Ode on Celestial Music

A bitter-sweet reflection by Brian Patten, it made me shiver in recognition when I first read it some 40 years ago:

It’s not celestial music it’s the girl in the bathroom singing.
You can tell. Although it’s winter
the trees outside her window have grown leaves,
all manner of flowers push up through the floorboards.
I think – ‘what a filthy trick that is to play on me,’
I snip them with my scissors shouting
I only want bona fide celestial music!’
Hearing this she stops singing.

Out of her bath now the girl knocks at my door.
‘Is my singing disturbing you?’ she smiles entering,
‘did you say it was licentious or sensual?
and excuse me, my bath towel’s slipping.’
A warm and blonde creature.
I slam the door on her breasts shouting
I only want bona fide celestial music!’

Much later on in life I wear my hearing aid.
What have I done to my body, ignoring it,
splitting things into pieces my hands
cannot mend anything? The stars, the buggers, remained silent.
Down in the bathroom now her daughter is singing.
Turning my hearing-aid full volume
I bend close to the floorboards hoping
for at least one song to get through.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s