staccato :: lola haskins

The woodpecker drums
about the tree
a rising spiral

until even the highest smallest leaves
cannot help themselves

but shiver, then turn wild
at his bald beak
his head of stopped fire.

fortissimo :: lola haskins

To play fortissimo
hold something back.

It is what the father does not say
that turns the son.

The fact that the summit cannot be seen
that drives the climber on.

Consider the graceless ones:
the painter who adds one more brush stroke.

the poet of least resistance
who writes past the end of his poem.

to play pianissimo :: lola haskins

Does not mean silence.
The absence of moon in the day sky
for example.

Does not mean barely to speak,
the way a child’s whisper
makes only warm air
on his mother’s right ear.

To play pianissimo
is to carry sweet words
to the old lady sitting in the last dark row
who cannot hear anything else,
and to lay them across her lap like a shawl.