Poetry Archive

Sight Traveling

An inscription on the photo said the heart is a portal

Some pick melody
as the way through
some dance as if on fire
and others write lines to travel time
he was sight traveling
preparing to transition
dancing with the moon
traversing the stars
come on in here
and sit with me awhile
girl we won’t be blue always
time’s a rampant melody
full of stops and starts
and then it’s as constant as the rain
child you are your mama’s daughter
you keep that old indigo cloth for dreaming
just because you can’t see them
don’t mean they ain’t here
and she heard him playing the piano
when she woke up
heard him singing

You know mercy will redeem us
and love will surely find away
You know mercy will redeem us
and love will surely find away

cause joy can ease a troubled mind
and the blues can’t dog all our days

turn your lamp on baby
and let it shine on through the night
turn your lamp on baby
and let it shine on through 

He was calling on the saints
Calling on the ancestors to bless them
and in her dreams she heard
Otis Redding sing “ a  change gonna come”

Her man playing scales
picking up and putting down
then he’d back up and start again
his lopsided grin touched her heart
his head thrown back
he was traveling in deep water
try and track a ghost
whose memories are
his only currency
sometimes fevers in the blood
and an old riff will just edge
you a little further out to sea

He switched hands as his fingers
glided over the keys
the music chasing him
and she smiled and half whispered
half sung
she knew the way the song
would end
How’d she get all tangled up
in its melody
hearing the breaks
before his fingers
ever touched the keys
they were a chorus
becoming a choir a firestorm

If she got lost in one of those memories
that wrings tears from a heart
will he find her and bring her home
they stand on uneven ground
on a hillside
in a graveyard she’s only heard about
funny how dreams stretch time
causing the world to tilt
and she’s standing in the doorway
rubbing her belly
talking to the baby inside
thinking about portals and her mother
thinking about cycles and women
and her man is traveling
lost on the night train
caught in the space between
and he sings
out her name and she smiles
fire almost breaking out between them
like electricity you can see

She feels the weight of time
sees the lines around his eyes
feels his comfort knowing
they will be more than two
they will be a family
her heart quickens

a baby’s coming
a child oh my
my my my
she just stands there watching
and he plays and plays
drawing out those  notes
she almost drowns in his voice
as he sings her name
she hums deep
and lets it roll through
her body travels with it
listens to her heart
feelings can heal
she’s moaning and humming
all caught up in it
and his song just pushes on through
an echo of love
a surge of power
something raw and pure
and he sings her name
and she’s touching air
traveling through time
to stand at his side

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Filed under: Poetry Archive


"In the beginning was the word and I've drawn on it, to map the internal terrain and make sense of the external world, to investigate life and death, traversing a language that leaves me spellbound."  Gail Mitchell is a poet living in San Francisco. the author of Bone Songs; She received her BA and MFA from San Francisco State University.