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Posts Tagged ‘Ulli Sir Jesse’

By Example


for Ulli, Happy Birthday!


I love harmony, she says as she claps
and laughs and settles in her chair
in the sun. And I think of all the times
we have sung, have sung in harmony—
in stairwells and forests, on stages
and in living rooms, standing
in the current of the Gunnison River
and sitting on the back stoop of the farm,
our voices soaring on different paths together—
like two notes holding hands as they move
together through time.
I have come to trust her voice below
as I sing in some interval above.
I have come to trust what voices do
is a metaphor for love. I have come
to trust that dissonance can always
be resolved. I have come to trust
that harmony is the soundtrack of the soul.
And so we sing. We sing again—
sing in the sun, in the rain.
And though we sing of loss, though we sing
of great change, though we sing
of goodbyes and breaking chains,
the harmony offers its beauty to everything,
and so in this uncertain world
she finds and shares harmony
and we sing and we sing and we sing.

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for Ulli Sir Jesse

Surrounded with falling,
you choose joy.

Given a minor tune,
you change a note

and the melody, now major,
finds new gaps

in the day’s dark staves.
Given a lump, you dissolve it

with tears. In the face of loss,
you smile and offer your hand.

In the hail, you sing. In the dark,
you sing. And all along the trail,

you sing and invite the world
to sing with you. I will sing

with you. Though I weep,
I will sing with you. Though

you move father away, I sing
with you, I sing with you

wherever you go, I sing
because that is what we do,

we who know harmony
as one of the ladders

to god, we who feel how
the song sings us, and because

you have taught us
so beautifully, we sing,

though it sounds perhaps
more like gurgling tonight,

more like keening, or wailing,
we sing, gonna rise up, we sing.

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