Oddments

In search of story


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June 2.19

Benedick Bullfrog

you might hear

raising to skies

his ballad drear.

Part buzz-saw

part bagpipe drone

Model T horn

baritone,

it wafts to me

in lyric croak

at noon’s high sun

and midnight’s stroke.

His plaintive raspy

tuneless song

his Beatrice finds —

she sings along!

A tuba-thon

would fall more lightly

on my ears

day and nightly.

Indifferent to

my needs circadian

they rapture in

duet Arcadian.

 

 

 


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May 26.19

Words alone

beg,

gaunt and fleshless,

insensate.

Paintings,

entrapped in stillness,

hover,

inchoate.

But music

pulses,

quickens,

in soul’s vaults

resonates.

One red poppy,

one

lone

 soaring

 voice

Dulce et decorum est

exsanguinates.

 

More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg.

And a salute to Symphonicity, the symphony orchestra of Virginia Beach, Virginia, for this poignant vignette, arranged for their 2018 performance of Ralph Vaughn Williams’ Pastoral Symphony, a solemn work commemorating World War I. Their guest conductor was Air Force veteran Daniel Boothe.

 

I wish us all a thoughtful Memorial Day.

 


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Disconnections: December 22.18

 

Draped in twinkle lights

in jeans and Santa hat

purple-haired, hormonal

Stradivariate

in bow and string united

with every Christmas note

their energy and spirit

adult dysfunction smote.

Global indigestion

blather, tweets ad crazyium

handily dispatched

in middle school gymnasium.

 

 

 

 


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Disconnections: May 26.18

Some years back, my little granddaughter was poking through my wallet and came across a small photograph of a boy. “Who’s this,” she asked, “and what’s he doing in your wallet?” I explained that he was a student I’d taught back in the long-ago 60s, and that I had resolved to keep it to remind me of the good things about teaching.

The other night I sat in the audience as that same granddaughter performed on the cello in the 8th-grade orchestra concert. In their pink and green hair and trendy jean knee-holes, with arms and legs that seemed to sprout longer even as we watched, they somehow stilled their cosmic exuberance with all eyes on their teacher. They made music and therefore life. They were wonderful. And hilarious.

Yesterday I came to the computer to check the weather before I headed out for Friday errands. And there it was: another school shooting. Noblesville West Middle School. About 40 miles north of me. Again and yet again. All the shootings have hit home, but this was more sinister. I think of the 7th-grade boy in my wallet, who stands for all the students I have known. I think of the eighth-grade orchestra. And I think of the guns and the blood. I cannot unthink it.

 


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Connections: May 8.18

I don’t know how to play it

wouldn’t know where to begin

and yet it beams out a gravity

much like a rolling pin

or terracotta flowerpot

pruners, or a hoe

piano or organ keyboard,

a scraper for bread dough,

a pad of lined blank paper

a pen, an artist brush

they make my fingers eager

they give me a head rush

with primal primitive instinct

my fingers stretch, reach out

but it’s really my very self

the pull is all about.

Certain things there are

that, silent, speak to me

make my fingers restless

to do, to make, to be.

 

More thanks to the S.W. Berg Photo Archives.

Connections

 

 


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Connections: March 25.18

Face to the wind

I look ahead

goodbye to the old

now the new instead.

It’s a digital thing

unlike my old grand

a sign of the time

like the gnarl of my hand.

But I admit I’m befuddled

in this alien realm:

am I at a piano

or the Enterprise helm?

 

 

Connections