i hear the gulls announcing the doldrums
we’ve been out to sea longer than we know
mirage of land after mirage of land, i long to be home
to see my love, to hold her in my arms
we’ve drifted further out than we had originally planned
so i can’t be sure if we’ll ever see dry land
but the terra beckons, calling out from the seafloor
and screams with each break upon the shore
my days idly pass by like wafts of smoke
with each drag of this pipe, i can feel her close
i hoped that i’d be different than when i ran from home
but i’m not sure if i can change as much as i’d hoped
i may be older, a bit more weathered than when i left
but i’ve tasted fear and tasted love, and i refuse to quit just yet
distance makes the heart grow fonder, i know the truth
that really your heart only grows after leaving behind your youth

Sailor look to the North; I am there on the shore.
i’ve looked up every night, seeing your face painted in the sky
but tonight polaris is brighter, and so are my eyes
You are weathered and worn; torn by those storms
Say my name, Love
i want to go home, i want to come home
Sailor, come home to me, put your anchor down deep.
but remnants of smashed ships drift past us, dragged by the sea
i can’t think, i don’t think–i just take another drink
We are more than the sea, no bottle can ever be your salvation
i just take another drink.

i want to be great, to be something beyond extraordinary
but this heart makes me normal, even lesser than ordinary
i learned to talk without words, to use my hands to breed life
i once held a girl’s hand, hoping to make her my wife
I see your weathered eyes stare up over your glass
And I hear you talk about love that could repurpose the past
We give permission for the remission of inhibition,
And begin to breathe life into our broken condition
But at sea, life is different, there’s survival and the now
to know and understand the difference between port, stern, and bow
to know your hands and to tie knots, and to not get them wrong
to watch stars in the night sky, to see how far we are along
You’ve forgotten the feel of dirt, the careful creases of a flower
The warmth of a hill, the damp smell of a spring shower
All those men on the ladders with dreams that have shattered
They are fighting for truth, to feel something that matters

sailors knots turn to nooses, the catspaw is sharpened
some find their death in the bottle, some from the hands of men
man overboard is no longer a cry for help,
rather a declaration of what lies deep within ourself
dreams are dashed on rolling waves, no sirens call out to play
and the sight of a sunrise just makes you hate the day
because you know that within it you’ll come face to face with yourself
and nighttime brings brief respite, a slight pause from your hallowed hell
gulls announce the land, way before we can even see it
prayers are cast up from both the saved and the heathens
with the land comes promises of better life,
but we all quietly know the truth
we’re all the same men as we once were in our violent youths
the sirens will be replaced with rouge covered harlots
instead of floating on top of the drink, we’ll nod off in it
but we hope that maybe one day, we’ll be greater than we are now
and i can feel my love, as i stand, watching on the starboard bow

i see her face, she’s there waiting on the dock
as the land cries out, i have to relearn how to walk
the land doesn’t sway, doesn’t feel quite alive
maybe i’m the same way, i’ve gained different eyes
i’ve seen the stars, reflecting from the sea
and i understand truly, how much distance is in between
two lovers who are apart, with a glimmer of hope
who believe in a resurrection of these thirsty dry bones


from Tales from the Drink, released January 11, 2014



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Peter the Whaler Arkansas

This is the solo effort of Peter the Whaler, a founding member of the hip-hop collective BTNKS. He is obsessed with finding beauty in the small things, and loves stories–which can be seen in his dense lyrical storytelling. He grew up wanting to be a rapper, a psychologist, a wanderer, a writer, a poet, an artist, and a myriad of other things...and with this project, he attempts to do just that. ... more

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