Grand

It sits as though abandoned
this mourning-dove gray house
that mirrors the weather this day.
Too close to the neighbors,
too look-alike,
too much blending in
with all the others,
no sparkling
personality,
uniqueness,
charm
or character
sets it apart.

An unattractive
screen door
bars entering
the house with
ease–its spring
wound too tight,
it demands
a firm grip
while opening
so as not to slam
into you as you attempt
a quickened leap
before it hits your heels.

Cheap, green indoor-outdoor
carpeting greets your feet
(and assaults your sensibilities)
and leads you to the prosaic,
commonplace front door.
Inside, builder’s drab beige
monopolizes every square inch.
No optimistic hues provide
a joyful skip of the heart
or a pleased, inward smile
of satisfaction.

No lively art that’s been
lovingly and joyfully collected
hangs upon the dreary, sad walls.
Oh, there’s a print here or there
but they too exhibit
taupe,
blandness,
lack of bold,
indicating
a drought
of interest
in adding
a bit of oneself
into this
abode of deficiency.

A pianist lives here.
The love of the classics
muses round her thoughts
and emerges with enthusiasm
and light through her deft fingers.
Though she be aged and becoming
forgetful, the music that she has
studied since childhood
livens her soul and the notes
take flight about the room
and fill every corner
with her verve and brightness.

Her interest lies not in the outward
appearance of where she kicks off
her shoes at the end of the day or
where she lays her head at night,
but instead she flourishes on the
vivid, vibrant strokes of color
that come from that piano grand.

Join us at dVerse Poets where Lillian hosts Open Link Night!

Leave a comment

31 Comments

  1. Glenn A. Buttkus

     /  February 20, 2020

    A very detailed portrait of a leaden-eyed domicile that we see cousins of somewhere on every block, colorless, drab, without distinction.

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    Reply
    • Thanks, Glenn–yes, you can find these houses everywhere. I like pretty colors and art in my house. It gives me a lift in spirit. 🙂

      Like

      Reply
  2. You can’t always judge a book by its cover, although I think the state my room is in is probably a fair reflection of a messy mind =P . Thanks for the interesting words, nd thank you for the link to dVerse, will be fun to have a look around a poetry community again.
    The Lonely Recluse

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    Reply
    • Hey, what a happy surprise to find you here, TLR! I’ve been mostly absent from my blog but have posted a couple of things lately to dVerse where I used to be one of the administrators. It’s a wonderfully supportive group and if you find it to your liking, I hope you’ll share some more of your great work again. I did visit your blog but found no way to leave a comment. Are your comments turned off? Turn them on! I’m guessing your color is black??? And you’re still having some insomnia issues? No fun. 😦

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      • Yeah it’s good to be back and reading your poetry again.
        I lost my muse and my reason for writing for a while, and have been wanting to get back to it for myself, so it’ll be good to have a community to share it with again.
        For some reason WordPress had decided I didn’t want comments on that poem, sorted now. Yup, black it is. Thankfully not struggling too much with the insomnia any more, it was just one of those nights where brain decided it was time to work not time to sleep.
        TLR

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        Reply
        • The same thing happened to me. I just couldn’t feel enthused to write for awhile. But recently, ittle by little I’ve been writing some more. I also belong to a group of writers where I live and we meet a couple of times a month to share our poetry and have even started doing some public events where we read our work. We’ve had some good responses and it’s nice to have a supportive group to be a part of. I wish you the best, TLR, and I’m glad the insomnia isn’t so much an issue anymore.

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  3. Music is definitely the color of life! Loved all your images both drab and otherwise.
    the music that she has
    studied since childhood
    livens her soul and the notes
    take flight about the room
    and fill every corner
    with her verve and brightness.

    I liked all those notes filling every corner of the room…

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    Reply
  4. Colleen@ LOOSELEAFNOTES

     /  February 20, 2020

    The music is the saving grace. I wanted to hang a Pennsylvania hex sign on that house.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  5. Oh this is wonderful. From that mourning dove grey house of drab, comes the vibrant colorful sound of the piano played from the soul. I am smiling here as this hits me with a memory from 50+ years ago when I took piano lessons from about three years….from my dancing teacher. I took dancing lessons from age 4 to the middle of my senior year in high school….a remarkable teacher who’d been a professional dancer until she was struck by polio. But she could still teach. Her brother had been a professional cellist but for some reason pulled back into himself…mental illness? She never married and lived in a large house with her brother and her mother. I took the bus there for my lessons. Her house had all the curtains closed. I remember dark woodwork and the entire house, what little I saw, was very dark and close. There was a grand piano with a cello next to it in her living room….but again….no light. The piano lesson room was small and upstairs…which I remember trudging up. The room was nondescript with an upright piano. I just remember how dark everything was. I imagined her playing with her brother…her mother listening. She also taught voice lessons. When we had our dance recitals, they were in a big hall and she hired a drummer….she played the piano, her brother the cello, and the professional drummer….and they played all the music live for the recital. Oh my….you’ve really brought back the memories. This house in your poem could be hers.

