Swan and Wolf

by Nathaniel Bellows

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Jason Gordon
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Jason Gordon Swan and wolf is giving me the chills. My body is totally ready for March 30th 2018. 😉
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"Swan and Wolf" is the second album from novelist, poet, visual artist, and musician, Nathaniel Bellows. Songs on the record feature arrangements and performances by Timo Andres (piano), David Garland (bass guitar), Michael Hammond (electronics), Kid Millions (percussion), and Padma Newsome (strings). Each of the ten songs on the album are accompanied by an illustration by Nathaniel Bellows. To see the complete artwork--and to read the lyrics--please visit: www.swanandwolfmusic.com


released March 30, 2018

Produced and recorded by Nathaniel Bellows
Mixed by Brian Losch
Mastered by Rob Murray
Recorded in Maine and NYC, NY USA


all rights reserved



Nathaniel Bellows New York, New York

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Track Name: Only Love
Only Love

If it’s need to know
you will make me wait
with the curtains closed
while you celebrate

But only love
it’s only love

Sews the seam
so everything’s
Pulls the string
it all
from here

And the blade in bloom
the leer in laugh
so with every bruise
well, this too must pass…

But only love
it’s only love:

Signs its name
across the same
Kindly breaks
to dove but not
to stone
or fear

A combination
of calm and storm
Some salvation
from being all alone
When you keep me like
the seedling’s spike
with only moon
to grow
highly meaningful
for a type who
preaches love
but keeps their eyes
set keenly
on the road
and the mirror

Who underwrites
all this fate?

Who do I fight
to get paid?

And who still believes
there’s a whole to be made
with some little features
on somebody’s face?

Who asks in earnest
not shame:
“Who will be waiting
for me?”

And who will undo
and who will remake
the things we get through
and the things
we can’t shake?

So, there
it is
“Oh, no!”
I said

And there
it stays

Track Name: How High
How High

And in time
I would decide
that a life
designs a life
Who knows it?
Who knows it?
And the way of
swan and wolf
I would say I
need them both
because I love it
I love it

we have
And here’s
those days
And here’s
the past

And for all that
inner peace
slow death by
When you lose it
you will lose it
Or an argument
for our souls
over souls of
Then prove it
just prove it

we have
the case
of fear
to fate
And I merely
no, sincerely
know my way

Come on, now
the secret’s out
the seed grew
something dead
No wonder why
the college try
will leave you left
in debt

Now should we untie
this cord and cup?
Because it seems
that well
was dry
Wouldn’t we be wise
to hold this up?

Say how high
Track Name: Add to This
Add to This

All it was
was time within
some space
Call it practical
or cowardice
Meaning: I could see
the light of day
Meaning: I would leave
and run away

All it was
were days with
X’s drawn
Call it clerical
a job for one
Believe me I can hear
that lonesome song
Believe me freedom comes
when pain is gone

Add to this
your smile that
rainy night
we fit
inside my coat
our gait
to make it back
Add to this
the reason
it’s a lie
a catch
that someone
such as I would let
this God damned
come down

I’m not alone
I’m not the only one

All it was
was memory
in cells
Call it
what you want,
it haunts me still
Reel the line
and free what
cannot breathe
Maybe give it time
to see what might
be seen?

Add to this
The way you
fit inside
all splayed
and pitched
astride and knit
our fingers in
a braid

Add to this
that cooling
in July
no sense
no way to
wonder why
you know a

No way
to win
No way
back in
But I’ll say it
Admit it

I miss that
long lost
Track Name: To Wait
To Wait

Wait, whoa,
is it sound? Is it serious?
Come clean, come
lead me on

Take hold
of the calm,
of the curious
child you were

And in case
there’s a way
To delay
the fall
I won’t

I will make
a kind of call
to arm

But where
do we belong?
In prayer
or in the wilds
of song?
And take this

To wait

Wait, no,
Is it solved? Is it spurious?
How can we
be both?

Stay home
where you’re warm,
where you worried us
far from me to know…

And the name’s
in the shape
of that faded farm
I loved

But how do you know
which symbol will hold?
It’s simple: Just leave
the laws unlearned

And here
here rears the horse
In fear and to hide
the foal
And take this notion
at face

To wait

And here
all reason folds
I kneel
at the mouth
of love
So take this
Wave by wave
by wave

To wait
Track Name: Keep In Mind
Keep In Mind

Blame the lunacy
that comes over me
I was sold, you see,
long ago

And the bruise will be
how you’ll remember me
but like everything
it’s on loan

So let the feeling fade
like the man we made
made of things we saved
made of snow
Take the soul therein
take the skeleton
take the wreck I’ve been
let it go

