Split with Panopticon

by Nechochwen

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1.
2.
The Megalith 07:21
3.
4.
The Red Road 04:42

about

Of Wisdom and Prophecy
Shortly before his death, my uncle gave me a book of local Indian and pioneer stories. One of these stories, “The Legend of Standing Rock”, became a favorite of mine. It takes place near a stone landmark in eastern Ohio. I do not know the story’s origin or historical accuracy but its message inspired the following two songs, “Of Wisdom and Prophecy” and “The Megalith.” I dedicate these two songs to the memory of Mark “Old Warrior” Stoughton.
- Nechochwen, September 24, 2019
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“It must be I who has caused the Great Spirit so much anger, for see how I sway to and fro. If he does not cease soon, I am going to jump to the sky and find the cause of His displeasure, if I can.”
- From Tales and Stories of Yellow Creek by R.W. “Doc” Schilling (1947)
With great wrath the earth shook, the megalith took flight
Crashing from the highest hill into the stream below

Long before arrival of man the sentinel had sat and awaited its time
The forest stood still, then silence was shattered, the land was now fractured
In time men would speak atop its frame of pride and war,
Of hate and death, of wisdom and prophecy

The Megalith
Weathered, grey, arising from the channel of a valley stream
The tree line above softens the sunlight that falls on the standing stone
The land still weeps, grieving for the unity of long ago
Remembering when voices ceased to speak the words of peace

Like the mountain ridge from which it fell, fragmented in a violent age
The water’s edge where all would gather as one
Transformed by hatred into killing fields
From upon the rock, with speech like fire, came a prophet’s condemnation

They filled the fields, they sent the call for war
Bearing the hemlock seed to scorn the hardwood hills
From the south they came to conquer all
To claim the soil of the northern Algonquian lands


Set forth the birds of prey aloft with seed
To propagate them for this victory
To bring starvation in the age to come
Their trees will blight and wither in the sun
With eternal eyes, the wilderness cried

A sigh of desperation from the earth

Amidst the great despair a voice then spoke:
“Go forth, my brothers – procure a feast of poisoned flesh
Our enemies will gorge into their final sleep
As they perish in their slumber, we preserve our way of life”

A procession of gluttonous dead, swollen in the midsummer sun
Drifts past the rock on their course to the southland to never return

The conquering was never meant to be
Beneath Stigwanish came no victory
With heavy hearts for those among the hills
The forest weeps for man, who blindly kills
Lament for all that echoed through the land
A scourge for nature and a loss for man

The Mingling Waters
This song is a tribute to the land along two streams in West Virginia where my grandparents lived and to the various people who inhabited this land for thousands of years. I imagined cremations there long ago which became the basis for this song. A scattering of cremation remains in these streams would follow a course through several bodies of water, eventually reaching the Gulf of Mexico.
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Against the sky flickers a solemn farewell
For the dawn will arrive and my ashes will stir in the morning’s breath
Firelight gleams on my bones like the serpent’s crystalline eye
Then the light of the sun reappears, greeting waters cascading below

Down the Mingo Run, through this water so sweet
Down the Buffalo to the Ohio with currents to channel me deep
Over falls so high to the greatest of streams
Carry all I have done to the place where the mingling waters will meet




The Red Road
This is a new version of a song written back in 2005 for what would later become Nechochwen. An instrumental, classical guitar trio version appears as the song “Gissis Mikana” on the “Azimuths to the Otherworld” album.
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Choosing your path but falling behind
A trail dimly lit and, at times, hard to find
Sealing your fate while keeping your stride
Creating the rules by which you abide

Looking ahead and re-writing the past
Tending the fields that will be sown at last
Follow the red road of the sun if you can
But no one can blaze such a trail through the land

Kiišθwa! Lakwa!

Long is the quest to the road that is good
Where visions erode from the hills where they stood
Stay on your course when the day loses light
And find your way home ‘til the dawn ends the night

Seeking your truth, lighting the way
Waiting a lifetime for wise words to say
Mountains to climb, burdens to bear
An internal fire that's gasping for air

And so it has been through this rhyme
When the sun seems to set one last time
Be awoken by rays of its light from up high
Searching alone in the sky

credits

released January 31, 2020

Recorded in sessions from 2016 to 2018 at Sacred Sound Recording Studio in Martin’s Ferry, Ohio. Recorded and engineered by Pohonasin and Nechochwen. Mixed and mastered by Pohonasin. Guest vocals on The Megalith performed by Austin Lunn and Tanner Anderson. Logo by Austin Lunn. Photograph by Nechochwen.

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Nechochwen West Virginia

Contact Nechochwen at: forestofrust@yahoo.com

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