There are people who understand dirt,

digging, mud and peat,

who are born with it under their fingernails,

feel cold always in their toes,

have dreams of burrowing and burial,

look at their skin and see

to dust you shall return

Those who grind us down under their boots

forget that from soil comes fresh growth.

They forget that potatoes and turnips

can withstand the winter.

They forget the way the earth yawns

and reclaims even tanks and palaces.

I hear voices in my head,

songs and pleadings of the dirt and all its inhabitants,

words from graves and gardens,

rocks and fields

begging to be spoken while I still have my head above the ground.

** There is something dishonest about pavement.

Easing the way for what, for whom? **

I know you, the way of eyelids syrup-heavy

with old sadness, the way of laughing that comes from the spleen

or the kidneys

and the metaphors you shyly reveal

under cover of a voice made of copper

and mahogany.

We’ve never spoken, but I have seen in you

potatoes; nutrients from rich soil;

the deep sorrow that follows anyone

who has looked life dead in the eye

and dared to feel their bones.

Music and poetry: as who we are,

true like the green sprouts of an onion,

incomplete like a lifetime only as long as winter.

Written by Samantha Geovjian Clarke. To learn about Portland DSA, visit their website and follow them on Twitter.