Unspoken Word
May 09, 2022
The Music at Death's Threshold

This just in from my wonderful friend, Robert Michael Esformes:

Perhaps we arrive here after stately
cadences resolve themselves in final absolution;
or the scales with their teasing inflections
fall from our eyes and allow the final flatline fermata.

Perhaps it's been a majestic and complex
Beethovian coda preparing the dying for departure;
or a closing arpeggio like a light trickle of rain;
or the hushed moments as an adagio fades into stillness.

May be you hear a dissonant cluster of
estranged tones, like relatives hovering at
bedside, bickering as the dying one gives
back to the waiting angel its first inspiration.

May be it's a smoky mode that slowly folds
back into the lifetime's gift of breath,
releasing the measure of a man, a woman--
time and key signatures no longer relevant.

Or the moment at concerto's conclusion,
the closing chords resounding, the sound
extending and rising... that you, the oboe soloist,
vanish with the fading echoes of the orchestral finale?

Impossible innuendos of the final silence -- and
you must enter in with the whole note of your being
tuned precisely for this occasion: your body an offering,
a composite now scattering, a time for decomposition.

The cadaver of a score lies quietly,
left behind on the stately podium.
The touch of an allegretto breeze
rustles the curtains. Now stillness.

The conductor waves her bright baton as
we find our place on limitless ledger lines.
The upbeat crests, and the descending hand
explodes into a symphony for the new world.

Robert Michael Esformes
May 2022

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at May 9, 2022 04:53 PM

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