A Little Elegy

A recent poem that I had the honor to have published on the Peninsula Symphony Facebook page.
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10153660283825872&id=55802430871

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.

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Lunch in the Ivory Tower by Betsy Mars (MY FIRST JOB Poetry and Prose Series)

Thank you to Silver Birch for another inspiring prompt and for publishing my poem.

Silver Birch Press

MarsJobLunch In the Ivory Tower
by Betsy Mars

Racing in between classes
we waited, prim primrose uniforms,
soiled aprons, leaky pens in pocket.
Checking our stations with fingers crossed.
Kowtowing to the power-hungry manager
who assigned them, knowing he held our fate
in his perfidious palms. Ass-kissing: first lesson.

Serving, invisibly, the uncivil engineers,
the antisocial workers, the hyper-political scientists,
we jostled in the kitchen before the wheel of fortune
which held the ticket to our tips —
begging Gil, the grizzled Cajun,
as he slowly stirred
the pot of gumbo, dropping ashes
and ignoring our pleas — currying favor
with busboys, supporters in the cause. Second lesson.

Mixed-up orders, kitchen crookery,
we were all complicit, all forgiving in the rush
to get our esteemed professors
their daily bread — liver and onions,
Monte Cristo sandwiches, glasses of wine
or endless refills of coffee. Insatiable:
further education.

Nobel prize winners or underachievers…

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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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