Walleah Press         Famous Reporter 8 (Nov 1993)


Poetry—'Oboe Piece in Flat'

What madness made him write a piece
in E flat for oboe and orchestra?
Even the gentle oboe player
went home after the premiere,
sank into a late night movie
and worried about his penalty rates.
The audience have forgotten
the little bit of modern
crammed between Bach and Brahms.
Hearing it on the radio
I started this poem
and can't recall his name or his music.

Was it a madness that shook him
one raining cat-curled night
and made him feel so ... Pathetique
... so jealous of Bruckner's Eighth
he had to do something, there, then -
if only a five minute piece
in E flat for oboe and orchestra?

Or was it a madness of love and fear?

There was, perhaps, some common ecstasy
he'd sought for years but never known.
His private yearning could not bear
the glare of ruthless words,
had to be wrapped in music
and shown safely
in E flat for oboe and orchestra.

Whatever madness made him write
made nothing else matter.
Cloud fleece nigh in his mind
his oboe piece, though smaller,
beats anything by Mahler;
and more than any encore
his own ovation
in E flat for oboe and orchestra.