March 20, 2013

Michael Estabrook

Dear Ones

Yikes, been awhile since I checked in, the time it does fly! It is now official, Summer is certainly here. Beginning with a heat wave here in Boston. And they say Global Warming might be a factor. Fiddle-de-de as Scarlet would say. I don’t know why we can’t accept things when they are staring us down. I’ve learned over my long, long lifetime that there are a handful of things best not to ignore, such as: Mother Nature, the IRS, my boss, an angry cat (or dog, or gorilla for that matter) a throbbing tooth, a seemingly benign rash, a tornado swirling way off in the distance, ringing fire alarms, an ominous fin sticking up out of the water (and moving towards you) and – most importantly – your Wife (with a capital “W” like Chaucer would write).

During Beethoven’s Third

During Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major (the Eroica) I’m swept back in time to earlier days, yanked back abruptly, like a tooth being pulled, into my childhood:  I’m bouncing a rubber ball off the cement wall across the street in front of Grammy’s. Uncle Johnny is smiling in his Volkswagen, heading over to pull weeds and hoe his garden. Grandpa Fred stops for a beer at his favorite gin-mill, buys me a soda and a plate of spaghetti. Gramps is cussing the pigeons again, tossing pebbles at the eaves to chase them away.

There are tears in my eyes as Beethoven works his musical magic: even after these many years have passed, I can still see my relatives, Beethoven stopping the stars in the sky, causing the wind in the trees to fall still.

And I’m wondering, as Grammy hands me a dollar bill, asks me to run down to the corner store, fetch the Staten Island Advance, a loaf of bread, a quart of milk, how can he do this to me, how can Beethoven, who’s been dead now for 180 years, continue to do this to me?

Off the coast of Maine

My soul is withering I can feel it withering as I sit in this windowless room reviewing proposed project lists for the 2013 budget: new molds for the industrial-scale downstream systems, restart and integration of the uniscale project, product care expansion to include the pilot-scale portfolio, redesign of the wetting welder software upgrade package.

Twenty people jockeying for funds for their favorite products and projects. The air in the room still and stale lifeless as the energy in an ancient tomb. And I find my mind wandering dragging my heart and soul back 40 years to Dr. Berkowitz’s course on Marine Biology when my career aspiration in life was to become an Oceanographer, spending my time and efforts on a boat in the Mediterranean or off the coast of Maine collecting phytoplankton or horseshoe crab larvae.

Of course I’ve missed that boat, too late now, can never get back there again – in this life at least But, how in the hell did I ever get here? Why am I here, still here? Where have the days of my grandmother gone? Where?


Michael Estabrook is Marketing Communications Manager by day and a struggling poet by night who began getting his poetry published in the late 1980s. Over the years he has published 15 poetry chapbooks, his most recent entitled When the Muse Speaks. His interests include history, art, music, theatre, opera, and his wife, who just happens to be the most beautiful woman he has ever known.

1 comment:

Hattie said...

Dear Michael. Barry posted some of my poems and I come back to read other writers he posted. Tonight I clicked on your name, and what a pleasant surprise. I enjoyed every entry. All best, Hattie Wilcox