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Nigel Morgan Aug 2013
It always intrigued him how a group of people entering a room for the first time made decisions about where to sit. He stood quietly by a window to give the impression that he was looking out on a wilderness of garden that fell steeply away to a barrier of trees. But he was looking at them, all fifteen of them taking in their clothes, their movements, their manners, their voices (and the not-voices of the inevitably silent ones), their bags and computers. One of them approached him and, he smiling broadly and kindly, put his hand up as a signal as if to say ‘not just now, not yet, don’t worry’, or something like that.

This smile seemed to work, and he thought suddenly of the woman he loved saying ‘you have such a lovely smile; the lines around your eyes crinkle sweetly when you smile.’ And he was warmed by the thought of her dear nature and saw, as in a photo playing across his nervous mind, the whole of her lying on the daisied grass when, as ‘just’ lovers, they had visited this place for an opening, when he could hardly stop looking at her, always touching her gently in wonder at her particular beauty. In the garden they had read together from Alice Oswald’s Dart, the river itself just a short walk away . . .

Listen,
a
lark
spinning
around
one
note
splitting
and
mending
­it

As he finally turned towards his class and walked to a table in front of the long chalkboard, half a dozen hands went up. He had to do the smile again and use both hands, a damping down motion, to suggest this what not the time for questions – yet. He gathered his notebook and went to the grand piano. He leafed through his book, thick, blue spiral-bound with squared paper, and, imagining himself as Mitsuko Uchida starting Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto, fingers placed on the keys and then leaning his body forward to play just a single chord. He held the chord down a long time until the resonance had died away.

‘That’s my daily chord’, he said, ‘Now write yours.’

Again, more hands went up. He ignored them. He gave them a few minutes, before gesturing to a young woman at the back to come and play her chord. Beside the piano was a small table with a sheet of manuscript paper and a Post-It sticker that said, ‘Please write your chord and your name here’. And, having played her chord, she wrote out her chord and name – beautifully.

He knelt on the floor beside a young man (they were all young) at the front of the class. He liked to kneel when teaching, so he was the same height, or lower, as the person he as addressing. It was perhaps an affectation, but he did it never the less.

‘Tell me about that chord,’ he said, ‘A description please’.
‘I need to hear it again.’
‘OK’, there was a slight pause, ‘now let’s hear yours.’
‘I haven’t written one’, the reply had a slightly aggressive edge, a ‘why are you embarrassing me?’ edge.
‘OK’, he said gently, and waved an invitation to the girl next to him. She had no trouble in doing what was asked.

Next, he asked a tall, dark young man how many notes he had in his chord, and receiving the answer four, asked if he, the young man, would chose four voices to sing it. This proved rather controversial, but oh so revealing – as he knew it would be. Could these composers sing? It would appear not. There was a lot of uncertainty about how it could be done. Might they sound the notes out at the piano before singing (he had shaken his head vigorously)? But when they did, indeed performed it well and with conviction, he congratulated them warmly.

‘Hand your ‘chord’ to the person next to you on your right. Now add a second chord to the chord you have in front of you please.’

Several minutes later, the task done, he asked them to pass the chords back to their original owners. And so he continued adding fresh requirements and challenges. – score the chords for string quartet, for woodwind quartet (alto-flute, cor anglais, horn, baritone saxophone – ‘transposition hell !’ said one student), write the chords as jazz chord symbols, in tablature for guitar, with the correct pedal positions for harp.

Forty minutes later he felt he was gathering what he needed to know about this very disparate group of people. There were some, just a few, who refused to enter into the exercise. One slight girl with glasses and a blank face attempted to challenge him as to why such a meaningless exercise was being undertaken. She would have no part in it – and left the room. He simply said, ‘May I have your chord please?’ and, to his surprise, she agreed, and with some grace went to the table by the piano and wrote it out.

A blond Norwegian student said ‘May we discuss what we are doing? I am here to learn Advanced Composition. This does not seem to be Advanced Composition.’

‘Gladly’, he said, ‘in ten minutes when this exercise is concluded, and we have taken a short break.’ And so the exercise was concluded, and he said, ‘Let’s take 15 minutes break. Please leave your chords on the desk in front of you.’

With that announcement almost everyone got out their mobile phones, some leaving the room. He opened the windows on what now promised to be a warm, sunny day. He went then to each desk and photographed each chord sheet, to the surprise and amusement of those who had remained in the room. One declined to give him permission to do so. He shrugged his shoulders and went on to the next table. He could imagine something of the conversation outside. He’d been here before. He’d had students make formal complaints about ‘his methods’, how these approaches to ‘self-learning’ were degrading and embarrassing, belittling even. I’m still teaching he thought after 30 years, so there must be something in it. But he had witnessed in those thirty years a significant decline in musical techniques, much of which he laid at the feet of computer technology. He thought of this kind of group as a drawing class, doing something that was once common in art school, facing that empty page every morning, learning to make a mark and stand by it. He had asked for a chord, and as he looked at the results, played them in his head. Some had just written a text-book major chord, others something wildly impossible to hear, but just some revealed themselves as composers writing chords that demonstrated purpose and care. Though he could tell most of them didn’t get it, they would. By the end of the week they’d be writing chords like there was no tomorrow, beautiful, surprising, wholly inspiring, challenging, better chords than he would ever write. Now he had to help them towards that end, to help them understand that to be an  ‘advanced composer’ might be likened to being an ‘advanced motorist’ (he recalled from his childhood the little badges drivers once put proudly on their bumpers – when there were such things – now there’s a windscreen sticker). To become an advanced motorist meant learning to be continually aware of other motorists, the state of the road, what your own vehicle was doing, constantly looking and thinking ahead, refining the way you approached a roundabout, pulled up at a junction. He liked the idea of transferring that to music.

What he found disturbing was that there were a body of students who believed that a learning engagement with a professional composer, someone who made his living, sustained his life with his artistic practice, had to be a confrontation. The why preceded, and almost obliterated, the how.

In the discussion that followed the break this became all too clear. He let them speak, and hardly had to answer or intervene because almost immediately student countered student. There evolved an intriguing analysis of what the class had entered into, which he summarised on a flip chart. He knew he had some supporters, people who clearly realised something of the worth and interest of the exercises. He also had a number of detractors, some holding quasi-political agendas about ‘what composition was’. After 20 minutes or so he intervened and attempted a conclusion.

‘The first rule of teaching is to understand and be sympathetic to a student’s past experience and thus to their learning needs, which in almost every situation will be different and various. This means for a teacher holding to an idea of what might, in this case, constitute ‘an advanced composer’. I hold to such an idea. I’ve thought about this ‘idea’ quite deeply and my aim is to provide learning opportunities to let as many of you as possible be enriched by that idea. You are all composers, but there is no consensus about what being a composer is, what the ‘practice of composition’ is. There used to be, probably until the 1970s, but that is no more. ‘

‘You may think I was disrespectful in not wishing to engage in any debate from the outset. I had to find a way to understand your experience and your learning needs. In 40 minutes I learnt a great deal. My desire is that you all go away from each session knowing you have stretched your practice as composers, through some of the skills and activities that make up such a practice. You all know what they are, but I intend to add to these by taking excursions into other creative practices that I have studied and myself been enriched by. I also want to stretch you intellectually – as some of my teachers stretched me, and whose example still runs through all I do.

Over the next seven days you are to compose music for a remarkable ensemble of professional musicians. I see myself as helping you (if necessary) towards that goal, by setting up situations that may act as a critical net in which to catch any problems and difficulties. I know we are going to fight a little over some of my suggestions, the use of computer notation I’m sure will be one, but I have my reasons, and such reasons contribute towards what I see as you all developing a holistic view of composing music as both a skill and an art form. I also happen to believe, as Imogen Holst once said of Benjamin Britten, that composing music is a way of life . . .

With that he walked to the window and looked out across that wilderness of green now bathed in sunshine. He felt a presence by his shoulder. Turning he suddenly recognised standing before him a young man, bearded now, and yes, he knew who he was. At a symposium in Birmingham the previous summer he had talked warmly and openly to this composer and jazz pianist in a break between sessions, and just a few weeks previously in London after a concert this young man had approached him with a warm greeting. Empathy flowed between them and he was grateful as he shook his hand that this could be. She had been with him at that concert and he remembered afterwards trying to recall his name for her and where they’d met. She was holding his arm as they walked down Exhibition Road to their hotel and he was so full of her presence and her beauty no wonder his memory had failed him.

‘Brilliant,’ the young man said, ‘Thank you. Just so much to think about.’

And he could say nothing, suddenly exhausted by it all.
CK Baker Oct 2017
dust cloud heavy
in an apricot sky
cottonwood mucker
under ambrose pale
whippet and shepherd
mill at the earth patch
yellow birch hangs
over red bench park

combine shavings
in crack rust brown
scissors chips
fall to the back stop
whiskey jack looters
sing patented chords
siblings (and 2 wheel enthusiasts)
give thanks

joyous retrievers
master the criss cross
bare maples stand
at settlers way
barred owl and blue jay
whistle the fore-wind
ghosts
and goblins
pull at the seeds

wind gusts belt
over the west gulch
blood rush churns
in a chilling fall morn
hallowed grounds still
at the midday
quiet reflections
of the afghan
and hound

jumpers unite
at the oxbow
route runners bend
(on a sultry foray!)
meadows exposed
in the framework
ball park empty
with pennants past

barrel dirt favors
the brew house
crimson and copper
find bracken ridge gate
harvest hands savor
the honey and hops
blankets of color
for a winter's hatch

brush fire kept
under steady peruse
bark bites fly
and embers glow
pine cones drop
from timber tops
3 wick candles
set the dinner place

shiver and ******
at the piper's call
cob web dew
on shadowy gates
a chilled mist mellows
the season's return ~
poets and artists
and dreamers awake
Nigel Morgan Nov 2012
She said, ‘You are funny, the way you set yourself up the moment we arrive. You look into every room to see if it’s suitable as a place to work. Is there a table? Where are the plugs? Is there a good chair at the right height? If there isn’t, are there cushions to make it so? You are funny.’
 
He countered this, but his excuse didn’t sound very convincing. He knew exactly what she meant, but it hurt him a little that she should think it ‘funny’. There’s nothing funny about trying to compose music, he thought. It’s not ‘radio in the head’ you know – this was a favourite expression he’d once heard an American composer use. You don’t just turn a switch and the music’s playing, waiting for you to write it down. You have to find it – though he believed it was usually there, somewhere, waiting to be found. But it’s elusive. You have to work hard to detect what might be there, there in the silence of your imagination.
 
