Thursday, September 16, 2010

Song Path The Poem

On the 18th of July, I organized a kind of preview hike for the song path which was joined by MPR's Marc Sanchez as well as other friends of mine, my wife, and Poet James Armstrong from Winona MN. James is a fellow member of the international society of acoustic ecology and he contributed a poem in response to the hike which I thought was quite nice.

--For Ryan Ingebritsen

So that was the summer
I stood on the park’s idea
of a minimalist bridge--
seven slabs in the river--
and listened to wet syllables
in an aria of falling and going around--
lyrics of riffle, inflected with watercress
punctuated by striders.

The song was repetitive, mostly about longing
for dissolution. There was a distant lover
in some estuary; she smelled of mud and salt.
To get to her, the singer ran headlong
into the earth--scouring and scouring
fat volumes of limestone
until at last he looked up
at the brows of cliffs--
he had dug an amphitheater
on every curve, his bright voice
rang to a shadow audience.
Under green drops, he deployed
an orchestra of birds.

That was the summer I climbed 500 steps
to the top of the bluff,
past cedar and sumac,
leaned over the fragrant balcony

and added my voice to the evening—
my echo returned, sounding like someone
lost and concerned, far off, perhaps a bit panicked--
the tone the voice finds in distance.

-- James Armstrong

Thanks James!

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