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Posts Tagged ‘sound’

Ode to the Sigh


 
Smallest of songs,
you give voice
to the breath,
a wordless expression
of sorrow or happiness.
You seem to say,
Yes, that’s how it is,
a quiet doorway
that leads to acceptance.
You soften. You smooth.
You signal a feeling
that’s moving through.
You change silence
the way moonlight
changes a room—
so slightly, and yet
from the edge of perception,
you say to me,
Sweetheart,
pay attention.

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Ode to the Echo


Sister of silence, you give back to the world
the shadow of every sound you are given.
You reshape the air to unsharpen the shout.
You unshrill the scream until it’s quieter,
quieter,
then nothing at all.
There is no sound so harsh you can’t soften it.
And come song? You re-sing the melody
so beauty will linger like the rich shimmer inside a gong.
Not once have you said your own words.
Not once have you intoned your own tune.
Not once have you heard your own voice
or spoken your own truth.
Not once have you lied.
Not once have you made a promise
you could not keep.   
Sometimes, when I am brave,
I try to echo you, which is to say
I let silence enter my inner walls,
where it bounces in me like sound in a cave
until all I hear is the resonant repeat
of the most ancient of languages you speak—
silence, silence, silence.
There is no part of me uneroded,
no part your waves don’t touch.

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Long after our eyes adjusted
to the small, round beams of light
that shined on thick white columns
and reflected the rings of drips into shallow pools,
after we’d become accustomed
to the resonant dim,
at last we found a place to sit
and turned off our lights
and listened to the dark.
The only sound, the astonished heart,
persistent breath, and the drip,
drip, drip of stalactites doing their patient work.
How I longed to bring us all
into the cave where we are forced to forget
any differences the light might suggest.
How I loved the way my senses stretched out
to feel the other beating hearts.
Imagine we could do this every night—
could feel the other hearts in the dark,
all of them beating like our own.
Imagine no storms could touch us.
Imagine we forgot it could ever be any other way—
your heart, my heart, beating wild,
listening for each other.

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One Rev



 
 
roar of the highway
beside it in an evening primrose
a bee, thunderous

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At first I hear only the fan.
The hum of the fridge.
The whine of a faraway motor.
I wait. I listen a long time
until I hear the slightest silence
from thirty years ago
when that butterfly wing in China
didn’t flap and so the weather didn’t change
and so until this moment,
the woman today didn’t know
that she was missing so much laughter
thirty years ago.

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Just because I can’t hear the wind on Mars
without the sound being raised two octaves
doesn’t mean the Martian wind wouldn’t open a sail—
doesn’t mean it wouldn’t blow off my hat
or fly my kite or create thick swirls of red dust.

Just because I could barely hear the wind on Mars
with my human ears doesn’t mean
the wind wouldn’t flip up my skirt. So many forces
just beyond our senses have powerful effect—
like the words that just today I didn’t hear you say,

yet I know by the way my skin shivers they’re true.
I know, just as sure as the wind blows on Mars,
it takes just one gust to make a thousand seeds go flying.
And I am a weed with ten thousand seeds.
And those words I didn’t hear today, they’re the wind.

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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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Anthem

 

 

 

Today’s anthem is not

my chorus of curses

when the cat knocked

the glass of sauvignon blanc

into my open laptop.

It’s not the clashing swords

in the movie we watched

nor the sobbing

that shook me this morning

when I tried to speak of loss.

The anthem is not

the click of the door

nor the snap of the branch

beneath the Stellar’s jay

nor the soundless slide

of the moon.

Today’s anthem was the hum

I know you would have made

if you’d held me while I wept,

the waves of our breath

inviting us to wade

deeper in.

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Apparently no one told the tickle in my throat

that this was a silent retreat.

All it wanted to do was explore the sound

of throat clearing, the sound of cough.

 

All around me the sound of nothing

but breathing and sitting, but in me,

this tickle saying Notice me, Notice me.

Here I am and what will you do about it?

I told the tickle, If I were freeclimbing,

I would ignore you. My life would depend on it.

 

The tickle said, but you’re here,

here in a quiet room, and your life is at stake

in a much different way. What are you willing

to notice? What do you wish away?

Isn’t this just one more way you tell yourself

life would be better if it were different?

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surrounded by the most

lovely silence

the crow

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