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.

Virtual Workshops

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

Live Music

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

New Video

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.

For sure

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.

~Guillaume Henri

Will Clipman

poet ~ percussionist ~ maskmaker ~ storyteller ~ performing artist ~ educator