Ballade For a Street Musician

“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_ he is 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.

As Bell then bends 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 blank faces, cold and wan.

How busy are the echoed strings that sway;

how fast the people, moving hither-yon.

Now,  Joshua Bell, musician; an icon

with flying bow, his violin extols

the morning air; his music’s lexicon

as someone drops a dollar in his bowl.


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.

(form: “French Ballade”; not Ballad)

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Hannah Spuler

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