This Poem was Submitted By: Rick Barnes On Date: 2004-11-11 07:49:00 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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I have whispered the sound of you  into the breathless empty air and fouled it with prayer  that can not, and now I know must not , be answered. I have spoken aloud these sounds of you into rooms now gone dark, and rummaged through the ruined lives of sounds I mistook as yours. I have howled, heavenward, graceless vowels of a soul without words  when I could no longer hold this plea, held lifelong, inside of me, “Find Me”.

Copyright © November 2004 Rick Barnes

This Poem was Critiqued By: Jennifer j Hill On Date: 2004-12-07 22:45:59
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Hi Rick, It's past time for critiques , but I am not willing to let this one go without a comment. Please don't fret a bit about scoring this because all I want to do is let you know how awesome this is. Of course I voted for it. How could I not. Such words of love and longing can not be ignored. I wonder if you felt completely naked after you wrote this? Normally that would be a strange thing to ask someone, but not after that. Wow. Thanks. Bye Jennifer

This Poem was Critiqued By: Carolyn Minsker On Date: 2004-12-07 10:15:47
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Anxiously I read your poem, and then, read it again. Were you wandering around, peering into my windows, watching as I worried? I read it to a friend, he didn't understand. But I knew, because poet's do. when you opened this vein you mixed my blood on your palette and painted my pain.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Erzahl Leo M. Espino On Date: 2004-12-05 00:21:54
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Hi Rick, Again, you have released your romance with poetry in a language that only you and your true audience can decifer. Your words have found the "me" in me and I'm glad that I have found "Arioso"...enchanting its lyrics through my heart. Such intoxicating words that kept me drunk as a reread and reread this beauty. Kudos and kudos!!! In awe, Erzahl :)
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mell W. Morris On Date: 2004-12-01 13:13:05
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Rick, This is at the bottom of my are so popular. I know some ideas about your feelings about music which are much like mine, so the title drew me in. What you say here is the unsayable so what do I say to that? Like entering the holy of holies. Like a purification ritual is required before you proceed with words. You whispered sounds of her/him into empty air and then fouled it with prayer. This reminds me slightly of my poem about re-pairing with God in lieu of prayer to him. You tell us that the sound of her is not to be heard/answered Then in magnificent stanza two, poet says he spoke the sounds forbidden into rooms which darkened. That says a great deal, however softly spoken or said or sung. A great deal of power therein and when you (stupidly) rummaged thru ruined sounds/lives the poet mistakes as hers. There is such a baring of soul that if you said you were a cannibal and longed to eat her flesh, it would fit perfectly. This is a poem that cuts to the marrow, medullary, wherein gentleness and brutality meld. Or did I take a wrong turn in stanza one? That's why I said "stupidly" TIC My favorite sonnet by Shakespeare is "When in disfavor with fortune and men's eyes" or something close to that. Anyway, he says..."and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries". Cynical as that may be, I've always found profound truth in those few words which I envision lined beside yours. Dear Ricko. mjy son is here to take me to the dr. so I will e-mail the rest. MellO
This Poem was Critiqued By: DeniMari Z. On Date: 2004-11-30 19:21:20
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.94444
Dear Rick, Sorry I missed this poem early, it's wonderful. The title is appealing and the verse content is deep. It has a depressed tone about it, a search for something that you want to find you. A private conversation with God that has not been answered yet? It's the message I get from reading this. I too have felt like this and can relate to your words. I may not have howled, but I've gotten close to that where the soul cries up towards heaven for an answer. Your second verse is very compelling, very poignant and awe inspiring. I'm very impressed with this poem and wish you the best with it. Sincerely, DeniMari
This Poem was Critiqued By: Rachel F. Spinoza On Date: 2004-11-30 11:41:16
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
what a wonderful poem of longing with such tender language and sweet asides that I dare not touch a phoneme. Bravo, Rick
This Poem was Critiqued By: Rachel F. Spinoza On Date: 2004-11-30 11:41:16
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
what a wonderful poem of longing with such tender language and sweet asides that I dare not touch a phoneme. Bravo, Rick
This Poem was Critiqued By: Dellena Rovito On Date: 2004-11-24 15:44:32
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.88235
