The Duchess of Music



The Duchess of Music

Come in, come in,
Come in with your ears,
The door is upside down;
It’s made of topsy-turvy songs
Succumbed to things,
The tears and joys are but a sound,
Come in, you saxophone with wings,
With your garments, your earrings, your drums.
Hear me whistle, hear me chisel,
Watch me weight it with my hand –
The sunsets, dear, I twine the reds,
Align the stars above the bars,
Dim the tones that spruced up
Fuss up like girls with chestnut eyes,
Through scar and tar; they trumpet from afar:
Bum, badabum, bam, bam.
Hands a – rapping to the birch trunks,
Hands are resting on the hips of dryads,
Fingers snapping, fingers tapping
Through triads and valleys of my arms
And the veins of Mother Earth are stringed
Like badabum, and badabim
And the insides are hollowed out plums
In drop C.
Come in, come hear
Orchestras laughing,
Languishing between my teeth,
Their skeletons like decorated clay,
Bada- dam, badam, bum,
I dare you to stay, I dare you to sway
Along alleys
Vomiting crews of Spanish ships,
Badabum; they sail on the toes
And the sky bloats up
From forgotten woe.
Come in, come in,
Turn up the tiny lungs of doe,
Louder, never still,
Knock thrice,
Dress a gown to a deer
And hang your broken hearts
Upon the chandelier,
Badabum, badabim, bum, bum, badabim,
A dirty spit on the neck of violins
And you are a coal miner town
We long ago abandoned
And notes are alive and chewing your tendons;
Wear blue and journey home!
Badabum, bum, badabum;
Never let a hermit sing alone.
Like a chorus
In lipstick, cologne, and smog,
Diluted arias, clattering in a throng,
Like pipes under lovers
Dancing the Rumba,
Like the march of dawn through the bog
And your cheekbones are mandolins,
And dear, it might feel wrong!
The clouds go drained and vacant, just like palms,
So come in now,
Hold tight your qualms, make sure,
Set loose
The neurotic sparrows,
Shoot them from the throat like they are arrows,
Like badabum, like
Dum, dum, dum,
Like operas birthed at gallows,
Like ancient hymns escaping from the ribs
Into sugar-coated lovers;
Come in with your ears,
Come and weep into jars!
I am the magenta, ever-opened scar,
Drizzled over flutes,
Badabum, badabum!
Leave merry the doom,
Be wed the rainy day,
Go pillage, like you’re brutes!
Come in, come in,
You host, you guest,
You actor, you stage,
You knight and mage, you soliloquist;
The abdomen of me is spacious,
Carries many rooms, salons
And kitchens full of
Hoping morsels;
I am the unforgiving rhyme
That invades your tonsils
And you cough up symphonies
Like badum, and bum and badabim
And watch me untie a mountain
On a whim,
Descend Mongolian hails
Inside your tea,
Bum, badabum, dum, dam
Like folklore over
The drought adorned ground,
As dust on the piano
In the outskirts of a city,
Come in and andiamo,
Whether you like it or not!
My eyes are posters in your lucid dreams,
I hijacked trains, all buses,
All your machines,
I trapped the sour sea, and mango
In cog and wheel
Like badabum, and like badabim
And your aunt thinks you should journey
And spin on old records
And eat them like curry,
Badabum, dum, and dum and dam,
The lips like marry-go-rounds,
They always come around
And if you’ve no soul mates,
The trees in the wind will do fine,
And your legs will worship the Bongo,
It’s not a crime!
And if you are sad, or
If you are laughing,
Come in! I bid you alive!
Badabum, badabim,
It pounds from inside
And I am the world, the peer,
And you my verse, my purse,
My words;
The concubines of blues, half – melted,
Half tongue twisted with tango –
You can wake, shake, swallow,
Drown and sleep
As I go badabim, badabum;
You can love, suffer, and burn
Lulled in distant echoes, cousins to whispers,
You adorers of mornings, and under moon screamers,
At noon I arise from the ocean
and feast;
Everything bum, dum,
Badabim, badabum;


And every tune will take its turn.



*Written for a prompt at MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie. The collage immediately made me think of music, because of the image on the right and because of the quote shared. I think we witness more and more miracles that can be achieved with music every day and I am sure each one of us at least once experienced how music can change how you think and feel.

Hope you enjoy reading the poem!

~ by Oloriel on December 4, 2016.

37 Responses to “The Duchess of Music”

  1. This is stunning in all the aspects of music… how it can really tether you to its bars… such great use of internal rhymes to pull me into this death dance that makes me think of H.C. Andersen’s the red shoes…. Music can be both prison and escape.

    • Thank you very much, Bjorn! I know music can often make us sad or accompany our misery, but I choose and think about it as in “Better to feel than not”.
      I am also constantly amazed by what music can do. We had a neighbor lady, with the most beautiful garden in the entire suburbs. She would sing 3 times a day to her flowers. Just like I recently watched a video where songs make a man suffering from Alzheimer’s remember, no matter how briefly, who he was. And many many stories like these two!

