[7.22/20] Thanks to Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer for this morning’s beautiful reading of Neruda’s poem
Thanks to Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer for this morning’s beautiful reading of Neruda’s poem “Tonight I Can Write the Saddest Lines”, translated by W. S. Merwin. One line from that poem gave rise to my poem for today:
In the Distance
In the distance someone is singing.
Someone is always singing, especially at
night in farmlands when the drone of the day
mutes, or in sleeping suburban neighborhoods
when a barking dog breaks the silence.
The wind plays a part, stirring summer laden
branches to whisper together, or rain to clatter
against our windows, its song a sustained chant
against drought, promising even more green.
This morning along the border of the local park,
the mallows have opened their mouths to sing
pink, fuchsia and white, their dark eyes focused
on the sun, faces nodding in the light breeze.
And someone is singing the blues from the din
of cities—distant singers unknown even to one
another. We must also heed the dissonant songs
from those sleepless neon streets.
What space separates us from someone singing?
What expanse must we traverse to find the singer
hidden among forgotten reeds, the one who dares
to try to translate the eddies of rivers between us?
How far away are those who need our love, their
distant songs wanting answer, reaching out to us
at dusk and dawn, echoing our own loneliness—
faintly calling for our antiphonal response?
© 2020 Penny Harter