This episode of Unfolded featured a collection of poems by artist Rachel Smith. You can follow her on twitter here, and listen to some of her music here.

(Episode 4)

(Episode 5)

he built a boat
and set to sea
on what he’d
carved out of life

he was going to discover
what there was worth sailing for
where it was
the sun slept
he was going to discover
exactly where it was
the earth was born

he spent his days
floating in blind waters
too deep to drop anchor
always looking ahead
convinced the sea behind him
was where he’d left it
but it was always beneath him
pushing him in lonely circles
for days of dizzying hope
a victim of current

he had forgotten the stars
neglected the subtle way
with which they could guide him
he never looked up to discover
the middle of nowhere
is still somewhere
when he sleeps at the center
of everything
where he slept
the sun slept
where the earth was born
so too was he
at the center of everything

he stood,
a pillar of charcoal
in this blinding hour
i was so pale
the sun shone through me
i moved around him
brushing by
in a delirious dance
where we touched
strokes of hand and face appeared
as in a sketch
i stepped back
covered in ash
and able to see myself again

whose child is this?
camouflaged against the walls
of his clean white wilderness
who, sterilized and sunblocked,
never knows to take a breath
of unrecycled air
the son of angles
whose first word is his name
and who knows he’ll live forever

where did he come from?
trailing behind him
an electrical umbilical
pumped alive with battery acid
synapses firing
from remote locations

how is he walking the streets?
pale as a simulated medieval king
i watch him pass,
my own child in tow
dirt feet and holey knees
face sticky with wild adventure

whose child is this?
acutely aware
there are no more frontiers
so comfortable
with his possession of this world
he reaches up
plucking another from the sky

this giant,
over exposed and under developed,
who travels round the earth
in three steps
yawns at the sunrise
complains when it rains
who keeps his mother around
for his analogue needs
and who won’t step into the bushes barefoot
for his curiosity takes him
only as far as the door

he turns back toward us
analytical and anxious
i wonder
who my child is
in the eyes of this ghost-faced prototype
and if they’ll ever meet again

somewhere over Kentucky
the sky drew a deep
yogic inhale
and showered the road
with her thunderous welcome
reminding us
that she knew how to sing
before we could speak

i watched her fold in on herself
curling in and around
every branch of the skyline
until she had the grip
to pull closer to earth
she stood on our roofs
dressed in greens and greys
sobbing like she couldn’t bear
to have been that far away from us
for much longer
like we meant to keep her there
she found my only open window
as she threw herself
against the faces of sleeping houses
i let her crawl in
and lay in my bed
settling next to me in search of quiet

cradling the storm until she slept
i was mother to something bigger than myself
which is to be a mother at all

untethered by the sea
she spit me ashore
wind-whipped by salt and sand
another stone ground to dust
i laid my head to rest
beneath a cloud of gulls
blocking the sun
flying against the wind
screeching a thousand needs
with my eyes closed
and my ear to the ground
i heard your step
through every grain that held me
i raised my head in disbelief
but for miles all i could see
was the ocean that pushed me away
and gull prints in the sand