Saturday, March 23, 2013

THE STILLNESS OF THE WORLD AFTER BACH

THE STILLNESS OF THE WORLD AFTER BACH

           to Lars Gustaffson




    Early morning delivery trucks
    rumble and hiss on the street below.

    Cars whoosh in the rain,

    their breaks sounding like piccolos.

    (Didn't John Cage say that the modern sound

    of silence is the noise of traffic?)

    Faint strains of last night's recital

    arise through the din: Bach's

    Sonata for Harpsichord and Violin in A Minor.

    The three voices of the opening canon
    wend together like polyphonic flâneurs.

    (A trio, Bach said, for two.)

    In the kitchen, my tea-

    kettle shrieks for relief.

    Dogs bark and doors slam;

    a train bays at the disappearing moon.

    And Bach's notes balance on the finger tips

    of my memory before taking

    flight into the pink daybreak.