Back in June, Cambridge poet Malcolm Guite and I met up in San Diego California and performed at the 2013 C.S. Lewis Summer Institute. Although we had written together before, this was our first performance, and we did it folk-fest style, meaning: nothing prepared except for the opening poem and song. After that, we basically bounced off each other for the rest of the night. It was a blast!
We’re performing again – next week in Winnipeg (Sept. 26) at the West End Cultural Center! Malcolm is coming to Winnipeg to lead a retreat at St. Ben’s Retreat Centre, and we thought we’d seize the opportunity to bring him in a couple of days early, so we could do some more writing together as well as a a public performance.
If you are interested in taking in the concert, it is certainly a unique and rare event. Tickets can be purchased at my office. Call: 1-204-774-3715 or on-line at www.stevebell.com/schedule/
You may also be interested in attending the two-day retreat Malcolm will be leading -on prayer- at St. Ben’s Retreat Centre, Sept 27-28 starting in the evening of the 27th. For more information and to register, call 1-204-339-1705.
You need not be into poetry to enjoy Malcolm. He is most winsome and animated. His poetry is quite accessible. But there is a richness to his word-craft that draws you in deeper than you expect to go.
Below is a video clip of the first poem and song from the San Diego concert. Thanks to the CS Lewis Foundation for making the footage available:
The Singing Bowl by Malcolm Guite
Begin the song exactly where you are,
Remain within the world of which you’re made.
Call nothing common in the earth or air,
Accept it all and let it be for good.
Start with the very breath you breathe in now,
This moment’s pulse, this rhythm in your blood
And listen to it, ringing soft and low.
Stay with the music, words will come in time.
Slow down your breathing. Keep it deep and slow.
Become an open singing-bowl, whose chime
Is richness rising out of emptiness,
And timelessness resounding into time.
And when the heart is full of quietness
Begin the song exactly where you are.
(The Singing Bowl is also the title of Malcolm’s new book of poetry to be released later this fall. See: The Singing Bowl)
God is everything to me
I, myself, can do nothing, spare nothing, bear nothing
Old weathered womb in waiting
Author of the mysteries
Ecstasy of blazing suns and swooning moons
And these crooning winds and waters, earth and fire
Yearning spirit, burning flesh
Consummating desire, tossing off the soul’s attire
Ever I in you and you in me
Mirroring the ancient crèche
Now absorbed in awed emotion, disturbed and shocked devotion
Child of mine, child of eternity
Agony of love divine
Send me as a lark ascending, befriending skies
Attending ever to the vast and to the still
Infant Christ enfleshed in mine
You and I might say something, sing something, kiss something
Ever as you would and as you will
below is the album version: