Monday, 24 June 2013

Unfinished Symphony

Strange, isn't it, how one recalls the oddest things about school days...?  I was listening to a bird singing its heart out on our classroom window sill and missed a question put to me by my English Teacher. Without thinking, I confessed the reason, adding for good measure that it sounded as if it was trying to tell us something. (I was known to be something of a dreamer even in those days and had written poems for the school magazine for which I was often mocked although never nastily). 

The rest of the class burst out laughing. 

My ears burned on receipt of some good-natured jeering. Expecting a reprimand, I was surprised (and not a little relieved) when the teacher commented, 'Nature is always trying to tell us something, Taber. The trouble is, only the likes of painters and poets can ever be bothered to listen. Now, where was I...?" whereupon he proceeded with the lesson without my ever knowing what his question had been.

This poem is a villanelle.


Music of the Earth
invoking an eternity,
at birth and rebirth

Come sorrow, mirth,
(its womb, our history)
Music of the Earth

Marking a sure dearth
of inclusive humanity;
at birth and rebirth

Nature, all its worth
(for bliss, for agony)
Music of the Earth 

Playing its life-death,
(unfinished) symphony;
at birth and rebirth

Human spirit, breath
of freedom in captivity;
Music of the Earth
at birth and rebirth

Copyright R N. Taber 2009

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