John Vanderslice

I met my new neighbor
Had a drink on her veranda
And watched the ocean batter Bonita Point

“Do you have any children?”
Air around us changed
As grief washed across her face

White dove, white dove
White dove, white dove
What are you thinking of?

We had a daughter
Disappeared at eight
We gave them money
All we could do was wait
She’s found
Garroted, bound

White dove, white dove
White dove, white dove
What are you thinking of?

Don’t come around here no more
It’s not about mercy
Not about tears anymore
White dove, white dove
What are you thinking of?

Sword of vengeance
Occupies my mind
Who would do such a horrible crime?
Across the Qadaas
Killing off our side
Walking bombs
Don’t wear camouflage

White dove, white dove
What are you thinking of?
Don’t come around here no more
It’s not about mercy
Not about tears anymore

White dove, white dove
What are you thinking of?

‘White Dove’ – John Vanderslice, from Emerald City

I love the power that music has to make you suddenly feel a rush of emotions; I love the fact that two words – ‘garroted, bound’ – can make you recoil in horror at the image they conjur up in your mind. And how the juxtaposition of another two – ‘white dove’ – brings up more questions than answers.

John Vanderslice is playing Whelan’s on November 6th. Go, go, go.

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