Cécile Chaminade's Costly Camphor Caravan


 

                                I

 

She tunes a Pomeranian in A minor on the didgeridoo,

lounging on a harp of teal terra cotta tiles,

her head on a porcelain pillow of pink Limoges.

Tremolos among the cellos resonate restive protocols.

 

The lunar tetrad paints four stepping stones

to walk across a blood-red bridge.

I dance upon the ledge of four bright windows,

a balcony of spiraled shafts of sacred light.

 

Against the waning moon, stretched scarlet streams

of shimmering shades—magical mithril mists—

glow pregnant with prophetic warning:  O Seeker,

guide the falcon gliding past crewel clouds on phantom wings!


 

                                II

 

Fibonacci feathers, stitched like sharps and flats in E Minor,

cascade onto an ivy-covered roof.  An oil painting on canvas

against a brick wall in a cobblestone street bares its teeth.

The French horn on the bistro chair by a round table mutes itself. 

 

A manuscript shadowing page seventeen waits for the horn to sound.

Might this be the Saxe-Breteuil?  A man and a woman

garrisoned clandestinely in the garden behind a cottage

claw at an ancient promise that tavil drums shall begin.

 

The stiletto glinting beneath the water in the pool of lilies questions:

Is that blood on the tiles?   Wine?  Diapasons dredge a didgeridoo.

"And why the number seventeen?" she asks and wrings her hands.

"Symbolic, perchance," he quipped, chanting camphor cantabile.

 

 

                                               —Copyright 2014 Robert E. Romanelli