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J.P. Dancing Bear-III

Gacela of the Beethovens


             for Glynn M. Irby



We should not speak in solitudes; like Beethoven laying

in the coffin of his piano. Still waiting to hear one final note—

laying against the wires hoping they will knock loose

whatever is blocking his ear from love.


The ghost of Beethoven pounds his keys in candle light

while the body lays gorgeous and dreaming—so peaceful

as he envisions Pastoral country sides with folk tunes

rising up out of the autumnal harvest beds.


That younger dreaming Beethoven is trying so hard to make

the sound that will wake his old sleeping man. Furious

with the gods—their constant pranking jokes. Forcing an old man

to recount his sounds—a blind painter has to remember


the way a brushstroke lays on the canvas, how to capture

tones and shades; the fine details missed by other eyes.

Beethoven wants to slam the piano lid down on his failed

body—it requiring more and more sleep, so much time.


That younger dreaming Beethoven—manifesting his desire

in double-helixed with frustration—composing melody

in the graying day. He creates a tornado of notes, slam-

rattling keys, thunder strikes demanding to be heard.


But where is the old man in his grand? Each sting stinging

his skin. Wild mane tangling in with the silvered notes.

He watches the clouds turn into the busts of past. Marble dust

a swirling storm—the eye is an ear just learning to hear, to hear.