Miniature French Suite

Credit: fsHH on Pixabay

It’s a rainy weekend here in Holland. So, I’m writing the blog piece for this month’s guest poet: Steve Waling. That reminds me of this poem which I wrote on a short workshop with Steve. And it was in January 2011 that I heard the countertenor Andreas Scholl sing in the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, UK. It’s such an experience seeing and hearing your heroes live!

Miniature French Suite

Allemande

Do you mind if I borrow your man?
The old one with the beard that has
sparrows nesting in it. It’s only
for the Open Gardens weekend.
He needs to wear something
beige-brown, corduroy and I’ll
provide food. Tell him to wear
a cap or a southwester – something
to keep the fledglings dry.
He can hum to them. It might rain,
it could snow, warm boots.
Rameau or Telemann, I don’t mind.

Sarabande

Rameau or Telemann, I don’t mind.
A countertenor can’t be that choosy.
A voice like that is a rare find
but keeping it alive and strong taxes
me and my agent, bless her.
She tells me to let go of worries
and fears. It’s her domain to get
me engagements, book flights,
the new portrait and such.
She says a voice like mine is a horse,
that needs to be whispered to,
not broken in.

ErikTanghe on Pixabay

Gigue

I’m warming up in an empty church,
on a grey Sunday afternoon.
It’s winter, the radiators gurgle,
the conductor is late.
I let my eyes wander in order
to keep my thoughts at rest
but now they take flight,
filling the gallery, the arches
and the painting of the old one
with the beard that has
sparrows nesting in it.

(published in Another life, Oversteps Books, 2016)

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