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Music of the Mind

Timi Sanni

after Rainer Maria Rilke's Go to the Limits of Your Longing


The drummer tells a tale in every song

notes hidden carefully in the heart of the piece.


These are the words the elder's ears pick:


You, beating the gong of your life in call and response,

go easy on the thud.

Follow me.


Make music with your mind

and let it fill you up with praise.


Then praise. Praise

the hands that beat the rhythm of your heart;

the songbird perched gingerly at the tip of your tongue.


You are not the maestro of life's long, unending song.

Only a voice.


Make no mistake.

In every beat, there is a confluence of three hands.

The drum, devoid of the hand of God

makes no sound.


Timi Sanni is a writer, editor, and multidisciplinary artist from Lagos, Nigeria. He won the 2022 Kreative Diadem Writing Contest and the 2021 Anita McAndrews Award Poetry Contest. His works appear in Black Warrior Review, New Delta Review, Poet Lore, Lolwe, and elsewhere. Find him on Twitter @timisanni


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