Friday, February 16, 2018

(for erin)

when i ask, where have the redpolls gone,
and why the silence at my seed station

your eyes, unbidden twin candles
startle grace into a response

like that pair of deer on your icy path,
your laughter reminds me of the absurdity

of installing Pele as a leg in my kitchen stool,
and then expecting that to last

Monday, February 12, 2018

both sides now - Joni Mitchell

I have not seen it, I summoned it listening to music.
The instruments play for themselves, in their own eternity.

--Czesław Miłosz

Joni Mitchell singing "Both Sides Now," in 1970.

Was anyone else fascinated by this song, as a child? I was; not because I, too, spied, precisely, ice cream castles in the air, but by virtue of the fact that Joni's voice opened the door to a magical palace of melody for me, and, once there, I found a staircase leading into the imagery of possibility and ambiguity, although I did not yet possess the words to express these thoughts.

Decades later, I return to the song, and smile in recognition, with a nod to the wisdom of her lyrics: who can really claim to know life, love, or a cloud at all?

In our longing to come close to inhabiting the watery places of our imaginings, we humans have dreamed and toiled, have drummed and strummed, and danced and sung our way into ... music. And, once there, is it not nearly impossible to avoid an encounter with poetry: one of music's closest companions?

When the wind is out of breath, I retreat to the mother-roots, to the heartwood, through dragon-whispers of darklight to the song of th...

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