Five Exercises for Guitar by Herbert W. Martin

-for Josh


Lamplight falls on the carpet.
A moon shades the floor.
The boy’s fingers are acrobats
Walking the tight strings;
They do not know how
Far above the ground they balance.
They are searching for that rare song.
Air is the spring in their step.
Words are blue;
Syntax is bluer still.
Nothing moves.
Nightshade lifted,
A spread of light
Among blanket rhythms.
It is a woman’s voice;
It is always a woman’s voice
That speaks of the viciousness of love.

Herbert Woodward Martin