Posts Tagged ‘ spring ’

for common tones in simple time by john adams

m i d e l s  for a minamalist

                                                    poet 

,so in a, p i a n o

                                                    is

a special interior held

                                                   from thee.

—————————————————

what sudden leap

from here to there

what sudden leap

a hare

a small wind blows

a small wind blows

a small window closed

spring

When love is

More is

Moved

To

Meaning in

Trees

And

Leaves

And

Wind

Then

When loves is

More in

Trees

And

Leaves

And

Wind

I am moved to

Meanings more in

Trees

And

Leaves

And

Wind

For love is

And

Is

And

Is

Again.

The Richest City (A poem about my grandmother for Forough Farrokhzad)

What gives itself to the dawn

Is taken back at night

And given tomorrow again.

What is given to the dawn

Is taken from the night

And what is given to the light

Is given back to the dark

And whatever is taken from one

Is given to the other.

 

Your hands and feet and cheek

Have not withered.

Your arms and legs, my love,

Have not withered.

 

I have followed the soft line

Of your long neck,

Overcome with awe and curiosity.

I have followed the soft line

Of your neck

As if I were on the edge of an ancient city,

A rich city

That is only real

When I press my hand to its side and

It walls rise before me.

 

And wherever I have gone

I have not come back from

Completely.

My love, I have dragged my hand

Through those cities

And pulled you from the walls and streets.

My love, I have

Pulled you from the dirt of those cities

And I do not have to hold your hands

For your hands to be in my hands.

 

Who is it now that rubs their hand against my cheeks

When I am crying?

Who is it now that rubs my cheeks

When I am crying?

 

And if they wilt,

Your hands,

If they wilt

Then they wilt like the flowers wilt.

They wilt like the flowers wilt.

Becoming more, turned against themselves

And pulled away from the light and

Given to the darkness again.

 

What is taken from the light

Is given to the dark

And whatever is taken form one

Is given to the other.

 

Your long neck

Does not wilt.

Your long neck and side

Does not wilt.

But if they do

Then it is like a flower

That has crawled back inside itself.

If they do

Then it is like the flower.

 

Then it is like the dawn

That is taken from the night.

Then it is like my hand

That pulls you from the walls of a rich city.

And wherever I have gone

I have not come back from completely.

And wherever I am

I am not there completely.

Because I cannot,

Because I cannot stop.

ah

and i can not

i can not

describe your soul,

 

which

is like a flower

unfolding

on my tongue.

Go Sell It on the Mountain (A short play in three acts)

Overture

Black stage. Suddenly the sounds of a woman screaming followed by a baby crying, then hammering and screaming. The sounds of wood being dragged and begging. A loud thump.

Repeats three times.

Fades out.

A child: (crosses left to center, clears his throat and stomps on the stage three times) The Theme from the Virgin Birth (exits right).

Act One

The Theme from the Virgin Birth

Lights up. One man standing stage center smoking. All else in darkness. We hear a baby crying.

Joseph: Virgin my ass (flicks cigarette, exits).

Curtain.

A child: (crosses left to center, clears his throat and stomps on the stage three times) The Theme from the Crucifixion (exits right).

Act Two

The Theme from the Crucifixion

Lights up. Three men crucified, one up center, two stage left and right. All else in darkness.

Jesus: My God. My God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Thief One: Jesus Christ.

A voice off stage: Quiet up there.

Thief Two: (whispering) Be quiet. We’re dying.

Thief One: I am dying too.

Thief Two: We are all dying.

Jesus: Lord, forgive them…

Thief One: He is really losing it now.

Thief Two: Shhhh.

Jesus: For they, for they, for they know not what they do.

Thief One: Look like they knew what they were doing to me.

Jesus: Ooooo.

Thief One: Is that a chant?

Thief Two: I think it is a prayer.

Thief One: Or a poem. It could be a poem.

Jesus: Ooooo.

Thief One: O.k. it’s not poetry.

