Women Center Earth, Sea, and Sky

by Don Paul, Kidd Jordan, Morikeba Kouyaté,

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Don Paul, vocal, bodhran, shakers
Kidd Jordan, tenor saxophone
Morikeba Kouyaté, kora


released January 18, 2016

Recorded at Marigny Studio in New Orleans on July 24, 2014 with Rick G. Nelson as engineer. Mixed by Don Paul and Rick G. Nelson in August 2014. Mastered by Don Paul in November 2015.



all rights reserved
Track Name: Don Paul, Kidd Jordan, Morikeba Kouyaté - I Miss My Wife
I Miss My Wife

Rain needles the roof
Like a dancing drill
And I miss my wife
Not so much from absence
Of her body beaide me--
Limbs and curves and fronds
And amplitudes
For ravishing--
As from the wish
That we could be together
As a single cell or rock or animal
Is together--
That we could be together
As a star
Is together.
Track Name: Lilies
Lilies represent life
Like the bass-lines
Of "Take Me To The River"
And "Going To See You Again"
Flower with bumps of percussion
And darting tongues.
Lilies and bass-lines and ...
Evoke so many elements
In your senses at once
That you must surrender
To belief in their being born
Of a Creator
Many know as God.
"That's right," you say.
"That;s right," you say.
Track Name: Wedding beside a Steamboat House
Wedding beside a Steamboat House

The chimney is askew.
The banana plant is brown.
Bricks are stacked and strewn.
Spouts arc across a pool.
Roots bind to roots beneath decay,
And childen chirrup next to swings
By a Pilot House in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward.

The earnest vows--
The choke in Evan's throat,
Nina likewise intent
As she listens and speaks,
Sure as an arc--
The courage of their carrying through--
Inspire smiles into champagne.

Now has taken a while to come.
Because--because--because ...
All artists are complex
And all seek a love to hold them.
Further, some say
Music and dancing make make for perfect senses.
The player weaves with his wand's dreams,
The dancer goes where her hips know,
As the Iguanas sing en Espanol,
The Pines overhead like woodblocks
From Kyoto.
Track Name: The Dancer under Wraps
The Dancer under Wraps

Two pair of shoes
In her kitchen
Are made of wood,
Shoes with simple lasts and brilliant straps
Like rubies, diamonds or tiara,
Fittings for a ballerina,
The dancer under wraps.

Her blood father
Was a Moise-hearted aviator.
Who flew from Haiti to Germany
In the 1930s.
The father who adopted her
Was Haiti's Ambassador
To Mexico and Great Britain
Before he fled the Papa Doctor Duvalier's regime.

What a fountain is her laughter!
How it rumbles and quakes and peals.
What a marvel her compassion!
Almost she cries
With both laughter and compassion.
How quickly she can move,
Fast as a pulling guard
Or a Gauguin brushstroke,
Erect as a crane's steps
Flying across water.

A child so bold as to declare
At age three: "My mother
Made me this dress and I love it!"
A child taken places, hearing voices
Of Tontin Macoute raised with threats and guns
Outside darkened windows,
A child sheltered across continents
Without a choice in the matter.
Someone who came to ask
Why and how the Church is so rich.

If her skin was a lake,
If her voice was a mother's whispering or a flute
("Kwame'! Oh, Kwame'! …"), if her arms
Were the smoothest cocoa and bread-fruit,
If her eyes were themselves pools of dancing darkness,
She would still be as the sunrise
By your pillow.
Track Name: Don Paul, Kidd Jordan, Morikeba Kouyaté - Sydney Has a Plenty to Show
Sydney Has a Plenty to Show

Sydney has a plenty to show
Her eyes warmly sparkle.
Her walk slinks and wobbles.
She got early warning.
She's not so short.

This girl gussies up--
Dresses fine on the cheap--
Flaunts like an old star--
Devours junk with relish--
Like she mocks stiff forms.

Sydney had to be tough.
Her family went through changes.
"We were treated
Like poor White trash,"
She says still. "It was always them or us."
Her mother was a beautiful addict,
Her family was "a castle",
And so Sydney's head turns down,
Her lip hunches and her body squares,
Ready to fight for pride against shame.

Without that past,
Though, Mother telling how
The poor are not to blame,
Sydney might not flinch so
At animals' pain, exclaim in accents
With her friends, bring flowers into homes,
Wear colors like Matisse's,
Kick bare feet when she laughs,
Hug and rock you like a river.
Track Name: What Is There In This Airport Sings
What Is There in the Airport Sings
(inspired by Mohammad Iqbal,
written for Shafqat Ali Khan)

What is there in the Airport sings?
What is there here among
Glass, steel, orders, and shiny things?
Where is Ardor? Where Falcon? Dew?
Where are voices of Poetry?

