Song Smiths Hammer It Home I startle ospreys with my saxophone. No urban legend, I play for the abandoned of the Lord. Song sheets wind ripple in the shadow of smokestacks. It’s good for the lungs to wail below the altar of logging cranes, launch an echo to sky-high nests. The birds caw to the blues and be-bop, circle the sudden funk of sunset. Feathered sounds in the air emulate Parker, Diz, Coltrane. When the work trucks rumble I pack my case, trust the notes to cloud like saints. This fight doesn’t stop at the bell.
Showtime is Over Our Heads For some years, decades, I unpack my alto alone, feign guiding tones, bend the air around another midnight. My breath faces the never known–– My maestro moved to Europe without a word, just a blue note. I remember his bell ringing in my brain and the whispering reed rasping home––the aged chairs crowding a stage, the dimming lights announcing a show. My horn in a hard case in case my heart hears news. Worn glue and tape hold the waiting handle in place. Melancholy is only one world. Hope creates a second chorus.
Will Schmit is a Midwestern poet transplanted to Northern California. He has been reading, and writing poetry, in between bouts of learning to play the saxophone, for nearly forty years.