Humming into the Wind

Through sullen branches of ancestry,
a deadened wind soughs a song
of loss. Straggling souls skim the trees
in skeins towards an ancient rookery
to caw themselves to sleep. They echo
through insomnolent dreams,
but silvered by moonlit poetry
I hum against the windy wings,
through a mouthful of mouldering leaves,
and the succubi of one who nightly grieves.

Kim M. Russell, 19th March 2019

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My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics: Poetic Hum, also linked to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Tuesday Platform

Gina is our host this week and she tells us about an article by Laurie Patton, in which the writer asks pertinent questions about the dual lives we lead, and mentions famous poets and writers who lived ‘one identity at a time and also those who chose multiple identities’ concurrently.

Gina says that the part of the article that held her attention was the ‘Tanpura Principle in writing’.  She explains that the tanpura is an Indian instrument that sustains the other instruments by providing a drone or base from which the soloist can draw in singing or playing the melody, and that the Tanpura Principle in writing is the idea that much of writing occurs while doing something else, because the base of poetic inspiration, the supporting drone, is always there.

Gina asks us about the poetic hum in our lives: what hums in the background of our lives that inspires us and is the drone always there or do we have to cultivate the inspiration? She has given us a list of points to ponder in our poems. She has also shared some poems from poets who write listening to their poetic hum.

I often write about the beauty of nature and everything living, but my ever-present supporting drone is the loss of friends and family over the years, relationships I will never get back, and the thought that death will claim more before my own life comes to an end. 

64 thoughts on “Humming into the Wind

    1. The darkness is always there, Sarah. I think, when my mum died, I realised that there are very few of us left and I keep wondering about old friends and relatives I haven’t seen for years and whether we’ll get to meet up again. Call me Maud(lin).


  1. I can identify with the somber tone of this poem, having reached the time in my life when loved ones and dear friends pass from this life one by one. But, dear Kim, just think of the welcome committee and glorious reunion we’ll have when we get to the “other side”!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thank you Kim. for writing this. when one has suffered loss it drowns out everything else. that hum is on replay even when we want it to be quiet. the darkness and howling wind echo how great your loss has been, your poem today is so reminiscent of George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo, you have captured sadness of loss and the beauty of life, what a strong and empowering drone Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As I start to get older, I have started to hear that same hum. All I can do is cherish what I have as completely as I can before other voices join that solemn song.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So ripe and rich and sonorous the language–we could be reading Heaney–darkly resolving into the softer sibiliants of breezing poetry, the gift. Not despite nor because but in league with, like the shadow of a boat passing over a river bottom. Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Loss and pain I think are the backdrop to much of poetry… I so echo your feelings on the topic, Kim.
    Straggling souls skim the trees
    in skeins towards an ancient rookery
    to caw themselves to sleep – is a vivid haunting image.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is an instant favourite for me, Kim. I love the way you have woven the S – K – combinations through the lines, and the subject is very on point with the moodiness of season’s changing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wowww this is incredibly gorgeous, Kim! ❤️ I love; “I hum against the windy wings, through a mouthful of mouldering leaves.” 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m glad you wrote this Kim. As someone else said, we are used to reading light and cheerful poetry from you. This is deeper and more personal and it’s a way of looking at life that I at least can empathise with.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. kaykuala

    Through sullen branches of ancestry,
    a deadened wind soughs a song of loss.

    There may be some regrets knowing how seemingly unfair our lineage may have deterred from the good expected of them, instead of having brought shame in some ways. Great opening Kim!


    Liked by 1 person

  10. This resonates with me. The grief, darkness and reality of death can certainly be the heartbeat of our poetry. Sad but true. I’m sorry for all that you have lost, Kim but thankful for the words that you create from your poetic hum.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Who knows what all goes on during the dark with us asleep. The “succubi” was new to me, I was intrigued by imaging the antics of the mystic “succubus”.

    Liked by 1 person

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