The Percussion Version

by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin


Music is why we live inside

these foursquare rooms, why we gather

to listen to the scrabbling and the sound-test,

the way the splash cymbal explores the limits,

vibrating against the glass, and the bell-note

Rings and rises like a cloud into the ceiling.


From outside the house how different: I paused

beside the door and all I could hear

was a chair scraping into silence

and presently a soft step climbing,


a sigh from the upper floor, at which

in the room below something knocked just once

and the well in the back yard answered

with a bass vibrating groan.