The Sky that Came Before

by Brendan Bonsack

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    Also includes CD jewel case cover and tray artwork in PDF, along with song lyrics.

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Lovers' River, Prayers in Glass Houses, Henry Lee, On the Beaches, So the drifts, The River Somewhere, For Everything Else There is Song, The Sea Will Take it From Here, and 21 more. , and , .

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  • We Were Stones We Were Stones (Book with music)

    A collection of short poems by Brendan Bonsack. Penned as a companion book to the album, The Sky That Came Before, which is included with purchase.

    ISBN 9781291649161
    Paperback
    83 Pages

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Sky that Came Before via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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    Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Sky that Came Before via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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released January 31, 2014

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about

Brendan Bonsack

Brendan Bonsack is a poet and songwriter from Melbourne, Australia. These are his own brand of folk and pop songs, described as poems with dance partners.

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Track Name: The Sky that Came Before
Skin shakes, clouds break
Day snakes into view
Throw my head out as a litmus
The tears of a witness wet my face

Find me, unwind me, bind me into you
Your perfume permeates me deeply
We fit together neatly
In this tangle we've made

What if every day was the first day, every word was the first word
Every touch was the real and only sense?
What if every sigh was the right one, every moon was a full one
And every sky was just as far away as the sky that came before?

Before I learned to walk, before I learned to kneel
Before I learned to speak, before I learned to see
That you were just the same
Just the same as me

Night falls, four walls, choose me as their witness
Your perfume tails me into dreaming
I float upon the ceiling
Waiting for the fading of the moon

What if every day was the first day, every word was the first word
Every touch was the real and only sense?
What if every sigh was the right one, every moon was a full one
And every sky was just as far away as the sky that came before?

Before I learned to run, before I learned to bleed
Before I learned to kiss, before I learned to see
That you were just the same
Just the same as me

Skin flakes and earthquakes
Heartbreaks and bonebreaks and mistakes
Found me, bound me, wound me
Around their thumbs

What if every day was the first day, every word was the first word,
Every touch was the real and only sense?
What if every sigh was the right one, every moon was a full one
And every sky was just as far away as the sky that came before?
Track Name: Cauliflower Scans
I have seen the photographs
The cauliflower scans
And tried to understand
The names of the proteins and the acids
And the color-coded calendar of dosages
And the red-pen notes of episodes

In muzak-quiet consulting rooms
Science has a story of the mind
I like his desk-clock at right angles
With the smooth imitation timber framed portrait
Of his daughter and his wife
And their smiling Labrador
And the way his driveway made a sound
Beneath our tyres like cracking rice bubbles
With a rolling pin through a paper bag

I have seen the cauliflower scans
And those mysterious holes
Like deep deep pools in the forest
Where no-one really knows how deep
And kids pushed in stolen shopping trolleys
And their brothers' bicycles tied to trees
And I still don't understand

On Tuesday I was Uncle Dave
With flowers for your wedding day and
Why did I not bring Kate?
Don't believe those things they say -
People can be so cruel -
I know that she's okay

I have seen the photographs of Uncle Dave on time
A bearded man stood in wait before the clinker brick
And blurred children running through the frame
And this is all we know of Uncle Dave

In labyrinthine corridors
Science has a story of the mind
And sat here in this safety room
With a tray of things you removed
From your pockets and your wrists

Here's a scuffed and faded face of a queen
A hairpin and a necklace
Sprawled around in the shape of an island I know
I've seen in an atlas but I didn't note its name
And in thirty years the sea
Will have reclaimed
And the sign upon the glass
Says "Please Wait"
Track Name: When the Shovels Come to Find Us
I had a dream of our city
All taken back by the weeds
Vines were pushing past the turnstiles
And crowds of dandelion bursting through
The parliament stairs

The fish were feeding of each other
Down in the City Circle line
A sobriety of seagulls had each night club
And every mall was colonised
By a murder of crows

We are buried
Misfits arm in arm
By the swollen river and the sludge
And in one thousand years
From this time
The shovels come to find us
And think we were
King and Queen of this town

I heard the silence in the statues
Coated all in moss like a disease
Unsexed, unnamed and overcome now
Their bodies bound in blooms
Just deformations in the hills

And I have heard that the mountains
Have such long long memories
That they can remember the oceans
And the touch of fins against their trees

We are buried
Misfits arm in arm
By the swollen river and the sludge
And in one thousand years
From this time
The shovels come to find us
And think we were
King and Queen of this town

I have a memory of the sunshine
Crouched down in the sky to push the trees
Like a trawler's net through our window
To pin me to this bed with you
Clinging to the sound
Of our breathing

We are buried
Misfits arm in arm
By the swollen river and the sludge
And in one thousand years
From this time
The shovels come to find us
And think we were
King and Queen of this town
Track Name: Weeds
Sort me like a letter
Penned in such a rush
Of passion and abandon
And marked return to sender
And in limbo

She was not inclined
To wash away the dirt
She liked its weight upon her skin
Her own piece of the earth

She said I don't do sex
And I don't do conversation
When you come to see me
Leave your body at the door
A human's such a brittle thing
I don't know what I did
In a past life to be one

Well she wants to be the only song
You've ever ever sung
All those words like bees
On your tongue
Dangerous, unsung

