We’re told it’s the sound of the Sea
In that sandy shell held near our ear.
Faint mollusk smell with seaweed airs
Helps convince us that’s what we hear.
It’s an acoustic trick, nothing more.
Yet we wish it to be so.
We can hear our childhood in there
And sunny places we did go.
In an earphone is another universe.
A mundane name, in my view,
For a gateway to a cosmos of sounds
That lets the soul flow through.
Revived fossils of long past sounds
Reconstructed from markings on a page
Transformed by artists of high skill
For ears in our electronic age.
And always there is that other shell
Curled and curving to catch the vibrating air
To move the ancient jawbone pieces
So we can hear what’s going on out there.
Whether it’s leaves in the breeze, choirs,
Thunder rumbling, morning songs of birds,
A rattle in the grass, pounding of the surf,
The soft breath of a baby, or your lover’s words.