Vessels (2016)

Title : Vessels
Release Date : June 24, 2016


1. Luma
Light’s flash within the pall,
Always there, yet unaware,
A thread that runs through all

Time bleeds through while
From order they, to disarray,
Are torn from the thread

And so…

2. An Ember's Arc
It began, as these things do,
From clouds in the aether
With untold time, they coalesced,
Their will apart grew weaker

This cascade of embers,
Fused into a star’s ignition
A crucible for their collapse,
Seething crux of its ambition

The axiom of this expanse,
Unrelenting pressure
Every moment, in each place,
Collisions beyond measure

An ordinary pair that met,
Whilst merging into one,
Heaved and spat a mote of light,
Adrift within the Sun

Without a bind, it cut away,
Against all else it stood
As swift as anything that was,
And had, or could, that would

The axiom when it began,
Unable to elude
Every moment, in each place,
Destroyed, exchanged, renewed

At the surface once emerged,
Radiant in birth
Free at last, its final form,
The photon dashed for Earth

3. Withering Strands
Far from the Sun
And that frantic dash
Billions before it,
To Earth, had crashed

But in this expanse
Where huge trees unravelled
A new plant was struggling
Where light seldom travelled

This small searching stem
Glimpsed dawn upon dawn,
Dwarfed by gnarled limbs
From the day it was born

Hope given over
To all that is brief
Amidst the detritus,
Dead leaf upon leaf

As its withering strands
Arched back towards earth,
Above it, a movement –
A death to bring birth

Rays filtered, then poured
As a forefather fell
With the passing of giants,
The stem could now tell

That life would come quickly,
And it did, as it gorged
Transformed by the day
As the fuelling light forged

Fixated above,
The sky its sole purpose,
Its oblivious growth
Led the insects to surface

And small though they were,
En masse, they had come
To gnaw at its base
As it reached for the Sun

4. Roots to Sever
Though wounds were great, and respite scant,
Life clung to that wretched plant
Its skin was scarred, its leaves were ripped,
Damned to wait, as roots were fixed

For every hour, in hopeless fear,
It felt them leave then draw back near
The insects drudged without a sound,
And tore the plant down to the ground

Among them, one drone like any other,
Stole away to meet another
Far from the swarm, the two had hidden
Their unborn child, which was forbidden

Spiteful mind and eyes unseen,
Betrayed unto to a ruthless Queen
Condemned – the two would die alone,
Their egg was cast on to the stones

An offering to slake the earth,
Despite its lot, the child emerged
From hatching breath, its life was dire,
In every dawn, the sky brought fire

It sought its kind, and as it roamed,
Out of sight and far from home,
A pack could see that, left alive,
The child would lead them to the hive

Behind the hatchling, like a storm,
The giants fell upon the swarm,
With hungry teeth and gleeful hearts,
Those hunters pulled the Queen apart

5. Whelm
As the hunters surged within,
The roof began to fall
Fractured chitin underfoot,
Whilst ichor soaked the halls

Then gathering, the pack reformed,
For once they’d all consumed,
They flooded from the earth in which
The hive was now a tomb

A rushing mass of fur and claws,
The host would move as one
Provided each could keep apace,
Those creatures feared none

Each component of the whole,
A spoke, for now, that linked
Dispensable—when it should break,
The rest would let it sink

When river’s water blocked their path,
They lingered over moss
A chain of stones bound shore to bank,
And each would have to cross

They navigated snout to tail,
The smallest one was knocked
As treacherous waters surged,
It shattered on the rocks

One component of the whole,
A spoke, that now, had snapped
Dispensable—it served no use,
The others would adapt

Silently, it understood,
And, broken beyond mend,
It watched the other hunters leave,
Then waited for the end

6. A Thread Dissolves
7. Grasping Light
Just downstream from that dark place,
Where last beats fell and waters churned
A man looked down upon his face…
In reverie, his thoughts did turn:

To follow the river is to follow the arc
It does not drift, it does not wait
Find its course with limb and mind
There walks a man;
There runs his fate

To follow the river is to follow the thread
It does not lie, it does not leave
Drowning stones there as he does,
He comes to think;
He comes to breathe

Something of that ember lives!
He feels it bide, he feels it wake
Looking out, but at itself,
As if to speak;
As if to make

His vision forming, flowing now
In tumbling verse, in melting song
Crafting words there as he does
They echo out,
They echo on:

“But a vessel, alive,
For a time, I would thrive,
That was all,
Nothing more lay below it…
But a vessel, adrift,
Not a theft, nor a gift,
That was all –
But a pulse, but a poet”

To drink from the river is to meet with the arc
And drink until quenched
The man did
But a vessel, adrift,
Not a theft, nor a gift,
That was all –
But a pulse

8. The Smoke of Many Fires
The river had brought with it much that day,
From driftwood to blood from the ember
Some things were hidden
While others were seen
Yet the man somehow could not remember…

Having ambled away from the water’s banks
To return to his tribe and their lights,
He soon found a failing,
Of flesh, and of mind –
They were no longer robust or bright

What he could not have seen
Was the sickness upstream;
Those abandoned remains of the wasted
What he could not have known
Was the blight of the bone
In each ebb and each flow he had tasted

Dawn found him ailing, delirium rife
Those he loved feared his illness would wander
With time wearing thin,
His young eyes clouded in
As the odour of smoke became stronger

It was then that he heard the sharp crackle of torches,
Carried past him by men from his clan
A panic cut through
All the life that he knew
It was over before it began

Rope looped his wrists and held tight to his veins
As beside him his relatives sagged
And with tears in their eyes,
Through confusion and cries,
Out towards the wild flames he was dragged

Like billions before him, regardless of form,
It ended as chance had decided
So briefly contained,
An inferno’s refrain,
Having powered and angered and guided

At the heart of the blaze, awareness dissolved
Light ascended devoid of desire
From a trail intertwined,
Life and death strewn behind,
To the stars, it returned, from the fire

Total running time: 55:05
‘Vessels’ is Be’lakor’s fourth album, and was recorded in Melbourne’s Legion Studio Productions during 2015.
Mixed and engineered by Julian Renzo. Mastered by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound, New York City
Produced by Julian Renzo and Be’lakor.
Ambient sounds of the wild recorded at Cataract Gorge, Tasmania.