Violoncello Lament

A Poem

By Alun Robert


Stand alone
In the congregation
Everyone here
Just one missing
Bless the bow
Infuse with resin
Breathe deeply
Like you’ve never
Stretch your fingers
One by one
Shed a tear
Shed inhibitions
Clasp the ribs
Between your legs
Caress the beast
As your first lover
Owlet your neck
Straighten your back
Search your soul
Find inspiration.

Stroke the gut
Turn the pegs
One by one
Tune scordatura
Look around
Glance at the score
Remind yourself
Of its minor key
Finger the neck
Dynamic tension
Thrust the bow
Back and forward
Apply vibrato
Run glissando
Note by note
Bar through bar.

Feel the chorus
In full voice
Inhale the floral
Display wafting
Hear footsteps
Along the aisle
Sense the entourage
Approaching slow.

Find the lament
Within your soul
Let it flow
Like a pìobaire
Control the anger
Touch the pain
Remove the hurt
Of haunted years
Remember times
Both good and bad
Year upon year
Decade by decade
Mourn moments
Days gone by
Long to be
At one again.

Sense blood run
Off raging fingers
Mix with sweat
From your brow
Then drive ahead
Crescendo comes
Up and up
Towards the climax
Embellish tears
Of mixed emotions
Kill the lament
Tarry a while
Pain’s exorcised
Glad it’s passed
Listen to your heart
Slow the beating
Au revoir to the past
Ingest the moment
Breathe deeply and pause
Thank God it’s over.