The piano is on its last leg.
The lid slammed discordantly
two sonatas ago.
At first, it faced the desert
defiantly, tearing through the Beethoven
concertos and the Choral Fantasia
as if orchestra, choir and soprano
were travelling in caravan behind it,
the Bedouin to its Sheikh,
the soprano its desert rose,
seductive and much favoured.
Now its music is arrhythmic,
atonal, the notes
like the crucified shadows of vultures.
Anger worked its pedals
for a couple of days, Maurice Jarre
played out of tune and with ill-feeling.
Oases shimmer in the heat-haze
and disappear. Omar Sharif was never there.
The sun doesn’t blink. The piano
stares it out. The sands gather.
It has chosen John Cage’s 4’33
for its final performance.