Orchard MelodyOnce I listened to a cello played
at night in a quiet orchard
and from the silence a nightingale replied.
Then, disturbing this calm scene, I heard -
approaching far and high – a squadron of bombers,
an increasing concerted throbbing
which almost overwhelmed the music,
but did not interrupt the cello nor the bird.
After the bombers and the rearguard fighters
had passed over and faded into silence
the cello continued its étude
and the nightingale its song.
That was long ago.
Yet still a needle can track the circling grooves
again, again, again, - any time for me,
recreating that first living sound -
though cellist, bird, pilots, navigators
and their crews are long since dead
and that war history.