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Posts Tagged ‘music’

 

 

Things are gonna get brighter.

            —”Ooh Child,” The Five Stairsteps

 

 

In the photo, the girl is smiling.

I know all she is hiding.

 

If I could talk to her now,

I wouldn’t tell her much.

 

Wouldn’t warn her about

which boys will break her heart.

 

Wouldn’t tell her which jobs to avoid,

which years will last decades,

 

which friends will lie, which

day she should pay close attention.

 

But I would tell her that Nina Simone

was right when she covered The Five Stairsteps.

 

That things will be brighter.

The young me wouldn’t believe it, of course.

 

Because the healing hasn’t happened yet,

she has stopped believing it’s possible.

 

I might could slip that song into her

cassette mix. Even if she didn’t believe the lyrics,

 

she’d sing along. That’s the way she is.

And the words would land

 

in the branches of her heart

like the truest lyrics do. And build a nest there.

 

And when she lost her voice,

and when it got dark,

 

they would sing to her about the brightening.

Yeah, they would sing. They would sing.

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With Amazement

–listening to Erik Satie’s Gnosienne #2

 

stepping into morning

as if it is a song

each footstep a note—

all day I tiptoe through spaces and lines

all day I am wondrously held by the rests

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One Staff

 

 

 

all those beautiful notes—

letting them fall from the score

and not rushing

to arrange them again,

listening as new songs arise

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One Tuning

 

 

you and I—

two notes in a minor chord

longing for resolution

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for Heartbeat

 

 

singing

the same song,

again,

but this time

the melody

finds in me

a closed,

forgotten place

and sings light

into its tightness

until where

there were walls,

now wings

 

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all day the upright

grand piano dreams of hands

that play sonatas

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One Invitation

 

 

not just to play

the song, but to be the song—

the leaping melody,

the sullen chords,

the infinite silence inside

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Arrangement

 

 

 

In my heart, a mandolin

just waiting to be played—

there are music sheets,

ignore them. Doesn’t matter

if you know how to play.

What matters is you try.

What matters is you practice

tuning the strings

until you find the way

to make them sing.

What matters is that

we both know there’s

music in there just waiting

to be found and

your hands are curious,

tender.

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It is like the musical figurine

on the bedside stand

that, for no reason,

begins to play, first

one tinkly note, then another.

The room has been quiet,

and now, the small ceramic girl

with her pink sun hat

and her kneeling sheep moves

ever so slightly and the invisible metal

tines plink out notes

to an unfamiliar song.

And then they stop. And then

start again. There is no

visible hand turning

the crank to initiate

the music. And isn’t that

just how it happens sometimes,

how you feel as if

you, too, do not feel nor see

the hand that turns you,

but out of nothing

a music arrives in you

and though it is

a mystery, you nod

and say thank you, thank you.

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for Wallace Hartley and the musicians of the Titanic

 

 

And as the splendid ship began to list

and as the people scrambled on the decks,

the band struck up a ragtime tune, and next

they played an autumn waltz. Yes there, amidst

the screaming and the shouts, the band persisted,

giving to the night what they gave best—

the peace that comes from melody. They blessed

the crowd with song till waves consumed the ship.

 

How is it that they all agreed to stay?

Some artist’s creed? Some sense this was their gift?

Survivors say they heard the soaring staves

of hymns escort them as they rowed away—

still heard them as the aft began to lift.

And sink. Then nothing but Atlantic waves.

 

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