Where is the one I love in Terminals A, B, C, D?
What is there here--Zurich, Frankfort, Heathrow, Gatwick--among
Glass, steel, commands and shiny things?
I see her face among the hurrying strangers.
Her eyes rise and leave me in these strangers.

O, Iqbal, we've been made as blank as we are fast.
You called us to the Great's conquests--
Mahals, Canals, Mathematics, Music.
You called us to Jalal, Rumi, Hafiz, ...
Celebrants of many-flavored
Wines and openings into the heart.
You called us to be restless as the River
Which nurtures Tulips, Roses--Kashmir--Dust.
You called us to know Love's
All-absorbing Flame and embrace.

What is there in the Airport sings?
What is there here among
Glass, steel, orders, and shiny things?
O, Iqbal, what I have from you
Are worlds that flow and flower--
See the swan of silver
Flying from its showcase into a dragon's-breath rainbow--
Among these things.
Track Name: Don Paul, Kidd Jordan, Morikeba Kouyaté - It Must Be Love (Word Passed Down through Forbidden Radio)
It Must Be Love
(Word Passed Down through Forbidden Radio)

for Chuck Kinder and John Sinclair on their birthdays

The voices beside your pillow,
Friends past midnight,
Wailing from the River, blowing through the Gaps,
Whistling "Whoo--whoo--Hoo-hoo" for the Gras,
Bring tales and tones so pure and sexual
They lift you like a knife.
Their guitars and drums like Indians,
Slaves and Gospels freed,
Raise heroes from the outlaw,
Racing in the streets,
All they say truer than what's on
Your parents' new black-and-white TV.

The Hill!--the Hill!--
shines beyond Highways' humming fins
The Hill!--the Hill!--
gives you Muddy Waters and Hazel Dickens
The Hill!--the Hill!--
is gained by going far out past Main Street
The Hill!--the Hill!--
asks you to dance like one who can't be seen

Ree-bel! Re-be-ba-be-bah-ah-bop-ee--ah ...

What is this dreamt-for America but promises
That those left out
May rise according to their worth?
What is it but best minds and hearts
In red jackets ripped apart?
What Wars and wars haunt Desks
Of Insurance agents
From George Pickett to the West Virginia John Wayne?
What results might be outright
When fields are level, when the long brown Path is open,
When Old Dean Moriarty's Wobbly
Choices are abundant?
What more might happen to Motor Cities, Iron Cities,
And High Lonesome Country
After Bebop, Doowop, and John Coltrane chords--
Yea-ay-ah!--chords from notes!--
More join Highland melodies?
What more might you bring with your hungry ears,
The wound and bow from pillows' pain?

John reached out to make Rock free as jazz.
John reached out to enrich White with Black.
John reached out to smoke and drink and fuck
Upside-down, under the bed, out in the Lake,
Or any other way or place he liked.
John risked his life for all he felt gave some light.
Chuck punched his way out of West Virginia parking-lots.
Chuck claimed seven Armed Robberies when age seventeen.
Chuck dove into Elizabethans, Matthew Arnold,
The Golden Bough, and McCluhan with the same drive.
Chuck threw up the past to ride whatever bus was out there.
Chuck brought friends West to share in edges' glow.

Decades pass. Partners split
And losses wrench.
Knives of Indians and Blacks show up in the dark.
Water Follies lap against corpses found beside the Ocean.
A Jimmy Carter, a Ronald Reagan, a Bush and a Clinton
Are U. S. President.
John and Chuck smoke and drink,
Teach, create, promote and inspire
More who listen and talk around kitchen tables.
They keep pumping up forbidden radio.
They can be ignored but not stopped.
Their beards thin to catch light.

What is the word abideth Night?
What is the sound of Spirits bright?
What holds the hand that grips your hand
On what might have been your death-bed?
What moves the horns of devotees
Who play to be a force for good?
What is the force made strangers by your bed
Call you to be their friends, to know their worlds,
To sing through the wounded throats of wild birds?
What is the word, the sound, the force, you heard?

It must be love. It must be love. It must be love.
Like a knife. Like a bell. Like Gods' own bells.
Raging love. Tender love.
Unbending and undying love.
Calling you to go out there,
Do your thing and make it ring.
Like endless light in giant night.
The word, the sound, the force, you heard,
So 'way back when and all your life,
Under Ben Bulben and in Tunica,
Eric Dolphy and Patsy Cline.
The light you bring your road ahead,
Like endless balm for wounded birds to get it right.
It must be love. All will be well.
It must be love. All will be well
If we can love. It must be love.
All will be well. It must be love....

Don Paul