Music Lesson

Imagine hearing the music in a darkened room –
a church hall, a country house in front of a log fire,
a cave. Something happens, suddenly you’re outside it,
or inside it, you’re not listening any more, you are
the irregular rhythm, the slap-slap of bare feet on wet rock,
the scream of pain, the angry chop of the piano chords,
the fluttering of half-heard words, an incoherence of
thought: did she say blood? I thought this was an
art song and she’s singing about blood? You feel the threat
hidden somewhere in the music, the threat of
a mistake, an unpleasant noise; or a raw emotion,
a whiff of the graveyard, a curse.

The church hall, the cosy fire, fade away,
and the cold moor beckons.

This poem refers to the homage to Schubert.