J.P. Celia

On Coming Upon A Discarded Piano

Had it been discarded there
Among that wood, or did the house, formerly intact and fair,
In which it used to gleam
And gather dust, unbuild itself and scatter, leaving it? If so, no overarching beam
No iron grate, or soft, domestic voice had left its trace
Upon that wild place.

Discarded, as it must have been,
What rare man, shriveled in soul and skin,
Had thrown out,
Perhaps with a final and petty shout,
The beautiful black box that once sent up from ivory teeth
An ethereal voice? Now, underneath

Its golden pedals, shoot the rude weeds
Of an unkempt wood, beads
Of dew bespeckle its legs, and gurgling from the weather-warped lid
Is not music, but the green fingers of a vigorous plant, which, amid
The watchful birds, the trees, looming and strong,
Play nature’s soundless and mysterious song.

No Foul Thing

I rarely contemplate suicide
In the throes
Of a profound sadness. The thoughts subside
When turned to, and will not keep. There’s an odd pleasure, I suppose,
In profundity, however dark, as I know it.
The dissolution of love,
A miscarried infant, for whom candles are lit,
The ruin of scandal; these are too rich to be rid of.

No. It is not even sadness especially
That makes ending oneself rear up like a romance
And spread like mellifluous gold in the mind, not dreadfully,
As it usually does, breaking a joyous trance.
It is often the seemingly inconsiderable things,
Those pestilent little absurdities
That plague one’s commoner hours: the vulgar presences, the kings
Of a coarse culture, the opposite of Demosthenes

In the swinish talk of two teen boys,
The prick of civility denied,
The toys
The irreverent make of the ethereal or grand, like when they tried
The genius of Newton, and flung themselves in awkward suits
To the moon, only to golf there and plant flags.
It’s these petty kinds of pangs; it’s the blasphemy of brutes
That make of Death no foul thing in rags.

J.P. Celia © 2015