Apr/May 2020 Poetry

Franz Liszt in my Garden

by Bob Bradshaw

Multimedia painting by Janet Bothne

Multimedia painting by Janet Bothne

Franz Liszt in my Garden

A bee in yellow trousers
moves from a black-eyed susan

to an iceberg rose's pleated dress
the way I move from moment

to moment, savoring
what I can. I inhale

the vanilla scent
of a sweet autumn clematis,

and think of Franz Liszt bent over
his keyboard, like a sapling

after a strong gust—his face
pale as a magnolia blossom's

as his fingers trickle
over the keys.

The next moment he's tickling
the keys faster and faster,

his eyes turning the page
long before his hand

touches it. "Love your life"
was often what Franz played

in his songs to the women
who swooned like cut flowers

for him, their applause
sweeping across the theatre

like a shower lifting her skirts
as she runs across a tin roof.

I lift my head dreamily
from a morning glory the way I imagine

Franz lifted his from another
night's rhapsody.


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