Listen to the presences inside poems. Let them take you, where they will....

My chamber music pieces from Poetic Reflections, use spoken poetry by Rumi and Kaji Aso as part of the composition. These poems below are to be read before the music is played. Rumi or “Jelaluddin Balkhi" was a mystic poet from the 13th century. Kaji Aso was a Japanese poet and visual artist living in Boston where he started the Kaji Aso Studio. The Star Festival which you hear in the background on this website is based on the poem, Tanabata Star Festival which you can read below.

Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to.
Don’t try to see through the distances.
That’s not for human beings. Move within,
but don’t move the way fear makes you move.
Walk to the well.
Turn as the earth and the moon turn,
circling what they love.
Whatever circles comes from the center.

Some nights stay up till dawn,
as the moon sometimes does for the sun.
Be a full bucket pulled up the dark way
of a well, then lifted out into light.

The sun is love. The lover,
a speck circling the sun.
A Spring wind moves to dance
any branch that isn’t dead.

Something opens our wings. Something
makes boredom and hurt disappear.
Someone fills the cup in front of us.
We taste only sacredness.

Whoever finds love
beneath hurt and grief
disappears into emptiness
with a thousand new disguises.

Dance, when you’re broken open.
Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off.
Dance in the middle of fighting.
Dance in your blood.
Dance, when you’re perfectly free.
(Rumi, Translation, Coleman Barks)

Poems by Kaji Aso

After hot day
how nice to have thundershower:
purple light, purple sky,
turbulent here and there.
After all this, clouds scatter,
anger of heaven is gone.
Now, hear the sigh ...
everyone waiting for this moment:
heaven came to heaven ...
heaven came to the whole world!
On the earth
children are cutting paper
to write wishes
and hang them on bamboo branches.
Listening for gallop of horse and cow;
Moonlight reflecting off head of little boy.

Tannabata Star Festival
They are just crossing the Silver River.
We know the story.
We know what is going on there now,
Yet, we cannot see it;
We see only beautiful stars.
But, on the grass, caterpillar is seeing it
Stretching head up
Twisting his body and seeing it.
He is dreaming ...
When I get wings, I will fly over there,
I will fly over there by myself.
I will not need a ride
Starlight reflecting on my wings,
Moonlight adding another color of light,
My love and I will be beautiful stars