A- A A+

The maestro and the war-scarred boy

5 Comments
Jena Woodhouse |  27 August 2017

 

Vengerov's violin

Symbiosis with the instrument intensifies.

In intimate rehearsal of its lives,

the young man senses other hands,

the artisan who crafted it

for other fingers, other strings,

before it passed in turn to him;

to soar beyond the fleeting day,

the repertoires young lovers crave;

to serve the muse of perfect time,

aligning spirit, heart and mind.

 

He takes his flawless artistry

to children traumatised by war,

and plays for them this old violin,

his oracle of everything.

One lad has improvised

an instrument: two strings,

a stick as bow; and thrown away

the rifle he was issued with

to maim, destroy.

 

Together they make music,

the young maestro and the war-

scarred boy, learning from each other,

sharing joy.

 


Jena WoodhousePoems by Jena Woodhouse have twice been shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize (2013, 2015). She is the author/compiler/translator of seven published books in various genres. In May 2016 she was writer-in-residence at Booranga Writers Centre, Wagga Wagga NSW.

In 1997, violinist Maxim Vengerov became UNICEF's first Envoy for Music and has met and performed for children traumatised by war in such places as Uganda, Thailand and Kosovo.

 



Comments

Comments should be short, respectful and on topic. Email is requested for identification purposes only.

Word Count: 0 (please limit to 200)

Submitted comments

Music is so powerful and healing. It reaches deep inside our being. So wonderful to take music to traumatised children.

Monica Phelan 29 August 2017

I find this piece of writing very moving and that doesn't happen very often. Thank you for beautiful words and imagery.

Bronwyn Martin 29 August 2017

I really like the final image of the two sharing music and joy, it finishes the poem with a sense of hope. Thank you.

Nelia Hennessy 29 August 2017

Yes, healing and hope. Music and poetry. Thank you, Jena.

Gillian 30 August 2017

So much hope and respect within these spare words. A beautiful piece of writing.

Jim KABLE 06 September 2017

Similar articles

Awareness Campaign and Despair Stalks

2 Comments
Haley Joray Arnold and Cassandra Golds | 01 August 2017

xxxxxYou used to have feet like a Russian ballerina/Arches (like ones plebeians would stand under, lose their breath for a moment)/The weight they carry remarkable for the/Tiny bones inside ... Despair stalks the house/Outside, like weather/Inside, like air/It has no form ...


In defence of hope

7 Comments
John Ellison Davies | 02 August 2017

JudgeWhy do we get out of bed in the morning? Out of habit certainly, but at some level we have to believe that in the day ahead we may make some small incremental progress toward our goals, whatever they may be. A small improvement in the garden. The flourish of a job well done. We must have hope that we will find some joy in the day, some satisfaction that brings a sense of well-being.


Tomatoes, harbour

1 Comment
Rory Harris | 22 August 2017

xxxxx

tomatoes

you fade into the hospital white

above your head a row of floral Hallmark cards

as a husband’s garden once filled every available

backyard space with colour

the glasshouse arrived after retirement


David v Goliath in the beautiful British countryside

Megan Graham | 16 August 2017

xxxxxOne lone man daring to interfere with the evil plans of the rich and powerful: it’s not exactly a new angle, but there are a few scraps of satisfaction to be found in Joel Hopkin’s latest film Hampstead – just not in the realm of originality. It’s a sleepy story that meanders along with a mildly pleasant mediocrity.


Non-ants and animal whimdom

2 Comments
Barry Gittins | 24 July 2017

xxxxxants don’t sleep elephants weep presidents creep oolong teas steep and we observe. dictators serve goosekillers swerve ignorance hits curve art shows verve and we obsess. rabbits stress tortoises press paedophiles confess corporations bless and we object