SEOUL MUSIC

The hardest part of getting old
isn’t the near constant aches and pains
but the senses that slip away,
replaced by an ever deeper truth.
She says to really play the blues
on piano you must have Seoul
and listening to her, you agree,
although you aren’t sure if hers
is Gangnam-gu or Jung-gu, but
the distinction is a fine one,
and she plays with a heart and voice
that you could only hope to find
in Insa-dong, recalling history
and hardship in each note, each run.
It is only later you realize
she said soul, but hers was
forged in Seoul, so it is really
a difference without meaning.

THE MUSIC OF SPRING

The music hides, just out of sight,
beyond the edge of hearing.
We assume it must be something by Mozart
or at least Bach, a tocatta and fugue,
swallowed by the trees, the cardinal singing
faintly, mirroring the tune,
but there is only the wind
meandering throught the pines
which have cast off the weight
of winter and patiently await
the fullness of spring, swaying
and singing a song to the night.

DREAMS

Somewhere, tonight
a bagpiper is playing.,
Notes from the drone
and chanters lick the sky,
piercing passing clouds,
embedding themselves in the stars.
Somewhere else
a flute player fingers the stops
as notes pour forth
and dance on the moonlit lawn.
Neither piper nor flautist
hear each other,
but I weave both
into a song, my pulse
carries its rhythm,
and the song will
carry my dreams
until morning.

BUENOS AIRES ON THE GENESEE

If this were Buenos Aires, if I were Borges, it would all make a great deal of sense.  A man, older, and older still if you look closely, walks into an elegant hotel bar.  A jazz quintet is playing, straight up, trumpet, piano, guitar, stand up bass, drum kit.  The older man is wearing white tennis shorts from a prior century.  They are baggy legged and would be too short for a much younger man.  He wears a dark afro wig.  He makes no pretense that it is his hair, or that it is even real hair.  He stands in a corner with his wife, intently watching the musicians.  Others in the lounge and bar steal sidelong glances at him.  He wears white athletic socks, white tennis shoes.  He has on an oversized light blue sweatshirt. It is all quite logical.  I am not Borges, this is not Buenos Aires.  It is October, autumn has announced itself and taken hold.  It is Rochester and winter lies in waiting.  You can occasionally feel its bated icy breath.  The older man does not drink.  The band’s set ends.  The older man and his wife walk out of the hotel into a lake chilled night.