Roll as a Hexagon

by Helen Bell

/
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Also includes illustrated pdf lyric book, print-friendly lyric sheet, and screen-friendly lyric sheet.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £5 GBP  or more

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Home produced CD in jewel case with full colour cover and black and white lyric book - a simplified version of the full colour large lyric book.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Roll as a Hexagon via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 4 days

      £10 GBP

     

  • 21.5cm (8.5") square full colour illustrated print lyric book. Note: does not include CD (CD is shown in photo for scale only)

    Includes unlimited streaming of Roll as a Hexagon via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 4 days

      £15 GBP or more 

     

1.
02:58
We sat in Bristol You said you thought I had synaesthesia The sky was crystal We let people assume that we were lovers It was easier And I see Tuesdays as green You’d say they were blue though you’d not considered their hue before I don’t speculate too much On what might have been had you seen them as green But I hold this summer scene In a snowglobe behind the wardrobe door My Wednesday warms like the leaves on the late August trees With their soaked summer chlorophyll dreaming But I’m not really a synaesthete Must be the heat And the carriage wheels screaming Our minds exerted Inventing card games with used-up train tickets As we diverted Through the valleys and consonants And crickets Soft slow summer delays What’s a smile and the accidental brush of our hands worth? You missed your station and I missed you When you alighted one stop later at Tamworth
2.
02:56
Running out among the jackdaws in the unrepentant mist Until the city sounds as distant as your transient kiss Through deadlines and river mud And open-ended dreams with no momentum And shoelaces undoing Shrugging off February In the hope that some kind of spring is brewing And by turns Each of us would fill a cup Draw a circle through the spiralling tea With our chances and collisions and our fears stirred in By turns Sometimes you turn to me I know that you won’t love me You say you can’t love anyone And I will love too much As I already love too many Handing out my precarious heart To all of my beloved melancholics And you, just as each of them, Could crumple it like paper With your name still freshly inked on it There is room for more than two cups in the pot And I intend to pour out six at once and drink them all hot And you intend to keep all of yours warm Just for one and one I guess it saves on cleaning up And though we don’t buy each other’s paradigms, perhaps I’ll half-delude myself a while that our convictions overlap Though we both know that really we’re just filling in the gaps But meanwhile, why not pour another cup? I got up this morning, since you’ve given me those back Made the tea and lifted letters from the mat There’s a postcard from Persephone The Acheron by night, it says she’s packing She’ll be back for us to see soon I’ll keep shrugging off this desolation Rowing through the flood using just a teaspoon
3.
03:15
I can't stay in this broken town That rests beside a sullen sea Standing in the dull, sad rain This town is killing me It's not the kind of breathless rain For laughing in and running through But quiet and grey in empty streets With nothing left to do. This town is like a broken heart That once was bright and young and strong And when an old love burnt it out It tried to carry on But now there's no-one left to buy The shops are closing day by day They’re boarding up a broken town With nothing more to say. If you were in this broken town You'd fade into the aching grey Like all the years of dried up tears That still get in my way This town can never be the same And nor can I and nor can you The cracks run far below the ground There's nothing we can do. If we could mend this broken town We'd have to let the walls fall down Strip the buildings to their bones So we could see the strongest stones On them we could build a wall Could build a new town up again But would the strongest stones survive Or crack beneath the strain? I can't stay in this broken town And watch it crumble to the sea As every rock that breaks away Just takes a part of me If I stay here I’ll turn to stone So I will leave this broken town And find a place where we might build Anew on solid ground.
4.
Scent of April Sound of Friday Out in the street the wine is rising with the moon We are cultivating thickets of words Grown up inside this room. I want to walk with you beyond the bypass Walk far enough to get away from ourselves If we walk far enough In the dark we might dissolve The night will paint over in black Those loops we cannot close The river will flow in The river will flow in and fill the holes But you know we'll have to walk back sometime To where the streetlights graze our skin Back Painted over in black Where do we begin? Quiet autumn Starry leaf-fall Out by the tide I watched you turning like a sail We are cautious with these values of ours Aching raw without their veils I want to walk with you beyond the bypass Walk far enough that we might meet ourselves If we walk far enough In the dark we might evolve And we will grow into the black And open out the sky The river will erode The river will erode the last small lies But you know we'll have to walk back sometime To where the streetlights graze our skin Back Walking out of the black Here we begin
