Posts Tagged ‘song’

Letting the Small Ache Sing




Not yet dirt,

the outline

of squirrel is still visible

on the hard earth

of the back road—

I step over what remains,


how many other lives

I’m walking on.

There are infinite ways

to praise,

among them

these words:

I am sorry.

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Two, If You Let Me

in the forest of you

I will find the empty branches,

become a song bird


don’t get me wrong—

I, too, love silence,

shall we speak it together?

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After a Difficult Day

Because my heart is aching,

I clean the stove. It’s covered

in dark brown stains, stains

so burned on they seem

to be part of the stainless steel.

Because I am practical, I wear

plastic gloves while I scour.

I know that the cleaner

would ripple my fingers and dry

my skin for days. And because

I would rather not cry right now,

I turn on my music and play

Joni Mitchell as loud as the speakers

will play. She always knows

just what to say. There are some

places now where the stovetop gleams

so silver it looks nearly new. There

are some stains I know, that no matter

how many hours I scrub,

they will never leave.

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I thread song through night—

silence follows each note,

unstitches every one

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a singer lasts a season long, while the song it lasts forever

            —“Good Friend,” Jan Harmon

oh bliss in being

this very bird hearing

a thousand thousand other songs

inside this one


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For the Ears of Your Ears

You can reach the innermost self of another by creating from the innermost self in you.
—Ken Paradis

Inside the song you are singing
is another song, the song you

are too timorous to sing. It has a secret
tune that only you know, though

sometimes you forget. No one
has taught the song to you,

and so when you lose the thread
of melody, you struggle to find it again,

and sometimes you find you’ve forgotten
that, too, how to retrieve the melody,

and so you begin to sing louder
some other common tune,

or perhaps you stop singing at all
and notice a widening hollow space

where the song would be.
There is no shame in this.

Silence is as much a part of song
as notes. And eventually

the song will give itself
back to you, will sing its melody

within your inner emptiness,
is more beautiful for the emptiness.

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Gretel Explains Herself

all those crumbs I left
on the path, it’s not
that I want to go back

it’s just that I happen to like
birdsong wherever I go

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