Sing like a planet. A Poem by Rose Mary Boehm


Our earth is humming.
Enormous, swirling loops of sound.
Very low key. Not for our ears.
The water churns against stone,
rocks move against rock. A potpourri
of vibrations–not concerned with the golden rules
of tonal phrasing–are echoed between mountains,
are bowled across oceans and penetrate tectonic plates.
Male humpback whales, the ‘inveterate composers’
of songs ‘strikingly similar to human musical traditions’.
They sing only on calving grounds.
Very low key. Not for our ears.
We have organized sound and called it music.
Made it less daunting; ‘civilized’ what would otherwise
overwhelm. Millions of years of planetary vibrations
corseted into meter and tempo, pitch, melody,
harmony… an attempt to control our apprehensions.
Still, I turn my stereo to full volume. Vivaldi’s concerto
for mandolin, strings and basso continuo
in C major will soon bring the neighbor
to my door complaining about that awful noise.

Rose Mary Boehm is a German-born British national living and writing in Lima, Peru. Her poetry has been published widely in mostly US poetry reviews (online and print). She was twice nominated for a Pushcart. Her fourth poetry collection, THE RAIN GIRL, was published in 2020. Her fifth, DO OCEANS HAVE UNDERWATER BORDERS, has just been snapped up by Kelsay Books for publication May/June 2022. Her website:
Robin Ouzman Hislop is Editor of Poetry Life and Times at ; You may visit Robin Ouzman Hislop about author & See Robin performing his work Performance (University of Leeds)

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