Omnipotent Orchestrator

I wrote this in 1991 during Desert Storm when Iraq began launching Scud Missiles into Israel. I came across a report about a symphony, performed during a Scud attack. During the attack, the conductor continued playing despite warnings.

As always, enjoy!

This is how it happened: the lights
Swallowed the pupils of my eyes,
And the crowd’s faces were transposed
By the engraven light.

But I knew.
They were all there:
Back-to-back, shoulder-to-shoulder—
Each face hiding the other from view.
Hands clapped together
And reverberated against the walls
Until the walls died down.

I cut the silence,
With my steel baton
My synchronized, second hand calmed
The speeding woodwinds.

Then, a screaming horn—
Apart from the symphony—
Halted my directing hands.
“A Scud missile is coming!”

Wood, brass all fell
To the floor,
Relinquished by players
Whose scampering feet
Scurried to exit the stage.

The heads facing
Frantically consulted
Each other
Then reached for the floors
Reappearing with entombed faces
And masked senses.

I cut the noise nobly
With the steely rod again—

I picked up some cast-aside wood
And sawed it
With the edge of my hand;
Its stretched catgut
Screamed of my virtuosity.

Once again the crowd applauded,
And I departed from their resurrected

Posted in Perspective, Poem for Your Day, Poetry