Sound Poems

from ear to air


Sound Poem 2020
by Steven Faivus

Make believe you 
cannot hear 
or see or feel  
her whisper

Morning trumpet 
evening prayer
Cicadas raspy rhythm
Pulsing through the air

Record players
Layers airs
But not
For me

ears no longer 
reflect the sun 
holding fun and sorrow 
sadness and joy 
longing and fulfillment 
surrender and perseverance 
together within a single sound

Imagine you 
no longer hear 
to appreciate 
this ecstatic gift

Light licks the qualities 
of all things in view 
and bounces this info 
back out for all to see

Unlike light, 
sound favors and conserves 
info from its source 
– tone, volume, pitch – 
from how its creator moved 
and vibrated during creation 
– and shapes this sound tone 
By bouncing around 
in the acoustics of its space

Hearing sound
The pulse
The rhythm
Gets our body 
moving responding
Music moves us

Sound gives us info 
about what we cannot see

If a tiger sneaking up 
behind us breaks twigs or dried leaves, 
our sensitive, trained 
ears warn and save us

Then we learned 
to use sound 
to communicate to each other 
drums and bone flutes 
and singing and speech

Music helped us to speak
Helped our brains to grow
To make 
Us human

Sound has given 
so much 
from rhythm harmony melody
Sound won’t stop

the other sense 
daredevil’s super power 
carrying vibrations 
strong and small 
loud and soft 
through water and air 
sound is there 
an organized motion 
on top of the already frenetic 
chaotic random 
thermal motion of the moment

Overlaid and powerful 
sacred Conga drums 
elephant’s listening feet 
sneezes breezes 
vibrating motion
In the mist

An organized overlaid motion, 
Organized vibration over the random 
Over seemingly over-powering 
chaotic thermal vibrations, 
speaks through, 
cuts through, 
stands alone, 

Choir singers and directors know 
how the chemistry 
of one voice in many 
will change and color,
even overpower, 
the sound and tone

But sound itself, 
a pin drop, 
a flick of fingers 
The softest snap 
will pass through 
as a wave 
atop the random vibrations 
of the air molecules 
and stand 
clearly heard 
while the random 
overpowering motion 
resolves itself, averages out, 
20 pounds per square inch 
surface pressure ignored

Sound is a miracle, 
how does it work 
and what does it bring us

All the music 
drumming, strumming
fluting and reeding 
loud and soft 
Rubato and staccato 

all the worlds 
the sounds of letters 
the words 
of thought and prayer 
question and discussion

We spent 70% 
of our brain 
to translate light 
coming into our eyes, 
but look what sound brings! 
What percent of our brain 
do we spend 
thoughts and concepts 
questions and ideas 
that inner voice 
that formed impression
to sound
like dreams to light 
Without sound will there be thought? 

For example 
if creatures evolved 
on the moon 
could developing intelligence 
be impossible 
because the vacuum 
does not allow for sound?

Sing to me
Let me rejoice
For now I have ears
And I hear sound!