Later over their first meal in this large cottage she said, ‘How do you stop hearing all those settings of the Mass that you must have heard or sung since childhood?’ She’d been rehearsing Verdi’s Requiem recently and was full of snippets of this stirring piece. He was a) writing a Mass to celebrate a cathedral’s reordering after a year as a building site, and b) he’d been a boy chorister and the form and order of the Mass was deeply engrained in his aural memory. He only had to hear the plainsong introduction Gloria in Excelsis Deo to be back in the Queen’s chapel singing Palestrina, or Byrd or Poulenc.
 
His ‘found’ corner was in the living room. The table wasn’t a table but a long cabinet she’d kindly covered with a tablecloth. You couldn’t get your feet under the thing, but with his little portable drawing board there was space to sit properly because the board jutted out beyond the cabinet’s top. It was the right length and its depth was OK, enough space for the board and, next to it, his laptop computer. On the floor beside his chair he placed a few of his reference scores and a box of necessary ‘bits’.
 
The room had two large sofas, an equally large television, some unexplainable and instantly dismissible items of decoration, a standard lamp, and a wood burning stove. The stove was wonderful, and on their second evening in the cottage, when clear skies and a stiff breeze promised a cold night, she’d lit it and, as the evening progressed, they basked in its warmth, she filling envelopes with her cards, he struggling with sleep over a book.
 
Despite and because this was a new, though temporary, location he had got up at 5.0am. This is a usual time for composers who need their daily fix of absolute quiet. And here, in this cottage set amidst autumn fields, within sight of a river estuary, under vast, panoramic uninterrupted skies, there was the distinct possibility of silence – all day. The double-glazing made doubly sure of that.
 
He had sat with a mug of tea at 5.10 and contemplated the silence, or rather what infiltrated the stillness of the cottage as sound. In the kitchen the clock ticked, the refrigerator seemed to need a period of machine noise once its door had been opened. At 6.0am the central heating fired up for a while. Outside, the small fruit trees in the garden moved vigorously in the wind, but he couldn’t hear either the wind or a rustle of leaves.  A car droned past on the nearby road. The clear sky began to lighten promising a fine day. This would certainly do for silence.
 
His thoughts returned to her question of the previous evening, and his answer. He was about to face up to his explanation. ‘I empty myself of all musical sound’, he’d said, ‘I imagine an empty space into which I might bring a single note, a long held drone of a note, a ‘d’ above middle ‘c’ on a chamber ***** (seeing it’s a Mass I’m writing).  Harrison Birtwistle always starts on an ‘e’. A ‘d’ to me seems older and kinder. An ‘e’ is too modern and progressive, slightly brash and noisy.’
 
He can see she is quizzical with this anecdotal stuff. Is he having me on? But no, he is not having her on. Such choices are important. Without them progress would be difficult when the thinking and planning has to stop and the composing has to begin. His notebook, sitting on his drawing board with some first sketches, plays testament to that. In this book glimpses of music appear in rhythmic abstracts, though rarely any pitches, and there are pages of written description. He likes to imagine what a new work is, and what it is not. This he writes down. Composer Paul Hindemith reckoned you had first to address the ‘conditions of performance’. That meant thinking about the performers, the location, above all the context. A Mass can be, for a composer, so many things. There were certainly requirements and constraints. The commission had to fulfil a number of criteria, some imposed by circumstance, some self-imposed by desire. All this goes into the melting ***, or rather the notebook. And after the notebook, he takes a large piece of A3 paper and clarifies this thinking and planning onto (if possible) a single sheet.
 
And so, to the task in hand. His objective, he had decided, is to focus on the whole rather than the particular. Don’t think about the Kyrie on its own, but consider how it lies with the Gloria. And so with the Sanctus & Benedictus. How do they connect to the Agnus Dei. He begins on the A3 sheet of plain paper ‘making a map of connections’. Kyrie to Gloria, Gloria to Credo and so on. Then what about Agnus Dei and the Gloria? Is there going to be any commonality – in rhythm, pace and tempo (we’ll leave melody and harmony for now)? Steady, he finds himself saying, aren’t we going back over old ground? His notebook has pages of attempts at rhythmizing the text. There are just so many ways to do this. Each rhythmic solution begets a different slant of meaning.
 
This is to be a congregational Mass, but one that has a role for a 4-part choir and ***** and a ‘jazz instrument’. Impatient to see notes on paper, he composes a new introduction to a Kyrie as a rhythmic sketch, then, experimentally, adds pitches. He scores it fully, just 10 bars or so, but it is barely finished before his critical inner voice says, ‘What’s this for? Do you all need this? This is showing off.’ So the filled-out sketch drops to the floor and he examines this element of ‘beginning’ the incipit.
 
He remembers how a meditation on that word inhabits the opening chapter of George Steiner’s great book Grammars of Creation. He sees in his mind’s eye the complex, colourful and ornate letter that begins the Lindesfarne Gospels. His beginnings for each movement, he decides, might be two chords, one overlaying the other: two ‘simple’ diatonic chords when sounded separately, but complex and with a measure of mystery when played together. The Mass is often described as a mystery. It is that ritual of a meal undertaken by a community of people who in the breaking of bread and wine wish to bring God’s presence amongst them. So it is a mystery. And so, he tells himself, his music will aim to hold something of mystery. It should not be a comment on that mystery, but be a mystery itself. It should not be homely and comfortable; it should be as minimal and sparing of musical commentary as possible.
 
When, as a teenager, he first began to set words to music he quickly experienced the need (it seemed) to fashion accompaniments that were commentaries on the text the voice was singing. These accompaniments did not underpin the words so much as add a commentary upon them. What lay beneath the words was his reaction, indeed imaginative extension of the words. He eschewed then both melisma and repetition. He sought an extreme independence between word and music, even though the word became the scenario of the music. Any musical setting was derived from the composition of the vocal line.  It was all about finding the ‘key’ to a song, what unlocked the door to the room of life it occupied. The music was the room where the poem’s utterance lived.
 
With a Mass you were in trouble for the outset. There was a poetry of sorts, but poetry that, in the countless versions of the vernacular, had lost (perhaps had never had) the resonance of the Latin. He thought suddenly of the supposed words of William Byrd, ‘He who sings prays twice’. Yes, such commonplace words are intercessional, but when sung become more than they are. But he knew he had to be careful here.
 
Why do we sing the words of the Mass he asks himself? Do we need to sing these words of the Mass? Are they the words that Christ spoke as he broke bread and poured wine to his friends and disciples at his last supper? The answer is no. Certainly these words of the Mass we usually sing surround the most intimate words of that final meal, words only the priest in Christ’s name may articulate.
 
Write out the words of the Mass that represent its collective worship and what do you have? Rather non-descript poetry? A kind of formula for collective incantation during worship? Can we read these words and not hear a surrounding music? He thinks for a moment of being asked to put new music to words of The Beatles. All you need is love. Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away. Oh bla dee oh bla da life goes on. Now, now this is silliness, his Critical Voice complains. And yet it’s not. When you compose a popular song the gap between some words scribbled on the back of an envelope and the hook of chords and melody developed in an accidental moment (that becomes a way of clothing such words) is often minimal. Apart, words and music seem like orphans in a storm. Together they are home and dry.
 
He realises, and not for the first time, that he is seeking a total musical solution to the whole of the setting of those words collectively given voice to by those participating in the Mass.
 
And so: to the task in hand. His objective: to focus on the whole rather than the particular.  Where had he heard that thought before? - when he had sat down at his drawing board an hour and half previously. He’d gone in a circle of thought, and with his sketch on the floor at his feet, nothing to show for all that effort.
 
Meanwhile the sun had risen. He could hear her moving about in the bathroom. He went to the kitchen and laid out what they would need to breakfast together. As he poured milk into a jug, primed the toaster, filled the kettle, the business of what might constitute a whole solution to this setting of the Mass followed him around the kitchen and breakfast room like a demanding child. He knew all about demanding children. How often had he come home from his studio to prepare breakfast and see small people to school? - more often than he cared to remember. And when he remembered he became sad that it was no more.  His children had so often provided a welcome buffer from sessions of intense thought and activity. He loved the walk to school, the first quarter of a mile through the park, a long avenue of chestnut trees. It was always the end of April and pink and white blossoms were appearing, or it was September and there were conkers everywhere. It was under these trees his daughter would skip and even his sons would hold hands with him; he would feel their warmth, their livingness.
 
But now, preparing breakfast, his Critical Voice was that demanding child and he realised when she appeared in the kitchen he spoke to her with a voice of an artist in conversation with his critics, not the voice of the man who had the previous night lost himself to joy in her dear embrace. And he was ashamed it was so.
 
How he loved her gentle manner as she negotiated his ‘coming too’ after those two hours of concentration and inner dialogue. Gradually, by the second cup of coffee he felt a right person, and the hours ahead did not seem too impossible.
 
When she’d gone off to her work, silence reasserted itself. He played his viola for half an hour, just scales and exercises and a few folk songs he was learning by heart. This gathering habit was, he would say if asked, to reassert his musicianship, the link between his body and making sound musically. That the viola seemed to resonate throughout his whole body gave him pleasure. He liked the ****** movement required to produce a flowing sequence of bow strokes. The trick at the end of this daily practice was to put the instrument in its case and move immediately to his desk. No pause to check email – that blight on a morning’s work. No pause to look at today’s list. Back to the work in hand: the Mass.
 
But instead his mind and intention seemed to slip sideways and almost unconsciously he found himself sketching (on the few remaining staves of a vocal experiment) what appeared to be a piano piece. The rhythmic flow of it seemed to dance across the page to be halted only when the few empty staves were filled. He knew this was one of those pieces that addressed the pianist, not the listener. He sat back in his chair and imagined a scenario of a pianist opening this music and after a few minutes’ reflection and reading through allowing her hands to move very slowly and silently a few millimetres over the keys.  Such imagining led him to hear possible harmonic simultaneities, dynamics and articulations, though he knew such things would probably be lost or reinvented on a second imagined ‘performance’. No matter. Now his make-believe pianist sounded the first bar out. It had a depth and a richness that surprised him – it was a fine piano. He was touched by its affect. He felt the possibilities of extending what he’d written. So he did. And for the next half an hour lived in the pastures of good continuation, those rich luxuriant meadows reached by a rickerty rackerty bridge and guarded by a troll who today was nowhere to be seen.
 
