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Conference Pear
Órla de Brí

Poetry and Music

If you have been keeping up with me, you will know that I am on the road to a Masters in Creative Writing in Manchester. During the term, I became involved with something called the Rosamund Prize, which is a collaboration been postgraduate composer students in the Royal Northern College of Music and postgraduate poet students at Manchester Metropolitan University. The upshot was a piece jointly created with Nate Chivers, a PhD student from the US. It was performed at a competitive concert at the end of April. It was an amazing experience and I am so pleased with the result. So, if you click on the link below, you should see the performance. I have also added the original poem which is on a previous page but here it is again I hope you enjoy listening to and watching. Enjoy, share and send back some feedback.

 
 

At the French Italian Border

 

The young French cellist holds

his 17th century Stradivarius gently by its neck,

rechecks its tuning. Eyes sparkling,

face handsome, smooth, attractive,

fashionable evening shadowed chin.

Taking a deep breath, holding it,

he scans the dressing room one last time.

 

A young African man slinks along the station,

wearing a wrecked bomber jacket,

old shirt, torn jeans, broken running shoes.

He has a look of permanent hunger,

backpack looks surprisingly light,

presuming a journey from who knows

where over who knows how long.

 

The cellist acknowledges the applause

from the full house, takes his place

on the elevated platform,

places his precious instrument precisely

and carefully on its spike, steadies himself,

readies his bowing hand, fingers the strings.

He nods to the conductor.

 

The young man moves like a shadow,

lingers beside the train door,

notes the Polizii positioned along the station.

The whistle blows, doors begin to close.

He checks one last time, leaps aboard,

moves swiftly along the carriage,

finds a seat, drops in, crouches low.

 

Peter Clarke

November 2018