17 March 2011

The Pyjamanalia Poem

Dawn will not forsake
Any precious moment.

Walk past the
Forest of thistles
Of the mind

There is the cry
Of the earth
For the light
Of the moon
When the clouds
Steal it back at night.

When I say the words,
I am a prayer;

When I sing,
I am the song.

Do not stop too long
In still waters;

Yet, be wise,
Reflect the day
Like a still lake
At night fall;

Hold no shame
When you have no blame –

Another name for love.

Fly with the birds flute -
And remember your
Laugh always.

10 March 2011

En Mi Cielo Al Crepúsculo

Somebody lent me Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda. Interesting choice of combination for a compilation, but I just noticed that poem XVI, En Mi Cielo Al Crepúsculo (In My Sky At Twilight) is a paraphase of poem number 30 in Tagore's The Gardener. Well, I never.

So here is the original from Tagore:

You are the evening cloud floating in the sky of my dreams.
I paint you and fashion you ever with my love longings.
You are my own, my own, Dweller in my endless dreams!

Your feet are rosy-red with the glow of my heart's desire,
Gleaner of my sunset songs!
Your lips are bitter-sweet with the taste of my wine of pain.
You are my own, my own, Dweller in my lonesome dreams!

With the shadow of my passion have I darkened your eyes, Haunter
of the depth of my gaze!
I have caught you and wrapt you, my love, in the net of my music.
You are my own, my own, Dweller in my deathless dreams!

Neruda's version in Spanish:

En mi cielo al crepúsculo eres como una nube
y tu color y forma son como yo los quiero.
Eres mía, eres mía, mujer de labios dulces,
y viven en tu vida mis infinitos sueños.

La lámpara de mi alma te sonrosa los pies,
el agrio vino mío es más dulce en tus labios :
oh segadora de mi canción de atardecer,
Cómo te sienten mía mis sueños solitarios !

Eres mía, eres mía, voy gritando en la brisa
de la tarde, y el viento arrastra mi voz viuda.
Cazadora del fondo de mis ojos, tu robo
estanca como el agua tu mirada nocturna.

En la red de mi música estás presa, amor mío,
y mis redes de música son anchas como el cielo.
Mi alma nace a la orilla de tus ojos de luto.
En tus ojos de luto comienza el país del sueño.

translation of Neruda's version back to English

In my sky at twilight you are like a cloud
and your form and colour are the way I love them.
You are mine, mine, woman with sweet lips
and in your life my infinite dreams live.

The lamp of my soul dyes your feet,
the sour wine is sweeter on your lips,
oh reaper of my evening song,
how solitary dreams believe you to be mine!

You are mine, mine, I go shouting it to the afternoon's
wind, and the wind hauls on my widowed voice.
Huntress of the depth of my eyes, your plunder
stills your nocturnal regard as though it were water.

You are taken in the net of my music, my love,
and my nets of music are wide as the sky.
My soul is born on the shore of your eyes of mourning.
In your eyes of mourning the land of dreams begin.

07 March 2011

The Silk Worm by Rumi

I stood before a silk worm one day.
And that night my heart said to me,

“I can do things like that, I can spin skies,
I can be woven into love that can bring warmth to people;
I can be soft against a crying face,
I can be wings that lift, and I can travel on my thousand feet
throughout the earth,
my sacks filled
with the

And I replied to my heart,

“Dear, can you really do all those things?”

And it just nodded, “Yes”
in silence.

So we began and will never

04 March 2011

I tend to avoid deleting things, so dear world, you get to keep Manic Guitar Man #36 from last post. The story I am reading now is Part 2 of Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles called The Wise Man's Fear. 1000 pages of action the world has waited two years for, but lucky I who came late to the first part and only passed six months after finishing it.

Of late, I have witnessed many musicians perform, more across these past few months it seems than through my life entire. Worn and weathered, fair and fresh, many sorts. Ah, yes, the fantasy novel. The protagonist is a genius -it would not be much of a story otherwise- who also happens to be a musician by birth, being a member of the class of travelling troupers. Often it talks about the process of writing songs and their first performance. It was very helpful to have this perspective the last time I saw people sing and play. To know the etiquette when I am sitting around a fire that has been burning for thousands, millions of years.

I know I am wildly impatient to feel that I will never get chords and a clean sound just because my hand does not yet feel comfortable. Last night I saw it all as shapes and I realised that I don't have to get every chord, some are easier for sure and I can just work with the ones that I can do, even if that is kind of crude. Then I learnt about the ukelele!

I wrote a poem yesterday. It is dedicated to Sylvia Plath who claimed to have suffered the atrocity of sunsets. I recited it that evening to some new friends. They said it was lovely, real poetry, old school, not just people yelling at you and we all liked it.

I have borne
The magnanimity of dawns
And felt not the lesser
To find my heart hark
With but a tiny spark,
For Love wanders ever
In this sacred chamber,
Unbarred by strife
Of mortal plight -
That first lonely note I hear
Holds the song entire
And I recognise my part.

First choir performance this Sunday at Government House. Then next week I am going to try tenor at rehearsal as I just can't seem to sit on bass once the spirit moves me. There is also the chance to audition for solos next week.