Un Petit Été
Posted April 4th, 2018 by arcticeli
in the stars
The young composer is not older than God
nor wants to be, stepping to the center of the stage
like an athlete, poised, the whole of his body tensed
but not rigid, slender wrists at angles. The theatre dimmed,
full, waiting for the music of a forgotten summer evening,
warm wind blowing forest fragrances thru the open door,
flower grace, sun-warmed stone, and steaming storms,
the gossamer of pollens, milky redolence of midsummer.
The audience in the theatre, refugees of a blue winter,
sit in the glow of yellow stagelight,
scarves and coats and gloves discarded, shed, and now are
waiting for the composer to bring them un petit été,
weave with his baton the threads of summers past
into a shimm’ring net of memory and softened time cast
into the winter gloom, filled up inside the winter room.
So he begins.
Birdsong thru the window, sonata sweet as sparrow song,
the frozen river thawed and running freely, the cherry wine thick and red,
the fireflies the ghosts of ancient summer evenings,
revisiting earlier holiness, sundown, sunup to gold light shook to the carpet,
old Ra returning.
The meadows the pastures of old Romantics, dandelions turned silver,
the burrs clinging to skin, the summer southern birds bound back by inborn routes.
The mem’ries of youth entwined in mem’ries of summer poured outward
from the cave of the heart and through the aisles of the theatre
the young come half-naked, half-blossomed, racing to the water, air thick
with the smell of growing things and noisy with the hum of insects,
the gurgle of creatures in the wet dark, the musk of woodland mold;
The shadows beneath trees and under stone, the long sun the golden gaze
Of evening wonder, - beneath bough of oak and limb of willow.
Luminescent the flowers and the leaves, the boys born of beetles,
The girls born of buds, the boys of ruin, the girls of silk,
The boys of plums, the girls of milk with mouths like flitting moths.
The young composer seems to dance, no longer poised
but sensuous in his gestures, he is transfigured:
a prophet of summers, a conjurer of dreams, heartache,
a thousand summers and each of their aspects
in array, in a fray, a froth of sea fleck.
The orchestra of his heart is the orchestra before him.
The music climbs, ascends, scintillating into
wild of blue skies, it clamors, like a tide,
forward flooding, budding into bloom -
everything tender, everything savage,
The summer in its sunburnt glow, the gong beats forth
the thunder out of humid heat, rain fertile in the soil,
roots in rapture, the baptism and the orgasm and the coming
of the delirium of summer twilights.
The music slows into silence, the lights come up,
the door clangs shut, the dream departed, the eyes open,
clotted with visions of separate summertimes.
The composer’s arms outstretched toward
changing seasons drop to his sides and he bows
at his waist to the applause he receives
and wipes with a cloth the sweat from his cheeks.
Stepping out of the theatre, the winter cold catches in their throats
as the audience crowds out into the frozen street, dazed
as from a dream.
See more stories by Elias