It was a curious piece. It came to a halt on an enigmatic, go-nowhere / go-anywhere chord after what seemed a short declamatory coda (he later added the marking deliberamente). Then, after a few minutes reflection he wrote a rising arpeggio, a broken chord in which the consonant elements gradually acquired a rising sequence of dissonance pitches until halted by a repetition. As he wrote this ending he realised that the repeated note, an ‘a’ flat, was a kind of fulcrum around which the whole of the music moved. It held an enigmatic presence in the harmony, being sometimes a g# sometimes an ‘a’ flat, and its function often different. It made the music take on a wistful quality.
 
At that point he thought of her little artists’ book series she had titled Tide Marks. Many of these were made of a concertina of folded pages revealing - as your eyes moved through its pages - something akin to the tide’s longitudinal mark. This centred on the page and spread away both upwards and downwards, just like those mirror images of coloured glass seen in a child’s kaleidoscope. No moment of view was ever quite the same, but there were commonalities born of the conditions of a certain day and time.  His ‘Tide Mark’ was just like that. He’d followed a mark made in his imagination from one point to another point a little distant. The musical working out also had a reflection mechanism: what started in one hand became mirrored in the other. He had unexpectedly supplied an ending, this arpegiated gesture of finality that wasn’t properly final but faded away. When he thought further about the role of the ending, he added a few more notes to the arpeggio, but notes that were not be sounded but ghosted, the player miming a press of the keys.
 
He looked at the clock. Nearly five o’clock. The afternoon had all but disappeared. Time had retreated into glorious silence . There had been three whole hours of it. How wonderful that was after months of battling with the incessant and draining turbulence of sound that was ever present in his city life. To be here in this quiet cottage he could now get thoroughly lost – in silence. Even when she was here he could be a few rooms apart, and find silence.
 
A week more of this, a fortnight even . . . but he knew he might only manage a few days before visitors arrived and his long day would be squeezed into the early morning hours and occasional uncertain periods when people were out and about.
 
When she returned, very soon now, she would make tea and cut cake, and they’d sit (like old people they wer
Simon Woodstock Mar 2016
four chords is all it takes four chords and I escape
four chords I feel awake
four chords and I feel nothing but heartache
Leiser Poetry Aug 2014
I can remember that first encounter. He was a man in his early thirties, bright eyes but with a dark grin and was smoking your cigars wearing a black hat and he was also carrying a guitar. He was here to show me how to strum an few chords.

I remember him distinctively saying...

"Guitar playing I am about to teach you is really the same as love making you know?"

I  laughed and blankly said
"but how so?"

" Well... (grinning)
Each string has to be carefully plucked, and contains a different  sensation and vibe if you mishandle the strings that final note will sound awful.

He was showing me how to re-tune and play a few chords which were C, D and G then pass me over the guitar back to me.
"Its your turn dear, and be really gentle"

While doing this and playing the first few chords of the guitar which was D I could feel him rub my shoulders and chest gently.
"Don't worry you can trust me, I was just loosening you up we can't have you feeling tense"
"Now, show me a G"

I begin to play the chord G while doing that he then grasped firmly on my other hand : I can feel a surge of heat from his hands firing up my fingers. This heat was making its way to my chest. He now caressed and circled around the chest and then higher up to my *****. I can feel his breath and his tongue swirling and stretching out to **** on my *******.

"Okay ... final note play me a C"

I crouch down to the floor and begin to strum that final chord and can then feel him stretch his hands beneath my skirt I could feel the sensations further of his fingers strumming my ***** in the same rhythmic motions of his guitar previously.

"See what I said? music playing really is the same as love making"
"I nodded and said yeah I suppose"

A bit shaken and uncertain how to respond but he kept whispering into my ear and repeating that same line: while kissing me on my cheeks, stroking me up and down in circular motions in which I could feel a tense feeling of release and then silence again

Was that the final note?
Luka Love Dec 2012
Who is this broken thing
Who holds her broken things
And dreams stuffed in a ***** handbag
Dangling from her fingertips
Where strips of skin have hardened
Like she has
Streaks of shame and fear
And tears coursing lines down her wrists
Thick with blood and grit
Where every scar tells of a heartbreak
Until she closed it all up
And broke all her stuff
And she cries sometimes
Does not see between the lines of sheet music
Notes played just for her
A special symphony of minor chords
The saddest chords there are
I hope she hears it one day
Forgets the shame and pain of it all
To know that even in sad chords there is beauty
And even the sad things can be loved
Lawrence Hall Nov 2018
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”
Embroidered on the back of his letterman jacket
Hanging from the kitchen chair where he sits
Practicing chords while the **** cooks to crank

In the trailer back of his momma’s house
Where she lets him live while he looks for work
They didn’t treat him right at the truck stop
His uncle might get him on at the mill

A crankster wankster twanging out his art
Unless the Cossaks find out about…


                                                        ­               “Who’s there…?”
CK Baker Jan 2017
In time you’ll recover and absolve
push those scorned impressions aside
hammer down the jaded edges
and sing
that delightful commoners song
the one you sang so well
in what seems a lifetime ago

You really had it you know
that fiery disposition and nimble cunning
those butter chords and derelict style
we could see it -- we could all see it
it was all it took to turn the evening tide
(and rile that buck fever)
heads bashing
tongues lambasting
middle fingers high
and raising Cain on those may fly statesmen

There were no rules
when it came to your survival
no textbook rally or common bond
no structured songbird or bravado stage
you either made it, or laid it
“life by the *****” Mr. Poppy would say
a kaleidoscope of dreams
with rich colored imagery
hardened artisan seams
in a carefully woven motif

But something got lost in the needle point
something sinister and distorted took hold
the quirks and street genius
that were your lifeline
gave way to grunts
and squeals
and chilling night crawlers
the colors faded quickly
to a cold confining grey

There was no grace in the new world
no retribution or switch back
no salvation or accorded finale
only edged platforms of blackened steel
that kept you cased
in a silent vanquished cell
shivering cold with fear
night without day
all in the shadow of death

But time heals all
and the polish sneakers
and open sores are long gone
(though the roman nose and shallow cleft remain)
indeed the falconer beat the widow maker
this go around
and I’m hopeful it won’t happen again
and if it does you’ll see me
standing hand on heart
with that old verse in hand:

he ain’t tainted
or silly,
and most certainly
not forgotten…
he ain’t loony
or fixed,
or a product of his self-doing…
he’s just a straight shootin’ guy,
who had the most of it
figured out
Eyal Lavi Aug 2017
Part 2

The old man sits upon his chair and speaks words slip with spit they drip - drip drip - he speaks but no one’s there. From thought to speech the old man speaks, his words released hang in the mist formed out of air so thick and dense it ebbs and flows and dances with a constant freeze brought by the breeze thus when he speaks the old man sees the sounds that slip from his own lips...

...Each word a sound each sound a note encased in ice the words take form; his thoughts comprised of merging chords which morph into the words whose form is slick and round, encased in ice, shine like a string of flawless pearls.

A burden air can never bare the string of pearls falls from mid-air. Pearls hit the floor with such great force that impact shatters words like bones upon a field where battles roared, souls ripped from form thus die his words; remains of thoughts the old man spoke, words torn apart reduced to chords in piles litter scatter wasted cursed forever to be words unheard like treasures lost, no! never found or heard, his words the unearthed pearls of thoughts he thought and dared to speak though fate he knew would have them be forever lost beneath the sea where words from chords and notes will never see the day nor know the heat when they would shine under the sun though smooth and round their form once was when once the shattered chords were words.

There was a time his words had form their form was round like pearls or drops of water dripped from leaky faucets drip they slip from rusty lips into the sink and down the pipes which snake throughout the secret house, they drip the words words slip his thoughts from lips are lost drip drip the words in chords thoughts drip are lost in sinks forever gone the old man thinks…

Drip drip he speaks words slip drip drip from lips words drip their form drip drip so round the sound from chords which merged and formed the words he thinks and speaks and let's thoughts drip released expelled he sees the strings of pearls his words afloat drip drip the words the sound he hears or heard he thinks once there he sees or saw he saw he knows he did let words drip drip from lips but then drip drip he knows he sits he rocks on boards within drip drip a house where secrets drip, the words, drip drip the sound, they slip forever gone as if they once were sounds which maybe formed the maybe thoughts he may have thought the old man thinks that maybe he just never spoke the words which maybe never were the thoughts he thought or did he think he didn’t know now doesn’t know not like the sound he knows he hears the drip, drip drip drip from rusty lips of leaky faucets down the sink...

The End Part 2
This is the 2nd part of a 3 Part poem titled Drip Drip Drip Eyal Lavi
Raphael Uzor Apr 2014
Slipping into my apron,
Hungry in body and soul
Humming as a song played...

I grab my knife and chop-board
Unsure of what to cook
Strange inspirations possess me
Filling me with *****!

My kitchen becomes a stage
In my hands- a plectrum and fretboard
Silver utensils- my live audience!

As I play divine recipes
Strumming master acoustic chords
Chopping fresh, colorful vegetables.

I dash to the remote,
Punch "Repeat" and dash back on stage
Landing on E♭ minor,
Scaling impossible notes,
I slice with razor-sharp plectrum,
On onions and other root chords
My fret arrayed with colors,
Of spinach, lettuce, tomatoes
Carrots, potatoes, olives
Pepper, cabbage and cucumbers.

I hear a thunder of applause
As I ignite the cooker
Butter sizzling in the hot pan
A staccato of sharp notes,
Ready to modulate innocent vegetables
Through spicy aromatic crescendos!


I fight hard to suppress a sneeze,
No sneezing on-stage! Unprofessional!
Multitudes of seconds rush by and…
Voila!!!

I stand for a moment
Salivating, awed at my bravura!
Wishing I could hang it on my wall
Tis beautiful like art
But I can’t eat this cake and have it!

So I dig in…
Heaven and earth kiss for a moment
L U S C I O U S!!!
Luckily, it didn’t taste nauseating
Like my last attempt.

No time for ceremonies
I munch from pan to mouth
Pausing for what may pass for a prayer,
I relish every bite!
Not that I’m a foodie or something,
But nothing beats this combo-
Of good food and soul music.

And yes,
Music is indeed food to the soul!
I devour, in view- the next meal...


