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Pardic Hymn

Looking for a place to setup camp
as the desert sun winked
up the side of the Mesa
the mouth of a cave seemed to breathe, beckoning

With guitar and whiskey jar,
blanket and faithful dog,
I approached and ducked in

A silence hung, so I ventured a call
to warn or ask permission
my voice hung about the walls,
revealing their shape

And just when it seemed there'd be no answer
I felt the silence was bait,
that the emptiness had weight,
even a name...

The Ancients' tome, the bestiary
that scaped the goat out of mystery
gave a face to the legends told

The mottled pard
that sneered and snarled
a mythic howl
they warned us
that it could be hiding in the dark

A rustling just beyond the turn ahead
could it be a mountain lion?
they are known to still prowl near
should I trust in confidence or fear
And just then, someone growled clear
"Who's in here?"

The legends laid the lioness
with the mythic pard
from spirit spawned the sciences
a bastard borne out of sin
and so given spots
to shame him, a leopard

And yet that same tome
said they could be gentle
chase the evil away
keep us safe
keep us safe

Instinct wants to name the fear
much better off if I know
what kind of beast is in here
and when will it show?

Who's there?
is that you?
using my voice?

No answer
No sound
Still I fear
or I hear
it drawing closer

The Ancients named the beast
And so made it real


from Visitors, released April 14, 2021
Ben Hjertmann: voice, bowed psaltery
Emmalee Hunnicutt: voice, cello

Music and Lyrics by Ben Hjertmann


all rights reserved



Ben Hjertmann Asheville, North Carolina


Just Intonation
Microtonal Folk


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