10|30|07   Stillness, poetry and music

Mary Jones.

Mary is generally very good at living. She is highly intelligent, well-educated, and enviably successful at making sound and moral decisions in her life. She also happens to be a poet with a marvelous knack for transforming the familiar and forgotten into something odd, gentle and worth remembering:

Somewhere Between Here and There

At dusk, when tide is low, the silver water turns dull
unpolished and scratched by wind that growls
across the tips of waves, choppy as a see-saw.
The fish are lined up on the shore like soldiers,
washed up after bobbing along the froth.
Rattling, red-brown leaves shake on branches
and, shaking off inhibitions, fly away with a dry rustle,
scratching together airborn–like insect wings.
The smell of the salt off the sea is dry;
it sticks in the throat before the wind
changes directions, but leaves a scaly aftertaste.
The fish on the sand are the biggest I’ve ever seen,
swollen and half-buried beneath drifts of salt and sand.
I reached over and traced the edges of the scales,
dry instead of wet, glinting like well-worn pennies.
Their mouths were open tunnels, big enough to hold
a matchbox racecar, but lined with white teeth,
tiny as maggots, nothing inside but ink.
The eye sockets were deep and dark,
the gelatinous membranes eaten away,
empty as a playroom outgrown and abandoned
somewhere between here and there.

Songs of ours where Mary’s poetry can be heard:

An old piece of mine called One Of Many Dinner Conversations [mp3 6.3MB], and two songs off of the new album, A Maze and Amazement, called Solitaire [video on cliptip] and Remember The Stillness.

Remember The Stillness

I can’t rememember the precise moment when I started paying more attention to the combination of spoken word and music, but suffice it to say it’s been a few years now, and my interest in it continues to intensify. Here are three marvelous examples from the classical world:

Exerpt from Knee 5 by Philip Glass (from his opera “Einstein On The Beach”):

Philip Glass – Knee 5

Exerpt from Steve Reich’s The Cave:

Exerpt from Delta Run by Annea Lockwood:

Annea Lockwood – Delta Run

Yay! Check out the new Enright House Shop I just finished making! Even if you’re not the type of person who buys music anymore, do take a look at how pretty and shiny it is! :)

View Comments

  • Kelsey A. Sullivan

    Perhaps you could put the poem she recites in “Remember The Stillness” up under the lyrics section.

  • theenrighthouse

    Hey Kelsey,

    I would love to do that. The only thing that makes it more difficult is that I don’t actually have the poem written out anywhere. I emailed Mary to see if she can send it to me. Otherwise, I’ll just have to transcribe it as best I can from the audio. I’ll try to do that within the next few weeks.

    Thank you for leaving a comment,
    Take care,


  • Mark

    Finally got around to adding Mary’s poem to “Remember the Stillness” to the lyrics section of our site. Thank you for your patience.

  • Kelsey A. Sullivan


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