Wednesday, September 06, 2017
Ann Krohn Rick––prose poem
Many years ago, my friend Ann Krohn Rick visited Ithaca, New York, home of Cornell University and the Corning Glass Museum. Both made a major impression on her, yielding a transcendent experience of exultation and joy. She herself is a singer and
"sings Empty into the world." She explained to me that Ithaca sits over a "river of slate" from the Devonian Age, or the Age of Fishes. She said that the Corning Glass Museum was the best museum she had ever seen. This entry is culled from her journal, which describes that memorable experience. For me, the poem suggests Whitman with his exultant flow of imagery.
Ithaca is graced with amazing geology, black slate from the Devonian Age, or the Age of Fishes, when water was breathed by organisms, not air. Ithaca is home to Cornell University, and an amazing river runs through the center of it, cutting through slate, deep.
My trip also included Corning NY, where corningware was conceived and made, and I visited the best museum I’ve ever seen, and that is saying a lot since I’ve been to Europe. The Corning Glass Museum made a deep impression on me. Glass blowing was part of the exhibit. Slowly a correspondence formed between Holy Breath and the Love Stream itself, linked by the Age of Fishes, when water was breath.
Singing Empty into the World is something I do, as does the mountain thrush in the below excerpts from my journal. Yet beyond even our “arts” the Beads represent Incarnate Form itself. By Being, full and Radiantly Conscious, we are beads linked to the Inexhaustible Love Stream/Song.
Maybe something Big wants to Word Itself through me
The Godded-Human comes thundering down
Earth you have made obsidian. Together forge us crystal.
Cornell, Corning, Corazon del Mundo
Begin my friend, where all good journeys end, at Ithaca N.Y., Cornell Campus, Sage Hall, under that flowering tree.
Shouldering humid blocks of mid-summer heat, oppressive, tight, and academic rush-rush of contrived inquiry, the Surface World.
Friend, let me show you the unnoticed gate, Cascadilla Slate, the Love Stream, flowing under Ithaca. Hurling open-throated vowels up onto the street
A rage, a crystal torrent
under Ithaca, hidden
causeways bursting into
chasms sending open-throated
vowels clattering down
Gorges of black obsidian slate
(River can I take you back in the cupped hands of Words?)
Sound rounding out and
Containing the curves of canyons
your Empty fills, and billows out
Bird call clear as Crystal
Maker of Worlds
Opener of Empty
Even the stunned sedges at
opening outward their inner otherness
Big and slow our passage here
lugubrious we walk and meet the water
breath at the core of form
beads of birdsong
Liquid Breath, liquor
The Love Stream
Take these word-beads/bird weeds
hissing in the rush grass
Pierce your Ears with them or pierce your Hearts
because Adorning I Adore you
From Cornell to Corning, Water to Air
Open throated culverts
singing out into this dark night,
carving the contours of canyons
pour forth your presence
back when breathing was water
before air’s oxidizing axes hacking
back when breath was water
Come my Friend
Take my hand
Move through this charmed space, stunned and
This space never knew it was
expanding on the sheaves of Song
Let me take you from Cornell to Corning
The Glass Factory
The glass factory
Masters blowing baubles
Form with a breath at the center
the glass factory at Corning
They say glass is neither liquid, gas or solid
Bonds between atoms break
apart and cool so quickly there is not time to reorganize
Take sand, soda, lime, apply intense heat,
frozen in disordered arrangement
A solid liquid
Form with breath at the center
(back when breathing was water)
master glass blower
Hallowing out a hollow
form with breath at the
Dropping word beads hot off
The spinning spindle
Corazon del Mundo
River in the Heart Cave, can I
take you back in the cupped
hands of Words?
Friend, how is it that we are Here?
What Grace is this?
Throw yourself down in gratitude
And learn to string beads if you can.
Take these word-beads
from a strand of Song
Sand blast glass
melted oozing blood-red harden
Inspired with impurity
the alloyed allies of
Pain, of incarnate
compassion and Our Choice
Pierce your Ears with them
Or pierce your Heart
Because Adorning I Adore you.
Ann Krohn Rick
(image from internet)