Tag Archives: sound

The Undertone: terza rima

Underneath the skin, a single notion
supports how life unfolds from start to end.
Beneath the bustle of the world’s commotion,

it floats in just a whisper on the wind.
In quiet moments, it can be detected,
first here, then there, and then it’s gone again.

This song speaks to the lonely and infected,
the disenfranchised and the left behind.
To listen is feel far less neglected,

to find relief to ease a troubled mind;
and in the falling darkness, light a candle
that saves the world from stumbling on, blind.

If you sit still and listen, you will hear
a music that transcends both hate and fear.

02 JUN 2017

The Wind’s Words: roundel

Who can say what words the wind has spoken,
when cast out in the night, it has its say?
Its speech slips out in whispers, clipped and broken.
Who can say

what language that it speaks, to curse, or pray;
and what translation key exists, what token,
to know its words, first heard at break of day?

So many lonely years it speaks, heartbroken,
unanswered in misunderstood wordplay.
What conversation passes with the woken?
Who can say?

12 MAY 2017

Out Back: an observation

The short grass under the spreading live oak
is mostly dead – a dappled green
stretch of dirt that seems to soak up
the shadows cast from the tree limbs
just starting to burst with new growth
this spring.

In this shade, gray squirrels and red-winged blackbirds,
bluejays and golden finches, too,
flit quickly to and fro between the feeders:
high on the black electric lines
one minute, then down into
the still dewy morning lawn the next,
grasping a brown seed or two in their black shiny
beaks, as their partners
and lovers
and children
sing merrily out from above,
“Come here, come quick! There’s food!”

06 APR 2014

A simple turn of phrase

While would-be existentialists
consume their lives with endless lists
of what-might-just-as-well-have-beens
from birth through death and in between,

I will continue, more or less,
in both malaise and happiness
to seek, to find, to stand amazed
when hearing what songs still are made

by those who choose to find the notes
between the strings, beyond the throat
in that strange music where each sound
reverberates and shakes the ground,
and with a simple turn of phrase
exists beyond all saccharine praise.

01 APR 2013

The voice you hear

The voice you hear is not my voice; lost in the sound of your own making,
these words were new-forged long before the human throat began to hum,
and then began to form the shapes of bringing-into-being charms.

Before the echo of that utter, in the silence between seconds
where the space of breath expands beyond time and being
these words lived aeons and grew old awaiting tongues to speak their names.

The voice you hear is not my voice; it is the sound that throbs beneath
a single raindrop’s spattering. It is your voice I hear;
and yet you have not mouth or tongue, nor one sigh’s force to use.

04 JUN 2005


What is the sound that echoes in the ears
when all is silent and the earth, asleep,
leaves off its boisterous clamor and harangue,
its endless waves of wild, chaotic speech,
and in a mute and restful slumber dreams?

The world in such a chasm’s wake was born,
its roots entwined around a primal hush
that swallowed nothingness without a word
and cast itself out like a spider’s web
from shadow’s body into space and time.

The frequency at which that first hum sounds
destroys the fibers of its universe;
each phase an ending that begins again,
a great abyss which endlessly refills,
reverberating in ears not yet made.

Infinity is but a moment’s span
as worlds wink in and out like distant stars;
and time becomes an artificial guide,
a meaningless contrivance marking out
where one illusion borders on the next.

20 DEC 2004

There are no words

There are no words to capture this
exquisite moment of pure bliss
between the grasp and letting go
between the thought and need to know

There are no words that can express
the soft caressing tenderness
of just a second’s quiet peace
between holding and just released

Drowned out by a heartbeat,
its low murmur barely heard
below the gentle cry of stones
that wish to become birds

There are no words that can relate
the edge of time, the end of fate,
between the lines the phrases flow
and not yet sentenced, fade and go.

There are no words to ponder on
from hallowed texts, their marrow gone;
between each page, a film of dust
speaks what it can, to whom it must.

20 DEC 2004