The Orchestra Plays Nielsen’s ‘Inextinguishable’ – a poem by James Wood

The Orchestra Plays Nielsen’sInextinguishable’

to James Lowe

A shaman’s hands crafted this spell:
fingers wield bows, sawing at command –
God’s knitting needles, they knot each note
……………………………….into one fabric,
their music forging raw sound into magic.
Light swirls through each passage as the score
summons a fresh, seducing storm, a siren able
………………………………..to bless any man.

And at its centre, the conductor
invoking the griefs and ghosts
of the ages to this pagan communion
………………………………..with nature.
Each vibrato a sign from our creator,
every minim and crotchet an absolution,
angel wings dipped to the earthly host,
………………………………..arms aloft in prayer.

From this oval pit to the whole
ringing world, take these words as best:
music is life, and like it, inextinguishable.
………………………………..A principle
for every anxious soul to follow,
a tempo for our hammer-hearts’ crucible,
the beat that trips and will not rest
………………………………..as ages ebb and flow.

James W. Wood‘s work has appeared in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and South Africa, including the Times Literary Supplement, Poetry Review, The Boston Review, The South-West Review and many other journals and newspapers, including special features on poems.com and The Rochford Street Review (Australia). The author of five works of poetry and a pseudonymous thriller, he now lives on a rock in the Pacific Ocean with his wife, son and dog. Find him @James_W_Wood

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