Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bagpiper by Queen & University Streets




At corner of street, by old courthouse
he stands in his kilt, tartan pattern & knee high socks
blowing his bagpipe as crowds cross & crunch their shoes-

above smog & din of cars & traffic lights 
his face a yellowed paper, hair delicately frail,
he spins a solemn note, hailing from old country-

The rhythm is grass & rolling hills
where wind marches with trees
& sky brimming of blue spring blooms-

Here time is slow procession-
A young man backpacking with his toddler, comes close-
Another man dragging his suitcase, listens & drops

a dollar in his open black case-
Impromptu, bagpiper switches to modern pop strains
to catch more coins & tourists ambling by- 

All too soon, sun hides behind grey clouds
Everyone hurries to & fro, tick tock of subway crowd
ear-plugged, holding Starbucks coffee or free 

metro news  in their somewhere-to-go stride- 
But for the old man
piping his lungs with city dust & crumpled bills -

Two blocks across, I turn into my building
his music now rain drop, pulled under tides
bobbing half-mingled with my breath-

perhaps a sob for the land that long disappeared - 



Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Rhythm of the Road - During my lunch break yesterday, I saw this bagpipe player at the busy street corner.   He seems to be regular fixture plying the Toronto tourist-belt streets.

Photo credit:   here

37 comments:

  1. Very nice, a little sad...

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  2. I particularly like how he played the songs of meadows and grass.. So sad that people switched to earplugs.. But pop-music on bagpipes is maybe not the best.

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    1. I know, it was weird listening to it ~ Thanks Bjorn ~

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  3. This reminded me of when I step out of the subway in NYC. Always a treat to be greeted by some type of music. I never know what it will be, but it's always fun and unique! As always, thank you and have a wonderful week!!

    Elsie
    AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

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  4. I love the buskers wherever I find them, for the street performer connects to the wandering minstrels of antiquity, & I never miss stopping to enjoy them, rain or shine; nice rocking, or squeeze-blowing of the prompt.

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  5. A different rhythm to the one you are used to, telling of different ways, surely has to be a refreshing change. Good for him...

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  6. Very cool take on the prompt...rather than the piper travelling, you give the view of everything travelling past the piper. Lovely!

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  7. this made me feel that time slowing down... lovely imagery, with a thread of wistful sadness running through it.

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  8. the rhythm is grass and rolling hills...smiles...love how you decribe it...and he sounds like a cool character...i would love to sit and listen or stop and talk to him....in the grit of the city, he provides a bit of beauty....

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    1. Yes he does but apparently the pedestrians in the city are familiar with him, so he is ignored except by the tourists ~ Thanks Brian ~

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  9. I def would stop and enjoy his tunes... sad how he had to play pop for people to really listen and get more money... am I the only who's sick of pop music yet? ugh...

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    1. I love the traditional bagpipe music and yes I am also sick of pop music ~ Thanks Anthony ~

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  10. aaahhh Lassie there be nothing finer than the sound of the pipes...

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  11. the bagpipe always moves me...I think it adds dignity to any type of music.

    http://www.redhotchillipipers.co.uk/

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  12. I love buskers, they share their talents so freely.

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  13. OW! Those last 4 lines kept me there with him in the rain. A gorgeous walk by! Reminds me of the dorm in Scotland with the bagpiper class in the courtyard. I'm sure your serenade was better.

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  14. Beautifully done Grace. I am happy to see that the bagpiper comes inn your poetry too - nice.

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  15. do like how the music takes one back

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  16. Oh what a beautiful story you have told in this poem. Sometime there is a chap that comes and plays his pipes in the park near my house. I wish he was here playing now.

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  17. Sad and beautiful. I love the bagpipes.

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  18. Love bagpipe sound Grace this is beautiful
    I heard i funerals here too sometimes but I love it!

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  19. Oh this is amazing...very nice take on the prompt! Thanks for joining in.

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  20. Would not want to be the one standing there blowing away, need my breath lol

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  21. A wonderful capture and an emotive piece, Grace. I especially like-- piping his lungs with city dust & crumpled bills

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  22. I really enjoyed this poem, Grace. I love the sound of well-played pipes. I failed bagpipe lessons, unfortunately (and ignominiously).
    K

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  23. Street entertainers are fascinating to me- I have to stop and watch and listen. Poetry and music are inseparable.

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  24. bagpipes in the distance... a great sound!

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  25. Beautiful photo to go with a lovely poem

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  26. "his music now a raindrop"... Loved those words. Beautiful piece!

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  27. always have admired buskers. i suspect he's quite a character, your piper ~

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  28. So good...using the bagpiper brought the rhythm to life and the images are perfect.

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  29. "Impromptu, bagpiper switches to modern pop strains!" Ohh! Bagpipers entertaining tourists! Today I miss London.

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  30. This is great! You don't see fun things like this where I live. You create a great vivid image.

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  31. I thought this was a lovely record of the piper, the street, people, I enjoyed this very much Well done Grace.

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  32. Love the bagpipe inspiration. It is sad that the culture is dying.

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  33. Feels intriguing and melancholy all at once. I like how the everyday hustle and bustle contrasts with the slow measured pace of bagpipe playing.

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Thank you for your comments and visit. I appreciate them ~