Daily Archives: April 2, 2020

The Singing Bowl becomes a lockdown poem!

become an open singing bowl

become an open singing bowl

We are in the little lull and pause between the end of the After Prayer sequence I have been blogging, and the full sequence of poetry for Holy Week and Easter which I will start posting on palm Sunday. In the interlude I thought I might repost the title poem of my book The Singing Bowl. Revisiting this sonnet, with its celebration of centring and stillness, and its injunction to ‘remain within the world of which you’re made’ I realise that it could have been written for these times. Perhaps it was, by a kind of premonition, for poetry often peeps over the ‘event horizon’. Anyway here it is again, with my original audio recording made before the book was published, seven years ago, and also a video of my reading it in the Beautiful Box Canyon of Laity Lodge up in the Texan Hill Country. I hope it offers some solace or depth in your isolation, wherever you are.

As always you can hear me read the poem by clicking on the title or the ‘play’ button. The video follows after the text of the poem

Singing Bowl

Begin the song exactly where you are,
Remain within the world of which you’re made.
Call nothing common in the earth or air,

Accept it all and let it be for good.
Start with the very breath you breathe in now,
This moment’s pulse, this rhythm in your blood

And listen to it, ringing soft and low.
Stay with the music, words will come in time.
Slow down your breathing. Keep it deep and slow.

Become an open singing-bowl, whose chime
Is richness rising out of emptiness,
And timelessness resounding into time.

And when the heart is full of quietness
Begin the song exactly where you are.


Filed under Poems