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MP3 Dale Harris - Once We Were Winged

Poems as prayers from the old soul of a wise woman poet: words & music to lift the heart & deepen the soul. Lyric, melodic flute, rich double bass, rattle and drum accompany these ventures into mythic realms.

11 MP3 Songs
SPOKEN WORD: Poetry, FOLK: like Joni

My first encounter with Dale Harris''s poetry happened on a dreamy blue and gold May afternoon in Mountainair, NM. We had just met and were seated in the shade of a mutual friend''s adobe patio, pleasantly chatting when she offered to "tell" me some of her poems. As she began to recite "Youngest Sage" her comfortably slouched body and head rose up regally in her chair, and her face took on the wild, entranced stare of a Sybil possessed by a fierce god. It seemed to me that butterflies and crickets, bats and hummingbirds, eagles and sunflowers flew from her throat into the desert air. I smelled the acrid fumes of the grotto, sensed the movements of snakes, and Dale''s sublime words became for me the holy shrieks of an oracle. It was an incredible experience and I kept thinking "How does she do this?"
Listening to Dale''s new CD, "Once We Were Winged" the chill I associate with epiphany runs down my spine once again. In "Frost Moon" a cold, cruel moon looks upon a chorus of Lloronas, calaveras, ruined women rising out of a desert river. A parable with a classical theme and style, "Wings" recounts the labors of an Icarus-like hero who nearly drowns himself in his wife, the Sea, then yearning for the masculine, endures a 12-year odyssey preparing to throw himself into the Sun.
"Love of A God" is frighteningly reminiscent of the Olympian Gods'' amoral, brutal love of mortals; we are haunted by the specter of a ruthless and irresistible Aphrodite, though in the poem she is un-named. "A Season of Moths" tells a story about an evening when hoards of moths swarm out of the night through open windows, with accompanying fluff ("shards of clouds") from Cottonwoods, bringing chaos and wildness, and another kind of mind into the lovely, ordered, and polite poetry reading.
In "911" transcendence and horror merge. The voice is first that of an eagle "Antiphony, alone, apart . . . silent . . .the Eye of God" witnessing spirits rising from fallen bodies of 911 victims as: "the fine, bright light of them, leaving, such beauty . . . like living crystals." The watcher descends "I fell to earth and became a man, to start the work of rescue, the burial of the dead." And finally, apocalyptic images so prophetic and terrible, I trembled: "The reign of monkeys and of ghosts begun. They will find other gods to worship now."
How does Dale Harris weave these visceral, shattering images that confound analysis? What IS this poetry? I believe for a few souls the world morphs into images, then language that defies grammar, shattering our lenses and liberating the spirits in things. Such creative acts are rare; they mine beauty from the otherwise fearful places the world attempts to smother, smash, and uproot, and so remove from language. Dale''s poetry is an exquisite hierogamy between the illuminated, ecstatic world of sight and the dark, sublime world of mystery. I am grateful for the lightning rod of her Muse that ignites within me the fire of both worlds!

Gary Yamane, Mike Balistreri and stavros provide extraordinary musical accompaniment that mirror the startling power of Dale''s words, creating a dramatic fugue of voice, flute and synthesizer, rattle and drum.

Willow Simmons, PhD
Taos, NM

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