Tuesday, October 9, 2012


82 year old musician playing the trumpet at a hotel lounge.

He talks as much as he plays,
about gigs with famous singers,
hit songs I recognize, but didn't experience
the smooth crooning of those times.
He dreams tunes of bygone days when young,
adventures now embellished by his love,
of no regrets, though his presence is obscure,
within the fame of his art.

Makes me think of another who also loved
but now unlives his passion in hollow chamber of his heart.
His silent trumpet plays so faint, pipedream 
forgotten, merely delusion, that maybe only I recall -  
audience of one, fan who loved to see
his cheeks inflate as soulful melody escaped
to entertain me.

But never did his fervor burn.
Obligations extinguished talent's flame,
replaced it with mirage of fumes.
His aspirations never became.

So I sit to listen as this man plays,
the joy that was, that is his life.
And when my friends get up to complement
his romance by slow dance,
I cry.

(Submitted to Dverse Poets for open link night.)

(My uncle played the trumpet and the drums.  As a child I often listened and marveled at the music he made.  In later years, I observed him tap his fingers and feet to music as he tried to stifle it's call.   He's in his 80's now.  He married, had children and went on to become a bartender in a swanky club in New York.  And  he stopped playing.
The man in the photo played the trumpet well.  He reminded me of who my uncle might have wanted to be.)


  1. Old musicians are a weird wonderful group I am rapidly joining LOL

    Aloha from Waikiki,

    Comfort Spiral

    > < } } ( ° >

  2. I admire people who can play the instruments as music is a gift for me. There are reasons that people stopped playing but there is special joy that comes with playing them ~

  3. they say at the end of life, our regrets are more often things we did not do then things we did. though your uncle may feel his family far outweighed the loss of his music.

  4. This is so beautiful Myrna. I can understand why you cried. I tend to have those kinds of moments... And then the stanza...

    But never did his fervor burn.
    Obligations extinguished talent's flame,
    replaced it with mirage of fumes.
    His aspirations never became.

    Sometimes we can't have both the family and the art I suppose...
    My father played the trumpet in an orchestra and although he was technically good, he didn't have the fervor or the passion. BTW.. thank you so much for your lovely comment. I have a feeling we would have a lot to talk about. And not just the sad things...

  5. Oh that is so sad.......the music still lived inside him but somehow he felt obliged to set them aside....the joy that might have been his, had his desire been stronger. So touching, that you cried. You have a big heart, my friend.

  6. love the way music can take us to those memories...i love watching people play live....and it stays in your blood too even when you can no longer play...a bit sad at the one in your verse who cant play any more...felt there in the end as well..

  7. Very sad story really, poignantly told. So hard to keep up an artistic life with all the rest of it. k.

  8. I can't play anything but neither can I imagine that I would give up playing if I could play. As I understand it, you think that maybe your uncle gave up playing because he didn't realize his dream of what he wanted to do with his music, and that's so sad.

  9. love how you capture him and how you connect it with the memories of your uncle...i live listening to the trumpet, an awesome instrument and can be played so soulful that it touches us just deep in the soul..

  10. don't you love how there always seems to be someone who reminds you of another. Whether it be family, friends, or just someone you once knew, and the rush of memories that come back to you. Great write. Really nicely done. Thanks

  11. what a wonderful way to spend an evening - live memories and music.

    when we're in New Orleans we head down Bourbon street to see Mr. Lawrence Cotton play the piano. He is 86 and still plays every Thursday night.

    Beautifully written, sits so well in my belly.

  12. Beautiful and a very sentimental post. I know exactly what you mean. The man I was seriously involved with for the first time in my life (many years ago;) played the trumpet and his father was a musician.;))

  13. Music invites all kinds of connections.

  14. If I can help you to decide what/where kind of Hawaii vacation you desire, just let me know! Here is an article about different options:


    Do you want busy Waikiki Beach , with all of Honolulu and Oahu, or do you want a rural, quiet experience on a slower neighbor island like Big Island or Kauai?

    aloha, sweetie

  15. You took me on a complete emotional journey with this piece Myrna, beautiful.