The Alchemy of Silence and Sound

All Nine

Rebekah Choat reflects upon “How to be a Poet”

How To Be A Poet

by Wendell Berry

(to remind myself)

i

Make a place to sit down.

Sit down. Be quiet.

You must depend upon

affection, reading, knowledge,

skill – more of each

than you have – inspiration,

work, growing older, patience,

for patience joins time

to eternity. Any readers

who like your poems,

doubt their judgment.

ii

Breathe with unconditional breath

the unconditioned air.

Shun electric wire.

Communicate slowly. Live

a three-dimensioned life;

stay away from screens.

Stay away from anything

that obscures the place it is in.

There are no unsacred places;

there are only sacred places

and desecrated places.

iii

Accept what comes from silence.

Make the best you can of it.

Of the little words that come

out of the silence, like prayers

prayed back to the one who prays,

make a poem that…

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The Swing of Poetry: Musings on Stevenson

Three years ago today, my first contribution to All Nine Muses was published. I still can’t thank Chief Muse Kelly Belmonte enough for her vote of confidence in giving me this opportunity, and all my fellow Muses for their support and encouragement.

All Nine

All Nine welcomes Rebeka Choat to share her musings on Robert Louis Stevenson. Becka is a reader, a writer, a lover of the printed word, dedicated to bringing people books to nourish mind, soul, and spirit.  Her website is www.booksbybecka.com.

Image by Rebeka Choat

The Swing of Poetry: Musings on Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Swing” 

by Rebeka Choat 

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,

Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside —

Till I look down on the garden green,

Down on the roof so brown —
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Early some mornings before…

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Icons, Part Three

image by Rebekah Choat

image by Rebekah Choat

This statuette is the closest thing I have to a traditional icon. When she first came to pray in my garden some ten years ago, she was an angel, regal yet demure. She lost a wing during Hurricane Ike, which only made me love her more – though broken, she retained her beauty and poise.

The other wing was shattered when she was knocked down by a strong wind perhaps eighteen months ago, since when I have felt an even deeper connection to her. She is completely approachable now, and might be a friend, a kindred spirit. In some mystical way, I feel peace when I sit outside near her in the early mornings, and even when I look at her picture.

image by Rebekah Choat

image by Rebekah Choat

The Praying Lady speaks to me of Someone else, One who deliberately laid his divinity aside for a time and came to be like one of us, to be with us in all our joy and sorrow; One who sits now at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for us.