In Valleys Like This

It was in valleys like this that 
the land spoke.  The earth itself shared 
its language of place and time.  The 
when and where of life was known.  The 
earth spoke in a forgotten tongue 
like fingers speak to hands, like hands 
speak to arms, like arms speak to chest 
and chest sings the songs of fingers,  
knows the beat of feet and feels the 
soles' words of water, roots and rock.

This song was known to the singer 
even when unsung, sprung from the 
same womb, as close as cadence, as 
rhythm as rain, as known as the 
nails of one's hands, unnoticed for 
its constant presence.  Its lack is 
the death of us all, its dearth is
a black wall that hides us from our 
selves, our once embraced, now banished, 
bare and prodigal pantheons.

19 thoughts on “In Valleys Like This

  1. Mmmmm….more please! Exuberant cheers! Love this!

    Just wanted to share a recent experience…

    In the “wake up in the middle of the night” …. again
    a few clear thoughts then the rat tat tat of amorphous static
    I tried on a similar memory
    pulling awareness up my toes
    It took a few nights to calm the habit of brain wave drifting
    but I found my dreaming body again
    listening to the lullaby of the Green Man


    • Thank you so much, Ms. Light. I’ll do what I can, though my next post may be disappointing…down-right crude even…time to re-ground myself perhaps…

      “the lullaby of the Green Man”
      I think I have to write a poem with that title (and your permission). Is this a specific Green Man for you? Man-of-the-Earth? Tree-Father?
      Funny. I just now found a copy of W. S, Merwin’s verse translation of “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” I have been coveting it for a while and tonight, found it at a thrift store. I think part of my dreaming body may lie in that story. It keeps coming back to me.


      • Sure Gravity…no one owns a lullaby.

        The Green Man? He’s hard to pin down… but he’ll probably not clip his toenails for you, as he does for me.

        “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight ” seems a timely tale, written when all was crumbling. Wonder what it’ll stir up this time?


        • Pssst…..believe it or not (and I think you will believe it), I am still working on this “Lullaby of the Green Man”. Don’t know where it will take me or when I will get there but the journey continues…..thank you.


    • Thank you, Chris–it’s funny, I had to go back and check the line you quoted–did I write that? It seems different now somehow, but that’s one of the many things I love about poetry, how even one’s own words can change in a short time…or what lies behind them.
      Thank you–


    • I have to admit, I had you and your work in mind in writing this. And my daughter had been studying native Americans in school. There is a conservation area that I have been visiting since I was a child. Along the Missouri River. A series of valleys that all lead down to the river, one ridge to a bluff overlooking the river. I had a thought when I and the family went there recently. Just how alien the mind-process of these people must have been.
      You definitely inspired my desire to get a feel for a different “mind-set”
      I’m glad you liked it.


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