Progressive Composition

Playing the chords in order,
The minstrel weaves a tuneful tapestry,
A blue harmonic border
And background for a red-hot melody.

The key of F selected,
G minor 7 moves a sad degree.
Irresolute, inflected,
It begs the 7th dominant in C

To ratchet up the tension
Foreshadowing the dénouement in store,
When, freed from its suspension,
The song concludes at F, the root, once more.

But once the shape unravels
The single threads become not blue or red,
But noise, a sound that travels
Away from any sort of tune, instead.

Like “poetry,” not lyric,
Recited with no rhythm and no rhyme:
A “victory,” if Pyrrhic,
Because it “wins” by losing the sublime.

And finally, the moral:
What meaning do these metaphors contain?
An allegory choral?
Or just a solo riff off a refrain?

I really hate to tell you,
But this you’ll have to figure out alone.
You’ll soon know what befell you:
Or else you won’t; then, either grin or groan.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2009