Beauty is not who you are on the outside, it is the wisdom and time you gave away to save another struggling soul like you.
~Shannon L. Alder
How can we save ourselves and each other? Among the many ways we can find (and soothe) our best selves are poetry, music, and all the arts.
"Playing in the Square" was originally published in the Infoxicated Corner Spotlight Series at TheThe Poetry and is being reposted with permission of the author. Thanks, Chen!
Playing in the Square
by Chen Chen
It could happen like this: we rush out of the station,
late for work, & find a small band playing in the square.
Been playing in the square all morning! they shout to us.
& with winsome smiles, urge us to join in, handing us
instruments. & somehow, we’re taking them—
an accordion for you, a fiddle for me.
& more people stream out of the station.
Been playing in the square all afternoon! we shout to them.
& with kind mischief in our smiles, call them
to join in, rolling out more instruments. & somehow,
an old woman with beautiful fingers takes up a clarinet,
a sad-eyed boy becomes our fourth bassist.
& people pour out. Been playing in the square
all evening! & we have instruments
ready. & we begin to spill, the square
stretching strange as an octopus. & the children vote
in favor of dancing, & dance. & somehow,
a stray bulldog becomes our main percussionist.
& doctors treat people without charge.
& mothers laugh with their sons.
& neighbors argue with passion, but no one goes hungry.
& some even fall dreadfully in love. We’re playing
in the square all night!
& the night joins in,
the moon in its borrowed suit of gleam,
the stars & planets finding their spots
a bit clumsily, foolishly—
they each take up their ancient instruments
& spin their amateur bodies, somehow remembering
the music, the movement.
Another Chen Chen favorite of mine is "The Professor of Russian Studies."
Penny Parker Klosterman has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Penny!