Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Sing at night as well as during the day.
The nightingale is an important symbol for poets , and has taken on a number of symbolic connotations. Homer evokes the Nightingale in the Odyssey:

Nightingale Song:
and my poem 

There must be trillions of us,
all with the same inclination to wake,
wandering through nights,
mulling over events, making plans,
thinking, panning for gold
within the special silence of cities
that never truly sleep, only keep on
differently rhythmic than daytime's pace.

Long lines of refugees
seeking safety this wide world round,
soldiers shouldering their assignments,
whole armies of cleaners cleaning,
watchers watching,
 service workers servicing,
doctors and nurses toiling at their tasks 
trying to save what is broken,
taxi drivers on regular fourteen hour shifts
shifting aching bones,
 train and bus personnel
taking us where we want to be,
truckers hauling all the things we think we need 
back and forth
crossing every land route.

Look, pilots are soaring above us.
Ships plod through the waters that surround us.
Listen, can you hear the hum
as enormous energies transfer 
from factories doing twenty-four-seven
just to keep from sinking under
 tidal floods of economic collapse?
The ice is melting.

that some still find the energy for poetry,
 for dance, for art and play.
that this has been so for all recorded time;
people caring for one another,
responding to beauty,
loving their lives.

 Life wants to live.

Doesn't it take your breath away? 
Doesn't it send shivers right through you?  
Isn't it almost unbearable 
to let it all in,
make room for everything,
for everyone.

leave space in between,
for what we can not see is so vast,
"infinity" is insufficiently descriptive.

Here is where silence is a useful practice,
'surrender' becomes 'skillful means',
and happiness-
the habit that might be chosen.


deanna7trees said...

your words have said it all.

Ms. said...

but you came for a visit, and that means much to me.

Nancy said...

Thank you, I will sit quietly with this...

Q said...

very nice...
"..responding to beauty,
loving their lives."
Thank you.
I am loving my life.

Anonymous said...

wow -- I didn't listen to birds, but I listened to you and am the better for it. I was reminded both of Stevie Wonder ("lovers keep on lovin'" - do you know the song) and Walt Whitman's expansive inclusion of all things in his beloved city of New York... your words are both celebration and instruction!

And one last thing, the line "the ice is melting" had so much power - stuck in the middle there. A short punch of a sentence after the long, wonderful lists. And the import of it, its connection to all that commerce, all that need, is unavoidable... I'll admit it made it a little hard for me to relax into the rest of the poem's celebratory message... and perhaps THAT is where I need a practice of silence to take me.

Ms. said...

Good good morning Nancy, Q and Dee. What a pleasure to have you come in and comment. A very nice way to get in to this Sunday for me--so welcome! Thanks. I have been in silence here...I mean, I usually post something every day, and the posts are complex, take time and a good deal of thought. Since it's the end of National poetry month, I decided to leave this 2009 Poem here, while I've been going through a "Blues" series (two daily) on my other (mostly Images) blog (It's here in the sidebar)...some have LINKS to songs that relate to the image. That series will end with #9 (in honor of Jude Hill's Nine patch) on the 30th...a different way of thinking--less words, but no less thought.

Ms. said...

--and yes I know the Walt Whitman poem and the Stevie Wonder song too. nice allusions. Do you know "Everybody Is A Star" by sly and the family stone? Well, EVERYBODY IS--and "we ARE stardust, we ARE golden" (Joni M.).

tammy j said...

oh my goodness.
i came here by way of house of edward today... because of the comment you left...
and i am mesmerized by your blog.
your poem here is exquisite. i had never thought of the night in that way before. thank you!
the beautiful song of the nightingale. just wonderful!

jude said...

words, but i heard you read, nemo posted a video. beautiful when you read.

Ms. said...

Thanks Jude-Send me the URL
if it was a good reading it was no less due to the three wonderful poets I read.

Last night I read two of my own at a celebration of the chapbook my writing group got produced. That was easy too because I understand from the inside just how those words happened.