A group of black robes push forward from stage right. Pointing, laughing, whispering, owing, awing. One throws a tomato at Jesus.

Jesus: (Moans).

Thief One: And they crucify us.

Thief Two: I wish they’d throw a tomato at my mouth.

Thief One: Ask’em.

Thief Two: Ask’em what?

Thief One: Ask’em to throw one at your mouth…they might.

Jesus: Ooooo.

Thief Two: Hey, throw one up here. I’ll try to catch it with my mouth.

The crowd looks at each other.

Thief Two: Jesus. I’m famished.

Jesus: What?

Thief One: Hey, how does it work?

Thief Two: How does what work?

Thief One: Crucifixion. How do you die from it?

Thief Two: I think you suffocate.

Thief One: No, that’s burning.

Thief Two: What’s burning?

Thief One: You suffocate when you burn to death.

Thief Two: That doesn’t sound right…How’s that?

Thief One: The fire consumes the air around you…You can’t breath.

Thief Two: If I were burning to death the last thing I’d be worried about is breathing.

Thief One: My cousin was crucified and my aunt said they broke his legs.

Thief Two: After?

Thief One: After what?

Thief Two: After they nailed him up?

Thief One: They didn’t nail him…They tied him up.

Thief Two: What! That soldier told me it was for my own good…so I wouldn’t slide off.

Thief One: We’ll probably starve to death.

Thief Two: I wish they’d throw a tomato at my mouth.

A Roman Soldier crosses stage left, pushes into crowd.

Soldier: Move along here. Nothing to see. Move along folks…Go on home.

Thief Two: They look so small from up here.

Thief One: It’s the angle.

Jesus: The angel? Where?

Thief One: Angle. God, you’d think he’d learn to listen.

Soldier: Quiet up there…you two. Quiet up there…get on with it.

Thief Two: How’s that? Who’s he talking too?

Thief One: Us.

Thief Two: What’s he going to do? Crucify us.

Soldier: (stabs Jesus in side) There ye go. That’s better.

Jesus: (bleeding) Ooooo.

Thief Two: Lord, have mercy.

Jesus: (slumping) What?

Thief One: That’s just mean.

Soldier sits down and takes his lunch.

Thief Two: Just like that. All in a days work.

Thundering.

Thief One: What did you do to get here?

Thief Two: O, I; well I, I stole a healthy piece of bread.

Thief One: You get to eat it?

Thief Two: Slightly. I dropped it running.

Thief One: Shame.

The crowd moves back on stage left. Pointing, Laughing, etc. etc.

Thief One: Maybe they’ll throw another tomato.

Thief Two: What about you?

Jesus: Ooooo.

Thief One: What?

Thief Two: What’d you do?

Thief One: O, I stepped on a rich man’s shadow.

Thief Two: And?

Thief One: And what.

Thief Two: That’s it. You stepped on someone’s shadow?

Thief One: It was a healthy shadow.

Thief Two: A wealthy shadow.

Soldier Holds hand out for rain, crosses right. Exists.

Thief One: (looks up) Looks like rain.

Jesus: It’s finished (dies).

Starts raining. Thieves collectively start lapping at rain.

Thieves One and Two: Umm, good. Umm, tastes good…good…

Curtain

A child: (crosses left to center, clears his throat and stomps on the stage three times) The Theme from the Resurrection (exits right).

Act Three

The Theme from the Resurrection

Lights up. We see a small group of people standing around a black hole in the ground. Some are smoking; others are stomping there feet and blowing into their hands-trying to stay warm. One is wearing an “I was at the crucifixion and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” t-shirt.

Person One: God, he’s not gonna show.

Person Two: He might…It’s not impossible.

Person Three: My brother cut a chicken’s head off once and it ran around in the yard all day…six, seven hours maybe.

Person Two: See.

Person Four: How longs it been?

Person One: Couple two, three days.

Person Three: He’s dead.

Person Five: Did any of you see the crucifixion? I heard he put on a show.