© Raphael Uzor
Inspiration came while cooking and listening to Ayo’s And its Supposed to be Love
Tell me I'm not a foodie :-)
Akhiz Munawar May 2014
Checking pitch, tone and harmony of the deeds
Tune the strings of life to balance your world
Arrange your ways to match the notes
Of all the chords that are right for your soul
When you are unable to find the right key to self
And it’s difficult to arrange the scale of your goals
Just close your eyes and let your fingers flow
You will catch the right melody to play your role
Strumming on the tune of righteous dreams
Transpose your thoughts to improvise at will
The virtuoso of inner self will come out one day
As they say for the top you first climb the hill
Play the symphony you are intended to play
Use the plectrum of love for it can do no wrong
Use the power chords of care if it’s necessary
Let the world “Rock On” in awe of your song
Chord
Three or more notes sounded simultaneously.

Transpose
To change the key of a piece of music by a specific interval.

Improvise
It basically just means that you make something original up on the spot. Most guitar solos in rock songs for example are improvised because they don't follow a particular structure it's just playing your own thing really.

Virtuoso
A person highly skilled in music or another artistic pursuit.
No, I shall not say why it is that I love you--
Why do you ask me, save for vanity?
Surely you would not have me, like a mirror,
Say 'yes,--your hair curls darkly back from the temples,
Your mouth has a humorous, tremulous, half-shy sweetness,
Your eyes are April grey. . . with jonquils in them?'
No, if I tell at all, I shall tell in silence . . .
I'll say--my childhood broke through chords of music
--Or were they chords of sun?--wherein fell shadows,
Or silences; I rose through seas of sunlight;
Or sometimes found a darkness stooped above me
With wings of death, and a face of cold clear beauty
I lay in the warm sweet grass on a blue May morning,
My chin in a dandelion, my hands in clover,
And drowsed there like a bee. . . blue days behind me
Stretched like a chain of deep blue pools of magic,
Enchanted, silent, timeless. . . days before me
Murmured of blue-sea mornings, noons of gold,
Green evenings streaked with lilac, bee-starred nights.
Confused soft clouds of music fled above me.

Sharp shafts of music dazzled my eyes and pierced me.
I ran and turned and spun and danced in the sunlight,
Shrank, sometimes, from the freezing silence of beauty,
Or crept once more to the warm white cave of sleep.

No, I shall not say 'this is why I praise you--
Because you say such wise things, or such foolish. . .'
You would not have me say what you know better?
Let me instead be silent, only saying--:
My childhood lives in me--or half-lives, rather--
And, if I close my eyes cool chords of music
Flow up to me . . . long chords of wind and sunlight. . . .
Shadows of intricate vines on sunlit walls,
Deep bells beating, with aeons of blue between them,
Grass blades leagues apart with worlds between them,
Walls rushing up to heaven with stars upon them. . .
I lay in my bed and through the tall night window
Saw the green lightning plunging among the clouds,
And heard the harsh rain storm at the panes and roof. . . .
How should I know--how should I now remember--
What half-dreamed great wings curved and sang above me?
What wings like swords?  What eyes with the dread night in them?

This I shall say.--I lay by the hot white sand-dunes
Small yellow flowers, sapless and squat and spiny,
Stared at the sky.  And silently there above us
Day after day, beyond our dreams and knowledge,
Presences swept, and over us streamed their shadows,
Swift and blue, or dark. . . What did they mean?
What sinister threat of power?  What hint of beauty?
Prelude to what gigantic music, or subtle?
Only I know these things leaned over me,
Brooded upon me, paused, went flowing softly,
Glided and passed.  I loved, I desired, I hated,
I struggled, I yielded and loved, was warmed to blossom . . .
You, when your eyes have evening sunlight in them,
Set these dunes before me, these salt bright flowers,
These presences. . . I drowse, they stream above me,
I struggle, I yield and love, I am warmed to dream.

You are the window (if I could tell I'd tell you)
Through which I see a clear far world of sunlight.
You are the silence (if you could hear you'd hear me)
In which I remember a thin still whisper of singing.
It is not you I laugh for, you I touch!
My hands, that touch you, suddenly touch white cobwebs,
Coldly silvered, heavily silvered with dewdrops;
And clover, heavy with rain; and cold green grass. . .
ugly men burning their bay leaves
in pots of static gardens
underneath all this cement
your past is looking at you indecently
so change the words around you
you can shift their meaning
its all a game and no-one's winning
your tired emotions accent your poetry
umbrellas are scars that carry symphonies in their hearts
you held my hand as we welcomed god back into our skylines
her face is as familiar as the stars
we originated from
with ulcers open in quiet hurting
your youth are wordless and distrustful of angst ridden authority
in unsuspecting situations love’s vacation is ending
her wedding gown got quite *****
since she literally spent her entire honeymoon
wandering idly into banks of muddy water
humanity is worthy of justice and sweaty romance
i breathe your flesh into my bottle
and we take boundless walks upon the clouds
that straddle mountains, graveyards and cemeteries
fresh from wading in the rice fields
i peeled you a ripe banana
under pressure your sweater came off
and revealed a perfect metric for us to emulate
your eye sockets are two umbilical chords
and your voice is a curved sword that cuts through fear
like the moon slices through the sky
i have held all of this inside for far too long
and now it comes shattering forth
spilling itself over every page
every letter an escapade almost as long
as an Eskimo's pilgrimage to safety
In the Midnight heaven's burning  
                  Through the ethereal deeps afar          
                  Once I watch'd with restless yearning    
                  An alluring aureate star;                
                  Ev'ry eve aloft returning                
                  Gleaming nigh the Arctic Car.            
                                                          
                  Mystic waves of beauty blended            
                  With the gorgeous golden rays            
                  Phantasies of bliss descended            
                  In a myrrh'd Elysian haze.                
                  In the lyre-born chords extended          
                  Harmonies of Lydian lays.                
                                                          
                  And (thought I) lies scenes of pleasure,  
                  Where the free and blessed dwell,        
                  And each moment bears a treasure,        
                  Freighted with the lotos-spell,          
                  And there floats a liquid measure        
                  From the lute of Israfel.                
                                                          
                  There (I told myself) were shining        
                  Worlds of happiness unknown,              
                  Peace and Innocence entwining            
                  By the Crowned Virtue's throne;          
                  Men of light, their thoughts refining    
                  Purer, fairer, than my own.              
                                                          
                  Thus I mus'd when o'er the vision        
                  Crept a red delirious change;            
                  Hope dissolving to derision,              
                  Beauty to distortion strange;            
                  Hymnic chords in weird collision,        
                  Spectral sights in endless range….      
                  Crimson burn'd the star of madness        
                  As behind the beams I peer'd;            
                  All was woe that seem'd but gladness      
                  Ere my gaze with Truth was sear'd;        
                  Cacodaemons, mir'd with madness,          
                  Through the fever'd flick'ring leer'd….
                  Now I know the fiendish fable            
                  The the golden glitter bore;              
                  Now I shun the spangled sable            
                  That I watch'd and lov'd before;          
                  But the horror, set and stable,          
                  Haunts my soul forevermore!    
Dreamer Apr 2015
The crowd fades away
As chords in every melody
Rings in our ears,
And shivers downs in our body
It vibrates in every muscle
A musical fusion
Almost everything didn’t matter
It’s you, me and the beating rhythm
The graceful posture
The sway of every gesture
It’s a motion adventure.

Feeling the adrenaline pulsing through
Pervading the entity
Beating rhythm pounding, it electrifies the body
into graceful art, emancipating the sound of the music
Captivating the mind, liberating the young, reckless soul
covertly hidden inside an indifferent exterior

A freeing beauty
of movement to the rhythm
A therapy to the mind and body.
Dancing to the music,
feeling every tune
every beat
every breath of every movement,
with Explosions of Euphoria
how about that! :) I'm so proud of us, we did it! I'm having that totally awesome post-poem feeling you know? So incredibly honored to be working with you, dear Pax :) We did a fantastic job, woot woot! (((hug))))
Raj Arumugam Nov 2011
Scene One



...some time in time... bare stage except for a square neon sign on left that reads: “Aged Care Home”...on right is a rectangular neon message display with full title of the play...Urgo and Burgo bring Raj Arumugam out on wheelchair...
*



Urgo: I am attendant 1. Often known as Urgo.



Burgo: I am attendant 2. Always known as Burgo.



Urgo:  You see this creature seated here
            in the wheelchair? 
Can you believe it?

            This creature once wrote poems
            
and its poems still inhabit cyberspace.


Burgo: Oh, this creature did that?


Urgo: Yes, this.


Burgo: I think I’ve read some.

             Not that I can remember any.
             
Not a word, not a title.
 But must have been pretty good, ha?
             
To write all those words, in verse...


Urgo: I don’t know about that.
           
It’s the girls who write. And sissies.
           
And for all that, you know
           
there’s just one word this creature can say.


Burgo: Really? Just one word?


Urgo: Yes.
All right, watch this.
           Come on, Raj-i.

           Hey baby...Burgo here wants to hear you.
           
Just one poem in your one word.
           
Come on, baby - or no soup for you tonight.



Raj: Baa, baa, baa

        Baa, baa, baa

        Baa, baa, baa

       Baa, baa, baa



(Burgo and Urgo clap)



Urgo: Baan-derful, Raj...
Now Burgo,
           let’s wheel the creature back in

           and dump him in
           his corner.



(Urgo and Burgo go out, Urgo pushing wheelchair with Raj in it)





Scene Two



...some time in time... bare stage except for a square neon sign on left that reads: “Aged Care Home”...on right is a rectangular neon message display with full title of the play...Urgo and Burgo bring Raj Arumugam out on wheelchair...






Urgo: Today, Burgo, is Exercise Your Vocal Chords Day.



Burgo: No problem - Ahhhhhhhhrrrrgggggooooaaaaa.....



Urgo: Not your vocal cords, Burgo.
           
It is Exercise Your vocal Cords Day
            
for our distinguished guest currently
            
on this wheelchair.



Burgo: Ahhh...I see...



Urgo: All right, Raj-i baby...
Exercise your vocal chords 

            and entertain us with your delightful voice...



Raj: Baa, baa, baa
        
Baa, baa, baa

        Baa, baa, baa
        
Baa, baa, baa



(Burgo claps)*



Urgo: OK - that’s enough exercise for the day!
           Let’s go






(Urgo and Burgo go out, Urgo pushing wheelchair with Raj in it)






Scene Three

...some time in time... bare stage except for a square neon sign on left that reads: “Aged Care Home”...on right is a rectangular neon message display with full title of the play...Urgo and Burgo bring Raj Arumugam out on wheelchair...


