“Wisdom sits in places. It’s like water that never dries up. You need to drink water to stay alive, don’t you? Well, you also need to drink from places. You must remember everything about them. You must learn their names. You must remember what happened at them long ago.” Dudley Patterson, Apache, Cibecue Horseman. *
This church put a wedge between the modern world and me.
In places like this, there’s a wisdom that deprives objects of their salience.
Here, I’m free from sensor, chip and phone.
I’m repatriated to blood and bone and mist and air.
Wisdom sits in places like this.
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* Quotation is taken from Wisdom Sits In Places: Landscape and Language among the Western Apache by Keith H. Basso, 1996, University of New Mexico Press.
I often call there,
There are no poems in it
for me. But as a gesture
of independence of the speeding
traffic I am a part
of, I stop the car,
turn down the narrow path
to the river, and enter
the church with its clear reflection
(Excerpt from Llananno by R S Thomas).