Mathias Plays the Blues

Mathias was old
before I was born,
even then he rarely
spoke, and when he
did it was more
of a mumble.

But people did not come
to hear him speak,
they came to hear the magic
of his fingers on the strings,
music to bring smiles
to some, tears to many.

Now, he has no words
to utter, no light filters
through the fog on his eyes,
frail legs will not raise him,
his head too much a burden
for his shoulders.

But his guitar fits just so
in his hands, his long fingers
move as if of their own will,
and my tears still flow.


inspired by The Old Guitarist by Picasso

Two days, two poems,
I shall celebrate the feat
if not the accomplishment…



Filed under Poetry

5 responses to “Mathias Plays the Blues

  1. Second stanza, ‘strings’?

    I love that painting. You should feel good that I know it from your description, not its title. I like the last two stanzas. When I looked to see why, it’s because they are the most ekphrastic, aren’t they? Again, your description, to include the mood that comes across, is vivid.

    • damn spellcheck is going to get fired.

      I generally shy away from strict ekphrastic, from the standpoint of ‘describing’ the painting. Try to get more of a feeling, a direction. I believe inspiration is the word.

      • That’s why this works so well. You aren’t describing so much as creating, yet there is Picasso’s figure.

        One of the reasons I joined Pinterest and keep many boards is to collect images for poems. I have a growing collection of portraits for when I am dithering over the description of something. Likewise weather, natural elements, sensory items… very useful.

  2. I don’t know who Matthias is but as a result of this poem, I have a feeling for his devotion to his craft. Nice.

  3. Love it…..What beautiful words for Picasso’s painting. How easy it would be to just do a laundry list of what is in the painting….You heard its music.

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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