ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the January 6, 2009 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] haikujaguar , LJ users Whuffle, Ladyqkat, and Wyld_dandelyon. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. This poem belongs to the series Submerged Nebraska, which you can find on the Serial Poetry page.


"The Songs That Know"


It’s all in the Songs,
they say,
as if knowledge could ever
be immutable.

The Songs are but the beginning,
I say,
and I too am a Singer,
if young.

When the scouts came back crying,
I listened.
When the old Singers exclaimed,
I listened.

“We saw shadows on the seafloor,”
said the scouts,
“not ours, but strange things floating
on the surface!”

“The deathshadows have returned!”
said the Singers,
the old ones, who remembered
old dangers.

There had been a time when landlife
had come
and eaten or killed or poisoned the sealife.
True. But …

“What if this is something new?”
I said,
but no one listened to me, ears full
of memories.

These deathshadows were small,
and so
the scouts flipped one over.
It sank.

The landlings within it
also sank.
They could not swim,
even badly.

“This is something new!”
I said.
Still no one listened, ears full
of fear.

The old landlings had been swimmers,
bad ones.
They had soft bodies; these had shells
like big shrimp.

I put the tunes together
in my mind,
and they did not match
at all.

This is the danger
to singers:
the Songs That Know
can mislead.

It’s easy to think all the answers
are there,
but sometimes new things happen.
They do.

So I will go, though I am
no explorer.
I will go, and swallow this truth
for myself.

I will find out whether the Song
of this time
is a dirge or a hymn, a solo
or a chorus.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-26 12:49 pm (UTC)
lynnoconnacht: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lynnoconnacht
I will found out whether the Song <- find, no?

This is beautiful. It's got this lovely quiet undertone of hope, but also strong currents of sadness to it, of memory. It's a soft, muted poem, but the stronger for it, I think. At least for me. ^_^ It's not strong enough to overwhelm you with its own feelings and emotions, which leaves you free to mingle your own into it too and it works well for this one. It encourages contemplation.

Also, apparently, rambling. ^-~

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
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