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Always Somewhere Else #2: Blow on That Dusty Harmonica
Always Somewhere Else
Blow on That Dusty Harmonica

A poem for you, from the dusty archives of a rather, innocent, childlike writer I happen to know.

My life is a musical instrument.
Play on me, somebody.

Fat and brassy tuba,
Deep and low,
Melodious, soothing and sweet,
Squeeze out a few lovely bass notes
While the mood lasts.

High and jittery piccolo,
Almost too shrill for beauty,
Often too shrill for beauty,
Pipe a painful tune.
Make it short,
Then hide the piccolo
Where it can't hurt anyone's ears.

Triumphant trumpet,
You won't last long.
Pound out a fanfare, quick,
Celebrate the microscopic victories.

Sobbing violin,
Cry out your sorrows,
Wail to the skies of your loneliness,
Your grief at capricious life.
There is beauty in the silence
And solace in tears.
Pain is not forever.
Bow to the winds of fate.

Joyful mandolin,
Strum of the gaiety
In a sea-breeze on the sunny beach.
Pick out a playful melody,
Undercut by tuneful chords.
Enjoy it while it lasts.

Thoughtful cello,
Croon your musings.
Sing them to the open ears
Of the philosophical audience.
Pour out the dark ink on the white page,
Record it as it comes.
Lose not the mellow notes.

Graceful harp,
Dance your song
Across the stage of star-kissed night
And pastel sunrise.
Golden music drops
Like sunlight in a dusty room.
Perform your entrancing ballet,
Make it not fleeting.

Mournful, lonely harmonica,
Lilt your blues
To the navy of the sunset sky.
Tremolo in folksy rhythm,
Heart-of-America, dirt under fingernails.
Let the old prairie isolation
Have a brief voice in the silence.

My life is a musical instrument.
Play on me, Somebody.

A few sweet bass tuba groans,
A sharp piccolo interval.
Polish my rusty trumpet,
Wet my violin with sympathetic tears.
Tune my neglected mandolin,
Inspire the finger and bow on my cello.
Be the wind on the strings of my harp,
A graceful benediction on all I touch.

Oh Lord God, Maker of heaven and earth,
Sweep the dust off my soul,
Clog my too-used harmonica,
Then clear it again with the fire of Your Spirit.
My life is a musical instrument.
Be Thou my music, conductor, and player,
All in all, God above the heavens.

Blow on that dusty harmonica.

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