There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life:
Music and Cats. -- Albert Schweitzer


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The fingers search so cautiously the key,
Pressing firmly in and yet without a sound.
A hand withdraws to rub an aching knee,
The other hanging lifeless toward the ground.

The right hand hovers once above the board
And sends an angry fist into the white
Where notes are dropped and scattered from the chord
Like shadows in the pale cold blue of night.

The fist unwraps, its fury now a smolder
And tucked inside, a hand with lines so deep
They trace the path of one man growing older,
Of one man fighting with eternal sleep.

The crooked fingers worn away by years
Hover slightly just above the keys
And break the blurry fall of one man's tears.
And pressing in they find what no man sees.

Within the minor melancholy of the notes,
An echo when the hands succomb to age,
That like a haunting specter sadly floats,
Like distant words of one forgotten sage.

-- Submitted by Mark Haefele from Denver, CO


I heard sweet highland music drift across the glen
From a lonely highland piper who from the hills appeared, and then
The mists did slowly rise up from the heather on the ground
And the skies were brightly lit up by an old familiar sound
of bagpipes and drummers marching homewards from the war
Once more victorious, although pools of blood I saw,
With faces that were grieving for brothers, sons and friends
Who all had fought for freedom, until the bitter end.

Eyes were fixed like bayonets, were stained and smeared with death,
Bellies were full of hunger, but there was no time to rest
As the enemy had gathered, regrouped with new laid plans
To regain the advantage that was taken from their hands
By men in kilts and tartans whose allegiance to the cause
Could not be broken by the mighty English Rose,
Or the longbows that were aimed and fired to foil these fearless men
Who were led by the highland piper through the mist - enshrouded glens.

New battle roared and English sword won favour for a while,
There was no calculation in their plans that Scottish Guile
Would foil and thrice outwit them, as they stood and faced defeat,
They had no other option but to turn and then retreat
Back to the lowlands: to the homelands that they knew,
To rethink how those bagpipes and their tunes could be subdued,
Why the fight for freedom was a fight that would not die
But ran deep within each Scotsman's heart and kept their spirits high

That lived and breathed, would never leave, from the cradle to the grave
That bred a strength of character that is always on parade,
As if a mighty peacock as it spread its coloured tail.
The Scotsman's fight for freedom will never be derailed.
Will always be a part of life in times of war or peace
Written as an epilogue when life on earth has ceased,
When bricks and stone are all that's left, when the oxygen has gone
The eerie sound of bagpipes will forever linger on.

© 2002 Alan Glendinning
All rights reserved

-- Submitted by Alan Glendinning from Aberdeen, Scotland


The bow lightly touched the strings,
As the music filled the air,
And the fiddler closed his eyes,
So the melody was clear,

The dancers moved with ease,
Across the smooth plank floor,
While the fiddler played his tune,
The sound went out the door.

The music rose to heaven,
Where God, His ear attuned,
Smiled His affirmation,
For the beauty brought to bloom.

The fiddler finished playing,
Put down his bow and 'lin,
Closed his eyes to rest a while,
For the music had to end.

 -- Submitted by Norman Edward Rourke from Beggs, OK


I used to think I'd never turn to country.
(I liked a few like Johnny's "A Boy Named Sue.")
Miller, Willie, Campbell, Cline, Lynn, Nany:
They'd "Walk the Line" or "Walk All Over You."

The 70's arrived, and it was common
For country to cross over the radio dial:
Newton John's or Denver's with lyrics homespun;
Parton's, Mandrell's, Rondstadt's and Gayle's had style.

"Elvira," "Lucille," "Margaritaville," and "Men,"
And "I'm A Survivor" were hits on which later I'd stumble;
Reeve's bittersweet "Wish I Could Hurt That Way Again,"
And funny Mac Davis finding it "Hard To Be Humble."

Now I'm "Riding With Private Malone." "Have Mercy."
Those pesky country twangs might still reverse me!

-- Submitted by Andrea Dietrich from Pleasant Grove, Utah


I love to sing Your praises,
And make a joyful noise.
I love to raise my voice in song
It is among my greatest joys.

