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Poetry

Vibrations behind eyelid magnify

exploding sensors in inner cortex

with soothing, calming, implicit élan

that thrills spinal cord, wired head-hairs—

such the violin’s delicate finesse.

 

Its sweetness is like sunrise on a hill,

bloom of a red rose bejeweled with dewdrops,

green-sheen encasement of a chrysalis,

fluttering flight of monarch butterfly,

peaceful awe of horizon summer moon.

 

Youngest of joyful, antique instruments,

fashioned of spruce top, maple neck, bridge, ribs,

ebony fingerboard, willow blocks, brass bar.

Violins improve with age like great wines:

makers hold secrets of the mystic craft.

 

But even greater secrets are burnished

in the hands of great violin masters

like Kreisler, Heifetz, Oistrakh, Menuhin,

Stern, Faust, Mutter, Meyers, Perlman, Bell and….

Five centuries of hypnotic technique:

 

Amati, Guarneri, Stradivari,

and those imaginative composers

who create those slender swerve-curves of thrill

that seize the listener’s presuming neck,

freighting the brain such Elysium joy.

 


Among the delicate, delightful

creatures in the musical menagerie,

the most alarming, even frightening

animal to a child of two or three

is the organ, Behemoth of the Zoo.

 

It’s bellows pump thunder of heavens,

roars from the bottomless pits of hell,

and yet its Stop can part the burly clouds

with sunlit, spearing jigs or gossamer fugue

crawling from spine to cerebellum joy.

 

And between all extremes of feeling,

tone-colors to shade every listing mood

emerge like the swell of brook and stream

flowing into mighty rivers mouthing

an ocean of eternal time and night!

 

The range of the organ remains unsurpassed:

it is in itself an orchestra of fifty

with one dexterous conductor pedaling

like champion cyclist up a mountain

for glorious, panoramic view

 

that may convert a person of open mind

to fall to knee in sudden, awed wonder,

as tiny bones tingle, reverberate

like reeds waving in brown bracken marsh

while sunlight beams down in burnished glory!


A trumpet rings like a new breath of life:

the mind clears away all obsolete dross.

Trumpet re-arranges synapses.

Two feet feel as if they carry no weight—

one is transported to a Lotus Land….

 

What creature does not respond to trumpet?

Even a mouse or dog trembles in awe.

In the hands of a skilled trumpet player,

the earth itself half-appears to tremble.

Trumpet, the ace of all wind instruments!

 

Having the highest register in brass,

the horn can project a golden tone

that vibrates the occult cerebellum,

causing distant toes to wiggle in joy.

The trumpet is an awesome instrument.

 

A hot trumpet may extend a refrain

into the rarest realm of ecstasy

and enter the chamber of the sublime

where God reclines in mystic majesty

beyond reason or bright apprehension.

 

A well-played trumpet is simply divine,

whether baroque, romantic, or in jazz

where subtle rhythms may excite the knees.

A strong trumpet does all it can to please

the inner ear of anyone that’s here.


I've half a mind to play the squirrel

and run amok in the sunshine today!

I feel like scampering and gathering,

but since I have only the half deck,

what I'd be gathering could be wool.

 

An inconsequential breeze ruffles the leaves

while some red and yellow flyers take off.

To know that this may be the last warm day

of the year provides poignancy and repose,

which is why I tire of being merely human.

 

I seek divine laughter in the rustling leaves

without any care for antic augury.

This sacramental day, work should be minimal—

it shouldn't be taken too seriously!

To loaf is godly and not blasphemy!

 

Great minds can only think while doodling

about the unknown: that element of play

predisposes the spirit to expand

to the cloud-laden stratosphere where

imaginary squirrels climb and play.


Clarinet, network of clear notes,

most erotic of instruments

delineating the spectrum of love:

ardent, difficult, exultant.

 

A slender, single “beating” reed

delivers a smooth, creamy sound

where crescendo and diminuendo

outdo other wind instruments.

 

Look how modestly the clarinet hides

in an orchestral throng!

Its notes come from down below

to arrive, amid stops, to the ear

 

with sensory bursts like flowers

exploding in air, its petals landing

in your surprised  lap, as if to say:

“That’s a high or low you didn’t expect.”

 

Those who loved you most:

Mozart, Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov,

Brahms, Strauss, Prokofiev, Debussy,

Wagner, Weber, Poulenc, Stravinsky.

 

Never middling you are either

sensually low or spiritually high.

While you might be manic-depressive,

you deliver emphatic mood clothed in blue.


by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Sat May 14th, 2016

Buttercups bursting in greeny meadow,

oriole chattering in oak above,

geese squawking and euphorbia prolix

under golden orb setting in the west,

as midges celebrate their most brief lives.

Amid...

by Michaela Coplen in Poetry
Mon May 9th, 2016

Intermediate Arabic

After Safia Elhillo

 

the arabic word for weeping:  بكاء /bika/

the arabic word for staying:  بقاء /biqa/

the only difference is how you hold

the sharpness in your throat

 

هاجرت /haajartu/  to...

by Micheala Coplen in Poetry
Wed May 4th, 2016

the road to Damascus

 

Shadows fall over the city     as empires

have fallen     The ancient walls hold their history

with unsteady grace  

            as the still night carries a...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Sat Apr 30th, 2016

Since latitude remains so obvious—
although even that was not always so—
I’ll construct my bearing on longitude,
which reflects more confusion about life,
time, and...

by Don Wigal in Poetry
Mon Apr 25th, 2016

Do you sometimes think and feel
Our axis is now shifting?
Smart folks warn us every day,
Mountains of ice are drifting.

Waters on our globe are...

by Kevin T. McEneaney in Poetry
Sun Apr 17th, 2016

When earth shakes like a rattle in child’s hand,

our knees absorb the fury of earthquake.

Run out to street, the open air saves!

When hillsides of stone fall, run...

by Miloš Djurdjević in Poetry
Tue Apr 12th, 2016

no one dies here they are still standing

on the street their hollow knees limp

arms they never leave move nowhere

as if halted one step back is their

 ...

by Marcelo Quevedo, translated by Liz McNicoll in Poetry
Fri Apr 8th, 2016

When sunlight beams off balconies

and cumulous clouds barely move

while grass sleeps in green contentment,

I pretend to stroll in blue air

along a gurgling embankment

with a froth...

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