Posts Tagged ‘improvisation’



All day the world improvises

a song for me—song of bickering robins

and whispering grass, bright chime

of a text and gravel trucks that grumble

on the highway as they pass.


The song I would sing for you, let it be

as spontaneous as the chattering

of the cat watching hummingbirds,

as sharp as the flap of the flag in the wind.

Let me not sing the same song I’ve sung before.


This is the time to sing it new, to sing

the song we didn’t know we were brave enough

to sing. This is the time to sing

the most honest song, thorn song,

green song, yelp of relentless shine.


This is the time to sing as if our lives

depend on it, sing the song

that comes out of attending.

Song of pushing through dirt.

Song we don’t know yet.



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One New Melody



finding a hum

on the air, letting it

land on my lips

all the blue day

it sings me

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One Survival




going straight

in the turn only lane—

time to invent wings

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Driving through the canyon at dark,

I sing along with the radio.

I stumble on the lyrics

and make up the verses I don’t know.


Earlier tonight, I watched again

the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet.

I knew all the words, have heard them before,

have read them and said them

and wept for them a dozen-some times.


We did not stay for the ending,

not because it always ends the same,

but because it was late and past time

for the children to be in bed.


But I wanted to stay, to watch

as the terrible knives

did their terrible work.

It is perhaps not so different

from the way we slow

when driving past an accident,

curious about just how bad it can get.


It gets bad. And sometimes

traveling through the wreck of love

I wish there were a script

I could study to know

which right words came next.

And sometimes I am glad

to be driving through the dark,

forgetting the words, humming

through the bridge, making it up

as the turns get tighter.

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I don’t know my lines.
That is always the case,
only this time, the props

were not set, either,
and I am frantically
baking popovers

for the first act.
Five minutes before curtain,
I tell the other two actors,

“I’m going to have to improvise.”
They look at me in astonishment,
not because they are disappointed

but because they can tell
I only just this moment
knew that was an option.

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