Oh, the more you need it
the weakness deepens
I’ve been leaning away
from want

But I’ve seen the seabirds
flying seaward
all they need was
to know true north

Then the call went out
more a sigh than shout
more like dying while
the babe is born
then the seed was shot
I was seeing stars
and I stole your car
to be alone

Oh, but now it’s this
to the sound
you’re missing most

And now see how
it’s growing
So silent? So stoic?
The storm folded into
the stone

Oh, somehow
you knew it
like the ground
every rise,
every nuance
of plow

And the lie’s in place
to keep them all away
‘til you can raise up
your face
and be proud

Be proud

Send a word or note
I can come back home
and in the land I love
I am known

Let me sleep and dream
like the serpentine
black and blue and green
down below
Track Name: What Then
What Then

Somebody should say
it’s rarely you
The thundering display
of their abuse
the seeds of bile
will seep in
Coldly laid
in holes first made
for feeling

Numbering the ways
they told you so
Can somebody explain
the palindrome?
Feed the fire
and heave a sigh
you’re breathing
Most would make
that old mistake
of bleeding

Come and see
the oldest oak
laid out on the lawn
One disease it all it took
to call the spade and saw
And when the people say
“All is equal! Everyone is flawed!”
(Say that all you want)
What they mean is: “Well,
I’ve made my peace
(there is no peace)
with all I could not stop.”
(just lightning in the dark)

But God
It’s not
I’m not
Track Name: I Awoke
I Awoke

“Oh, let me in!”
the sea would sigh
in the sound again

Unloyal friend
you read it right
I won’t be back


Let it be lost
the world was never
new enough
Lay low like dust
Lie between the seam
of thing
and thought

And when the vow
was made
the note appeared
And when the soul
was saved
it grew a tear
And when the promise
breaks the words
would rise up
off the page
now, do you hear?

I’ve come
to know truth
as more a door
and less the roof
but I can’t
forgive you…
And you don’t know why
and I don’t know what
to do

“Again!” they said
and held me to
the ground
“Amen!” the angels sang
from stingy clouds
And then I rose
the ruined ghost
that no one knew
and no one
figured out

The will became
the wheel became
the spoke
And more
would be revealed
but I awoke
to a scene
still flickering
it could be
or all
that I’m owed

All that I’m owed

Am I owed?
Track Name: It Wasn't
It Wasn’t

It wasn’t love, it was some other thought, to believe, then chase away. It wasn’t love, it was work under law and all seemingly unpaid

And the kennel will house the hound of it. The killer will crave the chase. The mentally sound will take the hint. A little less every day

It wasn’t love, well, for you, it was plot. It was: Keep the kid encaged. And for all I was: underserved, overdubbed, there was dreaming underway

And the pillow will haul the head to sleep. The willow will yield the cane. The minnow knows every enemy. The linen feels every stain

But who knows the name? And how will we believe it? And who loves the same? And how do we release it? How do we release the chain?

It was assumed I would do what I do, which is: Keep the meaning vague. (Of all the useless, convoluted things of me to say)

And the riddle will solve the argument. In the middle of night, in sleep. We all thought the perfect love would just mean everything

But who knows the name? And how will we believe it? And who loves the same? And how do we release it? How do we release the chain?
Track Name: The Dove
The Dove

I can’t believe my luck
my loss, my love
To find you lying broken
on the lawn
I’d seen your cry incised
on the windowpane
It seems like you were flying
into the grave

And on the grass enrobed
in jewels of dew
And on the glass a ghosted,
gauzed, cartoon
How clean there is a lie,
how clean the break
It seems I was meant
to find you
and be changed

Out of every calling there calls
in cry or quiet
Out of every killing their cues
the clue
And in every image there isn’t
an end
but I end
I end up
haunting you
it ends up
haunting you

It took me days
to move you
from that place
But your shape
remained through
days of wind
and rain
No need now
to remind
I can explain:

The fear that I would die
and leave no trace
Track Name: In Time
In Time

Slowly now, as slow as time will go. See the sun set scenes upon the snow. And when they laid him down, they let him go

Please, believe me—all the lies and all deceiving. Say so and tea leaves, all aligned to keep from feeling. But make no mistake, there’s a code to this: in time, you’ll see it solved.

In time, you’ll know it all

Slowly now, so slow, no one will see. Silver strands of twilight, blackening. And when they took her hand, she said: Save me

Keep this secret—keep and hide all key, all reason. Paint over ceilings, with a sky untied to meaning. But break free of faith, and how the old book says: In time, the kingdom calls

In time, you will belong

Lead away, down the lawn to the garden gate. To the breach outside the bay. Where the sea is widening. And the wild geese on the waves. I just need some time to say…

Leave it be, then. Leave a light on just for me when, you take your leave, friend, from the fight, to flight, to freedom. But wait one more day, because no one told me this: In time, you will be loved

In time, you will feel love

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