Saturday, April 11, 2009

2009.04.11 - The Sound of Water - Sort of.

A Poem

Near the end of January, Kimberly Keith challenged the poetry group, with which we share membership, to write a poem about noise/sound words. How did she put it?

"Let's hear what you have to say with sound words...crash, boom, splat!!"

(For those of you waiting for the final installment of the STV rumination, it is in the works.)

Well, that turned out to be a very hard thing to do. I have been thinking of it since then, sat down to write something several times, and always my thoughts turned to water. As soon as they did, I would, like the fool trying to push water up river, push my thoughts in other directions. But to no avail. So, I gave in and wrote the following. Near the end of its composition, I stumbled into the music of Adham Shaikh (or try his 'MySpace' space). I suggest that you might enjoy listening to Somptin Hapnin with Kinnie Starr while reading the poem.
Each time I turn thought towards sound,
I sound in my mind sound sound words, and
              inexorably they gurgle, chuckle, giggle, 
            murmur, echo 
                    down streams of endless 

Water, water everywhere.

Water chortling down thick think tank drains
     and stainless steal sinks — 
     sinkholes in geyser guises,
burbling onomatopoeically into rills, and a 
     fulgent humour
     found sibilant in sweet Aphrodite's 

I hear wind talking through stays 
and masts 
and rigging
like owls in an empowered parliament
     bemusing wisely of mute mice
          and man
                    walking on a sound of salt water
                         and jellied fishes.

Then within a breadth of breath,
     in a snap of
      breath, gasp of
      breath, dearth even death of breath,
my thoughts turn to baby wavelets of water lapping,
     like lazy lions' tongues, 
          against hulls of barnacled
               white and faded
                    red and stalwart

Then blue faced, true-blued face, 
wet race-thrilled face,
I hear sheets of hemp and silk sail howling lines,
     trilling their thrilling striven
     pulling strain against stanchions sound, 
     and safe;
and inside my head, in waves,
                    booming bass drum
                         thrumming kettle drum
                              waves great 
                              and small 
                              and too
                                       too tiny and tall. 

I feel the icy spindrift needles sending 
sea sharp ended points
in a fruitless effort to efface placid black keyboard riffs, 
creating anew faces etched with rifts, 
          of cold sweating
               tango dancing
                    wing-wind prancing
                         teary eye-lined squinted
                                    eye lines.

And all the while, voice is lost, puff-gusted out
     blown back
          down the throat backs
               of sailing boat racers
                    unsoundly racing their sail boats
                         o'er water, under
                              and through it.

Race, fingers, race to mine the mind
of unsounded soundless sound,
flat screened face aglow
     bent backed
          and fingers bent too to
tip tap tippity tap tappity tip tap tap tapping.

How far is that, in reality, from
     drip drap, drippity drip drip drappity
          drip drop           

Water, water, everywhere,
               every sound thick and thin
                    far away ways in mind, 
                         unsound, sound
                              and mindless.

I would like to publicly thank CBC Radio2's Pat CarrabrĂ© of 'The Signal' for introducing me to the great great find of Adham Shaikh. And, for those curious about the title 'Somptin Hapnin with Kinnie Starr,' I suggest you listen to Kinnie Starr's engaging little CBC-Recorded concert. 

Good night.

No comments:

Post a Comment