earth and water, wind,
and spirit’s fire –
a polyrhythmic solitude
retrains my ear
To discern deep in the white noise of my loneliness
a holy voice,
its wild modulations crafting a new language
out of my words and its own.
This poem is from To Kiss the Sun and Mean It (2000). I thought it would make a good namesake for this blog.
So while I’m revealing the source of my blog title, I might as well share this poem, from 1997’s Deciphering Scars:
Thoughts drip slow and hours hum,
unmoving, like this halo-glow
that barely aids my tired eyesight.
All this could change should morning light come.
Words, whose timbres sing through charged ozone
are clay that oozes sensuously
through jittery hands that cannot say
what they mean. The clay intones
this small flame’s simple melody.
So these are a couple poems about finding your voice. I’ve had to do that several times. I think anyone working in any art form can attest to the fact that you have to keep re-learning your craft from time to time, either to avoid stagnation or in response to changing circumstances. This blog so far is a place for me to re-publish my old material; in the meantime, I’ve been through that re-learning process yet again. It makes you re-assess your older material, too. This blog certainly will not contain the old material I no longer like!
With the possible exception of this one. I still like it, but recognize that it’s not the best poem I’ve ever written. But it has a story:
PRAYER IN THE DOWN-TIME
Memories encoded in scars,
carved into this tender flesh by sharp-shooting stars;
Vision painstakingly sculpted by blind hope;
Eyes caress the boundaries that fingers grope,
and I wait for you
To call forth nothing from my masochistic ploys
and to breathe life into my empty, fledgling voice.
What is your art form? (Even life is an art form, really.) How have you had to redefine or re-attune your voice? What are your experiences in the ongoing process of learning and re-learning your craft?