The North

from by Hana Zara

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There’s a man collecting bottles at the bottom of my street
Which would be fine but it is 2 and I would like to go to sleep
But he’s pacing with his grocery cart and howling in the dark
With his prayers and incantations of the north

And in china town I made friends with the opium smokers
They were all fatalistic, but they held close together
Over chasing the dragon and sleeping in the park
They said the winters are long here, and the summers are short
And we go wrecking our bodies to try and stay warm
And we’re martyred each year for the north
We are martyred each year for the north


My grandpa was a mechanic from the lowlands of Nebraska
And in the army his plane crash-landed outside of Alaska
And they sent up their flares till there were holes in the snow
And they shivered in their boots till their bones nearly broke
They waited ten days in the cold
And that last night they built a temple out of things that they’d collected
They wrote letters to their families with what strength they had left
Then they prayed for the living and they prayed for the dead
Then they prayed to the gods of the north
He said the tundra was worse than the war
And help did arrive but his debts never died
And his body belongs to the north.


Jesus was a family man before he went mad,
He built a 3-story home in the Old North End
And he painted it yellow, and he painted it red
Sometimes with a steady and then a trembling hand
Some days he just lay in his bed
But his wife began to see it when the moon was full and bright
Jesus couldn’t settle down,
Jesus sorcerer of the night
Would go pacing like an alley cat and howling in the dark
With his prayers and incantations of the north



from The North, released March 19, 2015



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Hana Zara Burlington, Vermont

be calm, be kind, ask yourself who you are and live from there.

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