Norma’s Enigma

The organist reads a paperback
As Elgar marches through the orchestra
Labelling his friends, giving them their subtleties:
Their inner calm, their petulance, their
Braggadocio at twilight. It’s about
Distances – the percussionist at his
Timpani, bruising the air – while violins cry
And bases purr like cats. It’s a workout
Of connections, of masks behind faces
Bringing everyone the edge of tears.
In this Hall, twelve thousand miles
From England, the imperial voice has cleared
Its throat. The paperback has disappeared
And deeper than a vault she sounds.

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