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    Reply
    • Well, I know this woman, Lillian and she also teaches piano and voice lessons! Your story mimics mine in many ways. She’s a quirky lady but she does love her music and that’s where her heart lies–certainly not in her living surroundings. I personally think you could have both though. Thanks for sharing your memory, Lillian.

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      Reply
  6. Nice description: “abode of deficiency”. The sound rather than the paint on the wall is more important.

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    Reply
  7. We can’t always choose what our homes look like, if we rent or can’t afford to spruce them up, but what goes on inside is all about us. I love the description of the ‘mourning-dove gray house / that mirrors the weather’ and the detail of the unattractive screen door with ‘its spring wound too tight’. I feel as if I’m there, walking on the ‘cheap, green indoor-outdoor carpeting’ and opening the ‘commonplace front door’. If it wasn’t for me, we’d have no art or colour in our house – my husband is all for beige and says he doesn’t like ‘clutter’ (while leaving his personal stuff on every surface!). But like your pianist, he fills our house with music. My favourite lines:
    ‘the music that she has
    studied since childhood
    livens her soul and the notes
    take flight about the room
    and fill every corner
    with her verve and brightness.’

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Thanks for your nice comment, Kim. I’m like you and prefer some color in my surroundings. It does give me a lift to see a pretty paint color on the walls, art that I’ve collected on the walls or my pottery siting about, etc. I don’t like clutter either (and try not to leave things sitting around) especially if there’s a place to put things away. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  8. our surroundings do impact us, colour for me especially, too much and I feel so overwhelmed. I love the part when the music starts birthing joy and pleasure into the air

    Like

    Reply
    • Yes, they sure do and certainly too much color or if it’s too “busy” can be agitating. I do not want to be agitated by my surroundings. I’m glad you liked that part–me too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  9. Anonymous

     /  February 21, 2020

    Gayle this is so beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes.

    Like

    Reply
  10. To fin life in music is a blessing.

    Like

    Reply
  11. hypercryptical

     /  February 21, 2020

    Sometimes the joy of music is all we need.
    Anna :o]

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    Reply
  12. I love the idea of vibrant strokes of colour coming from the piano when she plays Gayle and I can understand the neutral tones of her home being the perfect canvas for her creativity 💗

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    Reply
  13. I absolutely love this poem, Gayle. I miss my upright grand, which has taken up residence in my youngest daughter’s house. I’m not sure she will be able to always keep it as her husband and she are going to be moving next year? Perhaps? Depends on how soon their house will sell once on the market. I miss playing all the music I now have stored, which beckons to be read. But, oh, what a wonder to still be able to play again. Wonderful, beautiful, poetic. Be well.

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    Reply
    • Hi Renee, thanks so much. I’m glad you like it. I had no idea that you had a grand piano and could play…unless I forgot somehow. I hope you’re adapting to your living circumstances by now and are feeling comfortable. My living arrangement is changing soon myself and creating some stress for me but that’s the way it goes. I wish you well too. xo

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      • I do hope wherever it is you find your new place to be, that it will not be too stressful a change. I love my daughter but with her daughter and her daughter’s children and the daughter’s boyfriend…well, it was like culture shock. But I began making the meditation, I put aside so long ago, part of my life again and do not go a day without it unless I am ill. I do need to call you at some point, though, and catch you up. So much has happened since I began my meditation in September again. Positive life changes that I so needed. I will be thinking of you. Yes, I owned an antique upright grand. So, unlike a grand piano where the harp within lies down, in mine it stands up! I do miss it but there is no longer anywhere for it to be. Take care.

        Like

        Reply
        • That’s a lot of people to acclimate to when you’ve had a much quieter lifestyle. I get it Renee. Meditation is so helpful and while I don’t do it daily these days, I’ve found it immeasurably helpful through the years. Yes, we are so long past due for a phone call. Let’s make time for that. xoxo

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply

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