…music expresses emotion through the
resemblance of its dynamic properties
─Suzanne Langer, Philosophy in a New Key
Joy races along on top of notes
riding horses lathered in full stride,
leap through hoops ablaze
through dark recesses of psyches
giving a kick to legs flying.
Then sharps full of pain goad
listeners to cling to saddle hilts,
losing hold of demon racers
as dancers' bodies fall onto the stage.
Melodies zigzag through unconscious,
light up inner eyes glowing
brighter with each crescendo
propelling dancers to leap.
Other bits of the music hot
escape high into the air,
rising with soprano avian notes
ascend almost beyond oxygen
as pirouettes leap above the stage.
Chords trail these high tones
gathered like geese flapping,
a flight from bar to bar
dangling the audience's hearts
suspended from their flight
spinning the dancers ever faster.
Then the worm-like march
of lower registers, the base
on base notes, struggle slowly
through thick soil we know
lies beneath us of earth groans,
compacted points of light
crawling slow in the dark,
each slow dance step
timbre of our bones
pushing buried hope.
GLEN A. MAZIS taught philosophy for decades at Penn State Harrisburg, retiring in 2020. He has more than 90 poems in literary journals, including Rosebud, The North American Review, Sou’wester, Spoon River Poetry Review, Willow Review, Atlanta Review, Reed Magazine and Asheville Poetry Review, and the collection, The River Bends in Time (Anaphora Literary Press, 2012), a chapbook, The Body Is a Dancing Star (Orchard Street Press, 2020), and Bodies of Space and Time is in press with Kelsay Books. He has published five philosophy books with the most recent being, Merleau-Ponty and the Face of the World: Silence, Ethics, Imagination and Poetic Ontology (SUNY Press). He is the 2019 winner of the Malovrh-Fenlon Poetry Prize (Orchard Street national contest).