5.
Pinned onto your walls were abstracts of old wisdom Copied out and stuck there by your hand Like an ink and paper exoskeleton That I tried, but could not reach beyond The way I thought I used to. Boxed up in the city with your books and saucepans Listlessly in love with one so far away You called me over, ceilidh calling There’s a dance hall calling us to play The way we always used to. Those old nights when we were driving out the beat Minds entangled, gin-soaked, tongue-tied, shy to speak But I let my sound slide into yours And an ache was catching in my throat with every chord But the buttons and the bellows and the wood and the winding Demand no bond Demand no bond of words. Nothing I could prove, still everything to lose But what we may have lost is still unnamed For our mouths have never sealed a promise That might run the risk of being torn But if I lost you I know it's only to all the things you always said you sought Tied a tag on this belated promise And it says I know you can't be bought Just stay warm From night til morn So you count the days, then join her where she waits Meanwhile here's a tune to spark the dusk By cider-moon and shadowed garden We uncovered what was overgrown Caught your old harmonic glossing through my fingers Caught your eye and caught your sound in mine And I'll never tell of this if you won't For this is ours and ours alone Those old nights when we were driving out the beat Minds entangled, gin-soaked, tongue-tied, shy to speak But I let my sound slide into yours And an ache was catching in my throat with every chord But the buttons and the bellows and the wood and the winding Demand no bond Demand no bond of words.
6.
03:26
There is a cobalt beetle shell mirror Where my eyes grow young Where dragonflies rattle around my brain And I can’t tell if I’ve been stung The air hangs yellow round the horses The sloes grow ripe lethargically And threads of blue fade in like vapour trails Falling behind you as you speed from me And you’d say cobalt beetle shell mirrors Are not for weeping in But for the sandstone and the sun Such things for keeping in Still my lungs howled hollow round the mountain Old ragged leaves blew in to tamp my breath But threads of green push in like willow shoots Itching and heightening back to hungriness
7.
I tried to reach you; did you try to reach me? Did you think that I might teach you as I thought you might teach me? You taught me of my minority When I cast my love wide and my faultlines bare And of getting up early to catch the hope Before the afternoon’s despair We had our time And it chimed and it rang And it never quite rhymed But we sang anyway We had our time And it chimed and it rang And it never quite rhymed But at least we sang I tried to find you; did you try to find me? Were you afraid that I might blind you? I guess you blinded me But I snapped off the light from this projection bright An after-image glazed my sight But when it cleared you reappeared And you still looked all right Maybe some songs are better left unsung But that would mean lessons left unlearned I’d rather be heart-splintered and wiser than left to fade unresolved Beneath the waning, bat-bitten moon as all the leaves turn brown. When your easy, illegible eyes turn steely and mocking Now I know it’s when you’re locking yourself down I tried to know you but you wouldn’t know me And I can’t grow you into some other tree But you taught me to seek the minority Who would cast their love wide and their faultlines bare And of getting up early to catch the hope Before the afternoon’s despair.
8.
04:13
I never meant that I wanted to leave you Only that I was going there These skylines are etched all over my eyes I need to rinse them in cool blue air We say all the things round the edges of questions Whose answers we'd rather not know Do you hear me not-saying 'I'll miss you' As loudly as you are not-saying 'Don't go'? I am from one thousand nights in the yellow glow Ringing with loves and papered with laughter Starlight and pavements to carry me home Into their one thousand mornings after But I am from under the arc of the curlew And shouting at mountains that call a refrain And silence that stands like a pool in the darkness And pine forests taking the edge off the rain I want to turn star-shaped and large And fold up all kinds of you into my arms Roll as a hexagon down to the beach Float as a coracle over the sea And while I'm away, hold you close and invisible Like the bones of a song Dismantling notions of home being nowhere But quietly gone There are no questions or promises Our feet are our own, and the paths that we walk Each inscribe