THA TON, THAILAND
The sound of a tree falling is a kind
of groan, an aching, a fleet
to a last fall,
and then the echoes emerge,
vibrate down the valley and into
the plains of the Kok River, mingle
with the river words, the river rustle
like the reverberations of any deed that is final,
in some other time and place perhaps wrong,
a sound few bother to notice.
English is the richest of languages, the most
mellifluous, but still
my words stumble for the exact mimesis,
and you, the reader, I feel you see through
my efforts to sketch a world
and its downfall, to go beyond my only tool.
Do we run out of words
for describing, and now repeat ourselves?
There is a ribbon below, a river,
and it is blue and winds away past view.
Green crowds up on all sides to another
blue. There are hills. The sound of logging trucks,
saws, and roosters mingle
with the pinging of bells here
at the monastery. The ringing is the wind's
voice as the others are not. Can humans learn
to be receivers, to be like the bell taking in
and letting go, an alteration that becomes
and becomes more than itself: beautiful?
Or does that stop your imagining, take you
than bell and wind and valley?
No, more than nouns, emotions prismed
in sound. Bells echo a long time, emanate,
expand past the point where we attend,
after identifying "bell." Our emotions alter, deepen
long after we've named them or paid attention.
They resonate, become. Or scar, or redeem us.
Perhaps leaving traces some might
know as beautiful -- if they noticed.
To be more like a bell,
less like a saw. Shaped perfectly
for reception; waiting, not acting.
Until. And then. Not to be one's self, that noun,
anymore, but in receiving, new
every time. Accepting, blending, and then
the singing out.
- Jill McGrath