Thursday, April 16, 2009

3+1 Poems for Togetheringspring

A few weeks ago, I participated in a marvelous helloing to th Springtime in Evanston, hosted by Aaron & Lorna Johnson & attended by all manners of living, wine-guzzling wonderfuls. My co-conspirator Jacob Barton & I performed a newly-composed piece for microtonal piano exploring th birth cycle of a centaur. All parties danced & made merry. On this occasion, I happened to recite 3+1 poems, & having been recently asked about th poems, I will share them here.

A special thing happened that night. In candlelight, a roomful of dreamers somehow forgot about th sometimes-cruel sometimes-seemingly-artless outside & simply enjoyed each other & th togethering universe. I felt very grateful.

To prepare yrself for these short poems, I invite you to design yr own meditation for peace & rebirth. Pour yrself a glass of wine, play some music in dim lighting, feel yr body breathing, & recite these aloud.

Three by Wallace Stevens:


The light is like a spider.
It crawls over the water.
It crawls over the edges of the snow.
It crawls under your eyelids
And spreads its webs there--
Its two webs.

The webs of your eyes
Are fastened
To the flesh and bones of you
As to rafters or grass.

There are filaments of your eyes
On the surface of the water
And in the edges of the snow.

Life is Motion

In Oklahoma
Bonnie and Josie,
Dressed in calico,
Danced around a stump.
They cried,
Ohoo" . . .
Celebrating the marriage
Of flesh and air.

On the Surface of Things


In my room, the world is beyond my understanding;
But when I walk I see that it consists of three or four hills and a cloud.


From my balcony, I survey the yellow air,
Reading where I have written,
"The spring is like a belle undressing."


The gold tree is blue.
The singer has pulled his cloak over his head.
The moon is in the folds of the cloak.

One by Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks:

Where Everything is Music

Don't worry about saving these songs!
And if one of our instruments breaks,
it doesn't matter.

We have fallen into the place
where everything is music.
The strumming and the flute notes
rise into the atmosphere,
and even if the whole world's harp
should burn up, there will still be
hidden instruments playing.

So the candle flickers and goes out.
We have a piece of flint, and a spark.

The singing art is sea foam.
The graceful movements come from a pearl
somewhere on the ocean floor.

Poems reach up like spindrift and the edge
of driftwood along the beach, wanting!

They derive
from a slow and powerful root
that we can't see.

Stop the words now.
Open the window in the center of your chest,
and let the spirits fly in and out.

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