Solongs and, Ashes

into the strenuous briefness
by e. e. cummings

into the strenuous briefness
handorgans and April
darkness, friends

i charge laughing.
Into the hair-thin tints
of yellow dawn,
into the women-coloured twilight

i smilingly glide. I
into the big vermilion departure
swim, sayingly;

(Do you think?) the
i do, world
is probably made
of roses & hello:

(of solongs and, ashes)

Solongs and, Ashes

by Carmen H Gray

In between the blush of life

Lie the ties we make

The tangled fibers of love

And imprints that leave our hearts

Permanently rearranged

In between the blush of life

Lie the ties we break

The endless procession of leave-takings

And wistful good-byes that leave our hearts

Empty again

An open space

For more laughter and song

For more solongs and, ashes


May My Heart Always Be Open

“may my heart always be open to little

birds who are the secrets of living

whatever they sing is better than to know

and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry

and fearless and thirsty and supple

and even if it’s sunday may i be wrong

for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully

and love yourself so more than truly

there’s never been quite such a fool who could fail

pulling all the sky over him with one smile” 

-e.e. cummings

Yesterday I met a man at a coffee shop and we began a conversation over some sheet music for the cello.  He told me of his latest adventures, that he was memorizing the lyrics to some songs he would be performing at an Indie Orchestra performance this coming weekend.  He had been living on the coast of Oregon for several years when he became fixated with the idea of trying something new and chose singing.  He took voice lessons from a woman in the basement of a church, thus his training began.  He moved to Austin to live with his sister temporarily and continued his singing and took up learning how to play the guitar while he was here.

We shook hands and he gave me a ticket to the upcoming performance before he left.  Nothing seems extraordinary about this story of a free spirit traveling around, trying his hand at untapped talent that lay dormant inside him for years.  Seventy-five, to be exact.