But God himself comes often and stays long,
                    when the castrati’s singing disturbs Him.

                                        – Ranier Maria Rilke (“The Voices”)

Within the quietude of dawn
streaked in yellow flame
between charred black shadows

when the sun peeks low beneath
the branches shedding leaves,
I hear voices in the canyon,

from the ridges and the draws,
of the generations gathered
where women left their track

ground in stone, and men
built barns and fences,
some yet leaning into time

unknown, for a different breed
of cattle and of dreams—
a chorus clear and strong.

And all the working hands
that left no mark upon the land
they still inhabit singing

harmony and peace
within the quietude of dawn
streaked in yellow flame.



“A Voice for the Voiceless”


7 responses to “SEPTEMBER DAWN

  1. Thank you, John, for a voice on behalf of those who have come before us laying foundations of grace and peace . . . Beautiful! I love it . . . Already the collection is growing . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John, my first reaction was a strongly visceral “My God…” this isn’t the first time your writing took me across time, people and generations. But I was literally caught up this time. Thinking of those whom I still love dearly who are among those you wrote concerning: Their hands worked the land and creatures who lived and died upon it. But they have indeed left a mark or two on that land that still endure, specifically: on the Milk Ranch peak…up the East Fork into Oak Grove…Britten Cove up the South Fork…roads, cut into the impossible slopes of Blossom Peak, roads, cut into Grouse and Greasy…dams and ponds below Case Mountain. Marked and created into places of rest and almost other-worldly reflection…my childhood and teen years inexorably bring me back to their own lives, their loves, and their work.

    More importantly, they have left indelible marks on my soul, and those are eternal.

    Thank you again for your awesome verse! Is it a coincidence that I was just reading earlier this morning about supernatural portals and interdimensional vortices?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m not sure I believe in pure coincidence. What I am sure of is that our memories, our stories, are connected to certain landmarks, some of those landmarks shared with other people, living and dead. I imagine certain places have a wealth of stories and understandings waiting to be heard. All of this comes with living in a place for long time, whether strictly a rural phenomenon or not, we are truly blessed to be reminded of them. Thank you for your awesome (a word I rarely say or put on paper) comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I could not express it as eloquently as ujijin and Peter. Just fantastic. Another one for the book.
    I only wish there was rain running off those leaves and branches, the grinding holes full of water.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A little more time yet for a rain. Too early, the grass starts and dies before another rain, but I do like your mortar hole imagery, probably steal it another day.


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