“Blue eyes, let me turn a stone.”

Written by

SeekaeWool (feat. Ivan Vizintih)

The air was brisk, and Jon was tired. His shoulders slumped under the weight of his sagging backpack.

The dusty off-yellow backpack clung to his woolly emerald-green sweater, both belonging to his once smaller, now larger cousin.

The grey sky, it was still and never swayed. The walkway was quiet, with only the murmur of Jon’s weary shoes scuffing the silence.

The thirty-eight stones he counted on the way were each in place, except for two he thought looked disturbed. He prodded at them, pushing, poking, but they refused to sit wise. They’re not looking at me right.

He led himself down the stairs, hopping two at a time. The railings looked rusty but he slid his hands along them anyway, felt the pinpricks scratching at his fleshy pink palms.

And his backpack’s insides clanked and clattered.

And the canal was lined with trees, trees of bark stained ochre and leaves begging green. The canal’s walls were only cracked graffiti and the turn seventeen steps ahead swore injury. It swore terribly, in a barroom slur saved for stumbling drunks who have keys to locks they shouldn’t have.

The leaves aren’t rustling. Leaves are supposed to rustle and shake and twirl. They’re supposed to fall, but fall well. Float.

And in that withered town’s intestines he sat, and crossed his legs. In his pocket, his Walkman sat waiting. He ran his fingers along the buttons. The pause button was jammed, from this one time he’d spilt Coca-Cola on it and made a terrible mess, and didn’t know the proper way to clean it and couldn’t ask his mother because she had already fallen asleep.

He pressed down on it, felt it resist.

A moment passed where Jon didn’t do a thing but watch the leaves sit dead, until he pressed play. When he did that, they rustled. And he pressed down on pause, pressed hard. They stopped. And he pressed play again, calculating.

They rustled.

And he played and paused and played and paused, and caught his unblinking eyes and pressed them down too, watery though they were, and pressed play once more.

Jon watched the trees convulse and the leaves tear away from their branches, and flitter against the grey sky unbridled. And he didn’t close his mouth in case the wind stopped beating against his tongue. This was exciting.

A bluebird, its nest flung from a branch, twisted in the masses of leaves snapping at its squawking beak. Their razor edges tore at its feathered breast. Jon noticed. Jon’s eyes bulged from his weeping sockets.

Open-palmed, he beckoned to it. Bluebird, baby. Trust me. He called again. Bluebird! Come here!

But the beaten bluebird couldn’t hear him, not through the chorus, spread thick like syrup on breakfast toast.

Jon knew what to do then. He pressed pause, pressed hard.

In his open-palm lay the battered bluebird: beak bent brutally to the left, feathers clotting with a velvet crust.

And his backpack’s insides weren’t clanking and clattering. The trees were static with the air of an afternoon dust, and the two stones sat questionably up the stairs, down the path, and out of place.

[Buy The Sound Of Trees Falling On People.]

One Response to ““Blue eyes, let me turn a stone.””

  1. Adam says:

    Such a soothing song. Great write-up, as well. I’d never heard of this guy before, but I’ll be checking some of his other stuff out. Nice voice.

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