Glass Harmonica by W. F. Lantry

Glass Harmonica

These bowls, spindled, confuse. So painted red
for C, dark blue for A, their rims become
octaves, ethereal as any mist
distracting hand and ear. Their tones persist
in air as atmosphere. Players succumb
to madness, haunted by the earthless sound

of crystal rims, whose cut-glass figures, round
half spheres, remind the listener of young
orchards in spring whose first fruit, understood
as sweet sap on the still unripened wood,
seems like the earliest of songs she’d sung:
unspoken promises, a glance, the small

light touch of whispers near a garden wall.
Or if her lover hears translucent notes,
they force return of dreams, remembered long
after the dawn’s return, after birdsong
reshadows limbs, after the pipe-led goats
abandon orchard lawns, their revels done

except within his mind, as fingers run
along those rims, through octaves, as the air
harbors vibrations, resonating in
both listeners now, while the vessels spin
as she continues playing, unaware
of reminiscences her rhythms spread.














Credit: taken from Creative Commons.
Source: Creative Commons.

Click  here to listen to a glass harmonica sound bite.



About the Author

W. F. Lantry’s poetry collections are The Structure of Desire (Little Red Tree 2012), winner of a 2013 Nautilus Award in Poetry, The Language of Birds (Finishing Line 2011), and a forthcoming collection The Book of Maps. A native of San Diego, he received his Maîtrise from L’Université de Nice, M.A. from Boston University, and Ph.D. in Creative Writing from University of Houston. Honors include the National Hackney Literary Award in Poetry, CutBank Patricia Goedicke Prize, Crucible Editors’ Poetry Prize, Lindberg Foundation International Poetry for Peace Prize (Israel), and the Potomac Review and Old Red Kimono LaNelle Daniel Prizes. His work has appeared in Asian Cha, Gulf Coast, and Aesthetica. He currently works in Washington, DC, and is an associate fiction editor at JMWW. His website is at