Person Six: Seen one crucifixion, seen’em all.

Person One: I heard it got rained out.

Person Two: It did, but it was pretty much over with…so whatever.

Person Six: He went out like a bitch…”Father, Father…why hath thou forsaken me” and shit…God, there was two other people hanging up there with him.

Person Seven: Maybe he didn’t see’em. He was out front, maybe he couldn’t see the other two.

Person Six: What? He could see’em…He kept going “What…What’d you say?” when they’d say something. Why ain’t we standin’ around their holes?

Person Three: Dogs probably ate them.

Person One: Hell, we probably ate them.

They all laugh.

A detuned piano slowly plays “Go Tell It on the Mountain” as lights fade to black.

Curtain.

The End.

Praying

God, my hands are full of you

                                                    this evening,

The air is around us too.

The moon undoing above

The trees the color of sky

And I can’t imagine where

We come from,

I can’t remember anything

Before I was born

I won’t remember anything

After I die,

And the moon is undoing.

And I look down

And my hands are empty,

                                                    Emptied.

Mirroring

 

 

 

 

1

Wind

Leaning

In

Touching

Trees

 

Then

 

Trees

Touching

In

Leaning

Wind

 

 

2

Wind

In

Moving

Trees,

Leaves

In

Light

 

Then

 

Light

In

Leaves,

Trees

Moving

In

Wind

 

 

3

In

Turning

Trees

Leaves

Fall

 

Then

 

Fall

Leaves

Trees

Turning

In

 

 

4

Leaves

Fall

Through

Autumns

Fog

Curling

 

Then

 

Curling

Fog

Autumns

Through

Fall

Leaves

 

 

5

Around

All

Shadows,

Gray

Air

Breathes

Sky

 

Then

 

Sky

Breathes

Air

Gray

Shadows

All

Around

 

6

Moving

Clouds

Gathering

In

Rain

 

Then

 

Rain

In

Gathering

Clouds

Moving

 

 

7

Rain

Falling

Through

‘Evering

Black

Trees

 

Then

 

Trees

Black

‘Evering

Through

Falling

Rain

 

 

8

Rain

Puddling

Under

Slowly

Moving

Trees

 

Then

 

Trees

Moving

Slowly

Under

Puddling

Rain

 

 

9

Water

Moving

Slower

And

Slower

Still

 

Then

 

Still

Slower

And

Slower

Moving

Water

 

 

10

Knives

Forming

In

Bending

Trees

 

Then

 

Trees

Bending

In

Forming

Knives

 

 

11

Snow

Falling

Through

Reaching

Branches

 

Then

 

Branches

Reaching

Through

Falling

Snow

 

 

12

Nothing

Moves

Around

All

Still

Air

 

Then

 

Air

Still

All

Around

Moves

Nothing

 

 

13

Still

Moving

Trees

In

Light

 

Then

 

Light

In

Trees

Moving

Still

 

 

14

Grass

Growing

From

Drying

Ground

 

Then

 

Ground

Drying

From

Growing

Grass

 

 

15

Leaves

Unfolding

In

Branches

Covering

Light

 

Then

 

Light

Covering

Branches

In

Unfolding

Leaves

 

 

16

Wind

Dead

In

Slowly

Turning

Leaves

 

Then

 

Leaves

Turning

Slowly

In

Dead

Wind

 

 

17

Leaves

Growing

Heavily

From

Tall

Trees

 

Then

 

Trees

Tall

From

Heavily

Growing

Leaves

 

 

18

Tree

Leaves

Flowers

Grass

Wind

 

Then

 

Wind

Grass

Flowers

Leaves

Tree

 

 

19

And

Again

Soft

Petaled

Wind

Falling

In

Trees

 

Then

 

Trees

In

Falling

Wind

Petaled

Soft

Again

And

 

 

20

Round

Sun

Follows

Flower

Bending

Down

 

Then

 

Down

Bending

Flower

Follows

Sun

Round