Feathers of Faith

by Steve 'Manifold' Anderson

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about

Steve and Andy have been performing poetry and improvised piano for several years. This is their first official recording.

credits

released April 6, 2019

Poetry and spoken word - Steve 'Manifold' Anderson
Improvised Blüthner grand piano and didge - Andy Wood

Recorded by Graham Wright at Pied Piper Pianos - Haworth

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all rights reserved

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about

Steve 'Manifold' Anderson UK

Seeds of this collaboration were sown in 2010. Andy and Steve were bumping into each other’s performances at venues in Hebden Bridge. The acquaintance developed over some years and began to find a peculiar shared perspective.
Tentatively, playing together developed into the current work. A charity event; 'Poetry and Prostate’ created by Steve and Andy has been performed twice to date.
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Track Name: Feathers of Faith
Feathers of Faith

There is no wax in these wings
Yellowing song under moon-scythe brings
A Deity
In sheep's cloth
Lambing, an optional ingredient in life-broth

Not so the wing-maker, winging in the stands
A pair for every day
Grown to fit
For they will come out and be spread
Like clouds buttering the horizon
Till beating, pinions scoop clear the sky

Oh, that these wings were made of wax and flight delayed
Till lambs had lambed
And I with them had played
Track Name: Forgotten Fathers (Sympathetic strings)
Forgotten
Fathers crowd the town
The yard is bare
Save... for a crown
Of flowers
Birth and death
Once recalled
No longer drawing ardour

This lifelessness
Death incarnate pulls together
Over beer
Resolving disingenuous cheer
And laughter almost true
Sits loose upon unsteady stone
Events will surely rock and strew

Man to man
This listless man
This man un-woman
This man un-known to temple
Un-known to life of order
Ordinary man no longer known to God
Surges onto life
Where no-one
Man or other
Will sing....
Or craft....
or even plod
God's patience played too long
'Man's Rights'
Served for the wrong
Track Name: Knowing More I Would Have Liked To Know
The crow tears bark from the fallen bough
To nest Easter and young
The poet tears words from the flesh of now
To wrest creature unsung

Hearing, hearing, willow wind flailing
Wherever we are, we are
Gentle a soul open to threshing
Readies the way with care

Return of those that were taught to fly
Now learn to fledge again
Not ill-prepared such babes will cry
With joy in bearing pain

Treasure from such tender loss
Settles on who remain
Well lived secures the path across
Good life... good death in train
Track Name: I Had a Dream
Prologue
Feeling utterly desperate and bereft
I woke from a vivid dream
Raw with emotion
Palpable images gnawed at my waking
Until I started to write...

I had a dream
I was a young child at school
An adolescent
A parent
Innumerable Me of all ages
With a gap where a Man might have
Become

These characters were dream-observed
As separate individuals
Being spoken to by a final Me
A whole Me
Intellectually integrated with an emotionally healthy Me
So that the child
The youth
The inadequate father
Could be relieved
Their weight of Failure and Incompleteness

In this telling
In this dialogue
The idea of one performance
A story of life and how to love it, formed perfectly
A One Man Show
That articulated to every
One of my life's being
A Holy Spirit, babel-tongue telling
Of the best way
To see joyfully
Each struggle along the way

It was all there
Contained by the dream
In a script with stage and costume set
The curtain about to rise with buzzing anticipation
From all the people I had been
And I, this Me
Knew at last
I could let go

Then, amongst the crowded audience of Me
Another person appeared
My son
A better man than I shall ever have been
And he asked something of Me
Not only had I no answer but neither
Could I understand his beautiful question
He had moved beyond me and my learning

Now with the curtain up on a bare stage
My script lost
And naked without costume
The strains of all the thousands of Me that I'd been about to break
Stirred me into a vortex of whirlpool soul
And I was so sad
So sad
So sad that I
The One Man Show
Was unfulfilled
Because now the performance
Had become the wake to my own funeral

Here I watched the grief of another audience
That could have been
But were not Me

Epilogue
Looking back
The desire to change the people I have been
Has found the will to accept
The person I have become

