Sonnet on Opening Night

Night opens on each living thing's
Each separate quiet, in light and form
All lifelike in their perfect being.
With real fire, rose fire and the violet,
Each budding twig and leaf is taper-lit.
No subtlety omitted. The proscenium
Is workmanlike with stars, drops vivid,
Brute floods blood-red for the proper scenes.
The crotchety sombre cellist grieves
His age across his ancient dark brown strings,
Then . . . a sudden scuffle of nibs and quills,
The strict score scattered, the lunatic
Phantom hopping black-cloaked from the kill,
The women screaming in the wings!