It’s okay to pull it out from under the damp, from between the old broken branches- there, where the tiny mushrooms grow and a little spider climbs slowly about and the earth is so dark that you can almost feel everything that is eating it right on the spiral whorls of your fingertip . it’s okay to poke and pluck it back from where you once thought it lost but now see how much it’s grown- bring it to your lip, give it a welcome kiss- this has always been your gift and presence and anyone worth their weight in salt knows the best things are given as presents- over and over again, to keep it alive, to keep it bright with fresh eyes and mystery. it is never really gone and though it may not sometimes seem so- it is always your choice- to hold on, to let go- we all want to know this treasure: the particular measure of a voice- each soul’s unique and beautiful noise.

cold in the night
the transparency
layered lunar
soft exhibitions
under white wings
shrieking with light
high through
the breaking

how wet
and green
the garden
alive with
old death
finger picked
and piled

I smile with dirt
under the nails
all earth tracked
and took,

looking back
it is the path
of growing’s
goings on
that make the way
want no container
but explain itself
with climbing.


for Violeta Parra

hen-scarred, claw-pocked
you with the dirt inside
your berry-blood mouth

you made fire in your fingers
scratching to find the song
that would call home into your feet

you, sufferer
you, lover
with the little old guitar
full of birdsong
inherited from your father
the monkey
the professor
the swimmer and smasher of wine
how you kept the strings
bent into veins
and buried him in stitches

you, mother
whose darling angel fled
who kept your son’s breath
with the sun’s wings
sprouting from the stones

your own reflection
passing bread and jars
the wooden box of coin
of paper in the wind
the creaking of the swing
where you hid the small gun
in the pocket of your dress

flower of the country
of the dust and steady drums
your arrow eyes
that looked into the earth

your cavernous ears
filled with tread and gasoline
footsteps and applause
with instruments along
the echo of streets
your attention tuned
to every wrinkle in each suit
rarely to your own hair
grown wild in its sides

you turned over coals
letting the heat breathe
in front of everyone
under the evenings
filled with open cuts of light
outside your favorite tent
where the microphone was throat
and clap and the morning breaking through

when two took different roads and the hearts held fast to opening past the pain and then the rain came to feed the dry dirt so all the hurt could seed like the earth breathes each season.

when the reason is the way of the day’s dancing you back into your feet and souls throwing a ball on the heal of moving while being still.

for the harvest feast that fills your belly with dreams awake and all that breaks is being made to wear a suit of fire carefully tended through the night.

for the bright blood moon and the mountain tops that drop you blooming into the sky and every other love that parts the veil from your eye.

gerard manley hopkins read by cyril cusack : excerpt opening of a tibetan buddhist ghost exorcism ritual : teebs : shigeto : shabazz palaces : taylor mcferrin feat. nai palm : hidden orchestra (submerse rmx) : oddisee : badbadnotgood : bonobo : jesse boykins III & Melo X (jacques greene rmx) : darkside : the heavy (raffertie rmx) : mogwai : sarah jaffe : alan watts