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  • Writer's pictureMarisa Guerin

Let's Listen for "The Second Music"

Updated: Apr 12, 2018

Marisa Guerin, PhD - January 19, 2018

Some days I want to scream at Washington. Some days I march; some days I call or write my electeds. But it is a constant challenge to be an engaged citizen in these chaotic times without harboring anger, even hate at times, I confess. My better self knows that there is no solution there. I pray to become capable of resistance with compassion and sincere contribution. One day at a time, one day at a time.

Poet Annie Lighthart inspires me to tune my heart to the music that is playing below the cacophony of current events, so infused with their stress and anxiety and fear.

Her gentle words remind us of the quieter reality that is there, if we listen.

Thank God for poets!


Now I understand that there are two melodies playing,

one below the other, one easier to hear, the other

lower, steady, perhaps more faithful for being less heard

yet always present.

When all other things seem lively and real,

this one fades. Yet the notes of it

touch as gently as fingertips, as the sound

of the names laid over each child at birth.

I want to stay in that music without striving or cover.

If the truth of our lives is what it is playing,

the telling is so soft

that this mortal time, this irrevocable change,

becomes beautiful. I stop and stop again

to hear the second music.

I hear the children in the yard, a train, then birds.

All this is in it and will be gone. I set my ear to it as I would to a heart.

"The Second Music" by Annie Lighthart from Iron String © Airlie Press, 2015. Reprinted with permission.

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