Tone of Mind

I couldn’t let go
of the desire to feel
something intense
anger at injustice or
anger at not doing what I should,
using that intensity as the drug,
to hang my hat on that knobby stud,
while really immobilized by fear
of being inadequate.
Stuck in the spider net
which won’t let go,
won’t let go.
But which really won’t let go?
the web or me?

I couldn’t get my
mind around
the carnal openness,
the magnetic freedom
from the known,
the rawness,
the rage,
starting there
and opening more
to the size of suns
burning the rage
to a diamond core.

We cannot live in blame.
It is false fuel.
We must change our
from the screech
of accusative addiction
to a longer melody,
a catchy strain,
a tune hummed
inside heads
while standing in line
to buy daily bread,
a smiling tune
of forgiving harmony
to carry all counterpoints
with heartfelt sundry,
a Beethoven’s Ninth
to warm us against
the cold heart of hate.

I look for a tune to soften
the tone of the mind.

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6 thoughts on “Tone of Mind

  1. A read this one several times, partly because I enjoyed what the words were saying, partly because I so enjoyed the music of the language. The last lines are so lovely they bring such a smile to my eyes. They truly do soften the tone of my mind. The entire piece so slowly comes to these and these words are so sweet and satisfying.

    It’s a melody of words. Thank you.

  2. There are some wonderful images in this poem, Garnet, lines that really stay in the mind: “burning the rage / to a diamond core” and “false fuel”, for example, as well as the longer reference to tunes being hummed inside one’s head while standing in line to buy daily bread. Cunning rhyme there, too!

  3. Thanks Liz and Ken. I sometimes throw up these floppy, almost stream of consciousness poems. It’s interesting to see what images pop up.

  4. Garnett:
    As intonation is the expressive element of most instruments, so too is it with voice. What I like about this poem, then, is it’s expressive inflections and cadences that become quite evident when read aloud. I liked how you used the imagery of the spider web to make the abstract understood: “. . . immobilized by fear of being inadequate.” Your last stanza is especially well written. The relative strength of this poem, though, is its timbre, or tone, that is so unmistakable in its intent.

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