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!)

Dark Stars


Like the collapse of galaxies, upon their shoulders,

Mantle and shroud placed around,

Binding the illumination.

So heavy, the hearts of these heavenly bodies,

Burning matters dark.

The distance only speaks traces of heat,

Signatures our eyes fail to see…

Poor human sight.

Blind, blind, bitter,

Unable, unwilling, to behold another kind of brilliance

Through such a fractured lens.

Dark stars shine on regardless,

Requiring no witness to validate their light.

–C. Green

(For a friend…)

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.


From the Bottom

If I could but be drunk 

On ferver and on bliss…

But, alas, could my days be spent

In such a creative haze?

Would not my life be spent,

The word turned as does the world–

On its end?

I fear for those left behind.


My behind…

For it would couch 

The fall.

–C. Green

(There’s definitely no hard partying happening for me this New Year’s Eve, making this poem funnier. I wish this newest year to be one of constructive creation and catharsis. Let good will and good sense prevail.)