Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Truth Serum, by Naomi Shihab Nye

Frédéric Chopin – Prelude Op. 28, No. 15 (Raindrop Prelude)

We made it from the ground-up corn in the old back pasture.
Pinched a scent of night jasmine billowing off the fence,
popped it right in.
That frog song wanting nothing but echo?
We used that.
Stirred it widely. Noticed the clouds while stirring.
Called upon our ancient great aunts and their long slow eyes
of summer. Dropped in their names.
Added a mint leaf now and then
to hearten the broth. Added a note of cheer and worry.
Orange butterfly between the claps of thunder?
Perfect. And once we had it,
had smelled and tasted the fragrant syrup,
placing the pan on a back burner for keeping,
the sorrow lifted in small ways.
We boiled down the lies in another pan till they disappeared.
We washed that pan.

thank you vv


Prospero said...

I like frog song on my toast in the morning (sprinkled with the names of a few nearly forgotten relatives).

vv said...

what music for this? can there be?

The Song
By Naomi Shihab Nye

From somewhere
a calm musical note arrives.
You balance it on your tongue,
a single ripe grape,
till your whole body glistens.
In the space between breaths
you apply it to any wound
and the wound heals.

Soon the nights will lengthen,
you will lean into the year
humming like a saw.
You will fill the lamps with kerosene,
knowing somewhere a line breaks,
a city goes black,
people dig for candles in the bottom drawer.
You will be ready. You will use the song like a match.
It will fill your rooms
opening rooms of its own
so you sing, I did not know
my house was this large.

m said...

dear prospero...

i go for a pinch of jasmine with my morning song

it's good to keep sprinkling those names

m said...

vv, you're really getting me into this poet - how deep she speaks to the soul...

i'm thinking it has to be a violin

antonia said...

beautiful. the poem adds something so daily to this chopin which to me sounds so heavy and burdened. and then you have food and eating and summer....

Manuela said...

yes, it's the dailiness of it that makes it both ordinary and extraordinary, i feel. i had not thought of this chopin as too heavy, but in listening again i get a sense of what you say - the moment in which i listen makes a difference in what i hear.