Feathered Arms

by Laura Jorgensen

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released July 15, 2010

Written, sung, accordioned, dulcimered, and pianoed by Laura Jorgensen
Produced and drummed by Andrew G. Nault
Violined by Amy Alvey
Bassed by Orion Boucher
Trumpeted by Nolan Eley
Guitared by Kenyon Kowal
Engineered by Alex Prieto
Mastered by Aaron Bastinelli
Photographed by Linni Kral




Laura Jorgensen Austin, Texas

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Track Name: Pens
from across the hall, your skinny arms are waving
and when i fall, i go down hard but struggling
still, the muted sound of trumpet finds me in the dark

when the wind blows round as it comes off the ocean
or the sun beats down on shoulders of the broken
will we realize the wonder of staring into space?

hollowly we drown in cracking leaves of brown
till shaking free again, we sit down with our pens
and bleed ink
bleed ink

i picked a petal out my sleeve this morning
in my hand it fell to pieces without warning
if the spring has come then why do the flowers wither still?

tomorrow we'll be found in cracking leaves of brown
till breaking free from pens we find ourselves again
and bleed ink
bleed ink
Track Name: Heart of Clay
you went out to the desert and you dug a little hole
you found a spot where the sand was soft and moldable
you took it in your hands and you made a little shape
you put it in my chest with the intent of making it ache
but you did not consider what the consequence would be
for a heart of clay cannot have a key

and my heart is made of clay
my heart is made of clay

you took me to the city and you thought that i would stay
how didn't you know that my soul was gone, far away?
this concrete forest fence can't keep the desert from my mind
and one night while you're sleeping i'll blow out oh so quiet
for you did not consider what the consequence would be
a body of sand is always trying to leave

and my body is clay and sand
my body was made
my heart is clay and can only brittle and break

when i reach where i came from
i will wait till the rain comes
and melt into the land

through the wind and thunder
you will never cease to wander
searching for me
but the one you seek to find will remain in your mind
for clay will i be
Track Name: The Most Beautiful Fear
losing sense of time, i try to control my thoughts
but still my mind is floating away
i'm stepping out of line, i know i shouldn't say this
but i think that it's a sign that all things bloom in may

so hey, what do you say about a kiss?
and are you quite sure that after this
the spinning won't stop?
and we won't fall off into space?

waiting for a glimpse of what's coming my way
afraid that i'll miss a chance to convey
the things you make me feel- the giddiness, that lightheaded dismay
or that a pinch will force me awake

so hey, what do you say about a kiss?
and are you quite sure that after this
the star won't collide?
the moon won't rise alone?

oooh, the moment comes and goes

so hey, i don't know what to say about that kiss
except that i'm sure that after this
the world will still turn
the stars will keep burning
and lovers will yearn for what we've found
Track Name: Pulling Strings
pulling strings across the country
unraveling a year or two
if we could reach across the state lines
well then we wouldn't have to

i pack my box to cross the state lines
i lift my eyes to the empty room
i pack my bags to cross the country
i lift my head to say adieu

my ball of yarn is getting small now
there's not much left to pull away
what will i do, when it's all gone now?
i guess i'll just have to stay
Track Name: Tenement Song
i saw you for the first time on the sidewalk, you were passing me by
and though i know we're not allowed to stop and talk, i just had to try
something in your face i had seen just once before
a flash in my father's eyes when they held him to the floor
and he said: darling, don't forget me

even with this courage, oh the words just wouldn't come
all we're taught to say is: hide, quiet, and run
something in your face i felt in my own
it itched at my lips and tickled my tongue
and you said: darling, come with me

so in your fifth floor tenement, we'll lie down
and speak with our skin
cause not all of our thoughts can be said through our teeth
so if the sounds don't come
it won't matter to us
we'll still know what we mean

months passed by and our meetings grew more common all the time
and you taught me the things you'd learned in secret about syllables and rhyme
something in your face whenever i learned a new word
made me almost forget what it's like not to be heard
so i said: darling, hold on to me
cause even though i've learned to speak
there will always be some inexpressible things

so in your fifth floor tenement, we'll lie down
and speak with our skin
cause not all of our thoughts can be said through our teeth
so if the sounds don't come
it won't matter to us
we'll still know what we mean

one day, they came while i was telling you the sunrise
and they said the way we lived we would die
but i'm not worried, no they can't hurt me
not with you here beside me

so in your fifth floor tenement, we'll lie down
and speak with our skin
cause not all of our thoughts can be said through our teeth
Track Name: What We Stand On
my hand is in your lap for miles
the signs offside the road catch us off guard
and our eyes flicker closed
we dam up our ears so we can't hear their voices,
draining after days of digging in the sand

in our goosedown sleeping bag i'll keep you warm
sleeping all surrounded by doomed breathing things
while you dream of engines dying by your hands
you think you're strong enough to kill
but even though i'm proud, better things have failed
better things have failed

and i wonder if we spent endless years out in the woods,
even then would we find peace?
knowing any day the tower might come crumbling closer
and the earth will shudder beneath our feet

in our goosedown sleeping bag we'll be no more
grandfather tortoise is buried beneath
while he dreams of all the children he's had
and it is quite strong enough to kill
so even though we're proud, we must not fail
we must not fail the
juniper, joshua, cottonwood,
silvergray sagebrush, prince's plume

we stand for what we stand on
the only revenge is getting even
Track Name: Your Fingers
i feel your fingers against mine
upon my ribs, upon my tongue
passing over the countryside of my arms
listening for the whisper of my veins

beneath your hands i am calm
within your lungs i find my air
curled inside of your body, how could cold ever find me?

you are the sun to my leaves

beneath your eyes i am safe
within your heart lies my beat
sleeping tucked inside your arms,
only good dreams will take me
Track Name: The Forest Kind
quicksand clay and i'm being drawn down
sucked into the swirl of a thousand years
muck all full of the bodies of birds
and our hopes are drowning all here, drowning all here

your eyelids close
it seems as though your heart slows
don't notice how the mountains turn to dust

the mud i like is the forest kind
sinking feet into the earth
barefoot always in a home like this
no pavement to scratch our feet
grass beneath, grass beneath

when you're in the meadow, you don't have to call my name
i will hear you
even with my ears closed
but out here in the city
those buildings all just steal your words
so even though you're screaming
to me it sounds a whisper

your eyelids close
it seems as though your heart slows
don't worry dear, we'll be far from here
when the city falls
Track Name: South
let's fly south, dear, for the winter
life will be warmer there
here you can't speak above a whisper
but we must not despair
things are complicated, i know
but let's just lift our heads and go
leave behind this worn out wind
for breezier, balmy air
i won't wait till all my days are gone
cause i've known what i wanted all along
birds will fly and we'll just follow them
leave behind this broken world of men

you say we don't have wings, well you're wrong
for i have seen your feathered arms
no, you can't fool me though you're tricky
don't think that i won't believe that we can kiss the tops of the trees
they're getting taller every day, stretching to the sky
now the floods are coming in
and the water's getting higher and higher
higher and higher

open the skylight cause it's time
and though we've never touched, your hand tickles mine
and i'm so tired of trying

in these last moments where minutes exist,
we're running out of time
from now on we'll no longer reminisce
we'll just live and die
to the mountains! to the high ground!
we were chosen to survive!