Saturday, September 29, 2012
-for Carlos and Lassie, La Paz
As if the inner singing voice
of our combined souls
called into being
the essence of song
the origin of melody
the fruit of all beauty,
the Aymara pan-flute
fills the thin night air
capturing all dew from the mist
until the air is our breath,
the rhythm our heartbeat,
the pulse our lifeblood.
All peoples, past and present
have learned language from this song,
their loves from this pentatonic dissonance.
We, strangers in a room filled with song;
a Venezuelan, my Argentine friends,
I confess to being North American,
a man from Chile is "booed"
by the party of young Bolivianos
for a war which took place 70 years ago
when Bolivia lost its gateway to the ocean.
From out of a dream we are stripped bare,
made to feel the sandy grit of the windswept Altiplano,
to walk for days with heavy bundles,
the Cordilliera at our backs,
a crying child running behind us
until we finally open the one room adobe huts
we would never have entered but for the song,
the poetry of the land, the hollow ringing melody