Praying Mantis

by Grandpa Egg

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    CD-version of PRAYING MANTIS with original artwork (front and back cover) on a jacket-sleeve.

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about

Storybook-album about a praying mantis, a bluebird, a girl named Sally, and a boy who wondered off alone into the meadow across the road...

credits

released 20 May 2014

All songs by Jeb Morris, except "The Fool & Earl" (Kristaponyte / Morris)
Produced by Bart Morris
Artwork by Grandpa Egg
Front-cover praying mantis by Zack Carlson

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license

all rights reserved

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Track Name: Meadow Song
In the meadow across the road
From my childhood home
Where I wondered off alone

In the meadow, I heard him call
Where the grass grew wild and tall
His song like a crack in wall

In the meadow across the way
Where the slight and unsightly pray
Where the sun shone round all day

Look carefully, I heard him say
There’s more to this overgrown place
Pellapetisimo’s the name
Track Name: Dandelions
Waggled leaves and meadow blades
Scattered greens that twitch and sway
What it seems is not always

Leaflets, stems and stalks abound
Some stand-up and walk around
Others just sit there all day

[Refrain]
Dandelions are curling round my spine
Little yellow flower petals climb
Out from my eyes

Stirring in the thicket there
Little things that stop and stare
If we’d only take the time

See the forms, become aware
Floral shapes will dance on air
Often more than meets the eye

[Refrain]

Listen for the melody
Whispering amidst the reeds
Is it just the wind, no more?

At the edge our universe
Can expand, for what it’s worth
We need only to explore
The prospect of something more
Track Name: Every Alcove
[Refrain]
If you come a little closer, let your eyes adjust
And open your mind up, the whole of the hillside
Will come into focus
Let the flowers and the grass grow up around you there
The locals are waiting in every alcove
And anticipating

Meet Miss Tropicanna Black
Her friends call her Lily
Not that she has anybody
Whom she could really call a friend, per se
Sweet Miss Tropicanna Black
Some say she's a little off
Not that anyone has much of anything to say at all
To Tropicanna Black

[Refrain]

These weeds echo with the sounds
Of Christopher Cricket
He leads a chorus that surrounds us
Here in the thicket
We count on it
"Three cheers," we joyful!
We exclaim, "Here comes Mr. Cricket"
Fingers snapping to the songs he sings
We wave and stop to say,
"There goes one swell guy"

[Refrain]

If you come a little closer, get to know the folks
That scuttle along on the overgrown lawn
There’s so much that goes on
Let the clovers and the canes grow up around your brain
The natives exchange subterranean claims
So glad that you came

Earthworm, face-first in the dirt
Leave him to his folly
He works all the day and night
With nothing but plight to show
For Wally Dearth
Earthworm Wally, what’s the point?
You wallow and dawdle
Each and every day the same old mess
Of sweat and soil, inanely toiling away

Lily Black, she stares down at the grass
Watching ants share information
She has a rad collection of acorn-caps
And thoughts on why some folks are so numb
And Chris Cricket wishes each song were his last
Perhaps he could at-least sing in a minor key
No one saw as Wally worked to solve
The meadow’s arid-soil situation
Track Name: It Warms The Cockles
Now see the drunken bluebird
Watch it collide with a tree in mid-flight
Now see the drunken bluebird
Stumbling around in the pale moonlight
How it warms the cockles

For the second time this evening
He’ll challenge a soda-pop can to a fight
How nice, see the drunken bluebird
Follow his heart again into the night
How it warms the cockles

Enough to make a man weep

Spreading his wings without a care
Of what they think down below
If only I too could be that rare
I’d show them the same

There, stranded in the rain
He’ll stagger and shout at the worms on the ground
“Please, I come to make amends“
“For the times when I’ve eaten-up some of your friends”
How it warms the cockles

For the second time this week
He’ll curl-up to sleep in a neighbor-bird’s nest
Now see the drunken bluebird
Profess his love for the girl Sally Tess
How it warms the cockles

Enough to make me weep

Spreading his wings without a care
Of anything down below
If only I too could be that rare
I’d show them the same
Somewhere inside I’ve hidden away
Someone as pure and free
A drunken bluebird of my own
That no one ever sees
Track Name: Stems & A Green Leaf Still
[Refrain]
Somewhere, passing the time until
Stems with a green-leaf still
Sun through a hundred eyes can reveal
What lies, a world concealed

When I was boy
We used to wake-up early in the morning
Saturdays
So hot you might have drained off breakfast
Before you were halfway up the road
But we didn’t care
We were after the one thing in life that made us truly happy
At the time anyway
We were searching for a Praying Mantis ☺

[Refrain]

My friend and I
The girl who lived next door
Well we’d get lost in those fields
Lost in the light of youth, innocence, discovery
Sometimes we’d sink down
Beneath the surface of the tall grass
And uncover things about ourselves
About each other
Things we’d never known in our most colorful dreams

[Refrain]

Waifs in the woodland wet
Ways we wound around in the grass to forget
A world that never seemed to look much further
Than that which collects on the surface
We found each other there
Soft summer air
And nary a watchful eye to bare
Save for those of the Praying Mantis
Track Name: Two Houses Pt.1
Two houses in the meadow
Side by side
Two houses in the meadow
So alike

Two houses painted yellow
Two green doors
Two matching cherrywood swings
On the porch

Two houses, so alike on the outside
Though they contain within their walls
Two all-together different takes on
Passing through the gates of dawn

On the left, lives Sally Tess
See the bluebird sitting on her sill
Maybe we could have ourselves
A closer look, this night we’ll get our fill
Track Name: Sally's House
Sally can’t stop crying
Waiting on her man
Lately, he ain’t never home on time
She’ll pass out in the kitchen
When she’s had all she can stand
Of second-rate promises and cheap wine

