Frenetic yet precise,
snare me.
Mimic the beat
of my soul’s underside
thrumming to the rhythm of spice
and Top tobacco.
Bells and screams
whistle their way through audience appeal
as hips sway circles
far removed from earth’s dirt floor.
Move me,
pull me below the rhythm of your sin.
Swirl me up in chocolate
reflected in chrome.
Your shining beats undo me
they get beneath my skin
pull me deep inside the rhythm of your sin.

Brenda Warren 2013

Miz Quickly asked that we respond to the following video.

river of change

Singing provides a place for grief to move
through the thousand thunderous memories
that flash in bits and pieces
pulsing pictures of your son’s short life—
toothy grins and tomato soup,
grass stained whisperings,
your spit smudging dirt
from his soft pink cheek.

Days count themselves empty
since children and teachers lay crumpled
in red pools of dying self
on December 14.

As the media dish moves beyond Sandy Hook,
singing pulses its balm through crowds
massing movement through hearts,
transforming pain through prayers
that carry messages of love.

Your voices move like a river carving channels
through the spirit of our land,
creating conduits for hope’s flowing grace.

Brenda Warren 2013

Francine and David Wheeler lost six year old Ben in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. This piece is my response to an interview with Francine, David, and Peter Yarrow (from Peter, Paul and Mary) on Bill Moyer’s show, Moyers & Company. You can see the show in its entirety here. The video above is Francine Wheeler and Dar Williams singing Family. It makes me cry every time.

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Listen, snow is falling
like drunken poetry from the sky,
zigzagging flakes, this way and that,
diminishing the colors of my city into white.

Listen, snow is falling,
freed from a palace of clouds.
Calling geese bend its silence
as my shovel breaks through.

Listen, snow is falling,
dropping diamonds on my gloves.
Each shoveled burden steps with a wish,
billowing the walkways free.

Listen, snow is falling,
filling ditches deep with wishes.
Murmuring virtue, it swoons as it swirls,
leaving room for us to listen.

Brenda Warren 2012

Process Notes:
Listen the Snow is Falling” is a song on John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Wedding Album. Thea Gilmore does a beautiful cover of it. My city is covered right now. Snow is beautiful. It slows things down.

I wrote this so each stanza could stand on its own.  The first line (from Yoko’s line) and the shovel thread commonality through the piece.

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