Summer’s heat had so baked the day

That every breath of wind had sighed to stillness.

With evening,

The bustle of the city had slipped

To desultory, languid business.

Even the whine of sirens was left as careless

As an ice-cream vendor’s jangling chorus.

Talk, seeping from restaurants and bars, stalled.

Windows, from mansions and rented rooms,

Thrown wide

To coax the dying day’s exhalation,

Leaked privacy.

Confidences, confessions, even stern invective

And brittle laughs,

Discarded against flickering snatches of television chatter,

Evaporated under the clammy weight of dusk



Whether or not the music was of her own composing,

It matters little.

Under her bow, each note swelled and rose:

A bubble holding its warbling sac of air,

Buoyed by some imperceptible drift

Long enough to sing through its emerald and amethyst film

Until the colours curdle to a dull sheen,

Lingering on the ear for a final moment

Before the skin thins to bursting.

The notes spin themselves, like blown gossamer,

Across the city in a web

No more melodious

Than the barbed shards of sound,

Trilled by garden songsters breaking open the morning,

But brilliant.

Her primal air stirred all who heard it,

Lifting them above the drum and hum,

Dispelling the echoes of a grosser living,

Lightening the night.


There was a quickened breathing:

A fresh breeze ruffled the leaves.



 David Matthews

January 2012

Related Pages