[Refrain]
If you catch my meaning
Then you get my drift
Paper hearts aren’t cut out for this shit

She’s always had a fondness
For the wrong kind of man
This one ain’t much different than the last
He’s holed up in the backseat
Of a blue sedan
Groping at the glory days that have long since passed

[Refrain]

Headlights cast her shadow
Hard against the wall
The gravel churns as he pulls in the drive
And for a moment there, her clouded stare
Clears to see his face
And somehow she feels happy just to have him back standing there in her doorway

But then he stumbles on past and hurries down the hall
Muttering some bullshit about how he got called back to work
And she can smell this rat a mile away
So she pulls out a pair of brass knuckles from her purse
And chases him down and grabs ahold of the collar of his shirt
And then she bashes in his face

[Refrain]

It’s best he sleeps this one off
He’s out-cold anyway
And Sally, she sits back down to calm her nerves
And the bluebird at the window
Opens with a new-day song
And for a moment, Sally wonders if it’s for her
Track Name: Two Houses Pt.2
Two houses in the meadow
Side by side
Two yellow painted shells
They do belie

To the right, the morning sun
Comes crawling in across the carpet there
Then the bed, the new day calling
These folks aren’t likely going anywhere
Track Name: Sunrise House
Sunrise doesn’t apply
What to get up and do?
These eyes wade through the light
Softly fade into view
We could shuffle round like zombies
Turn knobs and try-on shoes
But why to waste the dawn
We-two removed

Sunrise, we could comply
But why for to fucking move?
Held tight, I could just die
Lying here next to you

We could shuffle round like zombies
Shout things out, room-to-room
With all the fruit flies longing
To see you soon

Sunrise, another time
I’d spend the day, it’s true
Seems like Heaven’s alright
But what do they have, if not you?

We could shuffle round like zombies
Shower-caps, coffee brew
But why to waste the dawn
Track Name: Daisy
Hey Daisy
Maybe by mistake
I never noticed it before
When the wind takes-up
Across the range
You seem gladly out-of-sorts
Grooving around
So graceful, so demure

Hey Daisy
I just want to say
What a lovely dissident you make
With your soft white
Petals out of place
Hanging down across you face
Grooving around
So nicely disarrayed
A colorful flout
Of light against the gray

Hey Daisy
Maybe by mistake
You haven’t noticed me around
The stems and green leaf
Wavering in-place
Atop the honeysuckle sprout
I’m much obliged
Of course, I’m sometimes brown

It might sound crazy
Daisy, as of late
You’re all I ever think about
Your mad sashay
Amidst the tussled gray
Your soft white locks that ruffle out
Grooving around
The rhythm yours alone
The best thing I’ve found
Daisy, you should know

She says there is a dead thing
In the ground beneath her feet
It tells her of a time, not so long ago
When the days would run together
Like a reoccurring dream
And this field of green poured over everything

Down by the lilac clusters
Not far from where we’re standing now
There once was a farm of strange renown
A precious fur could there be found
Housed in the back a little colony safe and sound
Of caged chinchillas

Well this farm became a prison
The chinchillas all death row
As they soon learned of their intended turn as winter coats
And this one who lies beneath us now
Telling of a hidden past
He lost his life by a farmer’s scythe
As he led his friends to freedom through the grass
Track Name: The Fool & Earl
????????
Track Name: Compound Eyes
Dazed ubiquity lies
In kaleidoscope highs
What a beautiful sight
Staring into your eyes
Praying mantis
I see your splintered mind
And I know

Flash a myriad glimpse
Dazzled images entwine
Travel with them inside
Staring into your eyes
Praying mantis
I see your splintered mind
And I know

This façade of green comes apart at the seems
Fractures into weeds, tall grass and leaves
Further-in we see insects, birds, rodents, seeds
Sprouting new life from the soil beneath
The dirt, the worms, the roots as they squirm
In their relative time-flow, down through the earth
Soaking up the nutrients, moisture, air
Delving further through microbial fair
Bacteria, algae, fungi all give way
To molecules, atoms, photon rays
Electrons spin in an orbital stay
Around nuclei boasting in electromagnetic sway

Like a pendulum king
Lost in rhythm and allure
Soft hypnotic we sway
Lulling all of us away
Praying mantis
I see your splintered mind
And I know
Track Name: Pellapetisimo
I caught a glimpse and it shot through my senses
Like nothing that I’ve known before
Standing in front of a canvas, so wonderfully lost
In the luster and lure
I reach out my hand as the brushwork commands
And am sucked-in and shown something more

The light breaks
Pellapetisimo
Soaking up the sun
Of another day
Somewhere in the maze
Of brambles and bright green foliage

My heart aches
Pellapetisimo
Our time together
Nearing over and done
Soon the sun will fade out
Forever on these summer days

[Refrain]
I caught a glimpse and it shot through my senses
Like nothing that I’ve known before
Standing in front of a canvas, so wonderfully lost
In the luster and lure

That’s all folks
Pellapetisimo
Kicking up his heels
And pedaling back
Farewell, that’s a wrap
Spin the cane and wave the skimmer-cap

Daisy waits
At the top of the hill, she sees
Spilling over with
The rush of the red-orange tide at sunset
A shadowy figure all stems and leaf

[Refrain]

[Refrain]
Standing in front of a canvas, so wonderfully lost
In the luster and lure
I reach out my hand as the brushwork commands
And am sucked-in and shown something more

The light wanes
Pellapetisimo
Saying our goodbyes
To Wally and Chris
Lily Black and those kids
Nestled together in the grass

Sally Tess
Wishing you all the best
Lest we all forget
As one awakened
From a beautiful dream
He’ll be there whispering in the reeds