The poem below was written after a meditative listening walk through Central Park, guided by the poet and teacher Jonathan Skinner.
Listen, Mister Acoustic Tunnel, Listen to
demolition drill men: dtt dtt dtt dtt dtt dtt dtt,
basketball boys: b aw p b aw p b aw p,
all the belch bounce beep busy bull noise
Gather noisemakers to this
sound space slam clamor whirl dance party.
Honored guests Jonathan, Gale, Stephen, and Rebecca
Display the hip, new Listening Step
Zen left, Breathe right:
Moved by city soundscape,
nose, lungs, and diaphragm become ears.
Scratched-at dog tags mimic shaking key rings.
Here, Chinese Er Hu players and live rock musicians fracas.
a beggar’s lament, a cell phone buzz, and the blowing of balloons,
the squirt from a bottle of sunscreen, and feet shuffling in the grass.
Inhale, exhale, and wonder
What would all this sound like from within Sad Clown’s red balloon?
She blew up an acoustic balloon around these walking companions.
She heard Stephen exhale relief shifting the bag on his shoulder.
She heard the even corduroy swish of Jonathan’s trousers.
She heard Gale clear her throat.
Welcome birds, flies, and squirrels; noises inflate us; welcome The Voices, cabs, subway trains, volleyballs, basketballs, roller blades, and carriage rides.
Breathe right, Zen left
expand universe; resound: balloon-call-bird-burst...
echo Infinity; explosive whisper: grass-falls-water-blades...