The piccolo rang up through the chimney,
And drove the mockingbird to distraction:
What foe is this whose mix of mellifluous and claxon
Seizes the air, here penetrating, there dimly?
Flutists train; singers practice; pipers drill;
“Repetition is the mother of learning”;
The drainpipe echoes with a yearning
Where pulse is indistinguishable from trill.
But beat for beat, some sounders never learn:
The breakers don’t bother so much as to glance as
The surf of the traffic retracts and advances —
Unceasing, immovable, beyond concern.
For restlessness is only a matter of scale,
And trembling ends as something to regale
Waves of descendants indifferent to the feud —
Crescendo, decrescendo in a dying fugue —
Cries’ asymptote beyond a magnitude.