Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Song of the Scribe

painting by brian simons.


“Some days there won’t be a song in your heart.
Sing anyway.”--Emory Austin.

You know anything that moves 
                               or emits noise
                               can be/is an instrument,  & I really dig
the perpetual music that surrounds us;
      the beats,
      the wailings,
      the chords, sharps, flats,
the slides, the octave shifts, the riffs, bellowing, braying,
      & sweet lullabies.

                                 Urban Rock

The heavy clank of gears, misaligned
                           or otherwise engaged,
the wet whoosh of steam venting,       hammering,
                                          exploding & crushing;
radial tires on rain-soaked pavement,
                       windshield wipers,
                                 defrosting fans,
                                            heaters radiating,
brakes & rats squealing,
damn doors slamming, solo, or in tandem,
call & response at dinnertime,
garbage truck piston-driven refuse compressing,
hard leather heels clacking,
                        children laughing on playgrounds,
                        stray cats growling & hissing & kung fu fighting,
                        women screaming, young boys yelling staccato
old fashioned metal garbage can lids banging, 
                                               man hole cover boulder ballads,
                        twenty dogs barking,
                        rivet & nail gun chattering,
table & hand & chain saw blades ripping,
lawn mowers coughing,
hedge clippers snipping,          church bells regaling,
                                                 though too often pre-recorded,
heavy horns honking, street light changes clicking,
                        power lines passionately pulsating,
                        rod iron gates squeaking on rusted hinges,
pigeons flapping ten thousand wings,
cooing like doves,
crapping like bats, busy fingers texting, computers whining,
Beatles ringtones,
gunfire & sirens. 

                        Rural Sonata

John Deere combines thrashing,
as the deep diesel throat chanting soars,
           horses hooves on barn floors,
           sheep shoulders rubbing wire fences,
a pitchfork stabbing hay, 
a two-handed scythe cutting off wheat stalks,
melons being thumped, 
                       oil being pumped,
                       apples being stroked, 
                       wasp nests being poked,
a farm forklift hefting bales,
cows kicking pails, loons laughing at sunset,
         a soft breeze across a small pond,
         amorous trees rubbing trunks together,
branches snapping, stags trampling thistles,
insects buzzing,
dragon flies hunting,          
                    wind symphonies in alder forests,
                    or whipping down steep canyons,
                    or capping peaks & citadels; 
rainbow leaves shimmering, shaking, dying, & falling,
                    leather chaps, saddles, bridles, 
                    jackets, straps, belts & latches
                    creaking seductively;
big tractor pistons popping while digging
                                           ditches or post holes;
birdsong in backyards & on barn beams,
owls in haylofts, black birds bickering over dead rabbits,
rolling raucous thunder in the distance
just before the terrible crackling
                  of chain lightning
as it strikes the hundred year old oak alone in the field,
splitting it in two, rain pelting
tin roofs, then rushing
out of downspouts as a torrent, 
various herbivore herds shuffling,
            horned heads butting
accompanying the dry lethal rattle of antler combat,
far off cougar cries
           that sound just like a baby wailing,
wolf’s sorrowful moon ballads, while
           coyotes & foxes yip
           & bad-assed badgers grunt
                                along with bumblebee wing throbs
                                & flocks of butterfly flutters
as the hawk romps the thermals,
screeing it’s joyful but determined challenge.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics

Would you like to hear the author read this musical poem to you?


Anonymous said...

I must say, Glenn, your Rural Sonata had me dancing- I loved all the action in your song - lovely!

Claudia said...

very cool... each city has their own cool song and the countryside as well...i love both of them...so much magic in the bumblebee wing throbs and the car horns - heck - i like their concerto as well...esp. in italy...ha

Anthony Desmond said...

so much imagery... so many sounds/noises to imagine... my daily song is a mixtures of texting, ringtones, my big mouth and something knocking around in my backpack... Really love how you captured the essence of the music that is made naturally... like the music of typing this comment... smiles

Björn Rudberg said...