I offer You my songs, Lord.
I hope Your ears they please.
I know I'm no great singer,
But singing puts my soul at ease.

I offer songs of sorrow,
And joyous ones also.
I offer songs that praise Your name,
On pitches, high and low.

Humbly I stand before You,
Singing from my heart.
I feel nearer my God to Thee,
And I hope we'll never part.

I sing my songs of worship,
And celebration too,
Thanksgivings and devotions,
I render all to You.

I sing Hallelujah,
Hosanna on high.
And I hope to keep on singing,
Until the day I die.

-- Submitted by Margaret R. Morgan-Monges from Baltimore, MD


The music is too faint to hear
With normal type of hearing
But I fancy sounds that reach my ear
In the little clearing.

I imagine I hear melodies
In a quiet glade:
Crickets play the violins,
A giant spider plucks the strings
Of its webby harp.

A hummingbird provides the pitch,
As gentle breezes blow,
Morning-glory clarions
Are played by busy bees;
A praying mantis waves his own
Director's wand with ease.

Such is the music that I hear,
When walking in a wood.
It's only for the inner ear
But clearly understood.

-- Submitted by Carol Merolla from Johnston, Rhode Island
e-mail: AFD10@home.Com


He was the greatest of the great
A master of the strings
The strains from gently fingered chords
Took flight like angel wings

 He rode on horseback into town
To strum his sweet guitar
They came to dance and hear him play
From villages afar

 His hands were well accomplished
Though still of youthful age
And she was always there to hear him
Play upon the stage

 To this dark exotic beauty
He would play sweet lullabies
He said he saw the Southern Cross
reflected in her eyes

 He felt her gaze upon him
With every note he played
The more she watched, the lovelier
The music that he made

 One night he pledged his love to her
And made a promise true
"If you will give your hand to me
I'll play for only you"

 And so they wed, he kept his word
And never went to town
For his love was much more dear
Than recognition he had found

 A promise made so long ago
But to this very day
From behind his little ranch house
You can hear the music play

 Segovia-like strums float down
From up atop the hill
The moonlit palms stop swaying
And the bamboo stalks are still

 And she is there to hear his song
His wondrous serenade
Each night the music's lovelier
Than anything he's played

 He lights a cigarette and waits
The moment to be right
Pleading any cloud to pass
And open up the night

 The moment that the moonlight comes
To touch upon the strings
He cradles his guitar
And to his tender love he sings

 He gazes at the Southern Cross
And plays through loving tears
And she looks down and smiles
As she has for many years

 The Southern Cross is brighter here
Than any other place
As the master plays his music
Starlight shines upon his face

 -- Submitted by Elizabeth Santos from Pottstown, PA


Music permeates the room
nostalgia floods my mind with
memories of a distant past.
When did I hear that music and where?
What lifetime was I in?

Was I a man, lovingly serenading
my bride as a Venetian gondolier?
Or, was I the bride, being comforted
by that lovely song?

The music changes, martial music,
military boots, what war? and where?
Was I a private in that war?
Chapel bells accounce the time for evening vespers.
I race across the courtyard to get there on time.

Life changes through the ages,
but the music remains the same.
I cry for what was past and yet the same.

-- Submitted by Dorothy C. Fox from Elyria, OHIO


Lovely the music sweet violin sings
How many bows have slipped over your strings?
How many eyes looking on with respect?
How many fingers caressing your neck?

Fiddle of bluegrass and banjo of rag
Thousands of notes played with never a lag
How many pics plucking colorful tunes?
How many strains under old southern moons?

Weathered guitar with a lazy old hum
Passion's flamenco in hot rhyhmic strum
How many notes in baroque-worn guitars?
How many songs under how many stars?

Harp's golden threads are like magical strings
Plucked by an angel with opal-white wings
Is it that God makes your beauteous sound?
Or are your sweet melodies heavenly bound?

I think that the universe pleasantly rings
Each day with the beautiful music of strings

-- Submitted by Elizabeth Santos from Pottstown, PA

I hear a beautiful sound.
I just shut my eyes and drown away,
In the droning of the song.

The song plays and plays.
And the days just pass by,
And run away.

This wonderful thing,
Is around us everyday,
It never really seems to go away.

