image-ine: a visceral reaction to sound

i was blissfully unaware of the fact that people lived with music inside of them. it took falling in love to learn this life truth. he was angled and beautiful: tan skin, rippled with muscle curvature and dark curls that framed his strong jawline. the music inside of him spontaneously made its way out of his fingers, his feet, his hair, his waist. everything about him would move to that internal rhythm. every object around him would become an instrument, a sound maker.

i started realising that i had not been allocated to this gene pool. avid listening: next best option.

now when i say listen, i am not referring to the mundane action of allowing sound waves to hit those miniscule bones inside my ears. i am talking about the moment where music makes its way into me and becomes a part of me: akin to making love, it’s a beautiful friction that leaves me shaking, breathless.

the very first time i ever listened to music was at the age of eleven. a dry south african heat flooded the spacious airy room. he drew the curtains to lessen the glare on the sheets of music. i crawled in under the overhang of the keys and propped myself up against the box of the piano: a feeble attempt to escape the suffocating warmth.

the box is vibrating against my skin and hair. the keys he touches pull at my heart in a painful way. his hands on those ivory bars evoke an emptiness within me that did not exist ten minutes prior to this. he pushes onto the far right pedal, allowing the note to carry on, prolonging my inner anguish.

then, just like the snap of a pea pod, his hands bounce up and burst into another song, so mercilessly bright, that i quite literally feel torn in two because here i am wanting to dance but some grey matter somewhere is still processing the previous moment.


my first love story ends. my best friend starts playing the cello as a second instrument. his hands, on those piano keys, call me down the aisle on my wedding day. the man i marry plucks chords. the music continues.

a brilliant northern sunshine announces summer mornings here in my dublin seaside village home. good mornings start with a slow awakening, a stretching of the legs, a feeling of the sheets on skin, a plodding to the music making machine, a turning on of sound… today i choose “people help the people” by birdy.

this starting the morning slow, this is the poetic life.

talk to us:

share a music video in the comments that you want us to listen to, to really hear.


photos and post by Claire Burge.


Buy a year of Every Day Poems, just $2.99— Read a poem a day, become a better poet. In July we’re exploring the theme The Cento.

Every Day Poems Driftwood


  1. L. L. Barkat says

    Got shivers when that video started. And, gee, Claire, how will I get through the day? Hot stuff this morning 😉

  2. says

    I really love the space that surrounds her voice…like the true cry of her heart is escaping into the atmosphere. It is the kind of song that draws you deeper, for sure.

    Here is one by Josh Garrels that had the same effect on me, at a time where nothing around me made sense and I desperately needed to know that God was alive and working:

    Soulful and overflowing hope! Enjoy and thanks for sharing your perspective with the world!

  3. says

    THIS is what I’ve felt deep inside for so long, unable to adequately put into words…but you did that…BEAUTIFULLY, perfectly! Oh, Claire, bless your intimately, creative soul!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *