Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The keys you're given

 On Remembering the Discovery
 of  Two Grand Old Masters 

And when you can no longer speak
or move 
                 or think
                              or see,
will Beethoven enter the room
to remind you of when you first met?
You thought you heard an echo
in his deafening howl
of something deep and known,
of some collective fist
 screaming out "Not Yet! 
Not YET!"
(the one one thrusts toward the heavens
to rail against Death's grip
or life's 
cruel unforeseens)

"You must listen to Mozart," said the bearded professor,
 "for he is Purrfection."   ('Tis true, what he claims, 
Wolfie calms and delights,  sometimes you sense "God" 
and that music heals  - you later found so) -
but sometimes the fire in your belly is such,
 no contentment can quell, and its sparks burst right through,
 to plead with the universe, just one more 

(Some flames don't die.
"Not yet, please,  not yet,
. . . not yet!")

Beethoven's fingers,  on keys with no sound,
a world gone silent, can't hear his own screams.
(Like Van Gogh's anguished eyes,
 face thick-slabbed and framed,
 the museum warns DON'T TOUCH!!!
 (As if you need fingers,
 to feel his cries.)

Two worlds collide, arms reach to explore,
 yet to learn of the Gray that hides, that obscures
in the world of Either/Or's -
That's not the point. 
Hierarch toward  mastery
or highest Peak - or just stumble 'round -
until journey's end,
so to speak. But are Heaven or Hell
 the only two doors?

Poor mortal, you want it both ways -
 to get the prize, but not end the chase;
Paradise on earth, and Heaven ungated
(no pre-vetting, no measuring, no "scale",
no rock-hard rule that says 
you graduate or fail.

Schiller oded the 4th of the Ninth
with  thunderous joy sparkled by gods,
exhorting us to seek The One
o'er the canopy of stars -
but his There's not a there, 
nor a place out in space,
and The One seems more sensed than e'er known,
(some have shown).

And when you can no longer be who you were,
find yourself in a room all alone
in which even Mozart doesn't come 'round anymore,
 remember  -
That you have gone to the stars and back
(and not just once or twice)
on rides hitched with all manner of extraordinary souls, 
genius and lessers alike.

 Art, music, and words, and above all, great love
take you there, bring you back, keep you sane.
 You suspect there are slits in that canopy where
 even oft-blinded mortals can peek  past the Peak -
no need anymore
for a key.


*First draft publication