2017 04 17
Huddled on the park bench in freezing wind,
the old man with long greasy hair and beard
clutches small worn violin case to his chest.
"I hear music in how the gusting wind
flows through the bare branches of sprawling trees."
He gestures fingers while tilting his head,
and hums the rapid melody he hears
somewhere in the roar of wind in the trees.
Three young men in slick suits and polished shoes,
passing by the old man on the parch bench,
shout at him, "Get a job, you lazy bum."
Stuttering surprised, the old man exclaims,
"I am Szymon Kalinszyk, and I played
first chair violin for thirty five years
for the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra!"
But they are too far away down the street,
pushing into a Japanese restaurant,
to hear the wounded pride in his soft voice.
"Each sound I hear in the world all around
captures sacred tone of sweet harmony
that vibrates at the heart of every atom,
so the sun sings, and the spinning Earth sings,
and the deep ocean sings, and the wind sings,
and the flowers sing, and the hard stones sing,
and every tree sprouting from the Earth sings,
and our bodies, composed of molecules,
sing with the ancient music of the stars.
I capture the chaotic swirl of noise
and weave its discordant notes into waves
of soul-enchanting melodies which spark
forgotten memories of our short lives
into eloquent symphonies of music.
My job is to reorganize jangling notes
into harmonious phrases of light."
Young woman walking to library hall
to study astrophysics for her test
stops to hear old man mumbling to himself.
"Will you play for me to inspire my mind
the Violin Concerto Number Three
that Amadeus Mozart wrote one year before
America declared its independence
to help me study for physics exam?"
Nesting polished Stradivarius violin
under his chin, Szymon wields magic wand
to slide horse hair bow over vibrant strings,
weaving playful melodies in thin air.
Wild restless gusts of wind that blow in swirls
of careless chaotic play blast through trees,
but leaping bow twirls and casts rainbow beams
that chase laughing winds through branches of trees.
Snaring turgid blasts of bombastic wind,
his dancing fingers braid gibbering gusts
in spiraling whorls of high-leaping strains
that measure random warbles in strict tunes
expressed by rippling river waves that flow
in rhythmic madrigals of controlled flight.
All the universe vibrates with sweet music
blooming from harmonious phrases of light.
Katrina dances in elegant leaps
on balletic twirls with arms spread like wings,
then leaps in arching flight over high towers
to soar among clouds that follow her trail,
swooping around trees, gliding along streams,
arching high over rugged mountain peaks,
and diving down into the sea of dreams,
then lands on delicate cadence to sway
with swerving melodies of lilting tings.
Katrina bows to Szymon when he stops,
then continues striding down busy street
to study physics in library hall.
Sitting alone on the park bench at sunset,
old man watches young girl in flower dress
stride past, eyes focused on her distant goal.
"People used to stop and ask me to play,
but now they carry music in their hands.
Who wants to hear some real musician play
when they can hear songs any time they want,
storing all the great music of the world
on ipods that render me obsolete?
I will not play music ever again
unless someone asks me to play for them."
When full moon shimmers in branches of tree
like star-eyed owl that flutters spotted wings,
old man lies under the bushes to sleep.
Szymon opens tattered violin case
and gazes at his old splintered violin
cracked apart down the center, then he sighs
and stares at clouds gleaming with silver rays
that hum with harmonious phrases of light.