“Ballade for a Street Musician”


Joshua Bell

“Ballade for a Street Musician”

So heavenly, from other worlds, notes stray

in station of the Metro, Washington.

Great music moves along a vast arcade

as people hurry on hear Mendelssohn.

But Bach is hushed as morning rush has won

though Joshua plays with all his heart and soul.

A street musician’s image most may shun

as someone drops a dollar in his bowl.

An anxious crowd walk by.  They cannot stay

to hear this troubadour play on and on.

That fear of being late his tunes allay

for one who leans against the wall with phone

and listens to the sweet, sustaining tone.

Then Bell must bend his bow to charm; cajole.

One listens as arpeggios now moan

as someone drops a dollar in his bowl.

There’s wonders to be heard at break of day.

Notes float among their faces, blank and wan.

How busy are the echoed strings that sway;

how fast the people, moving hither-yon.

So, Joshua Bell, musician; an icon

with bending bow, his violin extols

and sweeps the air; his music’s lexicon

as someone drops a dollar in his bowl.

Envoi:

A Stradivari is, to some, a beacon

yet only seven stop to hear the whole

of Paganini’s music for a reason

as someone drops a dollar in his bowl.