The Dream Maker stepped out of the haze
Of the ‘sleep empire’. Fathoms below that
Of the Sky Walker; light years above
The Green Giant from
The Midnight Tulips he carried gleamed
Like many unheard-of suns. A hand-woven
Rainbow sashed itself about his shoulders
To trail across the frosty land.
All the while his descendants tossed
The children wanted knowledge. Of pirate kings.
Ghouls and goblins, and toad manors, and
The ‘elders’? A mixed bag, that lot. They sought
Everything from misplaced Troy, turbo-charged
4-wheel drives – and jewelled superannuation
He’d been one of them: was ‘at one’ with them.
That had been spelt out and chronicled
Flood. Famine. The conqueror and
Crystal ships and voyaging angels.
The bold and beautiful Bethlehem Star...
Now, as a life-force only, a projector of myth
And fable, he could do no more than visualize
On how to cure the sick. Help the dead rest. Or,
Create laughter as light, as soft as the sound
Of raindrops on a leaf. However
He could have told them. He could have...
But The Dream Maker stepped out of the haze
Of the ‘sleep empire’ content to
The Midnight Tulips he carried shone
For some, the ship had
[from Midnight Tulips, ‘The Performance’]
MY GRANDFATHER’S VIOLIN
I can still hear my grandfather’s violin.
He played as if he’d brought the whole
Of Italy with him –.
He’d been a barrow-boy. He’d sold fruit and
Flowers outside the great concert halls
Of Naples. He’d seen and known Caruso’s
Last performance from the back row.
That concert cost him forty barrow-loads
And nine days of hard selling.
“I’d do it again,” he’d say. “There are
Many apples but too few phenomena.”
I can still hear my grandfather’s violin...
Hauntingly beautiful. Drifting upwards
Like a prayer. Like water trickling
About the flagstones in the back garden.
I see the old photographs hung near
The pin-stripe suit. The classic spats and hat
That lent ‘a touch of class’. But – more
His kind of tenacity leant on through.
He went as he’d lived. Glib and humorous.
His policy; things are what you make them.
He died, comfortably off. It started
With a barrow full of flowers.
The violin? It... held it all together.
[from the ‘libretto’, Midnight Tulips]
Stefanie Bennett has published several books of poetry, a novel, and a libretto. Her
poems have also appeared in Carcinogenic Poetry, VerseWrights, Provo Canyon
Review, Record-Magazine, The Galway Review, Illya’s Honey, Shot Glass Journal,
IS&T, The Mind[less] Muse and others. Of mixed ancestry [Italian/Irish/Paugussett-
Shawnee], she was born in Townsville, Queensland, Australia in 1945