Textured Quotes

Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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STAINS With red clay between my toes, and the sun setting over my head, the ghost of my mother blows in, riding on a honeysuckle breeze, oh lord, riding on a honeysuckle breeze. Her teeth, the keys of a piano. I play her grinning ivory notes with cadenced fumbling fingers, splattered with paint, textured with scars. A song rises up from the belly of my past and rocks me in the bosom of buried memories. My mama's dress bears the stains of her life: blueberries, blood, bleach, and breast milk; She cradles in her arms a lifetime of love and sorrow; Its brilliance nearly blinds me. My fingers tire, as though I've played this song for years. The tune swells red, dying around the edges of a setting sun. A magnolia breeze blows in strong, a heavenly taxi sent to carry my mother home. She will not say goodbye. For there is no truth in spoken farewells. I am pregnant with a poem, my life lost in its stanzas. My mama steps out of her dress and drops it, an inheritance falling to my feet. She stands alone: bathed, blooming, burdened with nothing of this world. Her body is naked and beautiful, her wings gray and scorched, her brown eyes piercing the brown of mine. I watch her departure, her flapping wings: She doesn't look back, not even once, not even to whisper my name: Brenda. I lick the teeth of my piano mouth. With a painter's hands, with a writer's hands with rusty wrinkled hands, with hands soaked in the joys, the sorrows, the spills of my mother's life, I pick up eighty-one years of stains And pull her dress over my head. Her stains look good on me.

Brenda Sutton Rose
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And finally I saw that the very land itself had risen, that the sunbaked land had taken form as something vast and alive, and was in motion. The land walked as multitudes, their strides so utterly of the earth that they seemed the source of the very dust. The cloud they raised engulfed us, seeped into every pore, coated our teeth, seeped into our minds. Both flesh and metaphor. That big. And you could see their heads, like warriors' shields. Their great breaths, gushing in and out, resonant in the halls of their lungs. The skin as they moved, wrinkled with time and wear, batiked with the walk of ages, as if they lived within the creased maps of the lives they've traveled. Travelers across landscapes, and through timescapes. The skin moving like swishing corduroy, textured and rough but sensitive to the slightest touch. The grind of their cobblestone molars as, sheaf by sheaf and mouthful by mouthful, they acquire the world. All the while uttering the contented purring of mounds of memories. Their rumbles rolling through the air like distant thunder approaching, vibrating through the undulating ground and the roots of trees, rallying families and friends from the hills and rivers, sending among themselves greetings and recognitions and news of where they have been; sending to us a sign of something coming. A mind moves a mountainous mass of muscle and bone, the brown eyes light a landscape, and one elephant rumbles in. See her squared brow, trace the tracks of snake-size blood vessels. Heralded by her own trumpet, applauded by her own clapping ears, she strikes us as timeless and a bit sublime, aware and deliberative, peaceful and nurturing and deadly dangerous as needs arise. Wise only within the confines of her capabilities, like us. Vulnerable. As we all are. 'Delicate and mighty, awesome and enchanted, ' wrote Peter Matthiessen of them in The Tree Where Man Was Born, 'commanding the silence ordinarily reserved for mountain peaks, great fires, and the sea.' Silence. Watch. Simply listen. They will not speak to us, but to each other they say much. Some of it, we hear. The rest is beyond words.

Carl Safina
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