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.)


A conflagration, a baptismal fire,

It burns, the likes of which all creation

Will come to know. The heat of righteous ire,

It will raze and roar in exhultation.

Bring me sins, and I will name them kindling.

Bring me blame, and I will name it but fuel.

Usurper and fool will find space dwindling.

Distance is not given to the cruel.

These flames will bind them tightly. Like a kiss,

They will singe with care and remain unmissed…

Each point of contact, a solemn promise:

Embers may grow; I will not be dismissed.

Though I am but small and my bearing plain,

If harm comes to me, you will feel my pain.

–C. Green

(Another sonnet written on Christmas Eve… Not related to anything, actually, just an exercise in change of voice. The rhymes were going well. So I went with it.)

Verdi and Wine

Rose, Merlot, Malbec, Moscato, Porte…

As Shakespeare’s sonnets make me think of wine,

So too does another creative sport.

Can you guess that which occupies my time?

Aida, Rigoletto, then Macbeth,

Nabucco, and his Il Travatore,

Otello, Don Carlos, and then Falstaff–

The operas of Giussepe Verdi!

Today was spent in search of all these things,

A token of my love and affection,

A gathering of energy and gifts,

So that your eyes might glance my direction

And know… Though skipped and rushed, my heart still beats

For you, my dearest and sweetest of sweets.

–C. Green

(A sonnet for Eric while goofing off on Christmas Eve)

Silent Songs

While in the hibernation of the deep,  

Abiding frost of Winter’s deathless sleep,

My holly red and feathered friends still keep

Me close as though I were not yet adream.

And one among my sentinals draws near,

A warmly robed and quiet specimen.

It’s he, alone, who holds my heart most dear–

Possessed of rare and special accumen.

There, perched to watch my ever-shifting thoughts,

He preens with nothing more than careful eyes.

When he could spread his wings to fly aloft,

This cardinal directs my lullaby.

Though trained for tones perfectly pitched and clear,

It is his silent songs I wish to hear.

-C. Green

(A Christmas sonnet for Eric)