Infinite Culture

Music. Art. Culture. Writing.

Poetry & Music: Jemez Breathing

Jemez Breathing was born in the ethereal crossroads of creation. This track connects music and poetry while exploring history, people, and place. It unlocks the mind and the past simultaneously, and opens the door to stories for those willing to pause, open, and see.

The key elements of this track are the poem (C Infinite/Rafael Otto) and the guitar (Jose Ponce), both of which were written in Jemez Springs, New Mexico. It took some years before they found each other, but when they did this track was meant to be. Add in a Taos Pueblo frame drum, percussion, and some vocal harmonies, and the result feels like destiny.


Piñon woodsmoke mixes
with pale cottonwood
branches, lifts
skyward to meet
a haze of clouds
above canyon walls.
Sunheat against my back
as steam rises
from thermal pools.
I walk
over pebble landscapes
and concrete footpath
as dry leaves scatter
across winter grass.
Wondering zazen,
thoughts like wind
as body takes form
inside the house
of sutra.
Knees point
toward earth,
stillness enters
as I sit,
arms with slight
thoughts breathing,
I universe,
rush of spirit
from bones
of lost time.
All one
through heart center.

Angled footpath,
carved canyon slope.
Boots compress
red earthdust.
Morning wind
through fresh
kiva remains,
Patokwa stones,
a fallen pueblo
where Spanish
and Hemish
Brilliant black obsidian,
fine arrowhead edge
glows brown
in my sunlit palm.
Layers of story
by broken walls
as gray
gnarled branches
point to blue sky
over Astialakwa,
to final refuge,
to memories
of weightless souls,
butterfly warriors,

Red sandstone cliffs
inside canyon
of San Diego
from mile-high mesa
where Hemish pueblo
Open eyes
open, see
what is there,
see deeply
with fresh lens,
with oral story
through compressed time,
volcanic ash, and
infinite battles
where drum song calls
masked dancers
to altar.
Ancestors circle
in brilliant winter light,
my hand warm
from the touch
of sun clan
as pulse rhythm
drives Matachines
across earthdust plaza.
Perceive. Be.
Filters collapse
inside valley
where history
is now, is art, is life
and I universe

Poem originally published on Infinite Culture:


released November 11, 2015
C Infinite/Rafael Otto – Lyrics, vocals, vocal harmonics, frame drum, percussion
Jose Ponce – Guitar, vocal harmonics, mix, mastering

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This entry was posted on January 5, 2016 by in Music, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , .

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All content on Infinite Culture, unless noted otherwise, is copyright © 2016 Rafael Otto. All rights reserved.