Poems By and About The Silver Nightingale


Here's a poem written for me by Richard Ryal, Poet King and my ever loyal flute-case carrier:


In The Center of the Gale

the silence of lightning profound
to all afraid of thunder
Fingers bent parallel
along the hollow flute, her lips
form a half kiss over
the mouthpiece, suddenly
the metal barrel a river bed
laid against the listener's breast.

Her silver rod a simple vein
for heat attuned inside the chest
by twin singing lungs, owl
wings spread around the heart,
hunter lifting into flight
from a hidden limb fork

The melody, storm wind curled
inside out, grieves the endless
night within the ribs, shows
the breath a route into a world
spacious beyond the player's skin
where we listen warm and sheltered.

after thunder the land
resumes its voices
- 3/97


Richard, the official Silver Nightingale Poet Laureate, wrote this lovely ode in honor of my Sarabande CD Release Party:



The Flautessa of Flutes invited the Buddha of Badda-Boom
to join her in a festive moment to gently rock the room

this wasn't enough so the nightingale invitingaled
the Strummer of Summery Lovely Licks, melodic Ramon

well they jammed, well they played, they were smooth as sorbet
and the notes in the pulse never crammed the saucy dulcet tinge

enfolding and beholding the beauty of the silver birdie wailing
melody, they laid down their virtuosity on an altar of generosity

when Laura Sue - I would, wouldn't you? - decrescendoed,
it floated our boats on a silver stream that quivered like a river

and the tropic Ramon created a home for our ears
in the space between our hearts and his art and we cried sun shower tears

what's drummed is done, and Jim, he won the loyalty of our limbs with feistiness,
turning devils into angels with the possessing vigor of a poltergeisty fest

swooping in silken and sensuous trilling, Laura Sue debuted
a new melodic turn bright and clear as the burn of a crystal lantern

follow this melody, dance to this beat and you'll arrive
in the Land Where You Are Real and you will not be denied

silver the flute, golden the glow, tropical plucking and bopping of skins
consummate a state of release that's a feast for all who stop and come in

- 7/11/99


Whaddaya mean I can't smoke in here? This is the poetry section! - -


Here are some of my poems:

Like My Garden is going to be published in Heidi Richards' upcoming book, The Secret Language of Flowers. Stay tuned for a release date!


Laura Sue in Her Garden
On Woodstock Drive
When this poem was written


Like My Garden

I want to grow like my garden
I want to sprout like the seed
That's been gathering strength beneath the soil
While I've been checking out every weed
Making me think it would never show
Then suddenly one day appear
I want to grow like my garden this year

I shall nurture my life like my garden
Clearing the brush from my path
Sunning and watering every day
Changing, arranging to try a new way
Joyfully sniffing the color
Even enjoying the weeds
Fearlessly facing the lizards and frogs
Lovingly taking good care of my flowering needs

Sometimes a plant that appears to be dead
Comes back to life much stronger
How does a plant find the will to go on . . .
What can rekindle a spirit that's gone?

I want to heal like my garden
My presence gracing the ground
Gently hobnobbing with neighborhood strays
Offering shelter to cats on hot days
Happily being what I'm meant to be
Showing it off for the whole world to see
Blooming and budding and blooming again
I want to be like my garden, my friend

Copyright 1991 Laura Sue Wilansky

Some of my favorite flowers:

somebody's garden in New Orleans


parking lot of the Riverside Hotel in Fort Lauderdale on the New River

photo by my friend Scott Luscombe on his land in Truxton, NY



Silent Watcher
6/28/93 - 7/2/93

I am the Watcher
I am the Guardian of the Space
I sit silent... offering protection... Holding the Space
I see the shadows of spirits through the ages
Elders who have held this post for their tribes
Who have been the Silent Watchers for the grieving families

It has been an interesting day
Appreciating the modern technology at the library, researching a far-way newspaper whose struggle for liberation has become the stuff of legend
Finding the perfect paper stock for my new flier, at the right price
Seeing the marquees at Science of Mind and Pure Platinum sporting the same message (!):
Time is an illusion. Now is Forever.
Losing a dime at the library and finding it in the parking lot at the paper store
Maybe everything really is connected!
Working late to create...
Coming home to my answering machine with messages that say "tragedy" and "call me as soon as you get home"

