sculpted silence

Dear Friends,

I have often felt that the forms in our existence are, in their essence, contours of Silence. This beautiful poem by Anne Norman brings this close to us. Thank you, Anne! Enjoy!


Original post:


sculpted silence

blowing through bamboo
i wander in the realm of sculpted silence

phrases waver
notes linger
deep inhalations punctuate perception

trampled grass
day masks the Milky Way

a celebration of perfection of being
in one exhalation
one dying, dipping note

two eagles circle high above
a raven cries out
clouds release their velvet rain

coursing down the weathered flute
water drips from bamboo roots
melody becomes urgent

breath divides on bamboo’s edge
wind stirs the grasses
forest whispers
thunder shouts
a final arc of sonic brush stroke

a pause
and the world returns to stillness
there is no rain

wet hair clings to my forehead
bowing to the elements
i move my sodden feet

wrapping my bamboo shakuhachi
a sculptor packing her tools
the song is now internal

19th June 2014 © Anne M Norman
Cloud Being by Alia Chandler

Cloud Being by
Alia Chandler


4 thoughts on “sculpted silence

  1. I love this. I was watching a documentary about Frank Zappa recently and he talked about his music as “sound sculptures”. How powerfully wonderful to have one who recognizes that this sculpture begins and ends in the inner empty silence which is bursting full and loudly with the music of living past the illusion of separation. Gracious.

    And when the elements and the animals and the external theater joins us in reflecting these silent connections, what a song sculpture we all be. -x.M

    • Dear M,
      Very beautiful – “the music of living past the illusion of separation” – thank you! When we recognize how ephemeral these forms are that we hold so dear, we can relax into a dance with the emptiness….
      with love

  2. Thank you for sharing my poem Tomas. I am working on composing an new album of works for shakuhachi entitled Sculpted Silence. It is an album I have wanted to do for 20 years and it is getting closer. All the imagery in this poem comes from an amalgam of experiences of playing shakuhachi in nature when the heavens have opened up and poured with rain for only the duration of my piece; or the wind blows the grasses on each of my exhalations; I have travelled widely and been asked to play in many situations, the most recent being a funeral of an aboriginal elder, a true honour, and that is where the reference to the Milky Way comes from… and the eagles that flew overhead.

    In silence we are able to focus on detail, uncluttered. Time to listen to inner voices, inner dialogues, inner songs. I stayed at a friend’s home recently, and found the constant nose of the television phenomenally disturbing. At home, I live in silence. I sculpt silence, but I also sculpt wood for a hobby, and find that something beautiful emerges of its own accord.

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