sorted out,
but you were the first one to call (and I missed you)


TONIGHT

Watch me here
alone on the porch
with my heart
flickering like a torch
Do you love me tonight?
Do you love me tonight?
You’re so far away

Little king
awake in his head
hard to sleep
when the queen’s not in bed
Know I love you tonight
Know I wait for the light
the light of your face

When you come home
we’ll sing in the dark
illuminate
with a harmony spark
Wear a white dress tonight
Wear a white dress tonight
and say you’re in love

I’ll sleep for now
with a yawn and a sigh
hum a tune
to remember you by
Oh, I love you tonight
Oh, I love you tonight
My darling, my wife


SNOW

Please don’t let me fall into hesitation yet
Cause it’s these moments when silence
starts sliding downhill quick

And I’m watching trees go flying
never digging in my heels to walk among them
And the amnesia of this traveling
begins to blur the memory of what I set out for

Snow, my contact between me and something I remember
A voice moving softly through the trees followed my people
around the Caspian Sea

And have we ever really listened
with our stiff necks and broken wisdom?
Picking berry-laden branches
And did our trade or our surrender
make us any less of pretenders?
Tell me

Break whatever’s in me
that makes me dull and makes me dream
of lesser colors lesser things; you can unzip me from the seams
Kick all the props, cut all the strings, divert generational streams
dig out my heart and make me scream
if that is what will make me sing


FERNWEH

Wet rain, waiting under a cloud that’s full of rain
Cold feet standing upon a shore that’s cold and grey
Endless horizon, that melts away from left to right
Blurries the edges, where sky and ocean reunite


TO THE WELL

Carry along my little one
the summer is fine and you grow
Love the paths you run with your friends
the fruit of the vine hanging low

God, where's the path I walked
you've hidden from his feet
The song of a boy in innocence
is incomplete

Carry on my little one
sicknesses come and they go
I'll find the path I've heard of a well
where healing waters flow

God, am I wrong to ask
that you would comfort me
But I would give anything
to heal my baby

Carry across my little one
tide is high and I row
Seas be kind to my little one
I cannot hold while I row

God, where's the island well
I heard of long ago
Show me the living well
where healing waters flow


SMALL BOAT

Well, they’re leaving now, and it’s hard to stay abreast
when I’m floating on the verge.
It’s dark and deep beneath my feet,
and the water just goes down.
I am small boat taking on water
with no man to row across her;
I’m waiting out the waves.
I wish that an island would come to save me,
rock me gently like a baby -
I need something firm to rest against.
Well, a blind heart can’t see the end of the ocean,
and a sick doesn’t care if she can see.
My own heart doesn’t have the strength to get there
unless you revive me.
(endlessness, passionlessness
fear of never getting somewhere
dispossess the spirit of sadness
love makes nothing of the distance)
I am small boat taking on water
with no man to row across her;
I’m waiting out the waves.
I wish that an island would come to save me,
rock me gently like a baby -
I need something firm to rest against.




AIN’T NO GRAVE

I dreamt I died, no longer could I see
I dreamt I died, no longer could I see
I dreamt I died, no longer could I see
but I heard my woman a-wailing over me

Ain't no grave gonna keep my body down
Ain't no grave gonna keep my body down
When I hear that trumpet sound,
I'm gonna rise up outta the ground
Ain't no grave gonna keep my body down

My wasted years, no not one will return
My wasted days, no not one will return
My wasted hours, no not one will return
and I hear those shovels a-piling on top of me

Ain't no grave gonna keep my body down
Ain't no grave gonna keep my body down
When I hear that trumpet sound,
I'm gonna rise up outta the ground
Ain't no grave gonna keep my body down

Oh my Lord—if a blind eye can see
Oh my God—if a slave can be set free
Oh my Jesus—if it has no hold on thee
Take my hand—come and wake me from my sleep

Ain't no grave gonna keep my body down
Ain't no grave gonna keep my body down
When I hear that trumpet sound,
I'm gonna rise up outta the ground
Ain't no grave gonna keep my body down

Roll away that stone
Roll away that stone
Ain't no grave gonna
keep my body down