Singing Bowl

Malleable heart, mouth open to the sky and rain,
my discipline is to learn your one singing note—

to fish it out of the depths of a fountain like a penny
someone tossed there long ago, or like the sun

in hiding. Not so easy to twirl the simple
wooden mallet, learn how the wrist must circle

lightly around the rim; or when it comes, how to loft
its brassy bangle, let it eddy across the grass.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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  1. Malleable heart, mouth open to the sky and rain,/my discipline is to learn your one singing note—/to fish it out of the depths of a fountain like a penny/someone tossed there long ago, or like the sun/in hiding.—“Singing Bowl”, Luisa A. Igloria

    A SECOND TIME AROUND

    Is it your one singing note that I am deaf to,
    one you have always kept unsung, unheard?

    How deep must I plunge into the whirlpool
    that your malleable heart has hidden, unmarked,

    uncharted, like uncollected coins grown old
    in a broken fountain, tokens of desire or whimsy?

    Dare I fish it out, this one uncollected penny,
    from what depths it has reached in that well?

    When you tossed it away, it was best forgotten
    like some wilted petals in a convent’s breviary.

    I have coveted that one note, I have haunted
    the barnacled wayside fountain, brackish now,

    where you must have thrown it like a shrug
    one winter over your cold uncovered shoulder.

    In spring thaw, I could see it again, leaden
    and rusty as the sun hidden by some penumbra,

    and I must collect it now, make it sparkle
    once again, rub it on my sleeve, and wrap it

    until I could wheedle from its sheen that
    one note you have always kept unsung, unheard.

    —Albert B. Casuga
    04-25-111

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