I began writing poetry when I was about 12 years old.
Instinctively, from the beginning, I consciously tried to shape the flow of my words to match a sound I heard within, a vibration. I did not know what that inner sound was until years later when I visited a Japanese Garden. I hit the big bronze bell hanging there with the wooden mallet provided. When I heard the sound, I knew I had found the location of that inner vibration.
When I read my poetry aloud, people often remark that they love to hear my voice because it is like a lullaby or relaxing bath. I once spoke into an oscilloscope and saw that my voice forms a sine wave. A sine wave is symmetrical in a “smooth periodic oscillation,” a graph of the sine function (it occurs often in pure and applied mathematics, physics, engineering, signal processing, and other fields). It seems that the sine wave also appears in poetry and my voice. I wonder what pattern the Bonsho is tuned to? I wonder, also, whether “concert A” is a sine wave. (“Concert A” is the sound made by the A string on a violin if it is correctly tuned. Symphonies tune to concert A before beginning to play.) Do East and West meet there? I do not know but I wonder.
From My Window This Nest of Birds
Spring comes slowly, carefully
leaves reluctant, cautious
the change in seasons?
Japanese Willow with
delicate pink luminescent reach
an amendment to the soil
occupies her inner gaze
Cardinal, Robin, White-throated Sparrow
Chickadees, busy beneath the grapevine
But the ants have scarcely stirred
my words, like these ants
rise fitfully, still asleep
What inner horizon waits to shift
from far to near – or near to far
in them? In me?
What change waits
where hope lies dormant
anger or forgiveness, burning or renewal
advance or retreat?
Seed turns toward blossom.
approaches spring release.
Hope vanishes into the Plane of the Possible
where all things wait
all leaves sleep
where buds open with courage once again
but not until morning
not until the world turns evolves one more time
When I was a child
I knew sound could
heal everything broken
I knew to listen
bend my words
toward inner sound, a
for me to come, to strike, make it ring, sing. . .
I heard the echo of the Bosho’s heart
among other hills
an open voiced great bronze bell
that inner music, lost
waiting to return to mind
when it was time
the sound of Perfect Unity
Love wandered toward
leaving mind behind
sought cathedral bells
of long ago, a singing
inside an open heart
bells meant to heal
mend the pathway of intention
emerged from winter snow
calling to Willow
singing to that bell in gardens
waiting within each of us
echoing our very distant sleep
“All shall be well again, I know”
gathering words together
as the known world wakes
transforms tenor, tone, timbre,
near moves outward
finds the edge of wonder
And again. Infinite solitude
into the throat of Sparrow
within our sleep
in chilled, unripe soil
when soil warms with springtime
Willow stirs. . .
a nest of tiny birds appears
in a small wooden box
the door not much bigger
around than my thumb
Tenor: the main sense of something; the general meaning; prevailing character; Tenere:, middle English (from Latin, French), “to hold”; the voice given the melody, to hold the melody;
Timbre: the quality of a musical pitch distinct from pitch and intensity; Tone: a musical or vocal sound with reference to its pitch, quality and strength;
Plane: in mathematics a plane is a flat, two-dimensional surface that extends infinitely far.
Point: Zero: dimensions represented by a dot; a hole an object, a topological structure that prevents the object from being continuously shrunk to a point.
Emily Dickinson: “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the words without the words – and never stops at all.” And, attributed both to Hildegard von Bingen, Benedictine, b1098-d1179 and Julian of Norwich, Anchorite, b1342-d1417: “All shall be well again I know” and “All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well”