Royal Fireworks

I am now writing
About yesterday. An angel
High up in pine tree.

Two doves in a tree.
A woodpecker pecking.
Geese flying overhead.

Playing Frisbee with my dog.
The way my dog knows when I 
Pick up my camera we are going outside.

Learning story of Handel’s
Music for the Royal Fireworks.
The music providing a background

For the Royal Fireworks the wooden building 
Caught fire. Over twelve thousand people
Rushed to get away. Causing a tree-hour traffic jam

Of carriages, after the main route
Was closed due to the collapse 
Of the central arch of the newly built London Bridge.

I listened to the Overture
In the car on my way
To my physical. Stopping once

To photograph The Lower Mill Pond
In Easthampton, Massachusetts
Where I once lived.

The nurse said we now ask
Everyone two question.
Do you feel depressed?

Have you recently fallen?
No and no. And I said
To her I remember being

Depressed. Still so clear.
I was waiting in the doctor’s office
And I picked up an magazine and wept.

When the doctor entered the room
I help up the magazine, Newsweek
I think, and on the cover a photo

Two young women. One from Palestine
And the other from Israel. They had
Killed each other. And there

In the doctor’s office I wept.
I took medicine for a few years.
Those feelings are gone.

I told the doctor I had been feeling
Light-headed and that my back hurt.
He talked to be about the foot railing

At bars. Made to help people
Drink longer without hurting
Their backs. He said I should

Try using a foot stool when cooking
Or cleaning the dishes. Raise one leg
For a few minutes and the the other.

I said to him it sounds
Like a Seinfeld joke. And I was happy
To hear my blood pressure was down.

Back in the car heading home
I heard to story of The Tam O’Shanter Overture
By Sir Malcolm Arnold; based on a famous poem

By Robert Burns depicting
Tam O’Shanter drunk. Leaving the pub
Tam rides home on his horse Meg.

A storm is brewing. He sees
the local haunted church lit up, 
witches and warlocks dancing.

The devil playing the bagpipes.
Tam is still drunk, still upon his horse,
Just on the edge of the light watching.

Amazed to see The witches are dancing
As the music intensifies and seeing
A witch in a short dress

He shouts,`Weel done, cutty-sark!’
(cutty-sark : “short shirt”).

The lights go out, the music

And dancing stops and many
Of the creatures lunge after Tam,
With the witches leading.

Tam spurs Meg to turn and flee
And drives the horse on towards the River Doon
As the creatures dare not cross a running stream.

The creatures give chase and the witches
Come so close to catching Tam and Meg
That they pull Meg’s tail off just as she reaches the bridge over the Doon.

What a story.
What a poem.
What great music.

Over dinner I tell Susan
Both stories and we talk
Later of framing art.

~~

You can hear it here.