That person has nurtured
The Man in my son
Track Name: Night Walk
Light at the high factory window
Gives no consoling sense of community
But accentuates the detachment of a cold cobble-shone walk
A midnight shingle-wet trudge home
Destination known, but only upon arrival

Thoughts combed by capstan's longing tooth
Rectify direction: align logos, language and lip
Pace imbued with a search: fireside, settle and stool
In this town less tawdry, disdain of the day dormantly dignified
Fealty an encumbrance of night's transience

Jaded tread adopts the resignation of needful endurance
Old paths splashed and dappled, street lit and drizzled
Boots on the barren byway beyond walls' veiled vigour
On, on, distant hum peters: tweet, rat-scuttle
Horizon of familiar industry and abandoned ways

Allure of the kettle's caress provokes a probe for the key
Knowing all but the blanket's address feet lift the spirit on again
And this final curve of road unfurls to Felix's greeting
Yard, shed and drain enjoy romantic cheer as back door
Becomes portal to blissful ease. Home
Track Name: And Now the Truth
And now the truth
Life has been nothing but a Cock-Fight

Since circumcision for cystitis
Pissing myself at primary school
Scholastic investigations of
The member's elastic and imagined Cock-Ups
On to the phallocentric career of Cocked-up Up-Cocking
Cadencing in a crescendo of cock-clap
Herpes recurrent from the One-Night-Hump
Faltering feather touch fannying about
Fuck-failing father
Losing my willy to live
In cancer's cure of chemical castration
Life shows itself a test

No more testosterone's testicular torment
But of non-copular courage

Winning the will to live
With intimacy of self disabused

Romance reordered
Friendship found

In truth
The now
Track Name: Forgotten Fathers
Forgotten
Fathers crowd the town
The yard is bare
Save... for a crown
Of flowers
Birth and death
Once recalled
No longer drawing ardour

This lifelessness
Death incarnate pulls together
Over beer
Resolving disingenuous cheer
And laughter almost true
Sits loose upon unsteady stone
Events will surely rock and strew

Man to man
This listless man
This man un-woman
This man un-known to temple
Un-known to life of order
ordinary man no longer known to God
Surges onto life
Where no-one
Man or other
Will sing....
Or craft....
or even plod
God's patience played too long
'Man's Rights'
Served for the wrong
Track Name: The Loneliness of the Unrequited Lover
The Yew Berry

The joy of spring without its cleaning
Like Ramadan for the camel
I sit with indifferent muse
Unforgiving
Unspeaking
Unrepentant
A stalwart in the constancy of a vacant stare
Waiting to hear love

An empty mirror
Longing to be looked into and admired
Frames perfectly the unrequited
Yet, let rainbow strike a glance
And reflectionlessness becomes a window bright
Vacancy a meadow of wild flower healing
That a hand was held
Enough
It must be
Or the yew berry shall be my only fruit

I Write to Forget

You should write more she said
Would that be that I might dwell less
Expression changes the event
The action, the emotion, the feeling
Transformed in the recollection
The word is not the voice, the letter not the word
The read not the written
Thus writing changes the writer
Reading, the reader
And the evening, the day
But now the pit of my stomach remembers only

Our Lonely Solitude

Who decides the manner of distress that warrants comfort?
Love comforts all
Ugly or rude
Love comforts
Weak or poor
Love comforts
Right and wrong
Love comforts

Our lonely solitude
Yours
Mine
The love of comfort denies the comfort of love

I was so proud of you
You said
I am so proud of you
I am

I love you
You said
I love You
I do
Then why does such discomfort?
The loneliness of the unrequited lover
Track Name: This Open Door
This open door
Bars the way
Allowing passage
Without threshold
The room without

And standing in
And standing out
Are equally denied
For standing in your presence
I have not got the pride

Your wisdom reigneth
My indecision staineth
The floor and all around
And all the good that's left me
Waits
To say goodbye

Now, for a moment linger
Love, for a moment tried
But warm and fed, too easy
Be gone ungrateful guest
For lifted veils
Of time
And pace
Lack all that's known of my good grace

And love, that says the love word
And love, that fits inside
Is gone
But for the saying
And saying, ever lied

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