In the end, non-hierarchical, the earth speaks beseechingly and her listening, although accidental, is hearing – a quality like hot or cold, incontrovertible – sensation first, then words – spoken intimately, as if directly to the ear.
A list of instructions: create the future, cultivate morality, responsibility, presence. A list for more listening: time is just so – hear time differently, breathe in through the ears and out into necessary emptiness, listen for what is asked.
The recurring background sound of darkness – the same silence where presence lives, always broken by the perfectly imperfect, changes in the weather. An inkling not to be detached – exchange shoes – reassemble what has been broken, made separate.
Her slow cadences – listening as lament – tell how much has been shattered and yet her breath doesn’t forget, pays attention, keeps on putting itself back together again, ourselves and the good earth – before going home to silence, the beginning of things.
After Jorie Graham’s ‘Poem’ in Runaway (Carcanet 2020)