A Little Elegy

A recent poem that I had the honor to have published on the Peninsula Symphony Facebook page.

Most of you have heard of Atlanta Symphony bassist Jane Little’s extraordinary career and unfortunately, her recent passing. A friend of Peninsula Symphony, Betsy Mars, has composed a very poignant poem that we wanted to share with everyone.

A Little Elegy – by Betsy Mars

RIP Jane Little
Record-breaking bassist
February 2, 1929 – May 15, 2016

Little by name and small in stature,
Jane was summoned from the stage.
The final curtain called at last,
keeping time to the music, she bowed that bass
and her life’s arc ended.

An exit worthy of Hollywood lore,
an incomparable finale.
Her endurance was record-breaking,
Her holy wood was breath-taking:
a near-perfect orchestration –
harmonious and unexpected.

Upon the stage she left her measured mark, a triad:
her own two legs, and the bass, her phantom limb.
Through seven decades she had borne the weight.
Not the fleet-footed ballerina she once had dreamed,
she was all depth, all resin, now risen.

In concert with the golden age,
as the last bars played in an uplifting swell,
her spirit pirouetted quietly to the rafters.
She took her final bow in synch with the music –
a departing spirit, hoping for reprise.

I killed him with love: Ode to a mouse

My latest publication – tribute to Davy, my best and worst loved mouse.

Cadence Collective: Long Beach Poets

By Fernando Gallegos By Fernando Gallegos

By Betsy Mars

I socked him away,
safe from escape,
with warmth
to the touch and softness –
smelling of mouse
pellets and hay.

Like a lucky rabbit foot
to stroke in the night
when demons came
calling for me, he comforted,
but I slept right through
to the mourning ­
He was cold
and hard to the touch.

In my guilt, I emptied
the sock and left him
rigid in the cage,
To be discovered
and buried,
along with my memory
of inadvertent, mindless murder.

At eight years old,
I learned that love could be lethal.

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Mexican Hat Dance, poem by Betsy Mars (ME, IN A HAT Poetry and Prose Series)

My latest on Silver Birch Press.

Silver Birch Press

marsmexMexican Hat Dance
by Betsy Mars

Golden, capped in the strong sunshine
against my father’s shoulder I stood tall,
and between my parents I felt alive

in this land so distinct and familiar.
The air was redolent with chocolate and spice,
electrical with lightning storms and surging hormones.

Taking the leap, cliff divers descended
in sheer drops for my entertainment
as I ate up the scenery and the sensation of being weightless.

My hat perched at a jaunty angle,
confident in a way I never felt
at home in a strange land.

Between pulpy bulls and bleeding fruit
proffered from vendors at the beach, I felt
like Hemingway discovering his muse —

but much less courageous,
cowering at night in the hotel room,
thunderstruck and hatless.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me in Mexico at age 13. This is one of very few photos that exist of me in a hat. Hats…

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Sillage, poem by Betsy Mars (MY PRIZED POSSESSION Poetry and Prose Series)

My most recent poetic publication, which I’m honored to have on Silver Birch Press.

Silver Birch Press

by Betsy Mars

I dream of genie, on a trail of vapors
you come, as I crack open the cracked box —
I slip through a scented wormhole of space
and time to the heart of the matter.

In another dimension, I follow close behind
on the essence of you — the base notes
left in the bottle.
My conscious mind amnesiac,
but my primitive nose remembers.
Scent remains unperturbed.
A complex perfume, imported,
outlasting you and your body —
French, at your service, no memorial
except your legacy of language and luxury.

The box sits on the shelf, idle, until I need you;
and then, with one whiff I follow,
transported to a splintered realm —
wholly, holey, Holy.
Shadowed and strung with trip wires:
nurture and neglect, ice and fire.
Memories dissipate like a genie
after three wishes are spent.

My first and only wish would be…

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