Poem ‘Harmonium’


You cut the harmonium strings
and I’ll tie them up each time,
pedals getting higher and higher
till almost vertical, unplayable.
And for what?
Does it spoil your peace?
Do my attempts at sounds,
at music, offend you so?
This family doesn’t do talent, I know.
There is only work.
But you needn’t have worried:
When I came down today
there was this space, gaping,
and through the kitchen window
I saw the fire in the yard,
the contented man, smoking

Β© copyright df barker 2012



  1. brian miller · May 5, 2012

    ugh man…that kills that they burned the harmonium…ugh…and you know i hope that hurdle make him work all the harder…a real lmusician will def over come the obstacles….nice one….


  2. tashtoo · May 5, 2012

    I’ve been left alone in my back yard with notebook and pen and those strange eyes looking thru the window just shaking their heads…this leads my mind to wander down more than one path, with more than one song as soundtrack. Wonderful!


  3. claudia · May 5, 2012

    heck…this is a fantastic david…the cutting and tying up…the frustration and questions..felt write with a great closure picture


  4. dfb · May 5, 2012

    Tash, thank you so much! Take care.


  5. dfb · May 5, 2012

    Thank you so much for your comments, Brian, I’m grateful.


  6. dfb · May 5, 2012

    Thank you so much Claudia! I’m grateful to you.


  7. ordinarylifelessordinary · May 5, 2012

    Really poignant and enjoyable, thanks.


  8. magsx2 · May 5, 2012

    A bit sad that the music was not appreciated.


  9. christine · May 5, 2012

    this family doesn’t do talent, love this


  10. zongrik · May 6, 2012

    so was he smoking as in cigars and cigarettes or was he burning like Joan of Arc, or was he smoking, like “smokin’ hot music, dude!!”?

    tenaciously as conundrum


  11. Blue Flute · May 6, 2012

    Good poem, nice sense of irony,rhythm, and powerful image to end the poem


  12. Laurie Kolp · May 6, 2012

    This makes me sad. Very powerful.


  13. oceangirl · May 6, 2012

    Every line punctuates with emotion and story.


  14. Ina · May 6, 2012

    Hi David
    Although I find it a great poem, I also think this is very sad … Burning a harmonium?? Awful!


  15. dfb · May 6, 2012

    Thank you very much!!!


  16. dfb · May 6, 2012

    Thank you so much Ina.


  17. dfb · May 6, 2012

    Oceangirl – thank you so much!


  18. dfb · May 6, 2012

    Thank you so much – I appreciate it!


  19. dfb · May 6, 2012

    Thank you very much! πŸ™‚ Just… smoking’! πŸ˜‰


  20. dfb · May 6, 2012

    Thank you Christine!


  21. dfb · May 6, 2012

    Thank you Mags!


  22. dfb · May 6, 2012

    Thank you very much Vanessa!


  23. journeyintopoetry · May 6, 2012

    I love how this is written, with your always and ever talent but it is sad.:)



  24. dfb · May 6, 2012

    Thank you very much Christine!


  25. Betty Hayes Albright · May 6, 2012

    David, like others have said, a sad poem – but so brilliantly written! Powerful, last lines, as it sinks in what happened.
    (This reminds me of my first husband, decades ago, who couldn’t stand listening to me play classical music on the piano downstairs, so upstairs he’d turn the stereo up high. Ha!! I wasn’t that good, but neither was his heavy metal rock music. πŸ™‚ )
    Thank you for sharing this!


  26. Soma Mukherjee · May 7, 2012

    Suffocating ….what an agony to have that one thing you like the most to be hated so much….


  27. dfb · May 7, 2012

    Thank you Soma! I do appreciate it – I will be taking a break from blogging for a while now but I will be sure to catch up on your lovely posts when I get back!


  28. dfb · May 7, 2012

    Thank you very much Betty! We do suffer for our art, don’t we? I will be taking a break from blogging for a while now, but I will make sure to see what you’ve been doing when I get back. Thank you!


  29. bardessdmdenton · May 9, 2012

    Gave me shivers…felt like the dismembering and burning of a person…a musical instrument can have such a connecting life to a person. Very powerful, David!


  30. dfb · May 10, 2012

    Thank you so much!


  31. Eve Redwater · May 10, 2012

    Really enjoyed this David! The smoking man is definitely an image that sticks… I wonder what he’s thinking?


  32. Louise Jaques · May 13, 2012

    The questions make this so compact and forceful. Well done!


  33. lscotthoughts · May 17, 2012

    It’s too bad music isn’t appreciated, but your words are very powerful and honest; wonderfully written, David, and I apologize for my absence. I’m really behind, but will always be back to read your work! Still reading… πŸ™‚


  34. granbee · May 19, 2012

    Such a great way to establish a compromise in the kitchen. I love “this family doesn’t do talent.” —perfect


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