Pressed Like Flowers

The past it is a magic word
Too beautiful to last,
It looks back like a lovely face—
Who can forget the past?
There’s music in its childhood
That’s known in every tongue,
Like the music of the wildwood
All chorus to the song.

(From the poem “Childhood,” by John Clare, in I Am: The Selected Poetry of John Clare, edited by Jonathan Bate, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003.)

Ralph White

Remember Everything

Weariness of Men

My grandmother said when she was young
The grass was so wild and high
You couldn’t see a man on horseback.

In the fields she made out
Three barns,
Dark and blown down from the weather
Like her husbands.

She remembers them in the dark,
Cursing the beasts
And how they would leave the bed
In the morning,
The dead grass of their eyes
Stacked against her.

(From What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford, Copper Canyon Press, 2015. A songwriter’s poet. Buy this book. But it now.)

Ralph White

Riverman

Austin-based loner, wanderer, song-collector, explorer, experimenter, Afrolachian, curator of cultural inheritance, Ralph White is a man who would have amused the likes of Bill Monroe, the “Father of Bluegrass,” even as his versions of bluegrass cross boldly into the exposed and unprotected lands of punk. His tunings would have impressed the likes of Nick Drake. White lives and works outside of the small definitions that rule the rest of our lives. Just imagine what it must take, to let go that much, of all the structures and desires that bind us and keep us trapped in our limitations. Here he’s playing an in-store show at the exciting new space at The Business, two one-hour sets, unflagging in the summer heat, in Anacortes, WA; storytelling and camping and playing his unfolding songs up the West Coast, living close to the earth, traveling in light. The original riverman.