Musica universalis (revised)

Chanting, chanting little boy
How I wonder what you sing
World of words unrecognized
Melodies we cannot share
Tune you out and carry on
Background noise before bath time.

One night: lyrics diamond-clear!
Like a drum my heart beats time
I joined in but then you stopped
Broke the spell and then my heart
Twinkle on my shining son
Make the star-song all your own.

The original version of this poem was inspired by an incident earlier this month. I thought using the same rhythm as “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” would suffice to connect my poem to that song, but began to think of other ways to evoke the nursery rhyme. I’d love readers’ thoughts on whether this revision is more or less effective. For ease of comparison, I’ve copied the original below. 

My boy chanting as he plays
How I wonder what he sings
Melodies we cannot share
Never songs I recognize.
Tune him out and carry on
Background noise before bath time.

One night: lyrics diamond-clear!
My heart skipped to beat in time
I joined in but then he stopped
Broke the spell and then my heart
Twinkle on my shining boy
Make the star-song all your own.

Musica universalis

My boy chanting as he plays
How I wonder what he sings
Melodies we cannot share
Never songs I recognize.
Tune him out and carry on
Background noise before bath time.

One night: lyrics diamond-clear!
My heart skipped to beat in time
I joined in but then he stopped
Broke the spell and then my heart
Twinkle on my shining boy
Make the star-song all your own.

the sea of blame

someone slashed my moorings
while I looked out to sea
now I am adrift in salty waters

or perhaps:

I neglected the ropes

securing me to the shore
until they frayed and snapped
and I was loosed among rough waves

 

 ***

someone robbed the wind from my sails
while I looked out to sea
now I am left stranded in the doldrums

or perhaps:

I forgot to paddle
hoping someone else would row

Until all motion ceased

And I was stuck far off my course

 

***

someone let me drown
while I looked out to sea
now I am interred in brine forever

or perhaps:

I ignored the waves

lapping at my ankles
until it was too late 

and I was swallowed whole

the future is now

This was in my inbox today. I wrote it as one of the tasks for my “101 things to do in 1001 days” list. I deleted my list after a year, so I can’t recall how many tasks I managed to complete. That action answers the question I posed to myself. Am I still afraid of failure? Yes, yes I am.

The following is an e-mail from the past, composed on September 07, 2012. It is being delivered from the past through FutureMe.org

Dear C-
I’m scared. Are you?
No, there’s not a bogey-man lurking around the corner. But it seems that I am a conservative, cautious soul. I’m afraid of making mistakes. I’m afraid of the unknown. I’m afraid of failure.
Are you?

Did you reach those goals that I set today? Do your clothes fit better? Did you see new places? How were those books that you read? Did you have fun trying something new? Is there some food or activity that you tried that now you can’t imagine not eating or doing?

What is Philip like? I’m trying to imagine how his life in kindergarten is. School is almost out. What is the plan for the summer? I hope that I provided him with experiences that have helped prepare him for school. I hope that I thanked everyone at the preschool for all of their help and support.

I’m trying to think of words of wisdom or advice to share, but I am at a loss. Here are a few nuggets that I can come up with:

Remember to love Philip for who he is.
Remember to thank people, even for the smallest things.
Swear less, compliment more.
Make plans, but know when to go with the flow.
Don’t live with regrets by not trying something when you had the chance.
Keep learning.

I’ve never been good at picturing the future. My least favorite interview question is “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Right now, all I see is fog. Maybe I need to run with this by saying, “Why worry about the future that I can’t control? Live in the present!”

I guess that’s what I’ll have been doing in the time between writing this message until the day you read it.

Take care of yourself and the ones you love.

C