Saturday, March 28, 2009


With a black fedora cocked to one side of his head and a plaid scarf knotted round his neck, he sat by the side of the road, playing a trumpet. Years of laughter were crosshatched round his closed eyes and his espresso hands held the glowing gold trumpet with the easy familiarity of one who had long ago mastered his art. No pedestrians on this stretch of road, no coins to be thrown his way, he played full out for no one but himself. Red changed to green and I drove away, but the sight of him wove ribbons of wonder through my thoughts all afternoon, tying up a memory of this favourite poem.


Who are without mercy,
Who confide in trumpet flowers,
Who carry loose change in their pockets,
Who dress in black velvet,
Who wince and fidget like bats,
Who balance their haloes on hatracks,
Who watch reruns of famine,
Who powder their noses with pollen,
Who laugh and unleash earthquakes,
Who sidle in and out of our dreams

Like magicians, like childhood friends,
Who practice their smiles like pirates,
Who exercise by walking to Zion,
Who live on the edge of doubt,
Who cause vertigo but ease migraines,
Who weep milky tears when troubled,
Whose night sweats engender the plague,
Who pinion their arms to chandeliers,
Who speak in riddles and slant rhymes,
Who love the weak and foolhardy,
Who lust for unripe persimmons,
Who scavenge the fields for lost souls,
Who hover near lighthouses,
Who pray at railroad crossings,
Who supervise the study of rainbows,
Who cannot blush but try,
Who curl their hair with corkscrews,
Who honeymoon with Orion,
Who are not wise but pure,
Who behave with impious propriety,
Who hourly scour our faces with hope,
Whose own faces glow like radium,

Whom we've created in our own form,
Who are without mercy, seek and yearn
To return us like fossilized roses
To the wholeness of our original bloom.
by Maurya Simon


  1. Interesting blog post. A stranger on the street or who? Love this painting, btw.

  2. Pamela, had it been me, I would have parked the car and sat in the gutter if need be to listen until he stopped playing, I just cannot resist a well played trumpet.

  3. Pamela,
    How lovely the way you link your sightings and thoughts with poetry - a truly romantic soul I think, xv.

  4. Great painting and poem, Pamela! thanks for your visit and comment and have a terrific Sunday!

  5. That was lovely! I took a picture in Jackson Square in the French Quarter Friday of a man playing the Trumpet. He was playing Amazing Grace then played When The Saint's go Marching In. He was wonderful! I will post in a few days!

  6. your words and images are always like a soothing balm for my soul.

    Have a wonderful sunday....

  7. It sounds like a special moment, like one of those chance encounters on a train which makes you wonder more about the person. I wonder what tales your musician had to tell if you had the time to stop for longer.

  8. Hello P&E,

    An intriguing poem that I did not know and another lovely picture to match.

  9. Oooh, lovely poem ,I loved the line 'who curl their hair with corkscrews' :) and an intriguing mystery of the man by the roadside!

    Kim x

  10. I first read this poem on the Writer's Almanac, and it is lovely to see it illustrated by your image of the musician.

  11. Beautiful Pamela- just beautiful.

  12. I enjoyed this poem. I like when you write and I can close my eyes and see the vision.

  13. Ah - this is one of my favorite angel artists! (whose name is escaping me. I saw a number of his originals in the Portrait Gallery in Washington DC a couple of years ago. Fabulous stuff).

  14. Love this poem, Pamela! And your description of the trumpet player is very thought provoking.

  15. Angels are one of my favourite etheral subjects. It's true that one never knows if the stranger who assists in times of need is only an angel in disguise.


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