Thursday, February 21, 2013

Morning Walk – Looking for Sister Moon

Crossing the bridge -
Cold wind blowing, 
Colder than a witch’s titty,
I searched the southern sky
For Sister Moon – 
Mas ella nao estava.
   (But she wasn't there.)

The breaking rays of daylight 
Illuminate the face of the chapel 
At the top of the hill.
Arlington National Cemetery.

I can hear Brother Wilfred’s prayer,
Howling through the wind:

“We are the dead
Short days ago we lived
Saw dawn, felt sunset glow…”

This morning, though, I bathe
In sunrise glow, without, without
My sister, Sister Moon.

And the river. Tide is low.  
The beach is exposed, muddy
Muddy, muddy everywhere,
And lined with ice. White crunchy 
Puddles, puddles, everywhere.

A thin icy film on the surface 
Holds the river together.  Geese
Are still, and flocked, and still
Along the shore.  If think if I 
Could fly I’d be away from here.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

African Appalachian

Another experiment with Introduction to Digital Sound Design.  Soundation.   African Appalachian

Asssignment #5 for Songwriting.  Sea Shanty


fifthtake is an experiment with granular synthesis from my Introduction to Digital Sound Design class with Coursera and Emory University.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sonnet #42

Words in poetry and notes in music
Are sounds, simple wavelengths colliding off
Our eardrums and the membranes of our souls.  
Oft times we transmit sound waves, words or notes,
Through positive values, like happiness
And tenderness, timbres soft and bright.
Sometimes negative: sadness, fear - dull and
Sharp, like aches and pains we frequently endure.
At times, we just receive: parameters
Are the same.  But when we meet, ah, when we 
Meet, our words and notes connect!  Our wavelengths
Intersect, and intertwine, and synthesize! 
And we make love – sweet love.  External tones
And errant thoughts die softly in the deep.

Washington, DC  February 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I remember my first kiss

I remember my first kiss -
how my heart raced
and pounded -
like a drum -
inside my head.

You were a city girl, 
gorgeous, gifted, talented -
it was no big deal for you. 
But I was a country boy,
And for me it was 
a singularly special moment.

I phoned my mother -
Daddy was in his world - 
And I wrote some poems.
I couldn’t wait for tomorrow
To kiss you again.   

Washington, DC  February, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sonnet #41: A Valentine's Day Poem for Filomena

I tried and tried to make it fit within     
the sonnet's form.  But the words resisted,     
and the thoughts rebelled, and the energy     
contained inside the thoughts, inside the words     
sprung forth and said, "Hell no!"     
So here's the simple truth:  When we're apart    
I cannot sleep.  For days on end I'm just      
a wreck.  Dark rings surround my eyes.  Edgi-   
Ness.  A suffix added to an adjective   
that makes it a noun, a name that describes   
and defines a state of being.  My state    
of being.  A person can die from sleep   
deprivation.  You know that already.   
Don't let me pass another sleepless night.    

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Psalm of the Uplift - J. Mord Allen

This is one I have to share.  You won't find it in Google on even in most anthologies of American Negro poetry.  But it is a jewel, nonetheless, one of my favorites. Published in Rhymes, Tales, and Rhymed Tales, 1906.

Still comes the Perfect Thing to man
As came the olden gods, in dreams;
And then the man - made artist - knows
How real is the thing which seems.
Then, tongue or brush or magic pen
May win the world to loud acclaim,
But he who wrought knows in his soul
That, like as tinsel is to gold,
His work is to his aim.

It's there ahead to him - and you
And me.  I swear it isn't far;
Else, black Despair would cut us down
in the land of hateful Things Which Are.
But just beyond our finger-tips,
Things As They Should Be shame the weak,
And hold the aching muscles tense
Through the next moment of suspense
Which triumph is to break.

And shall we strive?  The years to come,
Till sunset of eternity,
Are given to the fairest god,
The God of Things As They Should Be.
The ending? Nay, 'tis ours to do
And dare and bear and not to flinch;
To enter where is no retreat;
To win one stride from sheer defeat;
To die - but gain an inch.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Morning Walk - Crescent Moon

The moon was a bulging crescent
off my port bow as I passed the front
of Lincoln Memorial on a morning walk.

That pregnant crescent…
That praying crescent…
That laughing crescent, Planet Moon.

Crossing the bridge into Virginia,
She seemed to follow me.  Follow me,
Crescent moon.

A lunar thing, a womb-man -
control the tides -
equality - fairness - justice - for all.

The moon crossed the eastern sky
into Virginia as I crossed
Memorial Bridge.  Her rays illuminated
my path, showing me the way,
but I lost her track as the ccourse veered
into the forest away from the river.

When I emerged into a clearing,
Planet Moon was high off my port
quarter, much stronger than before,
heralding sunrise on the river's southern shore.

That pregnant crescent…
That praying crescent…
That laughing crescent, Planet Moon.