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It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart. --Rainer Maria Rilke

I No Longer Sing With Only My Voice

--by Afton Wilder, Apr 20, 2022

This is my favorite poem. After I listened to a recording of Chelan Harkin’s poem, called “I no longer pray” the words "I no longer sing with only my voice…” flashed into my head like a stroke of lightning. The qualities in the poem are like the seven synonyms for God, (Love, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Truth, Life, Principle) I learned about in Sunday School, except I only used six of them.

I no longer sing with only my voice.

I sing with my heart, my love.

I no longer sing with only my voice.

I sing with my mind, my thought.

I no longer sing with only my voice.

I sing with my soul, my conscience.

I no longer sing with only my voice.

I sing with my spirit, my energy.

I no longer sing with only my voice.

I sing with my truth, my belief.

I no longer sing with only my voice.

I sing with my life.

 ***

One of the exercises for the Together Fun Club  a global environmental club for kids that I started, was for each of us to go out and get to know a tree and either draw it or do something creative. I knew the second I laid my eyes on this tree that she and I were meant for each other. Her name is “Together.” I did a drawing of her also.

Together

A soul constantly in my life, trust never wavering.

Her comfort surrounds me, in her peace I feel at home. 

Our togetherness is for eternity, our love, completely effortless. 

Her protection, my light in the darkness, her warmth, an everlasting embrace. 

The importance she owns is unthinkable, her respect you can not imagine. 

She heals me after every parting we suffer. 

She shows me how to be gentle like those branches reaching up to the sun. 

Her spiritual guidance cannot be replaced, her loneliness is an arrow to my chest. 

She has sense, way more than you could imagine. 

She is majestic in her own way. 

Our relationship took off on the very first day, on an expedition to the moon…together.

***

This Is It.  This is what my friend Mark Peters always says and I decided I just had to make a poem based on it. Last year I made this drawing of it, too. The three arrows are pointing to the exclamation point because that emphasizes it.

This is it. 

Not tomorrow, not yesterday. 

Now. 

This is the moment. 

This moment. 

Follow to tomorrow when tomorrow is ready to come, but right now is right now. 

This now. 

This is it. 

If you think about tomorrow, you’ll feel sorry tomorrow because you didn’t notice that THIS is it. 

Enjoy every movement, 

enjoy every moment, 

because it will never come again, so this is it.

***

I was joining in on the zoom call of my mom's book group and they were talking about life and death. This was what I untangled from death and life, using my imagination.

(Untitled)

Even faced with the many corridors of death,

You still have life in your heart.

Maybe just a little, but it’s always there.

You can stop to feel that life,

that silence,

untangling the halls ahead.

It might be dark, maybe light,

but that life is still inside your heart.

***

This used to be my favorite poem. I even have it memorized.  I love the part about “I let my anger float away,” because I sometimes get angry.

I imagine a world upon all worlds.

A peaceful place in my dreams.

Beautiful sights for special animals to see, dazzle all of my memories.

I can finally let go as I wander through the trees.

I let my anger float away on the breeze.

What a wonderful place to be.

***

For more inspiration, join a special circle with 8-year-old poet Aston Wilder, on Sunday, April 24th: "What a Wonderful Place to Be," more details and RSVP info here.




Afton Wilder is 8 years old and wrote the above poems between 2021 and 2022. She lives in Redding, California with her younger brother and sister and mom and dad. She loves to be creative--whether it’s writing poems, drawing, composing songs, writing stories, dancing, or playing violin and piano. She hopes these poems spark your own creativity and that you might share anything that emerges in the comments.   


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