Play Music

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
With experience comes great advice.
Having brothers is great. Even when little brothers don't want to be seen with their sister anymore...
They offer great advice, protection, laughs and love that no one else could.
My eldest brothers advice as I set off for uni was to play music... So I did ... sort of.

Submitted: May 03, 2015

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Submitted: May 03, 2015

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A A A


I have the great fortune of three brothers

Two older and one younger

Once upon a time I could call the younger

My little brother

But to do so now constitutes lying

 

Growing up with brothers

Comes with many pros and cons

Protective, and loving

Advice giving and …

Refusing to give you a hug in public

 

In the days before university life began

Everybody offering pearls of wisdom

And I, trying hard to remember it all

My eldest brother tells me

‘Play music’

 

Years before this conversation occurred

I played the clarinet,

Occasionally played with one hand of thumbs

My father’s keyboard

But music was never my thing

 

Sure I like to sing along with the radio

But I can’t carry a tune in a bucket

Like many people, this never stopped me

My wail, occasionally in time to the music

Interrupted by comments about cats and tails

 

Out of practice and patience to relearn

The clarinet would remain in its box

I knew that

But I nodded in agreement anyway

After all he was right

 

Play music, we all need time to ourselves

Our mind absent

Of the busy world around us

Play music, with every note, our head empties

With each rest, stillness ensues

 

I agreed, but my music wouldn’t sound

With echoes through the block of flats

My music, needed my hands only on occasion

But my mind and the silence

And just like music, at the rest, stillness

 

Bach and Beethoven, Mozart and Handel

Wagner and Schubert, Tchaikovsky and Elgar

Haydn and Brahms, Verdi and Strauss

Vivaldi and Bartok, Mahler and Glass

All left there mark with each quaver and clef

 

Forte, crescendo, tempo. Tone deaf

I could never do their masterpiece justice

Nor could I write, or play my own piece

All thumbs with keys and strings

Out of breath with woodwind

 

But Byron and Shakespeare, Wordsworth and Keats

Angelou and Kipling, Dunbar and Yeats

Frost and Plath, Whitman and Henley

Larkin and Wilcox, Owen and Shelley

Painted with words, songs with no notes

 

Silent if I wished it

Won’t disturb other folks

Words to read and emotions to interpret

Stories to live and rhymes to flow

Hours awake and no one knows

 

He told me, ‘play music’

And I heard, read poetry

Not realising they are eternally different

And very much the same

Both telling a story, emotions, and pain

 

Play music,

Each syllable a note

Each word a bar

Each poem a song, sung from the heart

Each stanza a verse

 

Each rhyme a repeat

Each line a phrase

Both with flow, rhythm, pace and a beat

Each comma a breath

Each full stop a rest

 

So tell me now what the difference is

Perhaps no guitar is needed for this

Not everyone reads music, and whilst we can hum

Writing music is hard, but poetry we’ve all done

Everyone has emotions, opinions and stories

 

Loved or lost, craved peace, wished for beauty

Wished life was different, or would never change

Had words at their command, or at least uses them anyway

Good poetry isn’t easy, it takes talent and time

But poetry is therapeutic, emotions with flow and rhyme.

 

A vent for anger, frustration and heat

A memento of happiness, or contentment at least

No rhyme, no reason, words made pretty in the air

Walking to work, awake at night, scared

Stressed and relaxed, ready and prepared

 

Play music, he told me

So I wrote words

Do something on your own he said

So I did

I wrapped myself in books

 

Safe from the world inside my own head

And from the world outside my window

Safe from the work on my desk, and shelf

And floor

Safe from the emotions, that breaks and shakes the person more

 

Every once in a while

When the mood takes me

I open a book and read, even just one poem

I search the shelves of book shops for a poem I like

And read it on repeat

 

I search the internet find Koyczan’s and Kay’s

Listen to them

And forget the world outside the box I am in

For just a while

I find peace

 

On occasion I think of the clarinet in its box

The keyboard with dusty keys

The old plastic recorder under the bed

The music books held together with spider’s webs

The CDs, made redundant by the internet

 

I think back the orange hardback book

I had as a kid, with brightly coloured pages

I think of the nonsense poems and poems with long words

About elephants and sheep, stairs, telephones

And various foodstuffs

 

I think of the second poetry book I ever owned

With more poems and less colours

I think of the 4 year old me learning Wordsworth

And my Grandma reciting poems, about mothers and lace caps

I think about the teachers that made poems rhyme

 

Sometimes, when I lie awake at night

Wondering what the rest of the world is doing

I think of all the things I have done

The things that I have gained…

And lost

 

And when over the buzz of the world

Through the tangle of thoughts and frustration

Somewhere in the angst and confusion

I remember my brother told me

Play music…

 

So I did.


© Copyright 2020 AmberElise. All rights reserved.

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