Plainsong v 2

Years ago, when I was at Rice, I had a roommate named Fred who was very musical — he played the piano and guitar  and had a powerful but sweet tenor voice.   One evening, he claimed to me that he could sing anything, absolutely anything.  I challenged him and offered a textbook øn differential equations.  He opened it, and immediately began to sing the text beautifully, turning phrases like: ” the partial of y with respect to the partial of x” into lovely sounds.

I thought of Fred when I wrote the following song/poem.  It is meant to be sung (or chanted) aloud.

PLAINSONG

Once, I sang,
And the people came,
And they smiled at me and said:
“Sing, sing some ore.”

No more song.
My voice has lost its music,
And now the people are
Deaf, deaf to me.

I cannot hum.
Life has a hum
I cannot hear, or understand.
Noise, noise to me

I need song.
I must find a way
To rejoin that harmony
Lost, lost to me.

Old. Grown old.
Oh tell me, God
Why life must needs be linear?
Bend, bend a little.

I’ll be a child!
A child can laugh, a child can cry
If I can cry, the I can
Sing, sing some more.