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May 122011
 

by Anne Whitehouse


Imagine being tone deaf

to what everyone else can hear–

he’s standing on stage

in front of an orchestra

rehearsing a symphony.

The orchestra soldiers on,

though his cues are wrong,

and he’s out of touch.

When they fail to follow,

he flies into a rage.


He threatens to tear up

the stage, break instruments,

rip sheet music to shreds,

topple music stands,

king of the stage at last.


In my fond wish he flees

at the performance,

banished by the audience

that listens in the way of all audiences,

in recognition and surprise,

following the golden thread of pleasure

wending its way through rills and valleys.

Behind each melody, a fainter melody—


music is time outside of time.

One moment, ever remembered,

is never lost, while always lost,

like sunlight on a flowing stream.

This is the paradox,

the crux of art.


The winds blow warm, and sigh, and cease;

summer comes, the sun is full and rich,

and the music seems to go on by itself.

The audience’s response

touches us like sunlight.

It dances on my sleeve and bow;

I feel and know it

and keep on playing.

  8 Responses to “Wish Fullfillment”

  1. Thanks so much for the posting! I’m partially deaf myself and a musician so this lands particularly close to my compound.

  2. Encore! Harmony is never ending. Once and forever.

  3. Beautiful poem. I could see the angry conductor and feel the beauty of the music.

  4. Beautiful poem.

  5. mesmerizing. i loved being swept up by its beautiful melody!

  6. Anne…love this poem too…thought of Beethoven.

  7. Lovely. And so so real

  8. this really made me think . I loved it.