For B

March 28, 2009

~ dedicated to a gifted friend with dystonia.
poem adapted from Shakespeare’s As You Like It ~

We are merely players on a global stage,
Entering and exiting the velvet screen.
Born an infant who matures at timely age,
To become a pantaloon, slipper’d and lean.
Lastly, the spotlight shines on the withered sage,
Who returns to the Earth in the final scene.
Where we are now is where we are meant to be,
Acting out our roles metaphorically. 

We have gone through many scenes before we met:
As infants and school boys with satchels in hand,
Easy to please and easier to upset,
Learning and maturing by life’s set command.
Our shining morning faces see aging’s threat;
We now act in combat, as the script had planned.
Exposed to trials when the lights cruelly dim,
We draw our swords of chiseled steel on a whim.

The once flat stage becomes a deepening slope.
Enter the scene wasps and snakes with their vile hiss,
Poisoned apples and storms of alarming scope;
We are victims thrown into this deep abyss.
Where no villain dares to probe lie fields of hope,
Reaping crops that nourish actors of justice.
Your sound talent briefly dampened in this score,
Will be an echoing effigy no more.

There are stunning fireworks when your fingers pounce
On the blacks and ivories to mellow notes,
One with the hidden strings and acoustic sounds,
Drinking the meaning from life’s bittersweet floats.
I cherish your presence in our trying grounds;
We play our roles, conversing in double quotes.
At the still brink of song, I hear your passion,
Taste your modesty, and feel your compassion. 

You are Bach and Chopin with a fleeting plight.
As your sky is eclipsed by a single star,
Do not settle with the passing of the night.
You are a soldier; your hands are trained to spar,
So fight, fight against the dying of the light,
For a battle is not won without a scar.
May light’s warm rays bless your kind and gentle heart,
That finds strength in pain. And so you play your part.