The Grand Piano

Photo by Scott Haefner
Photo by Scott Haefner

These notes are chromatic

Tumbling up and down

Mere half-steps

Semitones are impossible

My fingers cannot

Slip between keys

Into a dampening effect

Of felt touching felt

My foot twitches

Upon metal pedals

To sustain, to soften


This melody I’ve chosen

Is a tone cluster

A chaotic attempt to know

How to place my hands…correctly

Upon coldness, the feel

Of keys, plastic, polymeric dead

Seeking to revive, for

Only touch can be dynamic


I open the blackest of lids

Gaze at the crisscrossing strings

Pluck a few with my finger

Hold a few down to feel

The cycles produced by hammers

Hitting string, thumping

Placing myself between

Sound and silence, where

Only the most careful listener

Can read the melody I suffocate


I catch my breath, then lose it

Scraping my finger along vibrations

Low ones, stutter, jump,

High notes, tickle with

A pain, an abrasion, a thought

Everybody must feel this

Earthquakes, sky, a cloud full of rain?


Closing the lid, I look underneath

The legs of the piano appear

Too skinny to hold the weight

Precarious, unstable, fragile

Then my eyes survey the space

Atmosphere of a million melodies

And all the hearts that have

Embedded themselves in them

I must be careful with this song

And not force my arms down.

All depends upon my touch


(Read a short Christmas story by Elan here.)

34 Comments on “The Grand Piano

  1. I know you posted this a while back, but I was just browsing your blog 😀 I’ve never been much of a poetry fan, but this one struck a particular chord with me. No pun intended. I believe I enjoy your writing thoroughly!
    I can’t explain why, nor would I be well read enough to even try.

    I read that you like the readers critical view in one of the previous comments, so I will make a better effort on these comments in the future 😀

    Cheers to a new horizon I never thought I’d enjoy!


  2. I wonder, does the wood in the frame absorb the music, holding it close to richen and warm the next playing? alas for me, the picture leads me back to the puzzle upon which I’ve spent hours and hours these past few days…and I shudder to think how difficult a puzzle ‘twould be…perhaps made easier were I to play Chopin whilst puzzling… love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Atmosphere of a million melodies

    And all the hearts that have

    Embedded themselves in them

    I must be careful with this song

    And not force my arms down.

    All depends upon my touch”


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks. I tend to like the reader’s critical view, for when you read, it is just you and the words. Although, I like Mozart’s Piano concertos played upon the pianoforte, a piano with no pedals.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “I like it buttery on the bottom end, to tighten up and get woodier if Iean on it.
    The top clear and open and I want it to ring like a bell when I spank it. And in the middle, let it breathe. Too tight and it sounds like a banjo.”
    I once had an old grand piano chopped off after the pins for an advertisement. At the time I thought it humorous. Now it feels like conspiracy to murder. Enough.

    Nice plug there at the end for the cosmic radio.

    Liked by 1 person

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