Poetry from Irving Greenfield


by Irving A Greenfield

From Stresatravel.blogspot.com

The music touched me,

and I touched the music.

A theme, played by the violist,

dug out of the notes with strings and a bow,

thrown to the moment and caught something

something I did not want to remember.

The cantorial chant of the High Holy Days,

now a memory realized;

A plea for mercy, even to me, an unbeliever.


The mood hurls him into the past;

he’s a small boy curled up on thread-bare couch,

maybe it was green?

Half awake, half asleep,

Listening to the Saturday afternoon performance of Tristan and Isolde.

As he listens now,

seated on high-back chair next to the window with a harbor view.

He listens and reaches back into the past; the music his arms and hands.

Something magical, beyond his ability to understand how that memory,

that image so long gone came back to occupy a place in his brain,

A place he never knew he had,

especially for that insignificant moment when he was a boy

listening as he listens now to Tristan and Isolde

as eternal sleep claims him.


The reality and the memory

bridged by the music

an outdoor concert on a sweltering summer’s night

with the salt scent of the ocean heavy in the air

a burst of music

The William Tell Overture”

the pounding hoof beats and a ‘high-oh Silver!’”

And a small boy is sprawled out on the floor

in front of the Majestic Radio

his gray-haired father sits close by

pretending not to listen to the daring-do

of the Masked-man and his Indian friend, Tonto

but listening all the same

The memory of it made sweeter by the music,

by the gallop of so many years