Tuning Up


In kitchens and pub corners and concert halls
Musicians gather. They open instrument cases,
Tune up, exchange greetings, gossip and jibes
Until, gradually, the noise of everyday life ceases.

At some unspoken moment they become someone other
Than who they were when walking through the doors.
Nobody mentions it, but the mood subtly alters
Just like the mood switches between two lovers

When one takes the lead, drawing the curtains tight
To initiate the change. A taut electricity in the air
Dissipating sharp words, healing perceived slights,
Suspending all cares in the expectant atmosphere.

The musicians arch their fingers, purse their lips,
Pause for one last second, then, tantalising slow,
Fingers and lips allow the tune to find its shape
And steadily grow towards its lingering crescendo.


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