Tuesday, November 30, 2010

the land is in her (for Fatima)

Somewhere in Portugal a scent
of things rising from roots
is on the air and mingles
with breezes farther brought
from gull-dissonant coastlines...

A village sighs in late morning,
and the old road curves then splits
one quarter of a languid mile
from the sounds of stirring lives.
That old road – out where it splits –
always makes her pause...
listening to summer wildflowers,
thinking about peculiar time
and spaces where others meet...
a philosopher in the making.


Does she wander to a special place,
where a spring has pooled under trees,
where she might linger for a few minutes,
breathing odors from roots before noon?
Where quick lizards come out to drink
and the tangerine chameleon dances
under pale eucalyptus leaves?

In village hours, the play of her visions
becomes a tango of sight and moving sounds,
some sharp and spicy, some sad and sweet --
thick fingers on the keys of a colorful accordion
played by a peasant in the breathing shadows.

The land is in her.

Now she is thinking across the ocean.
Different years are new tones quivering
above the slow roots of village memory,
and her brain pulses with hectic colors.

There are so many songs. How is it
that she of ancient eyes and village days
has found her way into this secret theater
of songs made from pieces of irony? Or
other music made wondrous and hurting
by the long-gone and distant Brahms?

Now she sits at night and writes.
The words are turned inside-out
and then shaken under stars to see
what...the words...mean. Down into
the roots of words she writes. Awake,
she smiles at the wonder of it all.

Ah ha, there's the irony! That's why she dances
to the dark and rootsy songs beneath loud cities.

I wish I could sit with her one night.
I wish I could drink many golden beers.
I wish I could be very quiet and listen
to roots that speak of the land in her.

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