1. (Untitled) by Kerry Hatch (2007)
You make me want to bring beauty
into this ordinary Monday afternoon.
I stand in my kitchen and gaze out of the window;
drops of rain fall absent-mindedly.
With tasks waiting to be accomplished,
my heart lingers on you.
You, like the rain, have tapped abstract
patterns in my day today.
Without design, you stir a vague longing
as only you and the rain can.
Gentle drops knit together
and pool until my heart overflows.
But what of this sensuality on wings aloft
when gravity pulls forever earthbound?
Dinner to be prepared,
Clothes to launder,
Dishes to scrub,
And on the periphery of it all, always,
A child with needs waiting to be met.
So I light a candle
and pay homage to the beauty you inspire...
small gesture within the confines of routine.
Thank you for reawakening that instinct
of what it is to be Woman,
buried long beneath the role of Mother.
I breathe in the scent of rain
and let my heart leave this earth.
For tonight, dinner will have to wait.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Introduction & Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet and Strings by Maurice Ravel
2. THE THINGS I CARRY by Sierra Simpson
The things I carry can be used as a code to decipher the complex maze I call me. These things are tangible, real, concrete.
However, they can also be intangible, conceptual, and immaterial.
At times I carry only the clothing on my back and the soles of the shoes on my feet. Other times I carry a backpack of ample possessions, material things of little importance. An agenda, cell phone, hand lotion, a pocket knife, lighter; all superfluous belongings.
All unnecessary weight.
But also among theses material possessions you will find a sketchbook, pencils, little pink erasers, things that I need. These things tell of a story, an aspiring artist, a young girl trying her hardest to follow her dream. For inspiration, I carry my music, my iPod is a necessity, and it helps paint the pictures in my mind, which I shall someday turn into a masterpiece.
I carry the burden of my past, the sorrows and pain. But in a way, this burden carries me. Mental cumbrance, anchoring me to reality, keeping my feet fastened to the rocky road as I walk onward. I shall paint this burden, use it as inspiration as well, turn pain into beauty, and paint my story for the world to someday see.
I carry these burdens and they motivate me to proceed.
These burdens carry me, and inspire me to excel and achieve my dream, a young artist, wanting to paint her story for the world to someday see.
I am a maze within a maze.
I am a dreamer within a dream.
And as I walk through this world, with this backpack on my back, and these burdens on my mind, I carry these things, and these things carry me. I stop to draw every now and then, maybe I’ll paint, or maybe I will try to tell my story in many different ways.
But it is, and always will be, these things I carry that carry me.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Mouvements perpetuels by Francis Poulenc
3. THE BLACK CAT AND THE BABY GRAND PIANO
by A. S. Maulucci
As a young feline with human tendencies
I was vain about my ebony fur
and loved to have it stroked
by beautiful women of ample means
whose husbands were wont
to leave them to their own devices.
I lay about on velvet couches
in high-ceilinged sunlit rooms
where always a stout piano
stretched its bulk
and stared vacantly about
like a drugged behemoth in a zoo.
We were both waiting,
the piano and I,
for the touch of gentle fingers
to bring to life our sparkling melodies
and awaken our deepest chords.
I don’t mind boasting that
I always believed I could purr
as beautifully as six bars of Chopin.
The piano lay there with his open keyboard yawning,
like some shameless household sloth,
while I reclined supine upon the sofa,
no better, I suppose, than him,
but at least I remained aloof
and pretended not to care,
while he, poor thing, seemed to pant doggy style
every time our mistress entered the room.
When I’m feeling playful or sorry for him,
which doesn’t happen very often,
I run across the keys.
It was this kind of humiliating behavior
that brought me abruptly to my senses.
The duchess was playing Schubert
while I was staring out the window
thinking that she had lost her appeal
like over-ripened fruit
and it was high time I went in search of younger fingers.
So I walked out that morning without a word to anyone.
Now the piano has her all to himself,
and yet I feel nothing but pity for a beast
who must remain in one place and beg for love.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Impromptu in F Minor, D. 935
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Impromptu in F Minor, D. 935
4. WARM GREEN TEA by Scott Fivelson (2010)
In her absence
(short as a breath may it be)
she said I could drink her green tea
Thank you, my love, but no
that tea is not for me
It’s saved for you
all for you
But I’ll tell you what I’ll do
I will sip from your teacup
so as to touch my lips
to where yours have been
And must be again.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Fantasy for Flute and Piano in C, Op. 79 by Gabriel
5. MEASURING ABSENCE by Richard Levine
Moonbeams straddle your house and mine,
measuring my missing you not
in darkness, miles, or hours driven,
but in the shining height of steepled solitude.
As the lone curate of that space,
in the bed your absence makes vast,
I roam sleepless pastures of night
reading poems aloud for company.
My voice knows the limits of reach,
but my heart beats in two places at once.
REFLECTIVE MUSIC: Adagio, from Sonata No. 3 for Violin and Piano in D Minor, Op.108 by Johannes Brahms