Archive for October, 2011
I heard “Angels in the Architecture,” composed by Frank Ticheli, performed live by the Colorado Christian University Wind Ensemble on Friday night. It was properly introduced and explained by the guest conductor, Ray E. Cramer, who said it records a conversation between Light and Dark. When we listen, we can hear light’s victory; when we keep listening, we hear the dark creeping in. But in the end, the darkness fades. All that is left is the angel, singing.
“Once an angel has made an annunciation / it’s impossible to tell him he has the wrong address.” ~Dean Young, from “Handy Guide” (in Poetry, Nov. 2011)
“Poetry is the language of the heart. In Jane Beal’s collection of beautiful birth-song poems, one’s heart is touched by the many emotions surrounding birth. The wide scope of literature from which the “songs” were drawn encompasses many religions and cultures of the world, giving them a spiritual appeal. Your own birth-song is sure to be found here.”
~ Cathy Daub, PT, founder of BirthWorks International and author of Birthing in the Spirit
“I love it—Jane Beal’s Epiphany is awesome. Her poems “Birth Litany” and “Cradle of Life” are favorites! I am also fascinated by “Moshe Drawn from the Water.” Jane is such an inspiration and wise woman! I am honored to know her.”
~ Wendy Seifert, CCE(BWI), BirthWorks Educator
“Jane Beal has written a lovely collection of poems that will inspire anyone interested in the process of birth. She has taken birth stories … and turned them into works of art. ”
~ Vicki Penwell, CPM, founder of Mercy In Action
“I looked up and saw the very last thing I expected: a huge lion coming slowly toward me … I knew I’d have to do what it told me, so I got up and followed. And that led me a long way into the mountains. And there was always this moonlight over and around the lion wherever we went. So at last we came to the top of the mountain I’d never seen before and on top of this mountain there was a garden … [and] in the middle of [the garden] there was a well.” Eustace Scrubb on the beginning of the dream that led him to becoming un-dragoned in C.S. Lewis’s The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
White dawn. Stillness.When the rippling began
I took it for sea-wind, coming to our valley with rumors
of salt, of treeless horizons. But the white fog
didn’t stir; the leaves of my brothers remained outstretched,
Yet the rippling drew nearer – and then
my own outermost branches began to tingle, almost as if
fire had been lit below them, too close, and their twig-tips
were drying and curling.
Yet I was not afraid, only
I was the first to see him, for I grew
out on the pasture slope, beyond the forest.
He was a man, it seemed: the two
moving stems, the short trunk, the two
arm-branches, flexible, each with five leafless
twigs at their ends,
and the head that’s crowned by brown or golden grass,
bearing a face not like the beaked face of a bird,
more like a flower’s.
He carried a burden made of
some cut branch bent while it was green,
strands of a vine tight-stretched across it. From this,
when he touched it, and from his voice
which unlike the wind’s voice had no need of our
leaves and branches to complete its sound,
came the ripple.
But it was now no longer a ripple (he had come near and
stopped in my first shadow) it was a wave that bathed me
as if rain
rose from below and around me
instead of falling.
And what I felt was no longer a dry tingling:
I seemed to be singing as he sang, I seemed to know
what the lark knows; all my sap
was mounting towards the sun that by now
had risen, the mist was rising, the grass
was drying, yet my roots felt music moisten them
deep under earth.
He came still closer, leaned on my trunk:
the bark thrilled like a leaf still-folded.
Music! There was no twig of me not
trembling with joy and fear.
Then as he sang
it was no longer sounds only that made the music:
he spoke, and as no tree listens I listened, and language
came into my roots
out of the earth,
into my bark
out of the air,
into the pores of my greenest shoots
gently as dew
and there was no word he sang but I knew its meaning.
He told me of journeys,
of where sun and moon go while we stand in dark,
of an earth-journey he dreamed he would take some day
deeper than roots …
He told of the dreams of man, wars, passions, griefs,
and I, a tree, understood words – ah, it seemed
my thick bark would split like a sapling’s that
grew too fast in the spring
when a late frost wounds it.
Fire he sang,
that trees fear, and I, a tree, rejoiced in its flames.
New buds broke forth from me though it was full summer.
As though his lyre (now I knew its name)
were both frost and fire, its chords flamed
up to the crown of me.
I was seed again.
I was fern in the swamp.
I was coal.