I am here again, a journey of 277 miles that took two years.
I come to Dodge alone; this is a deeply meditative thing I do, take 4 days from my life and immerse myself in the magic of words. No family to tend, no dog to walk, no patients to care for. This is time I give to myself.
against the tent roof
fat, dry raindrops
Juggling a backpack, poetry books, a plastic cup of iced tea, a sandwich, I find a picnic table with space to sit. Another poet shares his space with me. We talk. He is from Massachusetts also.
We exchange names.
He recognizes mine from this blog.
In the silence between breaths
a cricket sings
In the main tent, we listen to Glen Valez and Lori Cotler.
Alone, each is a skilled musician. Together they make magic.
Then they are joined by Ekiwah Adler-Belendez. Ekiwah is supposed to read after the musicians are finished, but he asks them to play while he reads. He reads as they play. It is a dance and we witness this new creation where words no longer follow music with polite applause between them, now they cannot be prised apart. A fusion of sound and sense, both sharing a passion, sparking new meaning in each.
and the cricket sings
and the poet chants
and the drum beats
and we hear the heart
beneath the words
Linda Hogan reads from her older work and links cultures and time. One of the pieces she reads is about the corn dance and it took my breath away.
The sides of the tent shimmy,
bringing the night inside.
When did the sun set?
I haven't been sitting here long,
certainly not long enough for darkness
to claim my sharp sight.
Words dizzy me, the earth spins
turning beneath me, the coriolus wind
nosing its way against my hand
like a lovesick dog.
I am jazzed up on coffee and poetry--a potent combination. I need to sleep. Five hours in the car have left me achy and bleary-eyed. But I stay for one more poet. Brian Turner reads from "Here, Bullet," the collection that won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award.
He earned his MFA and served in the US army for 7 years, most recently in Iraq. His poems have the power to both wound and cauterize, delight and terrify. After his reading, I have to return to the hotel. I am filled, saturated. Poetry leaks from me like light around a cracked casement.
I have forgotten what it was like to be here.
I am here again.