William AidePianist. Poet. Teacher.
Poem by William Aide
OF FOREIGN LANDS AND PEOPLE
Anticipation spires! St. Petersburg
and travelling there with you,
observing people, seeing foreign lands!
Sitting side by side, cozy in thick furs,
sometimes in the coach you’ll sing to me
a melody from the Kinderszenen
softly, so softly, that I’ll scarcely hear it.
Tell it all to her again.
“Two enormous snowy owls
tried to learn English—
‘Be sure to wash your porridge bowls
until they’re tinglish—‘
then they flew straight through the hunter’s sights
and blurred his days and whitened his nights
and roosted on my counterpane.”
As water puckers at the slightest breeze,
Upturned eyes implore him,
her wordless wheedle
his heart’s needle.
How explain exuberance,
all outgoing, no inturning,
the gulps of air, the radiant face,
steps in skips, improvised dance?
Happy enough to be learning
Her world becoming a lyric place.
Bursts the room, little courier
swaggers firm, fate has kissed
him—“I’ll not be a warrior,
I shall be a” (blurt announcement)
The Horowitz Encore
Of Vladimir’s rubato twitch
some wag was overheard to say
“more trauma there than träumerei”.
Hepburn in Song of Love
Katharine’s Clara stressed simplicity
and played it straight for royalty,
Robert’s request when he was dying,
or some such kitsch.
inner voices, arching theme,
Schumann’s lucid dream.
AT THE FIRESIDE
Our evening tales are gentle,
shocks in the plot are easy
to absorb, endings sentimental.
Family stories draw us near
enough to the leaping fire.
KNIGHT OF THE ROCKING HORSE
Vimy, pumping, full of glee,
Knight Rupert kicking it—
Look at me!
ALMOST TOO SERIOUS
At the Metro Zoo
Stoic, vulnerable giraffe,
innocence inducing smiles;
this young one must be ten feet tall.
Emma never thinks to laugh.
He “huddles” in the teeming rain;
we hurried but we had to stop
to read the posted sign ADOPT
ME. Emma’s wet smile shines.
“O I want to do that! But my Dad
wouldn’t like it.” Solemn face,
almost too serious, somewhat sad—
(fervent Emma, full of grace)—
“He won’t even let me have a dog.”
Rose-sweet gravity agog.
wraith of autumn’s equinox,
fables Robert read to them
serve delicious dread to them.
CHILD FALLING ASLEEP
This is the very last
of the day’s miraculous hours
sealing the world as a good estate
arms keeping faith fast
closing dusting doors
to the dwindled O
THE POET SPEAKS
They will leave all too soon.
They were clothed in my music.
They will alter, discover new coats.
Though I feared they would die,
my papillons fill me with hope.
They will hover in the wind.
They will hush me in their dreams.