Jean L. Kreiling

On the Ferry Home

I’ve crossed this water many times before,
and often on this vessel; I adjust
my footing as it sways away from shore,
and wait to hear its hull creak in a gust.
Despite its aging bulk, the ferry glides,
and eases me across, this time to grace—
beyond the mysteries the sea confides,
beyond our island home, beyond where place
is mapped or years are counted—for I carry
the dust of home itself, the dust of one
who was our loving, breathing sanctuary,
one whose last odyssey is nearly done.
She sails home on this ferry, and she’ll sleep
in island soil, where grace and love will keep.

Rondo alla Turca
(from Mozart’s Piano Sonata in A major, K. 331)
The rondo imitates the percussive sound of Turkish military bands, which included triangles, cymbals, kettledrums, and bass drums.

In Mozart’s evocation of the Turks,
as discipline meets jocularity,
Herr Mozart winks at us.  His rondo works

like cheeky repartee:  a cartoon lurks
within the regimented revelry
of Mozart’s evocation of the Turks.

Light-footed and then gruff, the bass line smirks
and growls at puckish, high-pitched melody
that winks back, in an odd rapport that works,

and we hear cymbalish and drummish quirks
in notes played forte and percussively
in Mozart’s evocation of the Turks.

It tickles like a tasseled fez, it perks
us up with neat and tidy jollity,
it marches and it winks.  No doubt it works

for Turks as well, but if the teasing irks
them, we’d say Mozart meant no mockery;
his jaunty evocation of the Turks
is all in fun.  When Mozart winks, it works!

Jean L. Kreiling is the author of The Truth in Dissonance (Kelsay Books, 2014). Her work appears in American Arts Quarterly, Angle, The Evansville Review, Measure, and Mezzo Cammin, and in several anthologies. Kreiling is a past winner of the Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters Sonnet Contest, the String Poet Prize, the Able Muse Write Prize, and the New England Poetry Club Norma Farber/Rosalie Boyle prize.



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