Tag Archives: free verse

Impromptu

The audience is audibly awaiting:
chattering, anticipating, alert.
Now obbligato applause, a white noise,
greets our soloist, striding then still,
biding by keyboard, lid glinting, spotlit.

A waltz by Chopin, a mazurka or two,
insinuate themselves into the silence.
Tinkles and ripples and staccato notes
stipple the auditorium airwaves.

Seconds pass, minutes; a barcarolle beckons us
for an aural tour right round Europe,
through France and Poland and then into Italy.
But now a crescendo glissando, fortissimo:
an impromptu motorbike adding its basso
to the soundscape again and again.
And again. Then diminuendo.

Now, as Greig’s trolls begin their march
a monotone idée fixe intrudes
its extruded ostinato from the street:
the persistent trill of burglar alarm riffing its repetitive roundelay.
Through the Norwegian notturno it rings
and on into rippling brooklet arpeggios
till suddenly conspicuous by absence.

Interval over, Fauré leads us back
to La Serenissima with a barcarolle.
His nocturne’s punctuated by a percussive bark,
subsiding, stifled, as cough-calming,
transcendental Liszt breathes un sospiro,
his sighs and harmonies du soir checking chair creak
and soft yet sonorous snores.

Tumultuous hail-like clatter greets our virtuoso.
He smiles, he acknowledges, he returns
and settles to our final reward:
Schubert’s G flat Impromptu.
You can hear a piano drop to pianissimo;
a few tear drops are shed, and shared.


Inspired by a recent recital given by Llyr Williams

Unprepossessing

or, Under the Surface

Dowdy. That’s how they describe me.
On the surface I’m nothing much to look at.
Nondescript is another word I’ve heard.
Terms like tatty, tawdry hurt.

Just what do they expect from me?
Uninteresting is their first response,
demeaning my essential self,
glancing once, ignoring twice,
each assuming that I’m lacking depth.

And yet, and yet.

Beneath my plain unvarnished outside,
overlooked by all and sundry, there reside
offerings of far more worth:
kindness, courage, human truths.

Between the sheets I proffer passion,
your senses driven to seventh heaven.
In my thoughts you’ll wander freely
thrilled by visions you’ve never imagined,
stimulated, challenged, even rewarded.

Can you guess now who I am?
Often people pass me by,
visiting a gaudy neighbour,
ever seeking good companionship,
realising – finally – it might be me.


Another homework exercise for a creative writing class
Spoiler alert: the form of this riddle is due to it being an acrostic