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Day 7: Tremble

June 7, 2013

I’ll take a little poetic–or musical–license with Khara’s prompt today and move from tremble to tremolo, a beautiful effect I’m trying to perfect on the mandolin.  I love to watch the best players, who make it seem so effortless.


Music, sweetest this side of heaven,
played with a worn pick by hands
large and weathered, the left curved
around the neck, the right, moving
imperceptible as hummingbird wings,
in a steady tremolo, without fanfare
from Wayfaring Stranger, sung soft
like mourning, to Ashokan Farewell.

His hand slides over the paired strings
without the aid of eyes. It just knows
where to go, finding double stops
between strings. Some call it a gift,
which makes the big man laugh.
A lifetime, he knows, the price he pays,
without regret, to claim this gift.

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