In the Undergrowth: A Poem About Listening
Here's a piece with some song in it. It's more a meditation on finding a voice, than a poem about a particular song. Finding a voice...one of my favorite themes.
In the Undergrowth
Meditating between seasons
the wife begins to dance.
It is not graceful
On a rocky path
not far from home
she finds at her feet
most of a robin's egg.
She discovers how to listen
to a conversation without joining it,
to give ear to sounds closely,
for the love of hearing.
The wife welcomes the listening.
In summer she climbs high in the trees,
sings the songs
of seven varieties of birds.
A plain gray grosbeak, female,
silvery with just enough gold
black and white to be recongnizable
mentions the secret to life, in passing.
The wife is the lucky listener.
Wisdom rides the treads of her sneakers,
reflection cools her sticky feet, now sprouting
inside her shoes the soft down of new feathers.
She is almost gregarious, her song
a short, uneven warble. She can see sounds,
puts a lens to what she has heard,
finds that purple loosestrife holds
a morsel of someone's truth. Looking up
she spies reason in the symmetry of the vines,
the way they wrap around their host,
hoping to prolong the celebration.
Soon, she will navigate the many bending mazes
of ferns. Here, there is order in the undergrowth,
pomp and circumstance in a royal chorus
of Queen Anne's Lace, four nearby rows of weeds, the audience.
Green. She smells it now. Flowering weeds
waving in tandem. Glorious voices of root
and earth, tangled in a song of life. She sees
the egg belongs here, just where she found it.