Urgo: Burgo!

Burgo: Sire!

Urgo: Sire? Where in the world
           did you get such a word?

Burgo: Sorry - I thought I was in a *****
             Shakespeare play.

Urgo: Have your head examined, Burgo.
            We’ll never make it there.
            All we have is this 3rd-rate one-act play.

Burgo: I understand. I’m just a little ambitious.

Urgo: Be realistic. Don’t be ambitious.

Burgo: That’s wise, Sire - I mean, Urgo.

Urgo: Well, this creature in the wheelchair,
            for example...It was ambitious...
            and it had a great fall...
            it never knew how to be realistic...
            But more of that, later - first, what Day is it today?

Burgo: It is We Tickle Your Foot Day, today.

Urgo: You learn fast, Burgo.

Burgo: Thank you, Urgo.

(Silence)

Urgo: Well?

Burgo: I’m very well, thank you.

Urgo: You idiot! I mean if you know it is
           We Tickle Your Foot Day, today -
           then what should you do next, you knave!?

Burgo: Oh. Ok.

(Burgo kneels before Raj, takes off Raj’s shoes and with a feather tickles Raj’s feet.)

Raj (laughing): Baa, baa, baa
                              Baa, baa, baa
                              Baa, baa, baa
                             Baa, baa, baa


(Burgo puts Raj’s shoes on again, and his feather back in his pocket and stands up.)



Burgo: You mentioned ambition
              and this creature that sits on the wheelchair.

Urgo: Yes, it is time to exercise my vocal chords.
           This creature forgot, like all creatures,
           we come alone, and we go alone.

Burgo: Ah, at last! - hints of a Shakespearean play
             albeit we’ll never make it into one.
            With ambition, loneliness and all the Lear madness.
            Will we have the lewd parts too
            and rich imagery of body parts?

Urgo: Perhaps...perhaps...but let us stick to the ordinary ...
           This creature was born in 1derLand
           but was washed ashore to foreign shores.


Burgo: Good, good...like Paris, son of Priam and Hecuba?
             O Paris, washed ashore to Sparta
             O so well-loved and nursed by Helen.

Urgo: Yes, except this creature is more akin to the Wanderer
            like Oedipus, or just the indistinct Mendicant,
            the Samurai with no master, a ronin,
             all cursed to wander the face of the earth...

Burgo: Oh - are we in Shakespeare yet?

Urgo: We are in deep ****! That’s where we are!
           We all are.
           Burgo - let us stick to the banal like hamburgers.
          This creature forgot that
          and dreamt of things like poetry, ideals -
          and therein is the moral of the story for you:
          we come alone
          and alone we go
          one at a time we come
          and each we own, and each faculty
          one at a time they go.

Burgo: So let us stick with the banal
             eat our burgers
             and pick our teeth after.
             Do they supply toothpicks at takeaways
             in your country, Urgo?

Urgo: No, we recycle them, Burgo.
           We just pick up discarded ones from the ground.
           Like some nations pick up cigarette butts
           from the bins.
           Waste not; want not.


Burgo: Oh, if this scene goes on any longer
             it might become Shakespearean, Urgo.

Urgo: Ergo - we must go.
          But let us allow Raj to have the last word,
           since this play is entitled
          “ Raj Arumugam, (a one-act tragicomedy)”.
          Idiot of a son! What kind of fool-writer will have a play
          with his own name as the title of his play?!

Burgo: So, Raj-i, you egocentric ******:
             You have the last word in this scene...
             You really put words into my mouth, you ****!

Raj: Baa, baa, ba
        Baa, baa, baa
       Baa, baa, baa
       Baa, baa, baa


Urgo: All right, Let’s go, Burgo.
           Bring him in -
           Let’s drop him in bed
           and may he drop dead!



(Urgo and Burgo go out, Urgo pushing wheelchair with Raj in it)




Scene Four



...some time in time... bare stage except for a square neon sign on left that reads: “Aged Care Home”...on right is a rectangular neon message display with full title of the play...Urgo and Burgo bring Raj Arumugam out on wheelchair...



*


Urgo: Burgo!


Burgo: Urgo!


Urgo: How long has it been since
           you started work here?


Burgo: 3 months, Urgo. Why?


Urgo: Well, show me a game...I’m bored...a new game...


Burgo: Well, have you played wheelie bin?


Urgo: No.
But Oh I love to delve into world culture.

           Show me.


Burgo: Well, let me show you.

             A wheelie bin is a bin with wheels
             and you put ******* in it
             
and you leave it outside on the kerb
             
and the garbage guy in his truck collects your *******.
             
So this is the game.



(Burgo pushes wheelchair round the stage and sings.)



          This is the way we 
wheel out our wheelie bins
           
this is the way we 
wheel out our bins
           
early every Thursday morning


           This is the way we 
leave our bins,
            our wheelie bins

            this is the way we leave our bins
            
out on the sunny kerb

            every Thursday morning



(leaves wheelchair on kerb)



           This is the way we empty our bins

           this is the way we empty our bins
           this is the way empty our bins
           every Thursday morning



(empties the wheelchair; Raj Arumugam  drops onstage)




Urgo
(joining in):
 This is the way we 
pick up our *******

                                  pick up our *******
                                  
this is the way we do it

                                  this is the way 
always we do it

                                  early Thursday morning!



(Urgo picks up Raj Arumugam and drops him in the wheelchair)



(Urgo and Burgo clap, applauding each other.)



Burgo:
And now, Urgo - for the ritual
             of 
Raj Arumugam’s final words in the scene...
Is that right?



(Urgo nods...)



Burgo:
  Sing, you Sir in the Wheelchair.



Raj: Baa, baa, baa
       
Baa, baa, baa

       Baa, baa, baa

       Baa, baa, baa




Burgo: Oh, you spoil the fun! Let’s go.






(Urgo and Burgo go out, Urgo pushing wheelchair with Raj in it)




Scene Five

...some time in time... bare stage except for a square neon sign on left that reads: “Aged Care Home”...on right is a rectangular neon message display with full title of the play...Urgo and Burgo bring Raj Arumugam out on wheelchair...


Urgo:
          Let's leave him here tonight;
         some fresh air might do him good

(Urgo and Burgo leave, leaving Raj on his wheelchair.)

(Long silence.)


Raj: Baa, baa, baa
       Baa, baa, baa
       Baa, baa, baa
      Baa, baa, baa



(Raj has a thought. His thought is broadcast as a message on the rectangular neon light display: “Hey guys, come back...Another word is coming back to me.”)

(Long silence)


Raj:
**** **** ****
**** **** ****
**** **** ****

(Raj has another thought. His thought is broadcast as a message on the rectangular neon light display: “Another one’s coming back...maybe my mind is coming back.”)


Raj:
**** **** ****
**** **** ****
**** **** ****

(Long silence. Lights fade. Darkness. Curtain...)
Jimmy King Oct 2013
I remember playing the ukulele
A year ago
With you in my living room,
My fingers showing yours
The chords you still had to learn
(A perfect excuse
To hold your hand)

Sunlight pouring,
As the rain does now,
Through the windows
Illuminated
The carefully moving corners
Of your lips
(An imperfect
Yet somehow reasonable excuse
To kiss them).

This morning
As our noses pressed together
And our breathing intermingled
In the bed where I lost my virginity
To the girl
Who taught me those same chords
(To the girl whose lips
Mine found an imperfect excuse to kiss
This afternoon),
I wished that I still had chords
To teach you;
I wished that the sun
Would shine through the rain
WiltingMoon Dec 2015
Its starts with such a beautiful note
That enchants you in, listing to more
The chords flow with such passion
Such hope for the future
Till you reach the diminished
That throws the whole song down to hell
From light and hope
To dark and sin
This song of life has changed in ways
I never saw coming
The tune grows darker
The volume become louder
The chords harsher
But then it stops
And one single note changes it back to the light
The hardness of the chords soften
The volume begins to calm
And the tune once more flows through my soul
This is the song of life
And then it finishes
Leaving you with the experience of music...
The experience of life...
Eleanor Sinclair Jul 2018
So it all fell apart again
My search history is full of numbers to overdose on
Maybe now it's the end
After all, I'm the irrational one
The world "revolves around me"
I think this time I'm done
The shattered pieces of my life slice deep
No one cares anymore how I feel
Every night recently I've cried myself to sleep
There is no point in trying to "prove them [everyone] wrong"
My heart has grown heavy and I see nothing to smile about
Regardless they'll still play my Funeral March song
And as they carry me away and into the ground
There will be music and my voice will ring in their minds
I will hear the cries screaming so loud
Mom, dad, brother, sister, boyfriend, mon ami, did I ever make you proud?
-
The beauty of Chopin and Beethoven in their minor keys is that the chords on the piano or the harmonics of the violin soothe my sorrowful soul with singing symphonic melodies that capture my sadness in a sometimes simple tune
-
To those who see this, will you tell them I never left a note?
I couldn't devote the time or bring myself to write to them a final goodbye
I want them to hang on to what ever words I last spoke to them
I want tears shed over my cheap gravestone that my parents didn't want to spend good money on
Especially for someone who was dead
Because they knew I couldn't complain if I never saw it
I want the "annoying" songs I used to play for them on the piano to fill their hearts with pain every time they hear them
I want the nostalgia and longing for me to linger in every lucid dream
I want my straight A report cards to receive a mere "good job" even if posthumously
-
There is pain in the most beautiful things in life
My eyes sparkle the most when I cry the hardest
The vibrant green becomes even more vivid with each swelling crystal drop
-
Tell them I was finally able to do something correctly
That I was finally able to succeed and go through with it
Tell them to wipe their tears with my lavender scented t-shirts
Tell them my love of pink and black was the weirdest thing about me
Although we know that wasn't quite the weirdest
Tell them whenever they see a butterfly or a flower or an animal crossing the street, that I would've shed a tear for its natural beauty
Tell them I tried my hardest to keep up with the rigor of life
Tell them that eventually every car runs out of gas
Tell them that the song, even if on repeat, will always end the same
Tell them to read my favourite books and try to understand why I loved the literature so much
Tell them not everyone is cut out for life and that sometimes people break and can't do it anymore
-
Towards the end my heart only struck dissonant chords
My fingers bled trying to pull the piano wire back into its proper position
I just wanted to be happy but the major chords and the consonance were out of reach
With my stick straight back I tried to fix the broken keys but nothing seemed to stay in place
-
I wonder what will happen now when I close my eyes and enter a deep sleep
Will I meet God or the Devil himself?
Or will it be just that... sleep
-
So many thoughts and so little time for me to complete them
The hourglass pours the sands of time too quickly now
The blurring ceiling sways in patterns, then up and down
I reach my hand to the sky as I lay on the ground
My tears cascade into the watery red pool around me
-
I don't want to bring this to an end
You who read this are my only friend
-
I said I'm tired and I should sleep
But you didn't know I meant I'd forever be done counting sheep
The moment I slip into an unconscious state
Saving me will already be too late
-
Play on repeat Chopin
Tell me how the song makes you feel now versus then
-
And only silence remained
As her tears still rained
And her last fleeting breath was drained
Zack Turner Jul 2012
Verse 1*    
    You can't keep me in
     I will never stay
    Release your jagged grip
     It will happen that way
   *(chords continue for 1 line)

