Circular Breathing

A space to breathe…

It’s all I work towards–


To fill my lungs as I please,

Pierce the confines of silent treatment,

Sing away what borders on pain,

Play as the children do.

I must expand after collapse.

Let me shout and laugh.

Don’t deny me the pull!

After being pushed to the brink,

My notes become skewed.

(You know how I feel about sounding weak.)

The reading is at odds,

With such difficult intervals…

My seconds are shortened,

Thirds divided discordantly–

A mess!

After exhalation,

There is nothing left

When you bind my hours, bones and breath…

–C. Green

(Trying my hand at writing something that can be read forwards and back… Trickier than anticipated, but definitely a fun challenge!)

Delight! Delight!

(a new sea shanty…)

Blame the sea and the revelry

For the rolling and ruckus of waves.

Drink, like our song, flows freely and strong.

There’s no stealing through night for we knaves.

Delight, delight! Red skies tonight!
The ladies will see us come morning.

Since we’ve been gone, the days have been drawn.

Through shower and squall, we’ve heaved and we’ve hauled.

The shores tease us sweetly as we eye its ports greedily,

Ready for home before long.

Delight, delight! Red skies tonight!
The ladies will see us come morning.

There’s wind in our sails, hearty and hail,

Steady like ship and her crew.

Take stock of the clock. Make haste for the dock.

Come ready for acquaintance renewed.

Delight, delight! Red skies tonight!
The ladies will see us come morning.

–C. Green

Potatoes and a Penny Whistle

My hands are empty,

And the land won’t grow.

I find nothing to reap

Among the acres I’ve sown.
Bushels of barren

And barrels of naught,

Is this the feast coming

From all I have wrought?
The season is turning,

The ground hardened beneath

To the cries of the wretched

And the sodden berieved.
Must we suffer the hunger,

This bitter divide,

Between fields filled with plenty

Where the sated reside?
My gut screams, revolt!

Even dirt must resist

The aweful plowing by strangers;

Do more than subsist.
Cast away mounds

Built on sorrow and sythe,

Untether the roots

That sicken and bind.
Go wayward and wander,

Cast my soul to the seas,

Toward luck or misfortune,

The penniless free.
With a tune and a whistle,

Let the fair winds resolve

The heartache of famine–

Send me where I belong.

–C. Green

(Ballad in D Dorian)

Never Just Noise…

It’s so hard, sometimes, 

To listen to the static. 

I’ll tune in and hear it–

Background noise… 

But for the voice of a lone trumpet, 

The rasp of a couple brushes 

On the head of a snare. 

It’s always jazz for me, 

When I hallucinate. 

I don’t know why… 

Part of being a musician, 

I guess, 

Late at night when I can’t sleep 

And have lost too many dreams.

The harmonies are dissonant,

The rhythms a little wild…

And, always, even when it’s just my ears 

Picking out the strain,

I wonder, and then I know.

It’s not so lonesome a thing.

Grief and fear,

Fury and exhultation,

Redemption and love…

They all have sound,

And it’s never just noise.

–C. Green


(I haven’t had to pull an all-nighter in a few years. It’s from those experiences, however, that I found out that I have auditory hallucinations when I’m sleep deprived. It always sounds like I’m hearing the radio, tuning in between two jazz stations with much static throughout.)

Carved From Within…

From my visit to the Luray Caverns a few hours drive from my home in Virginia.

Water and time…

In quantities my life can never hold,

Beneath the ground–

Grave, cavern, stone.

–C. Green

A pool under the earth…

I felt small surrounded by all this evidence of time, the massive patience encasing each stalactite and stalagmite…

Ripples of hardened stone look like shifting sands.

And in this dark, subterranean world, I also felt awe.


This Rock Has Weathered…

While walking along the coast of Maine two summers past, I had to photograph the various cracks and layers. The exposed rocks were beautiful.


The cold disdain of ice ages,

Relentless bombardment of the sea,

Summer’s heat and human feet,

And whatever else the hardened earth considers torments of time…

This rock has weathered.

–C. Green

This bit of rock had seen many waves, and I wanted to capture the gorgeous striations still wet from the sea.



Adrift on sorrows born of fretful sleep,

The house gives breath to shutter and to board.

Its beams give way to moaning and to creaks,

As whistles call through window and through door.

While ghostly footfalls echo from its floors,

It longs for sails and anchors logged aweigh.

It dreams of pulling past the static shore,

Foundation stones that lay as ballast weight,

To free its eaves from hammer-driven fate,

No lightening rod to tie it down… A mast!

Instead of tile, let rigging inundate.

Let canvas catch the wayward wind at last.

From doldrums and from fathomed deep releived,

This house would be as man-of-war released.

–C. Green

(Sonnet completed today, started on the car ride to visit family day before yesterday. Purposeful exercise on my part as Eric reads Shakespeare’s sonnets, I wanted to write my own with Frost’s The Silken Tent in my ear… Definitely not as smoothly crafted, but it’ll do.)