Zealous at long rehearsals, tenacious at audition— the brushed
yellow-olive, drab-coated vireo hangs upside down then
exits the tree with a prize: red berry or dun kernel, blur of
winged insect disappearing down the hatch of its throat.
Valediction isn’t its song: not a saying farewell, not the
up-swelling notes of a soprano— just the same
tremulous question and answer all through the day.
Sound shivers like a string when plucked. I learned
rote-singing, then followed the pencil across the staff:
quarter-notes, eighths, sixteenths; the rests like little
puffs of breath propelling onward. And yes it’s work,
opening the chest to let the air of longing out for that
nimbus of release, though brief and incommensurate.
My audible heart wants a nest like a cup in the fork of a tree.
Lit up at night, in that forest of softened trills, who
knows how the air might shear its stuttering refrains,
join the failed parts of songs as leitmotif?
I practice and practice though nobody hears.
Hoarse from effort and nearly at empty, I
gloss sometimes over difficult parts that
find a way of coming back, sliding into another
edge of passage. Nothing ever stays still:
do you see how the moon shimmers, then
clears a path for the screech owl’s call?
Bright, brassy, or somber rounding in the mouth—
answer that burns salt shapes on the tongue.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.
OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES
- Landscape, with Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
- El Sagrado Corazon
- Three (More) Improvisations
- The Gift
- Goldfinch in the Garden
- What Cannot Eat
- Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser
- Petition to Fullness
- Heart you Want to Lead in from the Cold
- Dear modest four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath
- Ode to the Pedicure Place at the Mall
- Letter to Attention
- Landscape, with Incipient Questions
- Letter to Stone
- Milagrito: Eye of the Raven
- What You Don’t Always See
- Going to the Acupuncturist in the Market
- Unending Lyric
- Migrant Letters
- The Road of Imperfect Attentions
- In the Country of Lost Hours
- Morning Lesson
- Song of the Seamstress’s Daughter
- Landscape, with Construction Worker, Ants, and Gull
- End Times
- Dream Landscape, with Ray-bans and Leyte Landing
- Pantoum, with Spiderweb and Raindrops
- Landscape, with Variations in Allegory
- Assassin’s Wake
- Private: Each Question is Always the Same Question
- Shroud Villanelle
- Dear Annie Oakley,
- Landscape, with Red Omens
- Late Summer Landscape, with Twilight and Daughters
- Ghazal of Unattainable Silence
- Distance, Then
- Noon Prayer
- In the Convent of Perpetual Adoration
- State of Emergency
- Storm Warning
- Goodbye, Irene
- The Lovers
- Dream of the Four Directions
- Lost Lyric
- Dear recklessness, dear jeweled
- Bearing Fire
10 Replies to “Unending Lyric”
I read it, and afterward my eyes ride up and down the trapezoid of the text, picking out nuggets. What Luisa creates is astonishing.
I agree with Hugh – too much here to even pick out favorites lines or images!
Excellent abecedarius! :-)
…in reverse. :)
Thanks, Ivy (and Hugh, and “Twitches”).
Thanks for pointing that out, Ivy! I was, like Hugh, too dazzled by the rest of it to notice.
Luisa: Oops, yes, in reverse! Even better. :-)
Dave: Oh, you know, I notice things like that because I hope to someday discover a secret acrostic message in a poem. I think the poet Gwen Harwood’s ‘F*ck All Editors’ acrostic published in a national Australian magazine made me realise how much fun could be had with a seemingly innocuous poem. :-D
Reminds me of that fun (but utterly serious) acrostic poems/chapbook project, “Power Crazy Senior General Than Shwe”, launched by A. J. Patrick Liskiewicz for Anti- in February 2008. Here’s the link, all the poems in the chap are here —
And, ever in search of yet one more way to reinvent the rule while keeping to the rule, I did this: http://tinyurl.com/65s3yvv
My audible heart wants a nest like a cup in the fork of a tree./…who knows how the air might shear its stuttering refrains,/join the failed parts of songs as leitmotif?
Would the cup of my palms nestle you?
Give you a nestling’s echoing chamber,
where you could trill all you want or can?
That wind behind the trees, would it pick
your notes up and let your song be whole
again, your refrains brave and true again?
Through these woods, troll like a stout
heart whose one crescendo is of gladness
that the day’s night must bring a sunrise
as bright as it is gentle when it presses
your cold back to a warm hug of home,
where you will fearlessly sing your song:
Fly with me to the swaying tree tops!
Reach out for me. I am back. I am home.
—Albert B. Casuga
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