Earth and Sky


I’ve been stretching my wings and wheels, lately, to cross mountains, state lines, and boundaries to the unknown.

These landscapes are from a road trip to Telluride, CO, where I was honored to read this month as part of the Talking Gourds poetry series. Some things are worth driving alone through a blizzard for, and this was certainly one of them.

The journey there and back was a full body immersion in an image-laced land, a dreamscape of ravens sharp against gray clouds, a tattered flag with red stripes waving in torn strips against a snowy field, eagles flying out of the sun…and delicious solitude as the vantage from which to witness it all.

How is it that we can live in the midst of all this and not–every one of us–be constantly writing poetry?

Do we not live in an ongoing call and response between us and the beauty and mystery and darkness of the world we inhabit and must look at with whatever keen vision we can summon, and then answer with our love letters and laments and strange, unexpected lyrics?

In the face of all this, how can we stand to be silent? How?

When we answer we take our place as part of the ever-expanding network that is a being far more than a verb, a being that links us as surely as if a great mycelium linked us, our imaginations, and our faltering language and lines.

So in whatever way you can, by whatever means you have, answer the call.

That is what the earth and sky taught me on my travels.

I’m not done road-tripping, either. Catch me this weekend at the Crestone Poetry Festival, and next week at AWP, where I’ll be giving an off-site reading at the Spanish Governor’s Palace.

Who knows what kind of deep thoughts I’ll have for you then!


Meanwhile, speaking of call and response, you can eavesdrop on this conversation I recently had about Refugia, and within which you will find me pondering things like my obsession with names, being born into an ashram in Virginia and leaving it at age twelve for the blinding light of New Mexico, the secret healing power of toxic amnesia, and why I will not despair about the future.

Many thanks to Natalie Etheridge for the thought-provoking questions, and to the editors of The Adroit Journal for creating space for our conversation. I am happy to be part of your mycelium.

And yours too, dear readers. Safe travels to you.



4 Replies to “Earth and Sky”

  1. Right on, Kycie! Just this morning, Eric and I were talking at length about renewal, forgetting, and the anxiety involved in an inevitable process when you are not putting out an album every 6 months, for example, after dedicating 30 years to your music. How easily you are forgotten. And how important it could be to reinvent yourself in a new context, a new interest that takes hold of your passion likewise. He has been reading Liv Albertine’s book, singer of the Slits. In any case, like you said, in any way we can, witnessing and reacting is natural and vital, yet how easily it is to slip into a state of non-action, from which nothing flows, not even a drop. But we could say that these states exist for a reason, and it is from them that we jerk violently into a spasmodic cough of a cry that snaps us back into play, maybe towards some direction we cannot fathom at present. Anyway, I myself feel a bit twisted tight into a corner or two. A tickle is welcome, a whisper even, to set the unraveling in motion and turn the whole thing outward. That is when it’s time to fly, or flying just happens because we are falling and we can deliciously accept that there’s no chance to call it as “the time for” because waiting for the right time is what put us in corners in the first place. That is why I have not been able to book a flight. I don’t know if it is the time for. But what I do know, is coming to raft with you guys will surely be a swift flow that will likely drive or carry me in a new direction, at least downstream a ways. And that’s already something! P.s. It is you, my family, who count so much. P.s.s Naming does open your eyes to the worlds around us. The world around me seems so devoid of wildness sometimes. It’s Europe, most open space has been accounted for and concrete has filled it. But there is The Loire just down the street. Last wild river in France. It’s banks ever changing, uncontainable, its ebb and flow in constant flux. The sky a mirror, the light director of the dramatic symphony sounding. Birds. I am getting to know them, but have I named them all? Something to do indeed, and consider myself belonging to this place. It’s about time! Thankyou for your precious insights. I can’t thank you enough. Xxoo Big sis

    1. As artists we cycle through our fecund and dry seasons. There are times when we are numb to the call as much as the answering…and then, yes, we are unraveled, tickled, moved along. Let the Loire show you how to rise and fall and continue on.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: