01 March 2020


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Let’s face the music, be it Chopin or Bach
or any of a million sounds, or things
we’ve done to harm our earth’s environment.

O, No!  We sit and listen to nocturnes, yet you
lecture us on the tragedy outside.
Wait.  First let the notes refresh your spirit.

She plays Chopin’s Nocturne in E Flat Major,
Op. 9 No. 2, dedicated
to Madame Camille Pleyel"—an ex-wife.

Never mind the story.  Let the solo
piano penetrate your soul.  Nighttime
with its lights and shadows will surround you.

Let stars convince you that “intelligent”
life forms thrive on other planets, like us
or not.  Can you keep one foot in the stars?

Where do you place your forward facing feet?
One foot in the city and one the farm?
One foot in the hills, one in the valley?

I keep one foot in a thirsty pond, and
one south of Barnegat Light where I lose
track of the waves after the count of five.

I am caught in the rhythm of the night,
the ocean waves, the soloist’s passion.
Each note lingers or leaps, tiptoes or falls.

And more than ever I know life as a
powerful force that knocks us over and
helps us rise up again.  Do you feel it?

Where do you plant your forward facing feet,
you who are a work of art signed by stars?
We'll talk after the nocturne peaks and ends.

 for Sunday Muse # 97, an ekphrastic prompt

My blog poems are rough drafts.
     Please respect my copyright.
 If you quote, credit this page.
   © 2020 Susan L. Chast


Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love this, Susan. No matter what is going on, there is always glorious music, and poetry, and art, which shows how wonderful humans can be when they strive. This is a hopeful thing. I love the question about keeping one foot in the stars, and also the lines about forces that knock us over and help us rise again.

Helen said...

Susan, yes I feel it ~ all of it, the music, the powerful forces, the hills and valleys. Thank you for this beautiful poem.

Carrie Van Horn said...

This asks questions and stirs feelings that remind us what answers truly matter! I love every line of this glorious poem Susan!!

purplepeninportland.com said...

"Can you keep one foot in the stars?"

I was quite taken by that line, and how it prompted my imagination. Beautiful, Susan!

Truedessa said...

I enjoyed the whole poem, but the last 3 verses really brought it home. It made me pause to pondering the direction of the music that keeps the soul alive.

tonispencer said...

I too was taken by the line "Can you keep one foot in the stars?". Your stating the "let's face the music" brought to mind the song, Let's Face the Music and Dance in the old Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie. The last three lines are primo, pondering art and music.

Jim said...

"Where do you keep your feet?" Of course ready for the pedals, you have three choices but likely only two feet. Probably one for your stars and the other more dreams or practical.
Thank you for the music, wouldn't you like to have known the listener's thoughts?

Fireblossom said...

I could read this all day. You have become a must-read for me these days. I won;t quote your own lines back to you, but my goodness, this is a pleasure to read, from its structure to its ambiance to its considerable soul.

You asked whether I play. I do, badly. Anymore I have nothing to play--it's at my son's house. :-/

Margaret said...

as others have stated, powerful: Can you keep one foot in the stars? I adore the bit of chastisement and the questions and pondering.

Bekkie Sanchez said...

Your poem has the rhythm of the waters of life. Those waters are powerful but sometimes they are calm and that's when we can take the time to enjoy and heal.