Exhaling, I Get Dizzy
From one note flattened
to the next floating whole,
textured with rustling
stalks and the sweet odor
of dried grasses, you
detach, drift off.
What colors this tone, you
ask. What sings my day?
On Listening to Edgar Meyer
Smoke, and bent grass,
the earth rippling underfoot.
A child throwing stones
but never at random.
You wonder that one suggests
laughter, as a second draws tears.
Still, it drags you in.
Like water seeking its level,
a depression that must be fed.
You ride that deep current
never questioning its source,
complete in the moment. Filled.
Edgar Meyer’s music removes me from my body, transports me to another plane, one free of politicians and avarice, a place where truth matters. Today has been a good day to listen, to absorb. And hey, those fellows he’s playing with ain’t too shabby…
Self-Portrait with Mandolin
of wood and
steel, I accept
frame our days;
Almond to tree,
sound in time.
I root among
When I cannot
see, my hands
find the way.
Boundless, it sips direction in the way of all music,
tonguing each note for its salt.
We call this ecstasy. Or peace.
Follow, and they still escape, always beyond
our outstretched fingers.
Exhale slowly. What do you know?
That long tunnel, ribbed in silence.
The scent of burning cedar.
Days framed in darkness and birdsong.
* * *
Note: Suizen is the practice of playing the shakuhachi, the traditional Japanese bamboo flute, as a means of attaining self-realization.
“Morning Suizen” first appeared on Nine Muses Poetry. Many thanks to editor Annest Gwilym for taking this piece.
Dictionary of Dreams
You do not know their secret names.
Mine is the music of metal and wood.
Human voices behind walls.
Trapped in reds, in chiseled words.
And silence. Always silence.
Or the filtered woodwinds at dawn.
How to describe her body?
The quickness of night. Year’s demise.
A family of ghosts hidden in these halls.
“Dictionary of Dreams” was published in Kingdoms in the Wild in April 2018.
Theory and Practice of Tension (duet for guitar and mandolin)
By compromise I mean the gap between desire and
ability, the difference between mist and fog, cold air
and warmer water. Held taut, the line remains constant,
reciprocated energy observing Hooke’s Law. Though
inadequate in our attempts, in singing we often express
more than words convey, a bridging of music and lyric,
the extension commensurable to the force, as in the
bended A string trilling at dusk, words shimmering
nearby: equilibrium in thought and deed, in body and
intent. And what is the yield strength of need, of want
and notion? The fertile tremolo, plying note upon note,
peace through constant velocity. Presuming failure,
I limit my attentions and compress. When the sum of all
forces equals zero, we attain balance, owing no one.
Proportional to distance: the strings and bridge.
My friend Chuck and I get together on occasion to make noise with guitar and mandolin. We are not musicians. But we laugh, sing tunes written for better voices, drink good beer, and enjoy ourselves. Occasionally the sound we achieve transcends our abilities. I live for those moments.
“Theory and Practice of Tension” first appeared here in April 2016.
We can all use a helping hand from time to time.
These guys are awesome. Happy 4th of July!