Little Bird: rannaigheacht ghairid


Little bird:
did you think that no one heard
your bright melody at dawn,
long gone before day’s first word?

Seems absurd
that your little tune conferred
on my thoughts such peaceful ease
across the breeze, little bird.

17 APR 2017

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Richie Havens


I always felt he sang with such authority,
as if his way was how the song should be,
and let the writer of it know, in no uncertain terms,
that they could use it too, once in a while.

Like John the Baptist, unlike Isaac’s Moses,
I always heard him from the wilderness,
imagining he dined on honeyed locusts
and came in from the desert with his song.

He could employ a rumble or a whisper,
cacaphony or simple silent prayer
in service to a song’s deep, inner meaning;
he sang no song that did not have it there.

At Woodstock, he seemed like a great prophet;
I wonder, just how many lives were changed.
He taught that music could indeed work wonders,
and heal wounds better than it could destroy.

23 APR 2013

for Richard Pierce “Richie” Havens (1941-2013)

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Song within: a cyrch a chwta


The human voice was made to sing;
and to the dull roar of life, bring
a force that grounds us in all things.
From the soprano, giving wing
to angel’s tones gone traveling,
to basso, low and rumbling:
the song connects us, soul and skin,
to what within us keeps living.

05 MAY 2011

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Sing, Then: a cyhydedd hir


To fill life with song,
sing out all day long
both right notes, and wrong;
do not be shy.

Don’t worry the notes.
Just listen, and quote;
and do keep your throat
from getting dry.

The subject, the text?
The world, more or less;
what small things impress
you, just sing about.

Don’t keep it inside;
set it free to glide
out into the wide
world. Go on, shout!

04 MAY 2011

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