Murmurs from the earth of this land

Muriel Rukeyser


Murmurs from the earth of this land, from the caves and craters,
from the bowl of darkness. Down watercourses of our
dragon childhood, where we ran barefoot.
We stand as growing women and men.

Murmurs come down where water has not run for sixty years.
Murmurs from the tulip tree and the catalpa,
from the ax of the stars, from the house on fire,
ringing of glass; from the abandoned iron-black mill.

Stars with voices crying like mountain lions over forgotten colors.
Blue directions and a horizon, milky around the cities
where the murmurs are deep enough to penetrate deep rock,
trapping the lightning-bird, trapping the red central roots.

You know the murmurs. They come from your own throat.
You are the bridges to the city and the blazing food-plant green;
The sun of plants speaks in your voice, and the infinite shells of accretion.

A beach of dream before the smoking mirror.
You are close to that surf, and the leaves heated by noon,
and the star-ax, the miner’s glitter walls.

The crests of the sea are the same strength you wake with,
the darkness is the eyes of children forming for a blaze of sight and soon,
soon, everywhere, your own silence, who drink from the crater, the nebula,
one another, the changes of the soul.

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Source. About the poet. Photo.

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