I Can Hear Whispers Spoken in Mud-Song
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
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.