Friday, June 24, 2011

Silent Treatment

You told me once
when you were still talking to me
how you love voices.
No two are alike, you said.
Like people or snowflakes.

Both a noun and a verb,
the organ of the soul,
voice rouses memories
and quickens the pulse.

Voice is alive.
There is no sound
without breath.

My favorite sound -
a sigh of exhalation
the ~~ahhhhhhh~~~
of surrender.

I love that voice is born in vibration.
Intention, the bow which glides
across the strings in our throat.

Or perhaps I've forgotten
that the voice has a mind of its own.
A sympathetic stirring
of heart strings and vocal cords
that bypasses the will.

The heart sings - the voice celebrates.
The heart cries - the voice despairs.

Today, in my "Theater of the Oppressed" class,
the teacher says:
“Oppression occurs when there is only monologue, no dialogue.”

I think of you and shudder.

I am Medusa, slayed by the sound
of her solo voice-
the echo in the mirror
turning her into silent stone.


My voice is drawn into your silence.

Like island people with multiple words for the sea
or desert nomads pondering the infinite changeable sky,
those forced to dwell in this banishment know
but do not reveal to others
(except for me, telling you, here)
there are many states of silence.


We are but water and energy
two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen
vibrating through flesh and bone.

And every compound living or inert
has its base of absolute zero.
where all is still.

The big quiet.

The range and depth of silence
is not an abstraction.

It lives in the spaces between.

Like me.

John Henry Fuselli - Silence

Friday, June 10, 2011

Two Poems about Teaching: For my Teacher Friends as Another Year Closes


Follow the steps in the complex dance.
Listen closely to what they are not saying
Then lead them gently
Back to themselves.


Teaching is wonder
Miracles unfold.
Teaching is alchemy
Lead changes to gold

Teaching is soaring
To heights oh so high.
Teaching is romance
Fall in love.....
Say Good-bye.