a peculiar curve I keep an ember, quietly Inside a small jar of what might be A glow that will show when our rangy trajectories Spiral around to converge I am from ships that arrive in the morning Loneliness lulled by the sound of the tracks And missing my stop where I don't speak the language Feeling the twinges of want-to-go-back And I am from back when I didn't quite know you When I was all edges and trying too hard And meeting by chance when I needed some kindness And all of this starting to catch me off-guard I want to turn star-shaped and large And fold up all kinds of you into my arms Roll as a hexagon down to the beach Float as a coracle over the sea And while I'm away, hold you close and invisible Like the bones of a song Dismantling notions of home being nowhere But quietly gone
9.
04:25
Inside the bubble the world is ending over and over and over on a screen While outside the morning after still looks the same as it’s recently been The light still falls golden over the south The words still fall tired and loving from your mouth And we can soothe each other over the end of another day And everything will not be okay And in a year or five we’ll see the upshot of what went down today And there will be pseudo-news insisting something else is to blame The light falls crisp and blue on the hills On hands in hands, and the air is still And soon the moon will loom over dusk’s soft grey And everything will not be okay We must pass around our small hopes to nibble on It’s the only way to avoid the void Might we become threads of mycelium? Transporting quiet nutrients below the noise Below the structures so vast and wrong Our small dark corners were never safe and warm But push a tendril within a hairline crack Everything will not be okay But still we’ll try to grow some of this back
10.
On days like today I don't find any words There are plenty of them out there But none of those are mine And none of those are yours The words you need to hear from me cannot be On days like today All poetry and otherwise Runs dry There are verbal procedures For days like today The right words to say In the worst of times And I can't hold you across an ocean So I have told you those same old inadequate lines But what I wish is that the cities to the coastlines would fall silent For a moment For you As if none of it all would ever sound any more Then start up again together in a furious roar That might cushion your cries as you let them outside A unity howl for your rage to ride But most of all I wish that I could make this stop Most of all I wish that I could make this not.
11.
02:09
Last chance icecream van punches holes in November's decay But we revel in the drizzle, and try to remember the way Back to those smoke-filled chimeras that screech through our heads At night, when our bodies lie prone in our beds Now that the dark and the rain are upon us We clutch at their threads They transport me from odious polish and shine The shame of this privilege so easily mine But all of this gold, we exchange it for plastic And daily disposable highs While the dreams and ideals of the possible Are steamed flat by the market's designs
12.
This room holds ghosts The ghosts of what we didn't do that night Watch them moving through the echo of an anecdote I might not be here Standing with you tonight If we had back then Watch them moving through until we are ready to begin Do you trace the threads of what might have been From the safety of now? We're old enough to know better by now We're old enough to know better now Better now Aren't we? Now we're old enough to know better by now We're old enough to know better now Better now Aren't we? And I wonder about all those With whom it all went wrong Just because we collided when we were too young When their losses and their curses Slip quietly through My sense of relief that none of them were you And which of my whispers were their butterfly wingbeats? How many days have I lived by their long-forgotten, incomplete Unintended throwaway details? Singing ‘May we never prosper and may we always fail’ This room holds ghosts The ghosts of what we didn't do that night Watch them moving through the echo of an anecdote I've cautiously grown to flourish in your company Though we mostly take our melancholia separately But we're old enough to know better after all this time You show me yours, and I'll show you mine We're old enough to know better now, Better now Aren't we? Old enough to know better now Better now Aren't we? Now we're old enough to know better by now We're old enough to know better now Better now Aren't we?

about

credits

released July 7, 2018

All songs written and arranged by Helen Bell

Recorded by Helen Bell and Tom Drinkwater

Produced and mixed by Tom Drinkwater and Helen Bell

All instruments and vocals performed by Helen Bell except drums on tracks 2, 5 and 7, and bass guitar on tracks 4 and 5 by Tom Drinkwater

Design, illustration and lettering by Helen Bell

Photography by Helen Bell and Tom Drinkwater

license

all rights reserved

tags

Helen Bell recommends:

If you like Helen Bell, you may also like: