Monday, April 6, 2009

The Steinway

The Steinway

It felt so auspicious,
sitting there at Gladys' baby grand,
in her fern green living room
filled with the gleanings of an exotic
world’s treasures.
Long ago, in another epoch, I heard
her brown velvet voice entone
her own little ballad, and received
the gift she gave me: "You can
do this too," she said.
I was little more than a baby, but
a grand dream planted itself
in my fertile, extravagant heart,
and grew and grew and grew. . .

How I ached to hear my own not-so-nimble fingers
make the elephant-tusk keys
express the music that played in the inner chamber
of my heart; to recreate the enchantment
she created so effortlessly–
"Claire de Lune" echoing the yearning
I felt as she played.
How I dared to hope that someday I could. . .
She called me "willowy", and I was–
tall, thin and always bending moodily
downwards, seeking. . . endlessly
seeking the living waters.

Now she thrives where the living waters
flow endlessly, and the music is fern green,
lush and everlasting.
And somehow, miraculously,
in my very own room,
my grandmother’s Steinway stands,
grand and glorious, a once euphonious tree,
with its lustrous wood gleaming,
and its ivory keys glowing with patina,
smiling benevolently
like the teeth of an ancient wise woman–
waiting for the resurrection of its voice:
the resonance of heartwood
as rich and rare as the queenly lady
to whom it first belonged.

It feels so auspicious,
sitting here at what is now
my baby grand.
The dream that Gladys planted
in the heartchambers of her baby
granddaughter blossomed and fruited,
and now I, too, am a composer–
not accomplished like she was,
but growing, still growing. . .
hope uncurling like a fern frond
on the banks of the living river,
where the willow tree drinks freely,
living in two realms at once.

Our destinies were entwined–
the Steinway’s and mine, like Celtic-knotted roots.
The preponderance of the vision’s unfolded, now:
the remainder must follow, as note follows note
until the symphony is through.
Heaven has regaled us– regale us still!

Oh, for a king’s ransom to restore the great piano’s soul!
My soul, lavishly restored
by the King’s ransom, expands into faith,
fern green and everlasting–
The Steinway and I will play
"Claire de Lune" in Gladys’ honor,
and then. . . ever-new music,
life-giving, lush and everlasting,
will flow from those keys,

and flow and flow and flow...

Karen Gladys Henry July 13, 2004

The poem The Steinway" and the composite artwork, "Creative Sanctuary", are by Karen Gladys Henry © 2009. All Rights Reserved.

Click the title of this blog entry for credits of images used in above.

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