What is secret song that the whole world
hums underneath its breath, too soft to hear
unless you sit in silence, in the dark
and listen as intently as you can?
And when you hear it once, why it is so
that its refrain eludes your memory’s grasp?
Does it vibrate on some harmonic scale
that with its very echo self-destructs?
The melody, so simple and so pure,
seems to be shifting constantly in flux
so that each phrase is new; no line repeats,
nor lends itself to rote and mindless chant.
The rhythm pulses static long enough
to catch your heartbeat’s diastolic thump,
but suddenly it swells in pregnant pause
to fill all time in but a moment’s breath.
I have heard music played beyond my ken,
so wild and free it stretched my sonic grasp
to breaking; and then all the pieces slipped
back to their assigned cells of time and space.
Long past that last note’s echo I will know
what symphony the universe conducts;
and in that gaping chasm, my small voice
awaits the cue to loose its single note.
What secret song is known to the whole world,
yet takes a lifetime’s listening to hear?
The sound of living, one breath at a time,
and finding sacred every sip of air.
20 APR 2005