Indiana University Press
Audrey J. (Audrey Joan) Whitson - Cante Jondo - Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 21:1 Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 21.1 (2005) 108-109

Cante Jondo


Andalucía the name
comes apart in the speaking
walk run stroll in the light
carriers cante jondo
deep song emerges
from the highest and the lowest
places all at once held together
by the motion of hands and feet
the music of flamenco
the dancers old and young
singing ancient singing rock
singing lightning volcano
singing mountain passes
always of the journey
singing Our Lady
her moist wide caves


Tapping guitars
finger bells
shoes the notes stepping
sudden shouts move
out across the courtyard haunting
castanets cross thumb and palm
this play of hands
a click click clicking
sharp like a bird
solid like a drum
must be ancient impulse
this dance with our hands
soleá 3-6-8-10-12
this wanting to cut the darkness
with a knife to the throat [End Page 108]


At Montserrat holy
mountain dark maiden
pilgrims dance rounds
on your belly
your lap opens with the tide
in the caves dark mother
people have knelt to touch
waves breaking below
bent to kiss your opening
the waves break below
heels break the rhythm
hands clap below
the dancer wheels hard
fingers caress the strings
the guitars break once
the waves break below
the guitars break twice
   break three times
the music singing love
singing birth
singing blood
Audrey J. Whitson is a Canadian writer, photographer, and theologian. She has taught courses in women's spirituality and ecological spirituality at St. Joseph's College and at St. Stephen's College, in Edmonton, Alberta. Her recent book, Teaching Places (2003), about journeys into western Canadian wilderness, was short-listed for several awards. For more about her work, visit