2 wonderful compositions here Glenn... I think today i would be more in the mood for the rural concerto.. seems a little bit calmer... wonderful tempo and rhymes (are you sure it's not written in meter.. you might have done a form by accident my friend).. impressive sounds all of them.

Brian Miller said...

nice...love the sound of the urban music...the rural has it as well....the sound of location...and it all does blend well together to make a music...you let me hear it for a bit...and my school has its own music...a bit chaotic at times but...ha....

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

I was taught--long ago--that you make make music with anything--and I believe that to be true--your piece puts me in mind of that. Great for spoken word!!

Myrna R. said...

It's amazing how you thought of so many sounds to describe. I love the tempo of the rual more than I do the urban. But both your poems are wonderfully sung.

Mark Butkus said...

I could feel the sweat in the first part of your urban "suite" and I could feel a different kind of sweat in the second country "suite."

Heaven said...

I never thought the urban noises can be musical enough ~ Some sounds like metal cans banging and 20 dogs barking can be too noisy though ~ I specially like the rural sonata, very vibrant sounds along with nature ~


Delaina said...

You have captured the embodiment of music in sight and sound. Cheers!

Gabriella said...

I enjoyed both sonatas, but having been brought up in the countryside I could quite relate to the second one. I also liked that you offered the two pieces withy heir similarities and differences.

Anonymous said...

I am the rural guy myself, but I have to admit I haven't heard a badass badger yet.

It really hit me as I read about the music of the city - that was a truth I never saw before - thanks

Mary said...

I enjoyed this poem, Glenn. You really showed the musicality of daily life. For some reason your poem reminded me of Carl Sandburg's writing.

Zouxzoux said...

Damn, that's pretty amazing stuff. I love that you did city and country music. I'm quite intimate with the city sounds having lived here 30+ years but I'm a country girl at heart and you've made me homesick. Great work, Glenn!

Kate Mia said...

Yes.. truly in the bigger city of life.. the sounds are not quite what they used to be...

Making some long for silence is Golden..

and OMG.. there was a time for me.. where a cricket sounded like a freight train....

and music is off limits.. for five long years...

i did learn to enjoy the silence..

but oh i did miss...
the life.. and once again.. the thunderous noise of civilization.. tickles my fancy true..;)

vivinfrance said...

Wow, and Wow and Wow again. You gave us two wonderful symphonies of sounds. Thank you, Glenn for this musical treat. I loved the onomatopaeia, and the contrast.

At present, here, everything is drowned by the big-tractor sound of maize harvest.

Marina Sofia said...

There is music everywhere if we know how to look for it - there is music even in silence (the pause, right?). I love the contrast between the rural and urban sounds - proving that the countryside is not always as idyllic as we think - John Deere heavy machinery indeed... It's harvest and replanting season now and we are constantly bombarded by the sound of tractors, threshers, combines...

Arathi Harihar said...

loved both the poems ..each one unique in its own way

Anonymous said...

Groovy piece. Loved the breakdown between the urban and rural environments- you really captured both well. Overall a lovely sense of flow and rhythm.

Kathy Reed said...

You had me in the first line, but I relish all the sounds you mentioned as symphonies play wherever we go and everything has its own concert...it's true, then, the earth as it spins and rotates has its own signature hum going on....or beat if you will....Nice play on the prompt..

Abhra Pal said...

When you said, "anything that moves
or emits noise
can be/is an instrument"

I didn't have the slightest idea that you would so effectively use the sounds effects to create music - and that is wonderful...I love it.

Wolfsrosebud said...

OK... too cool. Music in everything... nice

lynndiane said...

Play me another rural sonata :) Love the details in this, Glenn, and the natural rhythm. This really rocks the prompt!

Joseph Hesch said...

Perfect pairing of the music in the atmospheres that surround us. This City kid and suburban/almost-rural guy has hummed and swayed to both jams. And I did to this duet, too.