Saturday, March 14, 2015



Every region of the world has song –
be it of wind, of water, trees and birds –
or that of wolves – and humans, with their drums,
their flutes and zithers, rattles, horns and more –
or just their voices, raised in hymns and chants...

And now we've learned that whales have songs that ring
across the oceans, sounding through the deep…

But only in the Americas have I
discerned a rhythm strong and primitive –
perhaps in ancient times a common one
that then was masked by various overlays –
or else evolved on these two continents –
that cardiac rhythm of the single beat.

This underlies the music of the North
and of the South, persisting till today –
and even when the Andean pipers play,
I still can hear that strong primeval thump –
the beating heart that haunts these continents,
where most of those, who once had danced and sung
amid that sound have long been “disappeared”.

Amerigo Vespucci – he's the one
whose name now marks these realms and those who've come
across the oceans to these western lands.
How may tongues were here, before we came –
how many still are spoken in the South…

I hear the medicine-man,  I hear his wail –
I hear the wolf-like yelping of the braves…
And I also hear the stomping of the feet –
the heart that’s beating still, amidst defeat…

And in the powwow, as the dancers dance,
I listen – and I hear the beaten drums.
Those drums, those feet, those pipes are speaking – but
it’s when we’ll listen that we’ll understand.

For every corner of the Earth is blessed
or cursed with such a mix of things that it
alone possesses, though the Earth is one...

What names did they, who now are vanished, have
for these, the lands that stretch between the seas?
We cannot know – but still can hear that thump.

2015 March 14th, Sat. 11:55 pm
(last stanza added March 19th, Thu. 9:04 pm)
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York
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