Poem: Listening

I have learned my body sings and I will let it.

Occasionally there is an idea that can only be expressed in sentences and phrases that run on and over each other in extraordinary syntax.

They leap out as fragments, then couplets until finally you have a stanza and a verse. This poem, in three parts, is about being alone and not alone.

 

i.

Some people will tell you to listen

Listen and learn from your own body.

It’s good advice, to master your body, learn it.

But no one says also, here is a warning –

And a notebook to write it down because –

if you listen

to your body

You will hear everything in

one voice but a thousand sounds, plucks, scrapes, clicks and thunders.

The body makes a dozen slow, deep, thundering sounds.

Then the bzzt of a hair standing on end

The stubborn grip of the womb

moaning in protest before letting go

each month. The delicate, tiny sounds that only you can know.

The pop of hidden bones

in the ankle you rolled

Age 14, before you knew what it was like to listen.

 

ii.

Now you hear the wind brushing your skin;

the ice crack of goose bumps rising in response

– you think ‘I might survive on the wind’s caress’.

So now you believe you are at one with the night air silence,

and Light touches you from the moon, distant and cold.

You are bathed in mist coming off the sea

into the valley of peat and stone,

A dozen hands come close but cannot hold

– you think ‘I might remained unanchored here.’

You and your body, in a long communion.

Listening and talking together.

Sighing, your body does not sigh but a kind of hum dimishes

Slowly, like the sky sinking to earth.

 

iii.

Then the wind turns and grows warm,

after a long silence; in a moment I am not alone.

I feel my body’s voice rise again.

The whoosh of hidden skin pulling tight,

Calling my senses to attention.

There is the beat and throb of my pulse

Rising to match another,

Blood pushing blood.

Coming into tune for a cadence

pores humming in trumpet song,

A thousand tiny pressure valves released.

I make no noise but hear

my fingertips sigh gently as they land on

other skin, burning, singing.

Laughing aloud, saying,

‘No, no, I cannot be alone.’

I have learned my body sings

and I will let it.

What do you think?