Elizabethean Poetry

Imreh Plays Bach

Through memory's doors I skip.
Knocking fall snow off my shoes
I skid across the marble floor.
The gym---concert hall tonight---
smells like it did forty years ago.
Sweaty socks glazed over
by pine disinfectant.

The audience is small.
Once we were many,
the town growing, not this worn
old woman, her treasures
extracted like local mines¹ ores.

The lights go down.
Imreh takes the stage
formed of Danubian delicacy
and steel---Rumanian,
redhead---redolent of eastern
Europe perfume
medieval monasteries,

(Her shiny gray strapless top
with black velvet flowers and ivy
caresses her, silhouettes
slender hips,
slithers over a long black wool

She explains chosen variations,
inscrutable, immutable
The old Steinway waits
as the artist seats herself.

Little girls move in the front row.
Feet dangle
in snow-damp Mary Janes.
Swing in time.
Excitement frees heavy coats
thrown over chair backs.

I am such a girl again;
Shirley Temple curls spring
stiff from stale beer, above
my taffeta redingote,
brushing sock tops.
My fingers, trained since four,
move with

Imreh's. Wrapped in the sound blanket
I play. In love with music,
with life,
defending against blizzards

Imreh finishes. Her steel butterfly hands
flutter to her lap.
She stands, receives accolades.
Instantly I'm old, yet now immensely
renewed in life.

Spheres Evolve

An ancient sage, bent
under wisdom took
his ease beneath a quieting
pine. He heard music
of celestial spheres,
calling wheat to dance
on nearby golden hills
or dirges or triumphal
marches sung in cosmic rhyme.
He heard waters cascade
through spring, sensed their
silence during drought.
Every season's song
beat in perfect time.

An august
astronomer now lays
these wheeled
orchestras to rest. Yet
no lesser lays
beat in his intuition's
breast. Lyrics seduce,
strum within his heart,
reach others
whose hearts thrum
in synchronicity. Their rhythm
drowns anarchy's
tin pan cacaphony;
peace, at last, is won.

...by Elizabeth I. Riseden