Purpose Vision

for Jennifer B.

Your sight was twenty-twenty, but at forty
an ailment of your eyes caused it to shrink,
so its perfection till that time would shortly,
and shockingly, to almost nothing sink.
And you felt that your life had reached its end
and grieved and wept about your vision loss,
about the woes that time and age can send,
as randomly, it seems, as a dice’s toss.
But then you met some people who helped you,
and for your children’s sake you learned to live
and found that there’s still much for you to do,
still much that people need that you can give.
Your story shows that through love’s ties that bind
we see our purpose, though we may be blind.

Mario A. Pita

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Pianist Epiphany

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Dissolution

As I was playing piano, suddenly,
I felt myself dissolve into the song,
so it seemed there was nothing left of me
but music, and the feeling was so strong
I understood why pianists often wear
impassioned faces as they play a piece,
because they feel that they’re no longer there,
except as music—beautiful release.
It dawned on me, by when the tune was done,
that just as there are many melodies,
but Music, of whatever kind, is one,
so we are one though numerous as these:
dissolving in a song, my separateness
gave way to oneness of our humanness.

Melodic Self

A German ditty I have liked to play
is sweet, except the aftertaste it gives,
in lyrics that remind me time will slay
everyone, and only music lives
forever, unlike people, bound to die,
and, sadly, this is evidently true:
while music lives forever, you and I
may pass as all the planet’s creatures do.
But then I played and felt myself dissolve,
through the piano I was playing on,
and death was no predicament to solve,
since it no longer mattered I’d be gone:
I know that I must die in not too long,
but I was not my self—I was the song.

Piano Mantras - 2

Mario A. Pita

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Eclipse

Your face eclipsed the sun while you were driving,
the sun descending to the western horizon,
long before the time you’d be arriving,
yet you saw just the lane you kept your eyes on;
the road ahead, the way you had to go,
without a chance to see what I then saw—
a face eclipse that turned into a glow
and then a light-burst filling me with awe,
for you, it seemed, had been replaced by light,
exploding brilliantly where your face was,
where it had formed a temporary night,
the way the moon, eclipsing sunshine, does.
You blocked the sun and made a small eclipse,
then light dissolved your nose, your eyes, your lips.

Mario A. Pita

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Piano Inventor

I’m deeply grateful to a person I
won’t meet, since he lived centuries ago,
for what he did before he had to die,
Italian man, Cristorfi, Bartolomeo.
He tuned the clavichords whose tones were quiet,
and built them too, and harpsichords, more loud,
from instruments, a whisper or a riot,
and hearers loved them, and performers bowed.
But he wished that one instrument could sound
from soft to loud to everywhere between,
so he conjured, devised, invented, found,
the way one could, and people still convene
to play and hear the treasure he left for us.
May angels greet him with a heaven chorus.

Grand Piano MET DP300906.jpg
http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/501788
Inspired by the story of Cristorfi’s life as told by Elizabeth Rusch, The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori & the Invention of the Piano

Mario A. Pita

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Bulb Dialogue

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At times, I have been proud of being bright,
of giving light as if it were my own,
like writers who enlighten when they write,
illuminating what had been unknown.
And though the light has flickered off and on,
or sometimes isn’t luminous but dim,
I still felt it was mine, as if the dawn
was at my beck and call, to suit my whim.
But I know I am powerless and dark
without Your love—Your electricity—
and I, at best, give off a little spark
from You—the source of luminosity.
As humble bulb, pride can’t go to my head,
because I know You give the light I shed.

Mario A. Pita

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First Impression

for Courtney

Exuding awesomeness in much the way
that flowers emanate a pleasant scent,
her personality feels like a ray,
a brilliant beaming from the firmament
that lights the lives of others every day
on Earth where it appears she has been sent,
like color to a world that has gone gray,
or joy that makes life’s beauty evident.
Though some may think that I exaggerate,
that bias bends me toward hyperbole,
for nobody could ever be that great,
and love, or something else, has blinded me,
I know I’ve understated what is true:
she’s a light of the world, and my day too.

Franz Marc, Birds, 1914

Mario A. Pita

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Ripples

When raindrops splash into a puddle, they
give birth to circles, spreading from each splash,
the ripples that expand then fade away,
replaced by more when clouds have in their stash
more pregnant droplets which give birth as well
to ripple populations in the water,
concentric multitudes that gently swell,
each ripple then a droplet’s sun or daughter.
And as I walk past droplet families
and watch the children ripples spread and fade,
it seems to me our lives are much like these;
we make a splash and from the splash we’ve made,
in spans that, cosmically, are fleeting too,
we touch like intersecting ripples do.

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Mario A. Pita

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