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Contributor Series 9: If Men Had Ears, The Waiting Songs


06.29.11 Posted in Contributor Series 9, today's words by

Contributor Series 9: If Men Had Ears
The Waiting Songs
By Rae Spencer

When my music, at last, is right
The page will burst into flame
And flicking tongues of fire
Will sing along the ink
In extinct languages

Meaningless phrases
Clamor in the pulp
Until kindled in this fire
Consumed into the demon chords
Of things I should have said

The histories I never spoke
Will finally find the voice
For which my tongue
Was inadequate
Its flesh too weak for wisdom

Or the fiery truths I found
In recorded phoenix song
Such beauty stoked in other bones
Of joys I could never own
And sorrows borne by other souls

If my music is ever right
My page will curl to ember
The words will turn to ash
And sing their timeless meaning
Through someone else’s night


Rae Spencer’s most recent poem to appear here was Ossuary, published in December 2010 as part of Contributor Series 7: The Confessional Diary of Bone.

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5 Responses to “Contributor Series 9: If Men Had Ears, The Waiting Songs”

  1. Kay Middleton says:

    My page will curl to ember.
    The entire last stanza brings hope and the pyre, if we can ever find a way to give of ourselves completely…

  2. Jeanette Gallagher says:

    I relate to your fabulous poem, Rae. It’s one of my favorites of all the wonderful words you’ve written. And what would we do without the gifts you so graciously share? Love this! Thank you.

  3. Jean McLeod says:

    Stunning. These words made me tearfully grateful for your talent.

    If my music is ever right
    My page will curl to ember
    The words will turn to ash
    And sing their timeless meaning

  4. Rae, my voice is an echo in the crowd.

  5. Kathryn Brownlow says:

    This one resonated for me, Rae.
    “things I should have said”
    “histories I never spoke”
    Thanks for saying it all just right–Kay