Cliff Crego—composite blog, twitter & new images

a long-line sonnet

In celestial circles, it is a matter of some moment if and when
The human family will melt down all their earthly weaponry
And reforge cannon balls into bells. We have both the promise,
And the Science. Even necessity. This is not the necessity of guns,

But more that of love, finally learning how to take wing,
To sing, to listen:—the deeply full, resonant bell. O Feminine form
Set in motion by sharp spark of masculine energy, we hear
Sustained all the vowels of all the languages of the world,

Yet from mere projectiles of war, we hear but the deafening roar
Of bent and disfigured men. Bells, true Libertarians of Sound,
Ringing out in all directions without bias, like waves in a pool.

From a high tower above Lausanne in the Alps, a night watchman
Cries out the hour to the four winds as a great city sleeps below.
Who hears? If the dead could step back into Time, they might tell us.



♫ LIVEStream Festival of OLD MUSIC from the famous DOM Cathedral (112.5 m), Utrecht #Holland

RUNNING JUST 3:33’, these are five “sayings in prose” from my 100 MINIATURES Project. If you’re interested in this way of bring Poetry and Philosophy [and photography] together, go to the slideshow of POSTER PRINTS at

PHOTO: Metolius Water, Central Cascades, Oregon


LISTENING: via Biologist, Tim Mousseau: 13 yrs of data on Chernobyl at 1000+ sites [20Mb] Brilliant!

"I want to pay homage to
Tim Mousseau, who with his colleagues is actually endangering his life by going into extremely high radioactive areas doing pioneering work, which is going to change the concept of radiation exposure to humans. What is happening to the animals, the insects and the plants is going to happen to us.” DR. HELEN CALDICOTT

This is the 1st movement of a larger piece for my electronic, hand-played, e-percussion orchestra. The text of the poem is below, in English, together with the German original.

RILKE & MUSIC? I should say here, that I very much dislike hearing the amazingly sonorous, resonant verse of Rilke set to music. [I get requests all the time for my English translations, and I always, in a hopefully gentle way, try to discourage people.] This is because the music is already very powerfully THERE, in the music of the poem itself. So the original natural music of the poem is what is lost once the music is added. With this soundpoem cycle, however, I’m trying something else. I do the poems as I hear them as a poem, not as song, and then, I’ve composed a space—a kind of landscape, really—around them. This seems to complement the movement of meaning of the poems that leaves the spirit of the urtext intact.

Title Page

It’s easy for the rich and fortunate to be silent,
nobody wants to know who they are.
That is why the destitute must show themselves,
must say: I am blind,
or: that is what I’m about to become,
or: it’s not going very well with me here on Earth,
or: I have a sick child,
or: this is where I’m kind of all stuck together …

And perhaps even that is not enough.

Despite everything, as if they were things,
people walk right by, and so they must sing.

And one hears good music there.

Truly, people are strange; They’d
rather hear castrati in boys’ choirs.

But God himself comes and remains a long time
when these disfigured ones begin to disturb him.

Rainer Maria Rilke (tr. CLIFF CREGO)


Die Reichen und Glücklichen haben gut schweigen,
niemand will wissen, was sie sind.
Aber die Dürftigen müßen sich zeigen,
müßen sagen: ich bin blind,
oder: ich bin im Begriff es zu werden
oder: es geht mir nicht gut auf Erden,
oder: ich habe ein krankes Kind,
oder: da bin ich zusammengefügt …

Und vielleicht, daß das gar nicht genügt.

Und weil alle sonst, wie an Dingen,
an ihen vorbeigehen, müßen sie singen.

Und da hört man noch guten Gesang.

Freilich die Menchen sind seltsam; sie hören
lieber Kastraten in Knabenchören.

Aber Gott selber kommt und bleibt lang,
wenn ihn diese Beschnittenen stören.

#poster TO KNOW THE PLANTS… pdf

#poster TO KNOW THE PLANTS pdf

THIS PIECE IS the prelude to a collection of 80 of Rainer Maria Rilke’s best poems, in new English translation. It is dedicated to my two close Swiss friends, Rolf and Christian, who have, on many occasion, both alone, and together, saved me from myself. The score, or text, for this composition, is at my RILKE website:

RIDGE CROSSING, Eagle Cap Wilderness, the WALLOWA, Oregon

RIDGE CROSSING, Eagle Cap Wilderness, the WALLOWA, Oregon

A MORNING MEDITATION, on the layered sound of dry whitebark pine burning in my campfire. One of the basic complementarities of musical rhythmic movement is the back and forth of regular and irregular: Regular beats, because they a predictable, tend to become background, like the blue sky in a photograph, or the white of this webpage. Irregular beats, because they are unpredictable, tend to become foreground. As in all perception, difference and balance are crucial. In design, musical or otherwise, too much of either one pushes the whole in the background we call boredom, or at least, “not worthy of attention.” The Latin root of regular, regularis, from regula, or ‘rule,’ suggests this very thing. We all know that too much rule leads to the rigidity of the authoritarian; and too much of the irregular leads to the degenerative — not generative — chaos of anarchy. If you’re a percussionist, it’s an interesting challenge to, first, write down these irregular rhythms, and second, have them played in ensemble. And all that in the sound of a morning campfire!


'JUST A THEORY' … . . .

'Just a theory' is itself 'just a theory,'
& not a very good one at that.
Fact & theory arise mutually.
As the APPLE falls, so too the MOON