dain saint art and activism for an abundant society

hear my single

city don’t sing

the tree of time

March 14, 2021

consider a tree. it begins as a sapling, young and green. pliable, but unsupported; delicate and unprotected. over time, it brings together sunlight, air, and water to form wood; to grow. the green sapling expands from within, leaving behind layers of wood. the elements put stress on the green flesh of the tree, prompting it to grow a thick bark, to protect itself. as the tree grows, the wood in the core grows thicker, and the bark becomes more durable — and the green remains sandwiched between the two.

tree diagram

the green is the part of the tree that is most alive. it brings nutrients to every branch and leaf, it grows in new directions, it is rich with water and minerals. the wood within provides structure — and also, a memory of how the tree used to take up space. the bark anticipates challenges and protects the green.

time, for us humans, is like a tree in this way.

our past is the wood: a document of everything we used to be, providing structure and stability for what we are now.

our future is the bark: our attempt at knowing what is coming, and preparing for it

our present is the green; a thin moment, rich with possibilities, the only part of our experience that can truly be changed. the only part that is truly alive.

but when we see a tree, we see it in its entirety. we hold the entirety of the tree as a singular, undivided object. we don't judge the woody knots of its past, or the rough estimations of its future. we see how its present blooms and withers in cycles over time, and we understand that that — all of it — is the tree.

can we do the same with ourselves?

can we love the past that shapes us?

can we cherish the future that protects us?

can we live fully in the present, in all its richness and aliveness?

and can we embrace the entirety of our tree for what it truly is, without judgement?

spring is coming. i'm excited to see how we all bloom.

new show this spring

March 7, 2021

thrilled to announce i'll be performing this spring!

update: this event has been moved to the fall

the event will be live, outdoor, socially-distanced, and fun. more details as we get ready to announce.

join the newsletter to get details as soon as they drop.

all of the lights

part of the book of words

i was never meant
to be a mirror

i was broken
so i could be

a disco ball

temet nosce

part of the book of words

well of course
i'm full of myself

who else,
am i supposed
to be full of?

repression vs oppression

part of the book of words

not one of us is free until all of us are free

you cannot oppress women without repressed men. you cannot oppress queer people without repressed straight people. you cannot oppress black people without the repression inherent in white supremacy.

those in power are often insecure about it, afraid that if they lose power they will be nothing if only they let themselves learn from the people whose power they so cravenly disregard.

permission v freedom

part of the book of words

what are you still asking for?
whose approval are you still seeking?

with respect to newton

part of the book of words

you can't leap
from the top of a house
and vex with the
for slapping you

city don’t sing

part of city don’t sing

2020 has been a year. between the pandemic, the blow to the arts, and the continued fight for freedom, we've been put through the ringer—both in philly, and the rest of the country. i hope this song brings you some catharsis as we say goodbye to this year and move into the next one.

written and performed by dain saint
video produced, edited, colored, and post-produced by adriano martino

performance shot on an iphone by adriano martino following covid-19 safety protocols

special thanks to franky bradley's for providing a safe venue for the performance

all other clips are licensed through various platforms

special thanks for additional courtesy b-roll footage provided by:

special thanks to kelly lacy for providing the blm mural footage.

the princess and the pea

part of the book of words

this country has convinced you
that discomfort is the same as suffering

some march to end brutality while
some march to cling to comfort
and you see no earthly difference

when some of us would die
so our children could be merely

since you seem to be having a hard time calling it a coup

maybe you can charge him with
disorderly conduct
resisting the truth
and assault and battery
on the populace
(with injuries)