A Christmas poem, about failing libido maybe or a dullness that seeps into the bones in winter and later life. Perhaps what Dylan Thomas calls the “dying of the light”; not that there is much rage in this poem, it is more a complaint about a general lack of intensity in a dull world. Yet now and then someone is inspirational and full of fire like Vasily Petrenko.
(For Vasily Petrenko)
The last shopping days,
the last December page
on the white wall above my desk;
Not an angel in Judea
but a man who puts out fires.
And lastly, the soft mist of rain,
no star-watcher’s breath on the frosty air
and where by day the sky gets through
an even softer blue.
I bring the rooted tree indoors
re-pot the thirsty root
with compost from the bag,
hang the lights from branch to branch
hoping the circuitry of energy
will flow anew.
These lights are old now
I cannot remember where I bought them.
The lacquer on the bulbs is worn;
the green brightest but the red pink,
the yellow lost and the blue so very pale
but yet again their glow fills
the small window of the room.
I sit peaceful, comfortable and warm,
in pastel shades
and listen to this young Russian,
making his orchestra play
with such intensity.
* Vasily Petrenko is the 38 yr. old principal conductor of The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.