Tra La - poem by Stanley Moss

Stanley Moss

In the garden or on my fire escape,
I water Peace Lilies, flower pots.
I plant flowers in full sun, shade,
if they need it. I often fail,
flowers die.
I’ve heard flowers play a divertimento,
I’ve seen a rose bush die,
given last rites, Buddhist services,
another rose bush mourned by blooming.

I whistle a dirge without thinking,
word rhythms certainly, no ensemble
for clarinet, horn, drums and cello.
Yet I have overtures in me,
solos, sonatas, military bands.
I want to write a quintet for strings
that fits local architecture,
near a crucifix in a synagogue,
Hebrew Bibles in Christian churches,
Korans among racks for hymnals.
One sky above – why not one religion?
I sing my hims and hers
to pilgrims walking with bare feet,
preaching one religion. Tra la, tra la.