Boomslang Poetry

Piano Hands

And now for the hands; curve
your fingers gently, position them
over the keys with care.

Work each of the many
small muscles and fibres
of hand and wrist, stretching

and resting by turns,
up and down the scales;
the smooth slip of thumb

behind fingers, the sweep
of middle finger over thumb.
Avoid tripping over black notes,

playing adjacent whites.
Warm sinews and flesh
to the task. Keep it moving,

fluid and relaxed; no clenching,
no tension. Good practise
for firmly, yet softly, grasping

the oar, as if holding a small bird,
but not hard enough to kill it.
You can see men of resolve

repeating this silently
by the river bank on bright
winter mornings; their gloved

hands wriggling rhythms,
their humming given
away by dragonís breath.