I am the Watcher
I hold the space for her, my beloved friend in her grief
It is dark, and she floats from room to room like an agitated wraith, unable to rest
I lie in the dark, watching, holding the space
Suddenly I feel the presence of her daughter's spirit
Her daughter who never woke up today
She has come back to let us know she is OK, she is happy, she is in a good place
She has a busy night, as reports come the next day from many she has visited

I hear the news on NPR
and I wonder, don't they know, this is not important,
this war, this budget, this Presidential Decree
Don't they know what the real news is?
And yes, the next day, there it is in the paper -
Both papers -
An article and a big picture
How she lived and died
And still it is not real to me
She is too alive, her life force too strong - you can see it in the pictures

Again, I am the Watcher
As she lies surrounded by flowers
As hundreds of people line up, and stand quietly, waiting their turn to weep and give honor
I offer my music up to the heavens, and to those who come to remember with love, and I feel the power of this moment
I know this is the most important music I have ever played
I know I have been prepared for this my whole life, and I am ready
I hear the wailing of mothers through the ages, and the keening of flutes giving voice to their sorrow, as I do

I watch, and listen
As the Father tells the story
Of a fifth grader who argues religious points with him, and how he envied her
As the mother speaks of driver's licenses
And proms
And pizzas
Of challenges met and unmet
Of the circle of friends
As the Coach and the girlfriends and the brother give their heart's tribute
And I offer up the songs again, songs for her:
Imagine, Tears in Heaven, and Tainted Love - her favorite
And I tell the story to others

It is quiet again
Everyone is gone
But the Watchers, the Guardians
Heather is gone
Karen is weeping, weeping
We hold her, in our arms, in our hearts
We hold the space for her

So much loss, so much love
I am honored to be included
I am touched by the hugs of the young men
By the strength of the young women
By the tears shed and the tears held back
For a moment I am inside the circle
I do not know how to stay there
I pull back to rejoin my own life
already in progress
But I will remember this feeling
And wonder, is it only in crisis, in hurricanes,
in death, we can come so close
We can love each other so openly
And can I bring my life to life....

 Copyright 1993 Laura Sue Wilansky




Taking No Prisoners

You give me nothing
Yet I would give you everything
One glimpse of you
And I feel your lips soft on mine for hours
Your tongue is hostage to mine... or so you say
You as my hostage....
Yes, I can vision that
But no longer can I take hostages for my lovers
As I did once
And again
And again
No matter how willingly you would be taken
They were always willing
And there is nothing more dangerous than an escaped prisoner

You want me
Yet you do nothing
I know why
I know all too well why
I cannot wait
I have no patience for this anymore
I must move on!
But hostage I am too - not to you
But to my own feelings
I cannot help but want you
I cannot be with you
I cannot stay away
I cannot do anything
The flood waters are deep
and rising in my neighborhood

You bring me nothing
No candy
No flowers
No poems of love
Only empty compliments
You who should be kneeling at my altar
Offering your sweetest and most sacred gifts
The Goddess appreciates compliments
But She demands sacrifice
You, poet, bring only words, and never enough of those
You, wolf, only gaze from afar, but never attack
I, night bird, have become alchemist
I turn your gaze into heat that burns clean through me
Melting me into purest
The flood waters are deep
and I feel like a prisoner in my own neighborhood

You owe me nothing
(At least that's what I keep telling myself)
But I want everything
The cat has your tongue
But my words flow like moonblood
I give you
this poem
then hate myself
I want to seduce you with these words
I want to make you do something!
I want to give you everything
but I cannot

You give me nothing and I want to give you everything

I can give you nothing
And there is nothing

Copyright 1997 Laura Sue Wilansky


All poems except Richard's Copyright Laura Sue Wilansky 2002 All Rights Reserved


Please see my Remembering George page for a poem I wrote about John Lennon.

Please see my More Poetry Page for more poetry.

Please see this page for my poignant poem "Waiting for Katrina".

Now available - Nuclear Free Poetry! Please read my poem: "Recycle Nuclear Plants!"



To read more of my writing, please visit Blog of the Nightingale!



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