Week 420 // Fire on Neptune’s Shoulder

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The house had burned
Many years ago I think
But the stones stood like a photograph
You could look at if you blinked
You could see it if you blinked

And the mother hen
Traced her circles on the drive
And the fountain bubbled up from there
And the kitchen was alive
The way all kitchens are alive

Oh my God
It’s a miracle
I can’t believe my eyes
It always ends the same
It always ends the same as this

The wind would pull
The smoke all out to sea
The island looms like Neptune there
His shoulders are its peaks
His shoulders are its peaks

And summers fly
And the fires burn away
And the stones still like a monument
And the trees all creak and sway
The trees all creak and sway

Oh my God
It’s a miracle
I can’t believe my eyes
It always ends the same
It always ends the same as this

Notes
When Rebecca and I visited the island of Sao Miguel this summer, we were struck by the abundance of burned and abandoned structures there. In clearings and on overgrown hillsides, on mountaintops and on the edge of town, you can find them. Much of the Island’s architecture consists of beautiful stonework, so burnt homes can often be found that have retained an essence of their shape. In one particular instance, high on a mountain, accessible only by a steep and winding cobblestone road wide enough for only one car to pass at a time, a pristinely intact shell of a home revealed the life of a family to me, if only for a moment. This place returns to me from time to time, and I have tried to do it justice in this song.

~M.E.

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