What Odysseus Hears



“I have heard this music before,

saith the body.” – Mary Oliver

What Odysseus Hears

This room—is alone—

Shattered occasionally

By voices, seemingly ethereal

Bessie, Nina, and Billie

Who settle the walls, solid

into a comfort, darkened beauty

Yet, a saddened quietude, I share

This room—is alive—

Shaken awake into vibration

A stir within the voices

Suchitra, Asha, and Umm

Bring the room into fervor, spirited

Walls become heated from

An inner atmospheric desire, I share

This room—is flying—

Bow and stern, rug and sofa, with sound

Through firmament, I’m riding—

The entire room orbits the planet

Melody consumes this sphere of noise

For the inner ache of the songstress

Lands upon my ears, a nether song

Which I am tied and bound to, as you

Also, recognize the shape of what, We share

This room—catches shapes—

I cup my hands together

Wanting to hold voices like water

Shirley and sister Dolly, Keyrouz

Hoping a bit of their chants splash

Upon my face, moisten my cheek

The plainsong allays my ears

The walls settle back, solid

Into the shape of a room,

Still on the sea, now a silence, We share


16 Comments on “What Odysseus Hears

  1. ‘For the inner ache of the songstress’, nice one, restless muse…


  2. Exquisite writing. And ephemeral. I love the depths of your language saying exactly what you mean (at least what I think you mean) without ever uttering a specific word. Your words create their own universe.


  3. Reblogged this on iamericaicare and commented:
    This poem left me speechless (a rarity) after reading. I’ve since printed it out. I’m fairly certain it’s officially becoming one of my favorite poems of all time, by any author. Ever. It’s breathtakingly imaginative, evocative and innovative. Read it. Now.


  4. I enjoyed this poem. I used to play an instrument and this poem reminded me of that feeling. The thrill of getting a piece right and hearing the different sounds smooth together. This poem took me back a little.


  5. That is so beautiful and touching. I especially liked: I cup my hands together Wanting to hold voices like water… I know that feeling. The sound of my kids’ laughter and even arguments fill up every corner of this house. I listen for them a lot when I’m lonely.

    Liked by 3 people

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