This is a poem I wrote for my primary writers’ group’s monthly newsletter.  It is a music-impression poem–I listen to a piece of music, and write the images it evokes in my conscious mind.  I write many poems like this–they’re surreal, and seemingly nonsensical, because the images arise from my subconscious mind.  This particular one, for which I used Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, will probably be published in the May newsletter–though censored.  Our new president (who took office in February) insists that I remove a passage to which she objects.  I have begrudgingly done so, just to get it on hard copy.  However, on the Internet, I can include it.  So here is the original, uncensored version, for your reading pleasure (or displeasure)!

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

Scott ____

First Movement

Distant planets collide

Forming only a blip on S.E.T.I.’s screen

The search continues.


I want to know.

From the Pacific rise islands

Called Farallon

Where great whites gulp sea lions

To scientists’ scrutiny.

Telescope-microscope–we dwell between, in

Visible space.

The slightest of swords slide

Ceremonial stars for historians’ dreams.

And because they mean movement

Jupiter cannot conceal its moons.

I ravish Katrina in a French-Quarter alley

Beneath Mars, above Venus.

Second Movement

Christmas chefs dice odds, in our view

While evens rest on rotating dishes.

Spirits dance ’round telephone poles

In summer space, amidst bats and moths.

Believe cicadas who tell of future forms

For yours might be among them.

Posthumous poet I am

If popular poet, at all.

Flagships of ancient America swirl

Circling now-extinct sharks.

Dimensions share air

Since time does not exist.

In a meadow of mischief I am conceived

Then born-sided into myself

As she drapes frilly finery on our wedding world.

Third Movement

I rest in the Myrtle Grove

Cemetery, along my post-midnight walk.

For I feel more loved by the dead

Than by the living.

I find the same concrete bench

And chant nam-myoho-renge-kyo, nam-myoho-renge-kyo, nam-myoho-renge-kyo

For Buddhists beneath wind chimes

Then repeat the 23rd Psalm, and pray the Prayer of Jesus

What the buried members of the adjoining Methodist church

Called the Lord’s Prayer.

For all faiths are sacred here.

Fourth Movement

Regal horses traversed this road

Just a dirt path, a century ago

Their riders whistling this joyous Ode to Joy.

The bass in black sings night into day

When the calls of the chorus rendezvous with his.

And the composer teases this same theme

Through the tenor

On the Walkman I wear in my shooting-house.

Then appears a buck, a spike

In the concluding crescendo of daylight.

Yet just as I aim my rifle

A four-point emerges

And I switch accordingly

And drop it with a single shot.

When the spike jerks upward

I win it, as well.

Maybe Beethoven hunted deer too! 


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