Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Voices heard---early 2015

Greg Brown,

the song-singer, sings 
to the singularity
of usefulness…

to voice itself as certain 
a signal of the needs 
of this age

as one will ever hear.


Taking each day on its own terms, 
living deliberately everything 
deliberately given, 

grounding appreciation 
where words 
don’t go.


Because each thing in its place: time.


the moon behind the clouds beyond the ridge 
there to the west 

a click or two past full—from here 

but for hushed light 
tracing its turning away


For the young,

the open road speaks 
to a freedom that lies
beyond itself.

The old, of course, 
learn to nurture each 
season’s gardens.

And either way, 
the horizon calls for all eyes
to rise.


Even the untutored eye can read 
the sky’s blue quicken 

the heart 
to open.


of a single drop, 
a river in the making,

each among all, 
the oceans—moving

water moves water, 


Without equivocation, 
ocean lifts fog 

to bank the inland ridge, 
to creep the canyoned streams, 

to mist the valley air in dew—what makes 
our thinking think its difference 

from this as us, as we, 
as a part of 

this greater truth 
and grace.


Because Sandino…

because it’s my grandson’s hand. This, 
most likely the last of its kind for me—I reach down, 
he reaches up, because he knows we, knows 

we together will negotiate this terrain, that 
crossing, the higher reach of the trail 
ahead. He knows.

Like the crush of eucalyptus leaves 
heals like the scent of millenniums of early springs 
like this the one we together walk, he knows.


And so for words, lasting meaning 
is not merely what they hold, 

but how and where they might 
move us.


As poet I wonder of the songs in purposeful writing, 
of the poems there and how they’ll be found 
when the shell of self rounds to hard 
what the heart might hear of open wholeness.

And I’m in wonder too at the songs of suffering 
and struggle, at the trusting voice of deliberate witness 
and the patience that weighs at the tip of the pen 
that moves at the edge of that music.


Is there then a final turn,
or is it more shifting qualities,
movements, more shadows moving

through lilting light ?