Emperor’s Concerto, Ocean Springs MS, 1943

My blackened windows are part of the coastal
war defense, or so I’ve been told. Even so,
this is no room for sleep. Beethoven’s violins race

through the open door of night and the piano
plays catch as catch can along the darkened shoreline.
Almost without effort, lost to a world that demands

each note in its place, each line drawn exact.
Last night, when the room danced with images,
I had only to listen and transcribe until the sun

lifted the blackout. The day-moon, caught unaware,
was hovering in the pine-tops, a bronze amulet.
After a swim in the harbor I saw a squirrel

doing battle with one of my companion cats.
Each had staked out a claim to my breakfast;
neither dares face me. I balance their fear

against the simple fact that I am happy. Nothing less
keeps me here. The tabby’s high-toned purring, (she pretends
I saved her), a holiness I can accept. As for the squirrel,

it has scampered out of sight and hides in the persimmon.
I hear it muttering threats to the world at large. And laugh
and laugh with the many bright voices of this deaf world.

Richard Weaver hopes to return as the writer-in-residence at the James Joyce Pub where has written 485 prose poems since 2016 and freely admits he was one of the founders of the Black Warrior Review, and its Poetry Editor for a time. His pubs: Dead Mule, Birmingham ArtsJ, Steel ToeR, SouthernQ, XavierR, Pembroke, & New OrleansR. He’s the author of The Stars Undone (Duende Press, 1992), and provided the libretto for a symphony, Of Sea and Stars (2005), performed 4 times to date. Recently, his 170th prose poem was published.