    Yes, it will happen that way

Verse 2
    I will shove and budge
    Right past the other ones
    Down that hall of mirrors
    Staring into the sun
   (chords continue for 1 line)
    Yes, staring into the sun

Chorus
    So tell me please
    What is your remedy
    To release me from this freeze

    I feel that I have tried everything
    But now it's time to stop

Verse 3    
    Just need a breath of air
    Or a glimpse of light
    To get my mind prepared
    For this final flight
   (chords continue for 1 line)
    Yes, for this final flight

Verse 4
    There is no time to waste
    No not another try
    Release this emptiness
    With one final pry    
   (chords continue for 1 line)    
    Yes, with one final pry

Chorus
    So tell me please
    What is your remedy
    To release me from this freeze

    I feel that I have tried everything
    But now it's time to stop

Outro
    It's time to stop
    It's time to stop
    It's time to stop
    It's time to stop
    It's time to stop
A song idea I had one morning when I was sitting in my bed looking at the cotton filling to a pillow. I think the concept extends beyond the pillow itself, but I suppose that is up for debate.
Hunter Sep 2019
I wish I could play beautiful songs on piano,
Play unforgettable by King Cole.
Show my love through the ballads.

I wish I could play guitar better,
Play because by Elvis,
Show that I love you for who you are.

I wish I could sing,
Sing La Vie En Rose by Edith,
Show how much color you bring to my world.

If I could do all these,
I’d sit in bars and strum out chords.
Sing out words.
Words and chords to bring you back to my arms,
Words and chords to make you feel loved,
Words and chords to show you forever and always.
My love adores music, especially piano and lovely voices. Sometimes I wish I was better at these things, So thats why I'm trying improve my skills at these to show my love to her through arts she adores
Nameless May 2014
The chords of my escape.
The feeling of a beat.
The vibration of my soul.
It sends me to my peak.

I just love how it makes me feel,
But there’s no way the feeling is real.
I can close my eyes and look up to the ceiling.
It’s the most pleasurable feeling.

The way it makes me move.
Just gracefully on my feet.
In the chords of my escape.
There are no expectations to meet.

I’m free to be myself.
I can dance, I can sing.
I can twirl around on the floor.
That’s how it’s supposed to be.

But of course, all happiness has to come to an end.
I look at the ground
I sigh and frown.
It's time to let go of my only true friend.

I lift my hand to my ear
And pull out the plastic.
I suddenly feel blank again.
But soon again, I will feel ecstatic
With the chords of my escape.
sara May 2014
it's cold and dark and calm outside
so you make sure that i'm tucked up tight
but i need fresh air so the window is open ajar
whilst there in the corner lays a battered guitar

i'm high as hell so you carried me home
and wrapped me up into a bed of your own
you throw a lumpy mattress by the guitar on your floor
and apologise in advance for the fact that you snore

because i can't even remember my name
may give the green light to most, to see me as 'fair game'
my hair is a mess and my clothes are askew
but that doesn't seem to matter to you

i'm taken aback as you toss me a shirt
you try to stifle your laugh but i catch you smirk
as i try to escape from the clutch of my dress
i hear a laugh which you fail to suppress

i wrestle your shirt with my limbs in a tangle
you yank it over my head, for which i am thankful
i wriggle free from the blanket and sit up cross legged
as you fling yourself down at the foot of your bed

you tell me you've just got a text from my mother
who says she trusts me with you and no other
and that you are under very strict instructions
to keep me away from all teenage destruction

it's 1.30am and my thoughts are cotton wool
but our bottle of ***** is still three quarters full
my eyes spy the battered guitar in the room
and i beg you to play me my favourite tune

an undeniably slow start as you mess up the chords
and ramble on about how i'm probably bored
but my eyes fix on yours with an encouraging grin
and as you continue to play, goosebumps rise on my skin

and as you place the battered guitar back down
you sarcastically ask whether i'm happy now
the buzz of my body and the smile on my face
shows that here, happiness is truly the case
2018 edit and I’m still finding guitarists cute um
Josie Patterson Feb 2015
I’ve been conditioned
like freshly washed hair
for years
do not offend
unless the end of the sentence is “im sorry”
let the shoes and boots and heels of many make indents on you
like blueprints of demurity swaddled in insecurity
kept alive by the blurry ideas i once held about femininity
because i couldn't be a girl if the words that flew from my chords
were anything but rosy
ring around the Josie, pockets full of suppose he was to compliment your ****
when walking down a thorough-fair
busy people back and forth and grandmas with wrinkled sweaters
thank you
muttered from chapped lips and an even more chapped psyche
why must i keep my wits about to not risk making him angry
that was not complimentary but i am fearful he might spit my words back onto me
in the form of fists and slurs and honestly
im tired
of being the sidewalk beneath the feet of creeps
i am the sky and the trees and the moon
but i do not speak with the wisdom of travelling seeds
i speak with the warmth and subtlty of freshly microwaved milk
like soft silk i wish i could tatter
i wish venom soaked words could be spit in response to your “compliments”
but i would rather let you diminish me for the few moments it takes to objectify me
than to risk angering your inner beast and suffering the consequences of meninism or masculinism
whatever the word is this week
i will not be another number
ink soaked paper red with the monthly bloodshed of the sisters
every second is another unspeakable act
i see women
with tongues as round and large as planets
and tonsils the size of solar systems
birthing new galaxies in the words they speak
and shooting comets like fiery ***** of comebacks
when that slack-jawed fool sat and wished and drooled
into his monthly issue of mens rights magazine
she tore down the even minuscule belief he could have had that he had the right to comment on her body
in three seconds his pride, and entitlement
shifted into shame
and embarrassment
and i envy these women
because the only time i can take back my power
is when i am standing in front of a room
speaking rhymes and metaphors preaching independence and strength
to a group of people who now think i am a hero
i am not a hero
i put my shoes on one foot at a time
and i still manage to forget a couple days of birth control here and there
and i cant stand up for myself
in the moments after an attack i retreat into my latte and pray today will not be the day the male dominated society takes my power away
because i am small
and though i am growing every day
i still can only pray
that one way or another
i will be able to be as strong a woman as my sisters
my mother
and take back my power
and speak not with the beauty of a flower
but with the sharpness of a bumblebees sting
and one more thing
your compliments
are not complimentary
the piano
a deep baritone
and somewhere
the steady hum
of a television
i wake limbs
lethargic
from the magic
of a siesta
and he sings
my eyes heavy
my heart light
i stretch
languorously
the kettle hisses
the shapes
of the afternoon
the lilies cast
a shadow
the light changes
and the piano
touches
chords deep
in my body
places i had forgotten
memories of times
long ago, kisses
under the velvet
canopy of stars
so bright
and dancing
and laughing
of youth
carelessly spent
and smoky kisses
over the river
the sweet tea
brings me back
to now
the drone
of the television
back to mediocrity
and life
but he plays
and there are dreams
Mik Josefchuk Jun 2014
Today was a good day
The chords she strummed were pleasant
Melodic
C, G, F
She plucked my strings gently
Her voice was light
She doesn't miss him
As much as she did
Yesterday

Today
Not so good
She played the song again
And again
"I feel something so wrong
Doing the right thing"
She ripped at my strings
Till her fingers bled
And tears streamed down her face
Her voice was quiet
Choked
She missed him
Very much

Today was okay
She played the song
"Everything that kills me
Makes me feel alive"
But just once this time
It was flawless
But she forced a smile as she sang
Like the song meant nothing
It didn't hurt
Her fingertips were healed
There was applause
She whispered
"Thank you"

Today was a good day again
The chords weren't as flawless
As yesterday
She made mistakes
But her voice was strong
"I feel that love
And I feel it burn"
She missed him
More than ever
But he's the reason I stayed
Why I wasn't put away
He mattered because
He's her muse
Her life
The harmony to her melody
And hopefully
He'll know soon
My best friend jokingly told me to write a poem about someone having problems told from their guitar' s POV so I did.
Laura Robin Nov 2012
this door exists,
stately and staunchly it stands,
disheartening and terrifying it remains.
the door is unlocked, yet cannot be opened,
for in it, a path in time...
one decision that can affect everything
[such as my choice to wear the necklace you adore,
which lead to you noticing me for the very first time,
or my idea to play you the song that you fell in love with,
which i can no longer listen to]
...for in this door, one path
is intimidatingly located.

every bone in my body,
every last muscle, tendon, ligament
each artery, each vein, each capillary
every single nerve,
even each microscopic cell,
implores me not to open this tempting door...