Hi Rick, I looked on my critique list and you wern't there. I had heart failure. I've had this terrific poem rumbling in my mind for weeks. Last night I finally knew what I wanted to write! We all look for the 'one' for us. Or hope they'll find us. And our expectations are such we our setup for failure. {I'm speaking from my experience] I believe as Leo Bisqualia [spelled wrong, when he wrote; [In the book titled LOVE] love is a mirror. How one feels for the other is reflected back. If you liked someone, you would act in that manner. And with them being sweeet to you, you would be sweet back. [reflection] Eventually how you truly in your heart care/is the way they truly care too. how much the opposite is the same. We want them to care but you don't really...=it's not working. Ok...if you don't love yourself wholly/even with faults, how can another? ok...The secret is forget about being loved, just get out there and love. Love everything, dogs/people-old-young/trees/bugs....whatever. And the love will come back! you will then be living love. Hope you don't mind my talk.[just different thoughts] Of course your poems The 'best' loved it/as you know... dellena
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2004-11-11 13:03:08
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Rick: At long last, a poem of yours. Something about this seems familiar - I am uncertain if it is because this is one of your published poems, or if it is 'familiar' because it is predestined in a sense. That is, it is a poem which is made of words as molecules are made of atoms, and molecules make up 'things' as we understand them. Things are so ordinary that we often don't 'see' them, but molecules, under the microscope are those miraculous and 'ahaa' discovery that were always present, just not visible yet. Enhanced vision may be what makes this poem seem as if it is already a part of me -- the enhance vision which you lend the reader. It feels to me as if this is the search that we are each undertaking, separately and together, for those 'lost' parts of the self which are actually not lost. It's just that our vision doesn't take them in at present. But your vision does, if I am not completely off the mark, take in the present of that which was, is, and shall always be -- the presence of the Self. And there are many ways of seeing the self, you show us. Reading this brings me to the point of an 'almost' epiphany, as do so many of your poems. One or two readings isn't enough for the full meaning to develop. I often experience your poems as fractals, as any chosen view is the same as the expanded (macrocosmic) or contracted (microscopic) view. But this all sounds very impersonal, while your poem could not BE more personal, yet it feels as if it is my own story, my own whisper. The mark of great poetry, in my view, is that one is not the same after encountering it. One has new senses if one allows a poem like this to do its work. I have whispered the sound of you into the breathless empty air and fouled it with prayer that can not, and now I know must not , be answered. In the speaker's perceived isolation, he(she) calls out for the missing other, the beloved. Poetic effects are sublime, as always -- the soft tone, the sounds of "sound/fouled" and "air/prayer" and the final seeming thud of 'd' of "whispered/fouled/answered" -- all past tense. I am intrigued by the phrase "sound of you" which implies much more than a name. It implies the beingness of someone/thing, as it elicits the sense of genesis -- God's speaking the creative fiat. The sound made or 'spoken' by the Creator IS that thing. The sense I have is that the "sound of you" is the undifferentiated other. Though the speaker feels the absence of that other, which is a contradiction in terms. I am startled by the phrase "fouled it with prayer" but then realize that to ask for what is already present, has already been given is to reveal that one does not sense the original, eternal presence. It is like waiting expectantly for a gift, when the gift is before one, unwrapped. If the prayer were answered, I suspect, the speaker would descend more deeply into the illusion of separation. If the longed-for other appeared, it would have to be a construct, if my line of reasoning applies. It would be as 'real' as a manufactured doll compared to an actual infant. The receiver of such a gift would eventually discover the 'child' was unreal, and be bereft in a more painful way had the doll never been in its possession. I have spoken aloud these sounds of you into rooms now gone dark, and rummaged through the ruined lives of sounds I mistook as yours. Rick, I'm going far out on a limb here, and leaping to a conclusion or making an assumption, and I know the dangers and am willing to receive the consequences if I am in error. Give me a 1, if I have so misread your meaning as to have mangled your intent. I feel that it is to "God" that these words were spoken, into "rooms now gone dark" --not because the speaker made the Creator angry, but because the speaker in so doing, having discovered the doll to be a unreal facsimile, assumes the absence of the beloved. All rooms would look dark if one cannot 'see the light' if you'll pardon my cliche. The speaker "rummaged through" the "ruined lives" of those others whom he(she) mistook as the One. The eternal search for the missing One takes us into many experiences, and it is as if we are all blinded, searching desperately for those whom we already love, because our very nature is love, but we grieve for them because we fined them missing. Their lives are "ruined" as well, because they, too, as part of the One, mistake the sounds they seek and find are found to be false 'dolls' or perhaps, 'idols' (similar root word) and ultimately leave the seeker more alone than before. I have howled, heavenward, graceless vowels of a soul without words when I could no longer hold this plea, held lifelong, inside of me, “Find Me”. These final lines are searing, deeply anguished cries from a soul who has cried "without words" for the one presence which could bring