“I draw a jackal-headed woman in the sand,
sing of a lover’s fate sealed by jealous hate,
then wash my hand in the sea.

With just three days more
I’d have just about learned the entire score
to Aida.

Holidays must end as you know.
All is memory,
taken home with me:
the opera,
the stolen tea,
the sand drawing,
and the verging sea,
all years ago.”

Music has always been my muse, the basis and the background to anything I write, and the undercurrent of emotion that helps the pen slide across the paper (or the fingers dance across the keys) – turning inner thoughts and contemplations into strung together words.

This song has always been one of my favorites, ever since the first time I heard it; another last track that I love, from the 10,000 Maniacs album, In My Tribe.

Years ago I wrote this while listening to Verdi Cries on repeat:

Story re-writes

Beneath the surface of love,
interlocking webs lie,
tangled and varied in direction,
latching on and letting go.

Sometimes the synapse fires,
inducing benevolence,
and belief. At other ends the water leaks in,
laced in doubt,
as we begin to sink.

Miles pass between us,
even while sitting side by side,
and the soul is seen waving,
mailing a postcard home.

It is then that we must swim upstream,
break the mold while wet,
as we carve our initials in,
glue up the cracks,
recover from the fall.

The fog will return,
our feet ever slipping off stone;
on better days the parachute opens,
for the both of us.

No one ever said it would be easy slips,
because some cliches write themselves,

So we memorize and fluctuate our tone,
remind each other we are electricity,
that we begin to connect,
when we let each other,

We begin at the end,
and end to begin,

Verdi Cries
(live) :: Natalie Merchant

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