strike madly on

He could see them gathering on the dusty streets. He told me about it later. Years later. He nodded and continued his chanting. The words melded into each other, grasping each other, dancing wildly in the sounds of his homeland. his hand struck the willow drum in time with the chanting until the words tehmselves seemed to strike the chords, rumbling into the space between sound and silence, between water and rock. He chanted, they say, for over three days and nights without a single rest. The words never stopped.

And that was it. He put away the drum and never chanted again. He never went back, even though you could hear the longing to return in the undersides of his voice. yet still the sound colored everything in our lives from then on. I hear the chanting even now--but mostly muted, mostly at night, Sophie's voice stopped as the chanting took on the sound of harps and falling water.

Her grip tightened on Amy's shoulder. Amy guided her grandmother back into the funeral home chapel, helping her slide her thin wren bones onto the varnished yellow wood. They sat silently for a while, listening to the ghost shadows of the dancing words. They looked down through the aisle at the oak coffin.

"I can tell you the meaning behind hissounds", Sophie finally whispered into Amy's ear. "I never forgot them."

waves hunch / and crest / in empty air / strike madly on / the shore forever / churn spray / retreat to / breathe again

the word is / the sound / of water / dripping from/ ancient symbols / tiny particles / of merging / realities