The Hearing

Kaleidoscopic life, less travelled in space,
is the knowing of solid things,
of changes in small squares of land
whose bursts make evident a shape of blood,
make reverent a shade of patterned tissues

Isn’t it the eye of the heart
that sees the essence of the music,
sending its shoot straight down
into the colors of that earth?

I’ve heard wise women scream
out of victimized lungs, and the sound
was such as that of a world
harnessed to no artsome symphony

I’ve smelled wise men so dangerous
on the corners of food stall courtyards
whose breath held stars of burning
like smoking meat, words on grills rising

The music i mean
is that above the oceans,
a salt-song off crystal waves and jellybacks
that rises to swirl as elemental
chemical tune, as tangy updrifting

The music
is that within all trees,
a bark-song of light-dappled drums
beat by ant legs, by jay claws in shadows,
staccato riff of climbing beaks

And the essence of that kind of moment,
between tune-worlds of sea and woods,
is the vision-tone of something momentous


where and while we sit
vanishing also now

into the final season of our circles,
pocketing the rememberance of old walkers
whose hearts, like watered plants,
once went dripping on about dangerous
destinies, topics sung by mad prophets,
like the ones we used to love
whose presence fell into empty wells
at the end of their voices,

now echoes soft as snowdust,

while always next to us, the rain
keeps falling
like silence on non-violent feathers


© J. Celan Smith