Valentine’s Day / Piano Lounge at Wawona

Happy Valentine’s Day Early!

Hey friends and family. The snow fell on Nashville again, I’m looking out the window at birds flying over a blanket of white, landing on our feeder and the sun beginning to melt the icicles clinging to the gutter. Nice. Anyways, time for a break and an early Happy Valentine’s day to one and all. Enjoy your time with those you love.

As Leonard Cohen once said,
“I’ve seen the nations rise and fall, I’ve heard their stories, heard them all
but love’s the only engine of survival”

In another “just sharing” piece, back in the fall, the inaugural Watkins lit zine ran a couple pieces of mine, which I didn’t even know about until I went to Handmade & Bound and a former student told me. It was nice, because my son Jude had a zine on display in the zine exhibit there. So, it was synergy.

Anyways, it was a bit tough, because I had to write to form (ala something about music, something about writing), but they came out okay. I think I’m more partial to Piano Lounge at Wawona, which is also, in its own way, a Valentine’s Day poem.


Piano Lounge at Wawona

She is a grand hotel, white frame veranda
Resplendent with aridonack chairs
And views of the perfectly manicured lawn,
Verdant meadows, and distant mountains.

The wedding party walks around the fountain
And up the steps, young women dabbed
With makeup, eyeliner and lipstick, glowing
In pursuit of boys ruffled and rustled in their
Black and white tuxedos. Piano chords
Like birds, flutter through the air
And cut through the conversation.

In the lobby he sits underneath sepia shots
Of Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir,
Playing songs that are as solid to the core,
As the granite rising from the valley floor,
Made to last. Gershwin. Cole Porter.

Curtains billow against the windows
While I sink into the sofa, back lit,
Catching melodies and pondering
What I already knew, that there is
Little in life I I love as much as

Songs well-suited for twilight days
Complete, ye t hopeful and optimistic
“Skylark” is my request; he nods and smiles.
Finds the chord, and plays it beautifully
With Hoagy Carmichael’s spirit in the wind

The wedding party crashes up the stairs,
Laughing like bobby soxers and soda
And I wonder
What was I thinking so many years ago?
How did I miss this?
Can I take it all back?


Published by Doug Hoekstra

Father, wordsmith, musician, creative.

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