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after the quartet…

April 11, 2011

I don’t think anyone has ever written a poem for me before, so this one is a lovely surprise, from my friend Adrea. Thank you.


The New Sketchbook  For Ian 


The pale blue sky unfolds

against the entrance of the day

a single kookaburra flying by

sits upon a branch

and by his laughing sound

invokes the perfumes of bush gums

and yellow flowering trees.


The violets sit in random formations

and slightly sway

with the soft breeze

which dusts across the roses

while a petal quivers

as the keys on a piano under your touch

and the strings respond

to the garlands of thought

which dance upon a manuscript

before their eyes.


And gently lead us to the billabongs

or Leopold where Streeton

saw the water ripple

under the fluttering air of dragonflies

or the weightless form as a gumleaf opens

upon the lilting melody of the old country

transported by a convict’s swag

through the movement of a violin’s bow

and a lover’s lament about his Gargal Machree.


But it is the shower at sunset

and the haunting rain

sustained in the notes on a stave

which lifts the heart as the young girl falls

to her lover’s shot when he did not look

and the feathers of a dying swan

floating down upon her grave.


When all the rejection

and complex movements

are captured and set free

to glide upon the wing

then we hear your voice

and your music play

with a vibrant energy

in these new songs.


And I know you have returned

from the jagged paths

whose journeys were not wasted

during this imbroglio

but have found their meaning

in a new sketchbook

and the lingering note of a tearful cello

from their inspiration in your own refrain.

Monday 11th April 2011




I had forgotten that Adrea also wrote this memento of the trio performance in Melbourne…


This Is Not A Dream

For Ian Munro


The concert starts at seven

pushing through the cars in a rush

unexpected things with children

have added chaos to this life.

you ring, ‘where are you?’

‘nearly there, just parking’,

we sit alone at the edge of the row

close to the front of the stage.


Now you amaze me when you rise

to tell the story of your work

while the audience sits intent

on the composer and the snow maiden

as I ponder on the Russian

and think of all the concerts

where we have been

from London to the Teatro La Fenice

the many times I have heard you play

from the simple notes of a school choir

to Beethoven’s complexity

and when you sit

we discuss the role of patronage

then three men appear of similar age

dressed in red shirts, a violin, cello and piano

and silence falls.


Seated with you, I feel the artist waiting –

the ice is moulded in my mind

tingling moments, sketches filling with paint

whiteness slips away melted by the crystal blues

of spring and the violent oranges of summer

until I hear the horseman in percussion

galloping to outwit death,

my eyes are closed, you have taken me away

from all the pain which is now a stream

where once the young girl drowned,

then again the passion mounts

I can almost feel his touch as the image

beckons me with wistful surprise

an ethereal sound which tempers thought,

that this is not a dream.

9th April 2011

One Comment leave one →
  1. johnofoz permalink
    April 12, 2011 12:17 am

    A beautiful and well deserved tribute. We can only express our thanks in a more traditional way. You have given a lot of us a great deal of joy in this work.

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