Your hands move deftly over the piano keys,
weaving a loom of sound tonight;
the golden grain,
a laden bough in candlelight.
Clara in silk, laughing and calling
to Robert, composing in a nearby room;
Brahms at the piano, sumptuous nostalgia
weaving the music of dreams that sing
in slender light, a portraiture
in ambient oils, intricately framed.
Behind him Beethoven’s footsteps fall
in classical proportions, life explained,
spurning the excesses of romantic notion,
singing tenderly across the water,
not for him this soiree of gravid rumination,
Clara’s flight of the sacred crane,
intimacies calming the troubled soul,
classical form replaced by feeling,
life displayed in a fecund bowl
of fruit and flowers where the shadows sing.
Yet yearning for more, always yearning,
for Clara full-blown, not Robert’s wife
exchanging niceties in a cultured life
but naked and loving in eternal giving;
never his, never; an old man yearning
for love and intimacy at one remove.
In keys that sing of the golden grain,
in quills of moonlight art claims his love.