[it is almost as if my hand refuses to grasp the handle,
to unleash the unknown upon me,
the colossal chain of events that would ensue]

the immensity of the unfamiliar,
the unexplored,
tends to perturb me.
change is unnerving
and is almost as chilling
as an abandoned graveyard at midnight.

but i bring my mind back to the door,
yes! this preposterous door that i have contrived for myself.
why is the **** so easily turned?
why does it not put up somewhat of a fight,
at least jolt me suddenly,
as to frighten my curious heart?
it is a constant battle between my body
my mind
and my heart
as to which doors to open
and which ones to leave ever so steadfastly closed.
but never once has there been such a struggle
for them to reach an understanding.

somehow my heart,
[even though a fraction of me,
a fist, dripping in blood]
is prevailing for the moment.
my heart reaches for the handle,
attempts to unclose the door...
yet, with the best of its ability,
withstanding my strong-willed
and obstinate heart,
my powerful body and commanding mind
overcome this hostile takeover,
and the door remains shut.

it is my body,
my skillful mouth,
my soft, rose lips,
my elegant tongue,
and my vocal chords...
all of these pieces must
contrive the words,
conceive the change,
which will unveil the path that will forever alter us...

slowly, opening the door.

being as in love with you as i am,
i will not let you slip away from my arms right now.
but when we are not together
[i wish you’d have been there,
i needed you there
]
i stare at this humbling door.

if i wait too long, i’ll forever lose you;
for it is you who will make this choice for me,
opening your own door, fearless and dauntless.
Tommy Randell Nov 2014
The music was spilling out of us
The Guinness was going in
Terry’s octave mandolin
Was riding out in front of him

Like a boat tethered in a tidal surge
Like a young colt backing off the rein
And for each unexamined wreck of a song
He’d let out a little more sail

We were flying

Upstairs in The Taffes Inn
Was an oven of chords
Songs about the famine and
Ireland’s tragedy of wars

And I answered
With an ash-pit tongue of a poem
Showing our Yorkshire wounds
Made by London’s bonds

We were crying

Telling of Fishing, mining and grief
That having no say was having no meat
Coming stumbling and shaking to our common regard
To a Dublin breakfast, a mixed grill of the heart

Where we agreed to our passions
And our histories’ concepts
Where we sat and said nothing when saying nothing was best
That one sausage alone is a very deep subject

We were frying.
One sausage etc is a quote from Ciaran Carson's book on Irish Music and culture 'Last Night's Fun' - A must must read!
Wade Redfearn Sep 2018
The first settlers to the area called the Lumber River Drowning Creek. The river got its name for its dark, swift-moving waters. In 1809, the North Carolina state legislature changed the name of Drowning Creek to the Lumber River. The headwaters are still referred to as Drowning Creek.

Three p.m. on a Sunday.
Anxiously hungry, I stay dry, out of the pool’s cold water,
taking the light, dripping into my pages.
A city with a white face blank as a bust
peers over my shoulder.
Wildflowers on the roads. Planes circle from west,
come down steeply and out of sight.
A pinkness rises in my breast and arms:
wet as the drowned, my eyes sting with sweat.
Over the useless chimneys a bank of cloud piles up.
There is something terrible in the sky, but it keeps breaking.
Another is dead. Fentanyl. Sister of a friend, rarely seen.
A hand reaches everywhere to pass over eyes and mouths.
A glowing wound opens in heaven.
A mirror out of doors draws a gyre of oak seeds no one watches,
in the clear pool now sunless and black as a cypress swamp.

Bitter water freezes the muscles and I am far from shore.
I paddle in the shallows, near the wooden jail.
The water reflects a taut rope,
feet hanging in the breeze singing mercy
at the site of the last public hanging in the state.
A part-white fugitive with an extorted confession,
loved by the poor, dumb enough to get himself captured,
lonely on this side of authority: a world he has never lived in
foisting itself on the world he has -
only now, to steal his drunken life, then gone again.

1871 - Henderson Oxendine, one of the notorious gang of outlaws who for some time have infested Robeson County, N. C., committing ****** and robbery, and otherwise setting defiance to the laws, was hung at Lumberton, on Friday last in the presence of a large assemblage. His execution took place a very few days after his conviction, and his death occurred almost without a struggle.

Today, the town square collapses as if scorched
by the whiskey he drank that morning to still himself,
folds itself up like Amazing Grace is finished.
A plinth is laid
in the shadow of his feet, sticky with pine,
here where the water sickens with roots.
Where the canoe overturned. Where the broken oar floated and fell.
Where the snake lives, and teethes on bark,
waiting for another uncle.

Where the tobacco waves near drying barns rusted like horseshoes
and cotton studs the ground like the cropped hair of the buried.
Where schoolchildren take the afternoon
to trim the kudzu growing between the bodies of slaves.
Where appetite is met with flood and fat
and a clinic for the heart.
Where barges took chips of tar to port,
for money that no one ever saw.

Tar sticks the heel but isn’t courage.
Tar seals the hulls -
binds the planks -
builds the road.
Tar, fiery on the tongue, heavy as bad blood in the family -
dead to glue the dead together to secure the living.
Tar on the roofs, pouring heat.
Tar is a dark brown or black viscous liquid of hydrocarbons and free carbon,
obtained from a wide variety of organic materials
through destructive distillation.
Tar in the lungs will one day go as hard as a five-cent candy.

Liberty Food Mart
Cheapest Prices on Cigarettes
Parliament $22.50/carton
Marlboro $27.50/carton

The white-bibbed slaughterhouse Hmong hunch down the steps
of an old school bus with no air conditioner,
rush into the cool of the supermarket.
They pick clean the vegetables, flee with woven bags bulging.
What were they promised?
Air conditioning.
And what did they receive?
Chickenshit on the wind; a dead river they can't understand
with a name it gained from killing.

Truth:
A man was flung onto a fencepost and died in a front yard down the street.
A girl with a grudge in her eyes slipped a razorblade from her teeth and ended recess.
I once saw an Indian murdered for stealing a twelve-foot ladder.
The red line indicating heart disease grows higher and higher.
The red line indicating cardiovascular mortality grows higher and higher.
The red line indicating motor vehicle deaths grows higher and higher.
I burn with the desire to leave.

The stories make us full baskets of dark. No death troubles me.
Not the girl's blood, inert, tickled by opiates,
not the masked arson of the law;
not the smell of drywall as it rots,
or the door of the safe falling from its hinges,
or the chassis of cars, airborne over the rise by the planetarium,
three classmates plunging wide-eyed in the river’s icy arc –
absent from prom, still struggling to free themselves from their seatbelts -
the gunsmoke at the home invasion,
the tenement bisected by flood,
the cattle lowing, gelded
by agriculture students on a field trip.

The air contains skin and mud.
The galvanized barns, long empty, cough up
their dust of rotten feed, dry tobacco.
Men kneel in the tilled rows,
to pick up nails off the ground
still splashed with the blood of their makers.

You Never Sausage a Place
(You’re Always a ****** at Pedro’s!)
South of the Border – Fireworks, Motel & Rides
Exit 9: 10mi.

Drunkards in Dickies will tell you the roads are straight enough
that the drive home will not bend away from them.
Look in the woods to see by lamplight
two girls filling each other's mouths with smoke.
Hear a friendly command:
boys loosening a tire, stuck in the gut of a dog.
Turn on the radio between towns of two thousand
and hear the tiny voice of an AM preacher,
sharing the airwaves of country dark
with some chords plucked from a guitar.
Taste this water thick with tannin
and tell me that trees do not feel pain.
I would be a mausoleum for these thousands
if I only had the room.

I sealed myself against the flood.
Bodies knock against my eaves:
a clutch of cats drowned in a crawlspace,
an old woman bereft with a vase of pennies,
her dead son in her living room costumed as the black Jesus,
the ***** oil of a Chinese restaurant
dancing on top of black water.
A flow gauge spins its tin wheel
endlessly above the bloated dead,
and I will pretend not to be sick at dinner.

Misery now, a struggle ahead for Robeson County after flooding from Hurricane Matthew
LUMBERTON
After years of things leaving Robeson County – manufacturing plants, jobs, payrolls, people – something finally came in, and what was it but more misery?

I said a prayer to the city:
make me a figure in a figure,
solvent, owed and owing.
Take my jute sacks of wristbones,
my sheaves and sheaves of fealty,
the smell of the forest from my feet.
Weigh me only by my purse.
A slim woman with a college degree,
a rented room without the black wings
of palmetto roaches fleeing the damp:
I saw the calm white towers and subscribed.
No ingrate, I saved a space for the lost.
They filled it once, twice, and kept on,
eating greasy flesh straight from the bone,
craning their heads to ask a prayer for them instead.

Downtown later in the easy dark,
three college boys in foam cowboy hats shout in poor Spanish.
They press into the night and the night presses into them.
They will go home when they have to.
Under the bridge lit in violet,
a folding chair is draped in a ***** blanket.
A grubby pair of tennis shoes lay beneath, no feet inside.
Iced tea seeps from a chewed cup.
I pass a bar lit like Christmas.
A mute and pretty face full of indoor light
makes a promise I see through a window.
I pay obscene rents to find out if it is true,
in this nation tied together with gallows-rope,
thumbing its codex of virtues.
Considering this just recently got rejected and I'm free to publish it, and also considering that the town this poem describes is subject once again to a deluge whose damage promises to be worse than before, it seemed like a suitable time to post it. If you've enjoyed it, please think about making a small donation to the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund at the URL below:
https://governor.nc.gov/donate-florence-recovery
Nigel Morgan Oct 2012
It was a cold night for a concert. There was frost on the windscreen as we got into the car for the short drive to this city church. We drove because we were going to be late, and it was cold, and would be likely to be colder still when the concert was over. I had wondered if part one would be enough. Could Bach and Rameau be enough? Might the musical appetite cope with Mozart and Beethoven too? Were we about to sit down to a large meal, possibly in the wrong order. Can the cheese course be a transcendental experience I wondered? Bach to begin certainly, a substantial starter with one of the mid period keyboard toccatas and two ‘distant’ preludes and fugues, but then a keyboard suite by Rameau?
 
When I listen to Beethoven though I want to hear a work on its own, unencumbered round about with other musics.  A recent experience of several hours driving to hear a single Beethoven symphony has remained close and vivid, and an experience that brought me close to tears. So I imagine that I might only hear Op.110 to make that opening sequence of chords so ominously special. The introduction seems to come from nowhere and does not connect with musical past, except perhaps the composer’s own past. It is as though the pianist puts on a pair of gloves imbued with the spirit of the composer, and these chords appear . . . and what is there that might possibly prepare the listener for the journey that pianist and listener embark upon?  Certainly not the soufflé of Mozart’s K.332.
 
The audience is hardly a smattering of coats, hats and grey hair. There is another piano recital in town tonight and this is but the artist’s preview of a forthcoming concert at a major venue. Our pianist is equipping herself for a prestigious engagement and sensibly recognizes the need to test out the way the programme flows in front of an audience, and in a provincial church where she is not entirely unknown. I admire this resolve and wonder a little at the long-term planning which makes this possible and viable.
 