peace. The speaker cries out "Find Me" with a capitalized pronoun, reveals that he(she) seeks the Divine, who is already present. The loneliness I feel when reading these lines is excruciating; yet I feel comforted. If another can voice this despair, this existential void that I, too, feel, that I am not alone. The speaker is not alone as he(she) touches the edge of the void, with the growing awareness that the Other Who is sought is present. I feel weird right now, as if I am almost depersonalized and on the tip of my soul's tongue is the word I can almost say, the word which would enlighten the darkened rooms which I have inhabited all of my life. Far from being "graceless" these "vowels of a soul" here may represent the ideal and infinite which is not imprisoned and limited by matter; they may represent a musical scale of sound which creates. This poem could also be read as the loneliness of one human being who has looked for the ideal companion in other humans --very specific ones--and found that idealized person to be elusive. The speaker comes to the realization that that person sought does not exist. But I cannot help but read this poem with the expanded vision that you have given me. (I do believe that the speaker's long-for person does indeed exist, within. Once the discovery is made, then relationships with others become 'real' because the speaker is operating from within his 'real' self.) Enough already. You have said it better, more profoundly than I ever could, searching for words to say what I feel you have already said. There's a sorrow in your words which resonates for me, as I realize that all relationships - not just man-woman ones, revolve around this search for the missing other. I'm not ready to release the illusion of separation yet, and still grieve. There were moments when all seemed perfectly peaceful and complete, and these fleeting moments are like the doll, beautiful, thrilling and ultimately betray one who has not found that God is within. It's a difficult awareness to maintain. Thank you for another luminous experience. Keep reminding us. Trying to take things more Light-ly isn't east! All my best, Joanne
This Poem was Critiqued By: Amour Stakwi'a Dresbach On Date: 2004-11-11 12:21:50
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Rick, Very good work. It's nice to see another of your works. I plan on placing more of mine on the site soon. I may be e-mailing you again soon, my friend. Thanks again. I enjoy critiquing as well as receiving critiques. Good feeling in this work. It's always nice to see another man be able to express his emotions. We seem to be a rare kind. May we find wonderful, passionate women to heal our hearts!
This Poem was Critiqued By: Tony P Spicuglia On Date: 2004-11-11 11:41:05
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
I could hear Francis Thompson's Hound of Heaven throughout this piece. I fled Him, down the nights and down the days; I fled Him, down the arches of the years; I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears I hid from Him, and under running laughter. At first I believed this was a forlorn, forgotten lover seeking, but as Basilia Schlink taught, loving the almighty is a personal, love affair that is beyond earthly romance. I have whispered - whispered is a very sensuous word the sound of you - you know, or think you know the voice of whom you seek. that can not, and now I know must not , be answered - This is a fascinating look at the seeker, who still seeks and knows the answers once considered appropriate were exactly the opposite, and possibly the voice sought had a timbre much different than he considered. This reflects back on Arioso, which hails a melodic calling, but not the structure of an aria, which I have often written about. It is a wonderful tribute to the "sought". and rummaged through - rummaged is indicative of searching through less than valuable items to the seeker the ruined lives - ruined lives, searching where the seeking obviously misled you. of sounds I mistook as yours - Here is the foundation of wisdom, that finally the seeker realizes that the voice sought is not being heard correctly. There is another voice that remains, unhearable to the soul searching elsewhere. I have howled, heavenward, graceless vowels of a soul without words when I could no longer hold this plea, held lifelong, inside of me, “Find Me”. - finally the howling, heavenword, as if the hound within echoes in lonliness for the hound of heaven. Wisdom finally overcomes and the seeker speaks, "here am I, take me", the plea of "find me" recognizes that for the seeker, seeking is a desired attribute of a worthy soul, and without it the words "find me" would be meaningless, a surrender to the wisdom gained. "he was here all along". This is a powerful piece, as full of passion as I have ever read. The full impact is worth many a reread, and I did.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Mark Steven Scheffer On Date: 2004-11-11 11:33:26
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 1.00000
Rick, A powerful poem that comes from that sacred core inside one. My only critical comment would be on the last line, which certainly works conceptually, but somehow let took me down a bit from the high pastures I was moving through before getting there. I don't know if that observation has any legitimate value, and may just be an aberrant, meaningless register from my peculiar self. I'm probably missing much because I'm not familiar with opera and its forms - to which the title, i believe, alludes. Great write. Mark
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