TSM 97

Where the buffalo roam
and she’s Wild Bill Hickok, crack shot
bringing down that damn piano –
hairy beast of a grand, grazing
in her living room, taking
more space than its huge eyes

The Cowgirl a different tune
from The Opera Singer,
my parents not a duet, just her
singing Home on the Range
on the Naugahyde pony she roped
and branded and broke from Sears

His voice a cold Norse sea,
piano his Viking long boat
raiding notes and throwing Lieder
to the shark Valkyries
feeding under its shadow,
a funeral barge burning in the harbor

I try to smile, gap-toothed child –
empty spaces for black keys –
my tongue tickling holes
between the ivories,
searching to fill all the
missing notes




For The Sunday Muse

30 thoughts on “TSM 97

  1. Love your Western/Viking take on the image! “His voice a cold Norse sea” & “tongue tickling holes between the ivories” wonderful lines and imagery here! Thanks for joining us Qbit! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “She” reminds me of the old song “I’m An Old Cowhand” where it goes “I know all the songs that the cowboys know cos I learned them all off the radio yippee yi yo ki yay.” One of my favorite songs, btw.

    But then the reader sees that this is not really light-hearted after all. “He” sounds chilly as a Scandinavian fjord. And yes, as children we do try to fix things, and also believe that any problems are all our fault when they aren’t. My heart goes out to the child in this poem.

    Fine work, as always, qbit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I like that song too. You got me thinking about how core(?) Americana folk songs like “Home on the Range” and “She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain” have completely disappeared. Everybody knew those growing up, now I’m pretty sure most anybody under the age of 40 or so would be hard pressed to sing a verse. But I bet everyone can sing the opening of the Gilligan’s Island theme song. Hmm…

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  3. What a poetic tale you have shared … lots to digest here. Cowboy/country music is what I was raised on, a never ending love affair with the genre.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! Interesting that the “old” cowboy music like Home on the Range has pretty much disappeared from our consciousness/repertoire.

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  4. Such wonderful imagery in this poem. I especially love your closing stanza, and feel for that gap-toothed child.

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  5. “His voice a cold Norse sea,
    piano his Viking long boat
    raiding notes and throwing Lieder
    to the shark Valkyries
    feeding under its shadow,
    a funeral barge burning in the harbor”

    I love the imagery in this stanza, q. Great poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I always wondered how those grands got to the early country folk. Barbara Bush’s mother may have shot one down for her daughter, she sent whole bunches of stuff West after they moved to Odessa for his after college new job.
    Your players, some, probably played “Bill Grogen’s Goat”
    (google search https://g.co/kgs/pP6fZW ) as did my learner.
    ..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your imagery grabbed me–I too made up stories as I wandered under the tension of the family. I feel for the child looking to fill the empty spaces, but expect she’ll grow up to be an artist or a writer.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. So was thinking more about this. You and I love the amazing explosion of what words can say, new meanings, the unexpected opening within, between, around words themselves. And we know that such isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, which is perfectly fine. My experiment then is whether or not I can hang that edge of words on a framework of narrative. E.g., let the reader’s instinct to follow/create a story give them a way into the poem, but write in/around that with imagery and language that doesn’t have any clear denotation or semantic meaning. Can I have both — where *I’m* happy because I said interesting things with improbable language, and the reader is happy because their expectations weren’t completely abandoned? Any way, what the heck. Write On!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Amen brother.

            Words have their home in any meaning and the narrative aspect to it. Languages are infinite and our mind and heart is a paint brush, we create right in a canvas our the art and language that speaks to everyone.

            You my friend have made a excellent observation. I love it. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

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