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133rd Weekly Poetry Contest winner: The Cymbal Player

by Miles T. Ranter

The Cymbal Player


As bows and fingers quiver strings,

as lungs and lips whip up the air,

as notes soar on great falcon wings,


one player, seated in his chair

like a finch hid in a maple tree,

as if the creature wouldn’t dare


trill out above the symphony

(perhaps in fear of being caught

by a raptor high above the lea),


begins to rise like an afterthought

amid the pianissimos

and, like a hunter’s rifle shot


as bright as ninety-nine rainbows

of overtones, he spreads, then hits

two plates together. The ether glows


like sunlight through the woods. He sits

back down. And yet the clang still rings

and darts and dances, flutters, flits


and, for the merest moment, clings,

then fades away like all brief things.




(Originally appeared in The Chimaera)

See all the entrants to 133rd Weekly Poetry Contest