It can make you get up and dance.
It can inspire people,
to do things that they have never done.

But most of all,
Music is just fun.

-- Submitted by Amie from Cincinnati, Ohio
e-mail: AMIE2311@EXCITE.COM

That snuffling, whistling refrain
repeated throughout every night
can be annoying to me, my love,
can wake me from sleep with fright.

It's like a tune you have mastered,
all the notes memorized.
An A, a C, a G, a D,
Then F sharp in surprise!

Yet there is something assuring
in its constancy, my dear,
for as long as I feel these vibrations
I know that you are near.

I dread the night that will come
when silence lasts too long,
and I'll awake with a start
to find that you are gone.

Do snorers snore songs in heaven,
keeping time to an angels' harp?
If so, please send me a tape,
but darling, please keep it short!

-- Submitted by Brenda Bruner from Webb City, MO

"To Sing Like You..."

Alive, just to feel this.
Hearing it is Bliss...
It's an Angel's Voice that I listen to...
The type of voice that penetrates right through you.

Beauty whispering into my ear...
This emotion-music that I hear.
The sweetest voice is ecstasy.
His lyricism, his divine rhapsody.

I feel his music, he makes me see...
I listen, and love what it does to me.

-- Submitted by Abagail Waller from Richmond, VA


High and happy, sweet and low
That's always how the music goes
Somebody went and broke my heart
But then I found a magic harp

Sometimes I get up in the dark
And I pick up my magic harp
It makes the saddest, sweetest sound
That can bring a true love 'round

The strings they pluck, the bells they ring
The angels' voices rise and sing
'Til wayward moods and blue emotions
Melt into sweet and still devotion

-- Submitted by Lisa G. Leming from San Diego, CA


This violin so lovingly shaped
By caring hands, its magic waits.
Silently its power strains
Inside the curves of polished grains.
Where is the touch of fingers, worn?
Can it still tear my heartstrings
For which it was born?

-- Submitted by Kenneth Hoffman from Morristown, NJ


When I hear the sound of the fife and drum,
I want to sing out with a voice fulsome
The sound of the music makes me gay
It uplifts me from day to day.

To dance in vibrant bright colored clothes
To share the song with some of those
Who sing and dance within God's sight
On sunny days or starlit night.

To twist, to twirl, to whirl around
To jump for joy, feet off the ground
To flee from all of life's restraints
The music varied as a palette of paints.

To dance on, not touching a shimmering stream
To be alive and to reach a dream.

-- Submitted by Geraldine Shadian from Kihei, Hawaii


There is harmony in the bird choir
coming from the limbs of trees
the melodious tones are carried
by a strong or gentle breeze.

They sing with such perfection
each note is pitched just right
As all the little feathered throats
Trill the darkness into light.

Each day they praise the sunrise
and twitter through scorching rays
or softly chirp the moisture
on snowy and rainy days.

Shielded only by the leaf tops
During nature's many seasons
They fill the air with music
Glad to be alive…the reason!

-- Submitted by Burmah M. Teague from Chickamauga, GA


God gave us each our own music
and the world to be our stage
but most of us are living
with our music still unplayed

This gift that we are given
is ours to use if we dare
it is our greatest tool
to show how much we care

"Martin" shared his music
gave us all a dream
his message was very simple
"Let Freedom Ring"

"John" stood up and played his music
the song he shared was true
"Don't ask your country to make things right
ask instead what YOU can do"

A diminutive committed lady
so fragile and so weak
"Teresa" touched every nation
each time that she would speak

A simple comic and actor
he shared his special song
"Bob" lifted up our spirits
from World War II to Vietnam

One song was sung so long ago
that's been shared throughout the years
a "Carpenter" gave his music
that will save all those who hear

Your music has the power
our future's in our hands
never doubt that words can change the world
it's the only thing that ever has

-- Submitted by Jim Serviolo from Valley Center, CA


It overtakes my soul
Conquers every thought
Portrays the deepest of emotions
Accomplishes the greatest feats
Negative vibes slowly interrupted
Soothing beats intertwine smiles
It goes on, and on.

-- Submitted by Christine Pendergrass from Dallas, TX




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