Friday, February 08, 2013

A Lovely Gift of Lyrical Spirituality - "A Thousand Ways to Sing" by Liam Aisley

As I hunker down to await Nemo - "The Storm of the Millennium" that is about to find Boston - this seems like a perfect time to reflect on "A Thousand Ways to Sing" by Liam Aisley.

I seldom purchase books of poetry, but since I know this gifted young poet and his musical and literary sensibilities, I felt that I needed to read and to own this slim volume.  I am not sure if Amazon is required to declare the valuation of the books that it ships, but if so, they would have had to check the box marked: "Invaluable."  This opening salvo by the poet - his initial collection of published works - holds the promise of many future songs that he will sing for his reading audience.

How can I best characterize this collection of poems?  Some of them feel like hymns, some like Psalms, some seem like Coming of Age reflections, and others reflect a spiritual longing and journey - the meaning of life and death and what lies between these two poles.  The poet often uses imagery that is rich in sensual stimulation - lots of rain drops gobbling up the parched earth and beams of light or sound projecting from tree branches into the sky.  It is a collection full of wonder, awe, celebration, heartbreak, emptying and being re-filled.

One of my favorite poems is the eponymous "A Thousand Ways to Sing."  Allow me to share it with you:


The sky sounds like spring today
Treetops project melodies into the heavens
Their branches split like river and
My heart just found a thousand ways to sing.

It's a classic tune, my heart-song,
Sparking a quiver and a sprint,
Giggling like a brook in the thaw,
It shines through impenetrable fog
In the darkest of days.

It's light split into a spectrum
If for sound there were a prism
And like a rainbow it flows
Sliding earnestly to a never-end.

Royal blue and bouncing on a mountain's tip,
It holds the tension of a tethered horse,
Rabid, gnawing for one last hour.

Matched in heaven are the days of Earth by infinity,
And so my song endures . . .

This is the voice with which Liam Ainsley sings to us.  If there is indeed a prism for sound, he is singing us a wondrous rainbow.



No comments: