Posts Tagged ‘singing’



we sit in a circle

a hammock of song appears—

it cradles us all night

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singing beside the falls

the sound of the water

drowns out our voices

but that isn’t any reason

to stop singing

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The sound of your breath is the quietest of songs.

—Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening



Maybe on that day

when we think, I forgot

to sing, that’s when we

realize that all day long

we harmonized with the world

in the quietest of songs—

joined in without any effort,

no striving at all,

and maybe that is the day

when we stop trying

to be heard and start

to notice the song

inside every other song,

the song inside every other being,

how perfectly in tune we are,

how easily we join—no conductor,

no notes, no beat, just one perfect

air. Maybe that’s the day we hear

the metronome of our own

steady heart and say to it,

I will trust you, feel the truth

of the song as it slips

from our lips, then

rushes in to fill us again.

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Big Love




singing the same song

again and again—

each time, finding new wings

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There are yet words that come near the unsayable,

and, from crumbling stones, a new music

to make a sacred dwelling in a place we cannot own.


—Rainer Maria Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus, Part Two X



Before bed, my daughter asks me

why in school they learn to sing,

I mean, she says, it’s not like that’s

what we’ll do when we grow up.


And part of me longs to answer her

with stories of my own—

how the stone of our losses dissolves

into tune, how we become wave,


become surge, blur with tone,

how song opens up every door

we might close, how it holds us

when nothing and no one else will.


Instead, I tuck the question

under her pillow as she climbs in bed,

hope it finds the trapdoor into her sleep,

hope the unsayable answer will weave itself


into her dreams like a river,

like light in a forest, like a breeze

in July, like a song that finds the lips

again and again and each time makes them new.

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Walking on the muddy path, I try

to convince myself it would be easy

to be happy. I’m not hurt, my family is well,

and the sun is almost out. I tell myself,

look, look how the ice from last night’s storm

clings to the tips of the branches

and, as it melts, see how the whole world

seems to gather in a drop. But there is a snarl

deep within that is snagged in the thorns,

trapped in the ice, intent on locking itself

out of heaven. It scowls at the wind,

at the sound of the traffic, it grimaces

at the story of itself and retells the same

sad story. It is hours later I notice

how easy it is to fall in love with the world—

how it takes no effort, no convincing at all

to weep at the beauty of hundreds of people

singing together, oh the deep melting,

how the whole world gathers in a drop.




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Hurry, Hurry




So when we get to the measure

in the Hungarian folksong

where a man begs a boatman

to carry him across the sea

where his lover is waiting,

we decide as a group to sing it hushed,

hushed but urgent, says Jenny,

and we all agree, though when we get

to the phrase, we all forget the hush

and collectively belt out his longing

like a celebration, urgent and vital,

of all the longing that rings the world,

all the ways we yearn to connect, to love,

to stand beneath the window

of the one we adore and say

here, I am here.

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Our lives are full of unexpected surges of kindness that seem to come from nowhere.

—Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening



Under the plum tree

I sit with a stranger

and sing for an hour

the old songs—

we take turns

with the melody

and the harmony

and for this time

the heart forgets

the word loneliness

and the plums fall

red and heavy

into our un-expecting hands.


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It’s poetry set to music … come hear Heartbeat in concert. Seven women singing all genres of music, a cappella.

Here’s a link to an article about our group and what one might expect at the concert.


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I hear America singing, varied carols I hear.
–Walt Whitman

After the mashed potatoes were passed
and after the wine was sipped from the glass
and after the children had left their plates
and before we were ready for pie and cake
we sat around the table and sang
Hotel California, Scarborough Fair,
Morning Has Broken, Walk the Line,
Blister in the Sun, Wild Mountain Thyme
Moon River and My Romance,
Blood on the Saddle, If I Were a Rich Man,
and the words we didn’t know we hummed
or we la-dee-dahed until we found
a phrase to lead us in again.
It’s so like music, gratitude,
the way it draws us closer in
and makes the world feel intimate,
as if anything could happen,
even peace, even love.

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