Schubert, Love & the Trout Quintet

(after Ron Pretty’s Poem “Four Hands”)

drunk on melody: 
the music school’s
broad halls edged with slouching 
squares of light

shared that rippling 
lucid treble.
I saw the river in
window-glint 

the flash of  trout - 
their spangled dance, 
and my cheeks
swam with pink, 
remembering the way

you annexed my hand, 
sowing warmth
generous as your oaken eyes, 
gold-green beams,
spring’s masquerade tingling in our skins

we watched sky-fade
like paint or tired leaves 
or the nebulous interrogations
of night, its crossing galaxies

your thumbnail 
claimed stars from my palms
and my eyes / beat time 
between rippled notes

like grape tendrils
the pianist’s old griefs, 
wound  about our ankles 
and the purple inside us 

our tangled beetroot love




This poem began by trying to be a Glosa (from day 3 of NaPoWriMo). Ron Pretty’s poem was the base I started from. He talks about Schubert and in an effort to get myself in the mood, I listened to The Trout Quintet as I wrote. Soon, I realised that trying to meld Pretty’s lines with my own was not working. So I scooped mine out to see what emerged. I found a kind of love poem nestled in there.

10 thoughts on “Schubert, Love & the Trout Quintet

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