An Accordion Refrain

February 11, 2013

He tests the keys of the accordion,

finding a song from his heart,

something melodic, solemn, and nostalgic

just like each before. His blind eyes roll

until he settles on a piece.

Both tourists and locals walk by,

but then pause three paces hence.

They are suddenly connected and awake

to the simple beauty of the notes.

They contain a hidden language of compulsion

and just as they pause so must I listen.

They drop some coins and slip back

to the sleep and business of everyday

but I stay as a hidden observer,

listening and watching from the sunlit window

of the Instituto de Artes Graficas.

His smile at the tinkle of coins dropping

is as joyful and genuine as his music.

The young man is neither a beggar

or disabled despite his eyes.

The coin is his deserved income

a mere compliment to his art.

To share his songs seems the greater reward.

As another finishes there is a moment of silence.

The noises of morning return;

cars, construction, and milling school children.

With one hand he toys with the keys,

tapping a soft whimsical collection of notes

letting the next tune choose itself

just as I, pen in hand, let the words come.

Around me is the German exhibition.

Colourful graphics of distant imaginations

touch me as much as his accordion

the cool breeze and the morning sun.

At the speed and spark of thoughts

across time and space

Creation and Inspiration greet me.

From a foreign person and from a foreign place

familiar emotions and ideas proliferate.

There is joy in the unexpected;

a feeling is given form and life and let travel

farther than we ever hoped or intended;

unintentionally, inexplicably, mystically.

The divine gives them life through us

our motions, writings, strokes and songs.

The artisans making bead necklaces,

the mothers and daughters walking briskly to brunch,

and the ice-cream vendors peddling down the street,

feel it yet unknowingly, like the warming sun

and the cooling breeze it touches them all

but touches them a mere moment to leave them just as quickly.

So I sit and think on this and how lucky we all are

but especially myself, to not only feel it at this time,

but to feel it, know it, and hold it forever.




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