Greetings, One & All~
The Full Cold Moon rose over northern Sonora in all her brilliance, bathing the desert in peaceful light, then set simultaneously with the sunrise the next morning to close out the old year and welcome in the new. In that spirit of peaceful closure and enlightened renewal, allow me to share a few illuminating January highlights in this inaugural issue of your 2021 A 440 Newsletter.
The Eighth Annual Common Ground on the Border Fair will be presented virtually this year on January 12th-16th, 2021, including my Musica Sin Fronteras pan-global percussion workshops, which will be Zoomed live from The Boom Boom Room at Rancho Improvisoso at 1-3 PM MST on Wednesday & Thursday, January 13th &14th. I will also contribute a ten-minute mini-performance to the closing Faculty Concert at 6-8 PM MST on Saturday January 16th.
information & registration at
Come out and howl at the Full Wolf Moon with us when Vibe Tribe performs live at Monterey Court on Thursday January 28th from 6:30-9:30 PM. Monterey Court’s covered open-air courtyard continues to be the center of Tucson’s live music universe with socially-spaced dining and toasty heaters, while Vibe Tribe continues to inspire listeners and chair dancers alike with its eclectic multi-genre grooves. Reservations are recommended due to limited seating.
information & reservations at
A while back I played percussion on a recording of the song Ajo 86 for songwriter & videographer Chris Gates, and now Chris is producing a new video for the project. He will be out here at Rancho Improvisoso to shoot some green screen footage of yours truly in The Boom Boom Room at 2 PM MST on January 11th.
Poem of the Month
Full Cold Moon
Hey, moon: thanks
for your cold and peaceful light
which reminds us
we come in alone
and go out alone
and anything in between
that isn’t loneliness
is by the grace
of your cold and peaceful light.
Thanks for setting simultaneously
with the rising sun
so that we may be reassured
the light is indeed returning,
and for illuminating these clouds
of breath, which this morning
are the only clouds
in a breathlessly clear sky.
Hey rain, sun, hawk feather,
Jupiter and Saturn aligning
in a spray of starry rosin
from Orion’s bow: thanks
for all these offerings
left at winter’s gate, these
daily refreshments of awareness.
There are worse ways
to measure one’s days
than by a raptor’s rapturous visits
to the water bowl in the west garden
or the gift of a glimpse of a bobcat
in her full dark winter coat,
and there is something peculiarly human
in preferring the company
of wild animals
to that of most other humans,
one’s own ringing inner silence
to the world’s noise.
Hey heart, you mysterious muscle:
thanks for being at times
the body’s toughest
and at others its most tender.
you want what you want
period full stop.
On this last day of this last year
of all we thought we knew was true,
thanks for the drumbeat of blood
that drives a body forward
toward something blazingly new.
~December 31st, 2020-January 1st, 2021~
© Will Clipman 2021
Photo of the Month
This Cooper’s hawk tail feather was left inside the kitchen gate as an offering to welcome winter; at the moment I found it, our resident Cooper’s hawk Harriet was sitting on the water bowl watching me, as if to make sure her gift had been found and appreciated. I call the photo Taking Flight and and will hold the feather as a totem of new beginnings and renewed possibilities in the coming year.
~May our hearts be open and our minds be clear
as we embark on this remarkable year~
The heart is a mysterious muscle:
at times, the body’s toughest;
at others, its most tender.
poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator
Return of the Light: Your January 2021 A 440 Newsletter
Greetings, One & All~