Settling in for the family celebration,
I’m cosying down with Daddy and Mummy,
Baby centre stage, a miniature version of
ancient Grandfather – slightly in the shadows,
head almost with the angels.
The organ family brightly reflects the audience –
ready for action, ready to begin the party.
Gentle ‘tinkering of the ivories’,
fingers tapping, feet pedalling,
stops moving apparently unaided;
then sudden, powerful, all-embracing sound
booms out to the furthest corners
of the mighty, majestic cathedral,
people’s stomachs and chests resonate.
Within minutes soft intricacies
take over human ears and eyes;
sounds are tiny, resembling a street organ.
The party has begun, the family
members each chattering away,
voices of varying tones, timbres,volumes,
chortling, laughing, joking.
Like all parties, there are dips, lulls,
crescendos, (even missed notes),
but the overall feeling is upbeat,
exciting, celebratory, joyful,
with a just a tad of warring dispute,
as the reminiscences, remembrances
and old childhood memories begin:
Seaside carousels with the hurdy-gurdy,
hornpipes, foghorns, Rule Britannia,
Tony singing Maria in West Side Story.
Talk turns to travel memorabilia,
to Sweden with Abba, Indiana Jones,
Bach’s roll into town in swing-time,
hearty walks through England, Jerusalem.
It draws late, party guests’ and hosts’
thoughts turn to final goodbyes;
but there are still many chattering voices
in the final fond farewells.
Then, stepping outside, drawing breath in the
quietness and warm, light summer air,
the party’s over, families go home to bed.
Poet in Residence – Chester Cathedral