Footholds and Soles

 

                 We walk in footsteps we have never owned

dance in gestures of the animal who awakens us

 

amorphous – within the stone we hold

 

We were born old

in the knowhow of the baobab

 

We saw the mangroves

as their shadows wore holes

in our body

 

Aunty ocean told us

this was soul

 

before it came to be

sewn-

 

it poured us in petrichor-

the smell of once was

 

whose nearness still

lingers here – there

 

restless familiar

as dust and chance

wake the absurd

 

 

 

 

There was a colobus, long

lost but passed before us – outstretched

in the palm of the afterwards

 

we asked her about otherness

and she burst outwards in

arcs of laughter

 

is that enough for you, if not, where to?

 

 

Marabous stalk somnambulant, beyond

the where-from of the oncoming

horizon, a chorus of slurred consonants

thrum-throng and call to us

swarmed within the wind, sweeping

up our tonsils, we hear a tickle

creep through – out inside

 

the opening O of vocal

spontaneous   call-of-the-owl

pulses life into the gulf

of our tired vowels

 

 

 

The elephant’s little cousin

shrieks a little louder

than you could believe

 

crescendoing and

slowing pure in-

tensity

 

spirit reaching full

for pitch

 

tearing to construct

and surpass its own

echo –

 

let go

 

little Pimbi, grow.

 

 

The Octopus knows

the color of before,

head of water

like yours was air

 

He spoke of a chameleon, who

blinked in his inward blink,

 

a wisdom older than thinking

 

a riddle to leave us there

nowhere but aware:

 

 

                  pierce your skin as it wrinkles 

                  in a rhythm of ghosts, those 

                 animate willings – touch and listens 

                  are vision,

 

                  see, you stubborn goat

 

                  you are

                  the hum the

                                      sum humming sun-

                                                                      bird,

                                                                                   the answer to the conundrum

                                                                                   the hum-anima/l

                                                                                            

                                                                                                        

 

                  the world is a walkabout, if but                           

                  an oyster          an odd choice 

                  of your words 

 

                 language is but land, sand and and 

 

The trail of voice

tailing inseparable

from yours

 

To listen to the earth

is at once the comfort

of being –

 

 

heard

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