January 8, 2015 smallstone – Listening



The prompt, simplified: Close your eyes and listen to music that has no words. Note what images come to your mind as you let your thoughts wander to various places and times. Write down these images once you finish listening and use them in a poem. If you’d like, start the poem with the line, I am skimming the edges…from Kelli Russell Agodon’s poem, “Yakima Ferry at Sunset.”

I am skimming the edges
of Central Park,
early summer oasis of green
with a sheen of dust,
the fringe between civilization
and wilderness.
The steady city rhythm
compelling, propelling, insistent. Then
a gradual irregularity, regularly irregular,
interrupts the everyday stop, start, repeat.
A question, a disruption, an incident, a demand.
Still –
the rhythm goes on beneath,
strong and steady.
The city moves on and, after holding
my breath for just a moment,
so do I.

Written after listening to “Take Five” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet


One thought on “January 8, 2015 smallstone – Listening

  1. This is really evocative, both your choice of environment, and then the re-read with the unmistakeable vocabulary of “Take Five” (one of my favorite jazz pieces, did you know?).

    I love the start, because CP is such that I always feel I’m skimming around the vastness (though I wouldn’t have thought of the terrific word to describe it).

    Not that it’s necessary for the poem, but do you see this set at a specific time of day? I wouldn’t even think to ask, except that for me, personally, Take Five calls to mind a certain time (one of my many oddities)

    Yup, this one resonated!

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