Now a figure in black walks out from the shadows to stand by her piano. Coming from stage right she places left her hand firmly on the mirror-black case above the keyboard. She looks at her audience briefly, and makes a bow, almost a curtsey, an obeisance to her audience and possibly to those distant spirits who guard the music she is to play. We will not see her face again until the next time she will stand at the piano to acknowledge our applause after the Bach she is about to play. Her slightly more than shoulder-length hair is cut to flow forward as she holds herself to play; her face is often hidden from us, her expression curiously blank. Perhaps she has prepared herself to enter a deep state of concentration that admits no recognition of those sitting just in front of her. Her dress is long and black with a few sparking threads to catch the careful lighting. Without these occasional glimmers her ****** movement would be unnoticeable. As it is the way the light is caught is subtle and quietly playful, though not enough to distract, only remind us that though in black she is wearing the kind of starry sky such as you might perceive in crepuscular time.
 
Thus, we already sense so much before she has played a note there is a firm slightly dogged confidence and reverence here in her approach to instrument and audience. And in the opening bars of the Bach toccata that is manifest; and not just a confidence born out of some strategy against nervousness, but a ritual of welcoming to this music that now spills out into the partially darkened church. The sonorousness and balance of the piano’s tone surprises. It is not a fine piano, but it has qualities that she seems to understand. There is a degree of attentive listening to herself that enables her to control dynamics and act resolutely on the structure of the music. When the slow section of this four-part toccata appears there is a studied gentleness and restraint that belies any ****** led gesture or manner. Her stance and deliberation at the keyboard remain determined and in control, unaltered by the music’s message. She does not pull her body backwards as seems the custom with so many who feel they have to show us they are stroking and coaxing such gentleness and restraint out of the keyboard.
 
As the final fugato of the toccata flows at almost twice the speed I’ve ever heard it, my concentration begins to disengage. It is too fast for me to follow the voices, I miss the entries, and the smudged resonance of the texture hides those details I have grown over so many years to know and love. This is Glen Gould on speed, not the toccata that resides in my musical memory. I am aware of missing so much and my attention floats away into the sound of it all. It seems to be all sound and not the play of music.
 
In this stage of disengagement I sense the tense quality of her right leg pedalling with the tip of a reddish shoe just visible, deft, tiny flicks of movement. She turns her face away from the keyboard frequently, looking away from the keyboard through the choir to the high altar; and for a moment we see her upturned face, a blank face, possibly with little or no make up, no jewellery. A plain young woman, mid to late thirties perhaps, and not a face marked by children or a busy teaching life, but a face focused on knowing this music to a point at which there is almost a detachment, where it becomes independent of her control, flowing momentarily beyond herself.
 
Then she reins the toccata in, reoccupies it; she is seeking closure for herself and for her audience whose attention for a short while has been, as the Quakers say, gathered. Gathered into a degree of silence, when breathing and the body’s sense and presence of itself disappear, momentarily, and musical listening moves from a clock time to a virtual time. There is a slowing down, an opening out, even though in reality’s metronomic time-field there is none.
 
There is a hesitation. With more Bach to follow, should we applaud? With relief after holding the flight of time’s arrow in our consciousness, just for those concluding minutes and seconds we acknowledge and applaud - the beginning of the concert.
Malintha Perera Oct 2014
the grass quiver tantalized
well tuned strings
plucked by those hands
of the churning wind
passing by…. passing by.

the leaves gyrate in tune
dancing on the chords
echoing in the stillness
whispering then and then
to go on…. to go on.

the sound of monkeys
adding leafy rhythms
with their jumps and turns
a mad crescendo
high and low…. high and low.

floating with the song
joy an ocean in each pore
my mind still and yet
on a magic carpet that swirls
here and there…. here and there.

© Malintha Perera 2014
Shibu Varkey Dec 2016
A chariot is thine heart,
O thou rich tressed Selene
In which doth ride the tides,
of ardor, tepid aflame.

Strung to thy chariot by chords
Unseen yet tangible knot,
Whither thy chariot wandereth,
Thither draggeth me, constrained.

The chord unseen, yet bindeth,
Ethereal, tenuous sublime,
A barb so dolorous in seasons!
Other times candescent delight.

What causeth this bond precision?
Nay no reasonable cause,
Entrapped in each a residue
from prior existence unknown?

Why doth the string pull so constant,
Tho' intervenes a thousand miles!
Why cometh thine chariot  instant,
When unseen, my spirits' downcast?

Selene! ageless,deathless, thy Endymion,
Eternal though his sleep,
Our souls entwined forever,
Many an aeon shall we keep!!!
I believe it was the sawdust of summer when I found your voice in a shadow of a song it reminded me of my past hurt. You sang so beautifully of lilacs and photogenic water, you build harmonies powerful enough to save angels in a storm.

Quickly I caught on and held tight to your butterflies you called lyrics. You spoke of love like you had a doctrine in it. I thought for men love was a learning curve. You proved me wrong. You did not just create music and magic you birth colors out of sound and called them stories.

You blurred the lines between reality and fantasy. I bet your music is similar to the way God speaks. I bet you discovered a guitar inside of a black deity and the piano inside of a white devil's broken heart.  

Prince, I bet you can play anything even the fossils of flowers.
Your music is an endless drug, a purple high. Listening to you made me feel like all four seasons cuddled up with a kiss.
Tell me when did you get tired of playing love songs?

When did balancing the moon and a microphone become all too much for you? Who choked the life out of your vocal chords? ****, I would give almost anything to hear you live again! To wear you songs in my ears like Heirlooms.  Oh Wait, I think I get it. Is this how you go beyond means of self to teach us dead silence is music too?
Sarah Milliron Jul 2014
My six swords puncture hearts
I bleed sound from me
Singing sweet tunes that lighten moods
I can make you sad or happy
Either way my rhythm steals your ears
My look a likes have been touched by the greats
Your cold hands feel nice against my neck
I gently weep when you don't use me
I bring memories to those who choose to forget my frets
My chords are limitless
Heard in different eras make me timeless
I make the lonely feel less alone
George Anthony Jan 2018
i asked her, does it look the same?
she gave me that funny look she gets
whenever i say or do something a little dim
it's a mirror image for a reason she said

in the mirror i see muscles, and strength
hips a little too wide and fleshy
but still muscular,
strength all the way down

but when i reflect on myself,
no mirror necessary
it is never the same

i don't feel as strong as i could
don't look as sharp and sturdy as i could
those fleshy sides, too soft
for a battle-hardened brain
and turbulent thoughts

i need angles, i need straight lines
but there's nothing straight about me
and that's half the problem

and the other half
is that i hate the softness that lingers
but everybody else loves it
and i don't want to be warm and
able to be cuddled

i want hard edges
and nimble, spindly fingers;
when i play my chords
i want my bones to tap the strings

and when sadness sheathes itself within me
i want eyes as dry
as my eczema-bitten hands
it's been a while, huh?
hey, guys, how are ya?
my 2018 has been a rollercoaster already
i finally got an appointment with a clinic i've been emailing for three months, and my granddad died
Aylin Belrose Apr 2017
soft chords
makes me melt
soprano
alto
voices twirl together
like ribbons
like sunlight
in water
beautiful
hopeful
reminds me
of the past
i cry
the pain is just as strong
as ever
immersed in memory
plunged into icy waters
frozen in time
all because
of those
soft chords
jane taylor May 2016
transported back into those walls
running down the basement hall
i locked the door so i could hide
and reaching for a 45
with practically no voice at all
i sang along and prayed
to drown you out

does the soul regenerate?
what part of me did you take?
your verbal threats would make me gasp
no one could hear when I called out
record player winding ‘round
i tried to yell
but couldn’t shout

yet something you did cultivate
a plan you helped to propagate
for each and every time i ran
like a builder in a gym
i’d sing a song and sing again
strengthening the chords within
empowering my voice

©2016janetaylor
sasha m george Oct 2013
Punk Rock John introduced himself to me at my first show. He said, “kid.. protect your teeth, do NOT lick the walls, and don’t ******* the crusty’s. If you get cut, let it bleed– you’ll be fine.”
I was 15 years old, thinking about unzipping my veins. And while most 15 year olds would have done drugs or written a ******* poem, I went to ****** bars and basements and gave my best friends black eyes.

For the first time in my life, I knew that when I fell, someone was gonna pick me up. That first mosh pit was not a quiet conversation about suicide, it was Punk Rock John telling me, “Hey *******! Don’t **** yourself! Don’t waste your unscarred knuckles.” My rage bloomed. Why hate myself when I can hate parents, high school, the radio, record stores, magazines, corporations, yuppies, my parents, cops, rain, sunshine, beach days, phone books, and tiny ******* cupcakes? *******, if that first day of punk didn’t sound like Buddy Holly played back, double time, distorted, compressed into four chords.

The first time I saw Punk Rock John, he was halfway through a frontflip stage dive, and he landed directly on me. He picked me up, dusted me off, and threw me back in the pit. Punk Rock John was 6’4, had hands the size a kick drum, and he smelled like a 20-year rain. He was Noah. He was our shepherd. One time, I was getting ready to dropkick some metal kid when John got me in a headlock and said, “quit ******* around, Neil! You don’t know who this kid’s friends are, and I ain’t putting you out if they set you on fire.”

John told us, “the church of punk rock was always open. If you wanna pray, just crank up the stereo until your ears bleed. If you wanna pray, just grab your brothers and sing! Sing out of tune, sing the wrong words- just sing! Loud!”

But then some out-of-town skin dropped a guillotine knifeblade into John’s skull. The blood was pouring from his ears. He was dead before he hit the ground. John brought me into a world where I felt loved, and that world took him away. I buried my leather jacket, patched the holes in my jeans, and tried to pluck the chords like stitches from my chest.. but John still speaks to me. When the world is larger than I am, when my chest is a vice.. I put that needle on the record, I turn it up until I can’t hear ****, and I tell myself: as long as I have hands, I can break something. As long as we can breathe, we can sing. As long as I can remember, I will hear him– he says, “kid, you’ll be fine.”
Extension Cords
By Grace Espinoza

Extension cords
Kiss our spines—
Once outlined and defined
By cotton soft lips—
Dangling, extended, from slender necks

Familiar buzz of tandem heartbeats
Replaced by rumbling monitors
Deafened by the constant hum
Of clicking fingertips

I cannot reach through glass
To trace that smile
Conform it to the memory
Of greedy palms

Cannot wrap my arms
Around you
To set your worries to sail

Connected
Strings of words said
But never meant
Blinded by the bright glow
Monitors casting shadows
On what could have been
Petal pie Aug 2014
His name purred on her lips; 
She loved the way it
Rolled around on her tongue,
Loosened her vocal chords 

Every time she said 
his name aloud,
It felt as though she were 
Becoming more and more
Well versed in him; 
His character,
His very being

— The End —