  2. I really love the rhythm of this piece, your words dance and enthrall!

  3. Music works it’s magic — one day a song will leave me bereft as it represents what I have not (done, possess, ache til I bleed for) the next can be an anthem for what I strive for. Music therapy unlocks what the mind holds in fright.
    Your piece is so, so beyond what I have words to express. I am left in awe of what others do with words.

  4. you’ve put so much delightful detail into this prompt and captured its zany twists to perfection

  5. love it, your poetry is music 🙂

  6. ups, my comment came through in half… I like the allusion of music as the expression of our inner self, each of us being a chorus of multiple voices and tunes… so true, human nature is so polyphonic…

    • I am really happy to read this, and really happy because (I think?) I finally managed to offer something brighter to read from my usual opus. It feels good because this poem feels like my own own self writing, storytelling through verse, as opposed to always feeling the need to emphasize important, emotional messages that I think myself and the world needs to address.

  7. ala ti je lepo ovo. muzika, boja, slika, ritam.

  8. Your poetry rings and sings of lyrics surrealism. The use of your words paint a picture of futurism and high intellectual creativity. 🙂

  9. I keep coming back to read this delightful creation! As so many have said, it is so musical, the pace, the lines, the beat …. it ripples with something that literally begs to be read aloud, again and again … and how odd, in some way, but not entirely surprising, it makes me feel like dancing as the images float across my mind, I feel like I’m stepping into this wild carnival that travels through time past and future.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your impressions with me! I am delighted to hear the poem is dance-inciting, it is exactly what I wanted to achieve. I wanted to offer a quirky rhythm, because that is what the collage made me think of. I am glad my message comes across exactly how I wanted it, and in a positive way.
      Thank you very much for reading and taking the time to write to me!

      • It’s taken me a few days and numerous sittings to be able to articulate my thoughts, but honestly, this is such an award winning achievement piece Oloriel – it is pure magick! And I love it! 💖

      • Ah, now, this is too much praise! Thank you, because I am really happy I could offer a piece that inspires and beckons good vibes. That is really precious to me!

      • Too much praise?



        I am often as generous in my comments as I can be, offering encouragement, but you have such an incredible gift for words and storytelling …. that really, this is such a rich rich piece – you should be pleased, more than – it is stunning!

        I mean, this is the type of piece I would love to see printed on my walls – and not as on a sheet of paper, but painted/stenciled/printed on a wall – a featured reading selection in a room – and that, IS saying something!

      • Ah, I want to print at least a thousand thank you’s! It means a lot to me, because a poem like this is what kind of poetry I desire to write more. I want a scheme of words like this to occupy my mind and paper more, more than bad and often necessary stuff we need to hear do.

      • yes, yes yes! I know what you mean and suggest – but sometimes we have to right “darker” in order to see the lights and truths within those sentiments and ideas too. It’s just hard to break through that particular skin – I wear it as second nature – residing in the darker aspects – but am far more rounded and positive as well. I have trouble expressing the absurd or comic in a way that is beautiful and rich, perhaps because I hold these thoughts too closely in my own heart, now able or much willing to share openly, which is why I “think” my more humourous style is either “nonsensical” or “fluffy.” But still, definitely a very rewarding aspect to consider and explore. So keep on doing it – the saying, with enough practice, time and effort, it becomes second nature? Perhaps this is so. Time will tell.

        Always a pleasure to stop in here and read 😀

      • Ah, it feels like you described me personally, I too feel very similar to what you describe when I am trying to be humorous or to put it that way, look for prolonged period at the bright side.
        This particular poem really makes me feel happy for writing it, and knowing it makes others feel happy, perhaps not for a lifetime or even a week, but just then an there while they are reading if a person smiles or jiggles a little, that’s it! That is the magic of writing and poetry, and a solid proof, if not to anyone but myself, that poetry can brighten and cheer up, and offer a rest, from the darkness.

      • This is exactly it – perfectly described and inscribed ….. definitely a place space I can relate to and understand.

  10. We have friends with a now grown man who is in a group home; differently-abled -whom I believe music is the life of his everything.
    And his smile the soul expression of his joy.

    Nature has its’ own wonderful rhythm that some musicians attempt to mimic. And that can be a good thing.

    Cheers and thanks for stopping by my mash-up. ~Jules

    • Yes, music is I think one of the best therapies. I wish we one day uncover more scientific information about it, and use it for even more good!
      Thank you very much for stopping by to read my poem!

  11. The only things that bothers me is that I can catch to the tune after “With your garments, your earrings, your drums.
    Hear me whistle, hear me chisel,”
    Don’t know why, but the first part, I can’t pick it up…like its discorded, just warming up the throat, which in grand picture makes it even better! 🙂

  12. hi,
    can I have a Guest post of my English Poetry on your blog?
    I will send you very Heart Touching Poetry,if you allow me


    • Greetings and sorry for replying late, this message was fished out of the Spam folder.
      I do not usually take guest bloggers, sorry, but I would love to read your poems and see what we can come up with.

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