And our love is like a collar
Let us slip it from the neck
Of this creature and then banish it
And see what happens next

She said I don't do sex
And I don't do conversation
When you come to see me
Leave your body at the door
A human's such a brittle thing
I don't know what I did
In a past life to be one

And they say that love is falling
But I never fell in love
I was stone cold still
And it just tangled round me
And everybody told me it was weeds
But I guess that was enough

They say that love is falling
But I never fell in love
I was stone cold still
And it just tangled round me
And everybody told me it was weeds

So sort me like a letter
Penned in such a rush
Of passion and abandon
And mark return to sender
And in limbo
Track Name: Nineteen Sixty Nine
Well of course we never
Put foot on
That old and powdery moon
But it sure made a good story
And got the neighbors in the room

And I think of old Neil
In his quarantine house
Under the road
Saying to himself,
If I ever get out
I'll let them know

That we came so close
Our machines almost
Scratched their metal fingers
In the dust

But when it loomed so large
In my window pane
And I saw the scars
Deep in its face
And it stared straight back
Through its sun-drenched
Cloudless sky

There was a little boy inside me grew
To learn what he wished was never true
That there really is no man
Upon the moon

So I could not land this plane
We had to turn back home again
And touch down in our cool
And tranquil sea

We came so close
We had to make it all up of course
But the moon looks so much better
On TV
Track Name: Bent Piano
I followed you like a scuffed and bent piano
A little more de-tuned with every move
And I never really did thank you
For I am so hard to love

The piano found the songs
That felt good in its timbers
A devotion worn like toe-prints
In a handful of keys
And my fingers never really did fit them
For I am so slow to learn

And if you must forget me
Can you do it slowly
So that I may linger
In that longest fade?

The piano followed me
Like a symphony of sparrows
The frenzied etudes plastering all the walls
With their plumes
And I never really could ground them
For the heart is such a fine thing to lose

Could you ever follow me
Under the cups half-full and news
Papers never pealed beyond
Their pages ones?
I never really could ask you
For I am so hard to love

And if you must forget me
Can you do it slowly
So that I may linger
In that longest fade?

And if you must forget me
Please can you do it slowly
So that I may linger
In that longest fade?
Track Name: Paper Dolls
Though the floor plans have changed
I still feel you emerging
From the crowded laughter rooms
Into the soft piano music

Am I equal strange to you
With an added century of devices
Or just an outline sketch of a nude
Barely warm against the canvas?

If I could paint my breaths unread
I'd string them round like paper dolls
And hold a sea shell to my eyes
To witness the drowning

Who are these wafer figurines
Solid as a weave and yet so brittle
Joined so hand in hand
You can't tell where it began
Anyone who's in the line
Is in the middle

No, our floor plans are not the same
But I still can feel you breathing
And are the rooms you nightly tread
Those that were, or the ones
I'm yet to be in?

If I could paint my breaths unread
I'd string them round like paper dolls
And hold a sea shell to my eyes
To witness the drowning
Track Name: Damned Poets
Damned poets,
Damned balladeers
Speak of the horizon like
It's some place you can't reach

Yet here you are standing on mine
And here I am standing on yours

Watch it go like a house of cards
Like a stack of plates
Like a moon in full eclipse
Turning in her face

Damned poets
Damned singers too
Tell of the horizon like
It's always there to lose

Yet here you are standing on mine
And here I am standing on yours

Watch it sink like a pennystone
Like Nijinski to the floor of the lake
All the little holes in that shimmering water
That every pennystone ever made

Damned poets,
Damned balladeers
Speak of the horizon like
It's some place you can't reach

Yet here you are standing on mine
And here I am standing on yours
Track Name: A Deep Forget
This town is full of escapees
From life's little voodoo tapestries
And we sit and smoke
Like threads without a needle

And like ants tethered to lanterns
On that bypass abuzz behind the grass
Our brethren are spiraling into
The run-out groove

He is fingers in my mantle-dust
As he dips below the line
To leave me with my one reverie
That I fall with him
Into a deep forget

This town is full of amputees
Married to the ghosts of the touch of things
And we sew ourselves a likeness
To carry all our needles

And like fireflies ensnared
In little jars on quarter-acre candy stands
The stories electric
They patter in the corners

He is fingers in my mantle-dust
As he dips below the line
To leave me with my one reverie
That I fall with him
Into a deep forget
Track Name: We Were Stones
Let me tell you a story
Little baby of mine
You won't remember
A single line

But the feeling of your head
On my shoulder will sink
Into my bones
Where it grows and it grows

I have been here with you
It's a feeling I've known
Like the sound of a statue
If you listen up close

I have been here so long
All the trees turned to bone
And the sands took them
Way down below

We were stones
We were stones
And patiently we held the bones
Within us

Let me tell you a secret
Little babe in my hands
That I once thought of you
As my line in the sand

And the man that I was
Who you don't know at all
Left a line here
In wait for your sea

We were stones
We were stones
And patiently we smoothed
The earth against us

Will you tell me a story
O' child of mine
I just want to know
That we both survived

Up to the moment
That swaddles us
Here in this room
And I slip out
Beyond all recall

We were stones
We were stones
And we kept a quiet
Gravity between us

We were stones
We were stones
And gracefully we
Wore the world
Beneath us

We were stones
We were stones