Sally Warrell p.2

Sally Warrell p.2

In the Cleft of the Tree

Blackbird Divo

How to Sing if You Are Bad

In the Cleft of the Tree 

And still my youthful mind belies my age;
how long my gawky greening days are done.
I hide behind rough bark that is my face.

I ask myself should I grow old with grace;
or would a girlish recklessness be wrong?
And still my youthful mind belies my age.

Should I wear red with purple at this stage,
disport myself in town and have some fun?
I hide behind rough bark that is my face.

I’d rather give the morning greater place
than pay my homage to a ghosted moon.
Yet still my youthful mind belies my age.

From inside out it can be hard to gauge
just how another person will see one.
I hide behind rough bark that is my face.

These numbers are a thing I can’t embrace;
how easily I am outpaced, outshone.
And still my youthful mind belies my age;
I hide behind rough bark that is my face.

Copyright © 2015 Sally Warrell
In The Cleft of The Tree read by Sally Warrell
Blackbird Divo
Feet planted on the apex of the shed roof,
the blackbird fills the green cathedral
with the sound of its song, floating
upward to the overarching trees
where it is answered by another call
further off. The blackbird is oblivious
to all else, but the song and its answering
song, the tak, tak, tak of its alarm call
filling the late afternoon, calling me down
the garden to draw back the branches
of the cherry tree and find it there,
shaking out its feathers like shards
of jet, resplendent and territorial,
the aria flowing from its bent yellow beak.

Copyright © 2015 Sally Warrell
Blackbird Divo read by Sally Warrell
How to sing if you are bad
Firstly sit or stand upright;
inclining neither to right nor left.
Learn to breathe
from the earth’s core.
Let the vowels escape
your open mouth,
flat as feet, as dragged down
by their own weight,
they fall on the unsuspecting.

Tilt your chin down
like a  rangefinder
and now forage higher
or lower, roaming where
you should never be.

Be all head or all heart,
or somewhere in between.

Drink water.

Practice every day.
Become a hummer.
Haunt the shower
and the karaoke.

In the music room,
Miss Slatter’s sling backs
fraternise on the pedals
of the piano.  “Just sing your
favourite hymn.”  You carol
from the depths of your nine
year old frame, Maltesers
and string in your pockets.
“Praise my soul the King of ..”
The teacher eyes you earnestly.
“Come again whenever you like,”
she says when your voice squalls.

Was it that good or just that bad?
You never go back.

Copyright © 2016 Sally Warrell
How to sing if you are bad read by Sally Warrell
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