Stoneman

STONEMAN

Let me hearken back
For a moment
To a moment when celestial songs
Played on the wind like mall music—
Holy vibraphones
And blessed B3s
Following us from venue to venue.

Hearken back to a moment
When any incidental noise
Demanded a sacred definition.

Hark, the angels sing.
Songbird notes cutting a melody
Out of the ceaseless motoring
Along city streets,
Doubtless an echo of the divine,
As were wind chimes,
And the children’s laughter from two yards over,
And church bells, naturally.

To the most common cacophony
We would ascribe great magnitude,
As though all of it—
The rustle and swish,
The thump and creak—
Were coded intelligence.

Let those with ears to hear…

Old sounds and old words
Have no frequency in the sonosphere
Of a world where the loudest sounds
Are the rip of a bullet
And the lament of a vilomah
And the lambasting of PR people
Intent on stripping meaning from the cries
Of those left behind.

And maybe they are right to do so.
What supernatural messages
Are there to be heard
In anguish?
What truth does chaos bring?
What parable is in
The explosion and the bang,
The confusion and the cries?
Can we hear God
In the splatter and the thud,
The scramble and the drop?

Let those with ears to hear...

Hearken back
For a moment
To a moment
When voices
Now silent
Once spoke.

The good mornings and farewells,
The ‘I love yous,’
The thanks they offered,
The dreams they declared,
The fears they whispered,
The arguments they made,
The space they filled.

Hark, the silence rings.
Worse, the claptrap musings
Of PR people
Who hear God in chambers and rounds.
The ones whose Jesus
Bears arms
Exit their echo chamber,
Rank and file
Singing the praises
They hear in sounds of terror,
Spreading the message
They make out in-between bullets.

Let those with ears to hear…

I will hearken unto songbirds and silence,
The sounds that are and the ones that aren’t.
I will listen,
But the message,
If it is there,
If it depends so deeply on my ears
To understand it,
Can find me.

I’ve no ears to hear—
Only a mouth to speak.

Matthew Blake