BY JAN HAAG

POETRY + ESSAYS + MUSIC + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO





FOR VELMA HILDRETH

8-23/24-OO

On August 21, Jim Hildreth contacted me via cyberspace. He asked if I knew any poems about pianos, for his ninety-six year old mother is in failing health and he wanted, somehow, to honor her love for the piano, her love for music. I did not know such a poem, but I said I would write one for him. He sent me information about his mother and his family. It was a pleasure to write

For Velma Hildreth.




Velma played the piano.
She loved her family.
She loved her church.
She loved lively music,
patriotic music, marches.
She loved the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
She loved the tone of the black keys, the white keys.

As a Grand Organist for the Eastern Star
she wrote marches:
made music for others to play,
but was too modest to publish.
She loved the rhythm, the joy
that came from the white keys, the black keys.
She loved the tempered scale,
each note, measured, exact, disciplined.
Her grand piano was her treasure.

And,
with the care she treasured her music,
she treasured her family, two girls and a boy,
making them happy, filling them with measured
exactness, love for discipline, love for life,
accomplishment for the weekdays,
pleasure in the Sundays
Every occasion made her happy.

The black keys, the white keys trilled their music
for the people of the farms near Crescent, Okalahoma
The tones of the white keys, the black keys rang out
for her family, for her church, on the piano,
on the organ, even in the nursing home, she played
-- for as long as she could --
music for the seniors.
For those with arthritis, with frailties
of body and soul.

She played
the white keys, the black keys
-- for as long as she could.
Old, gentle, with special talent, special love, special music,
Velma played the piano during most of the days of her life.

A soul may migrate with music.
Be quiet. Listen. Sit beside the grand piano.
Hear the lift and fall of the angel's wings,
two notes of a song:
the black keys,
the white keys,
the scale of ascending harmony.
Peace and music be with you always,
Velma, dear Mother.








Copyright © 2000 Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: jhaag@u.washington.edu




OTHER POEMS



BY JAN HAAG


POETRY + MUSIC + ESSAYS + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO



21st CENTURY ART, C.E. - B.C., A Context