The first poem - a ballad, if you will - was written for the pianists of the Jam -- Billy, Domenico, Bibiana and me, and all the other piano-players.
Song of the Jam-Pianists.
Our hearts are strung with piano wire,
And when our fingers touch the keys,
Our being is engulfed in fire
Of light and love and great desire
For music's deepest mysteries;
Yet we would have not only these,
But long for glory that is higher.
And this desire for holy things
Is source of sweetest melody,
Sending it pulsing from the strings;
And rising on undaunted wings,
Sweet harmony with harmony
Blends, as the waters of the sea,
And sadly sobs or richly rings.
O music, heartbeat of our soul,
That rends our hearts and fills our eyes
With tears of pain or deepest dole,
Or strengthens us to reach the goal,
Or makes us laugh in glad surprise;
True gift of God thou art, and prize
To us, that makes our spirits whole!
Our music let us boldly raise
To Him that gave us Song and Love,
And as we lift our hymn of praise
Through all our nights and all our days
To Father, Son and holy Dove,
We pray that we, at last, above
The stars may sing more worthy lays.
--June 25, 2009.
As we drove toward the airport early in the morning, Albuquerque-bound, the sun was rising, a cirle of blazing red leaving bright streaks on a violet-tinged sky. For a moment I could look straight at it; but though I thought better of it in a moment, I remembered the picture and this sonnet took shape on the plane.
The sky is violet-blue, and easterly,
A glow of red and gold begins to rise -
A flame to dazzle all unwary eyes;
The day begins, the dark again must flee.
The frightened shadows turn and race away,
Not standing on their order of retreat,
Fleeing the dreaded light on silent feet,
While we with music greet the newborn day.
The day is young, as we; with merry heart
And soul, refreshed and rested, up we start,
To fill its time with actions good. No wrong,
God aiding us, will dim its golden light
Till, as it deepens into dark of night,
We end, as we began, with joyful song.
--June 26, 2009