symphony no. 1, in E minor: a lover’s song

symphony no. 1, in E minor: a lover’s song


My life began in silence. 

It was only an instant, 

but there was no sound

until I heard my mother’s voice. 

Then notes trickled into my life

like raindrops seep into parched earth, 

and eventually, I was soaked.  

My life became music. 

It became rhythm and senseless sound, 

dancing on the strings of my heart,  

weaving in and out of joy and misery, 

humming pointless phrases under a breath, 

tapping random beats on the wooden desks.  

It was dew dripping off of leaves, 

rippling in puddles, and muddied rainboots,

splashing to a silent beat, 

twirling on the wind like the leaf 

of a ginko tree, whistling as it fell.

It was the droning choir of the bees and wrens, 

a soft fabric weighing down on my sleepy eyes, 

pierced only and suddenly by the cries

of the phoebe-bird, like the pulling of a needle 

through the hazy innocence I called home. 

And in this mellow introduction, 

our love began, 

the lyrics to my rhythm, 

the meaning to my existence. 

It is our love that colored the black-and-white, 

that filled the empty measures with sound

and my empty heart with your words. 

It is the light touch of your fingers on the back of my hand,

and the warmth of your arms on a winter’s day, 

that brings in the cello with her gentle bass. 

It is the comfort of your familiar face,

with its familiar hills and valleys, 

and the strength of your grip as we walk through the unknown, 

that cue the drums and their steady beat. 

Our love is a string, woven with care by Time, 

that ties my balloon of a life to the ground. 

A string with threads of golden laughter 

and blackened sorrow, 

on which play the world’s immortal fingers, 

adding mood after mode after mood to my symphony. 

And soon enough, our love is so grand, 

with overlapping memories and melodies, 

one measure spilling over into the next, 

and the harp’s strings crisscrossing so no one can play, 

the phoebe and the flute fighting shrilly, 

the wren and violin wrestling for the lead, 

and I wonder if it will end,  

the little moments coming together 

like raindrops into a flood, 

and I’m drowning in your presence, 

struggling to catch my breath,

to hear my raindrops and my bees

above the roar of your orchestra—  

Then you say “I love you,” 

and the cacophony stops. 

The rain falls in pace with the drummer, 

and the song is more beautiful. 

It does not hurt to listen. 


My life has always been moving, 

aimlessly wandering and aimlessly wondering, 

as notes from a wild flute in the enchanted woods, 

or the haunting, craving voice 

of the sirens on the stormy seas. 

But now my life moves together with our love,

hands entwined like Orpheus and Eurydice

as they climbed towards the light. 

And if my life should look back, 

and see our sweet love disappear, 

the phoebe would drop mid-cry, 

and the raindrops peter out, 

as the drums fade and silence falls.