He spends his time in music;
endless exercise for fingers
skilled in other crafts,
walking unfamiliar paths
along the neck, between the frets,
on strings that vaguely stay in tune.
His voice now lacks the range that once it had
but still, within its limits,
holds a certain sweetness to account.
Plucked out in sympathetic harmony,
the notes of folk-tunes on guitar
sing their warm accompaniment,
whereas the banjo merely quacks
arpeggios in twanging runs,
and the brittle accents of the mandolin
form jigs and reels.
This is how those zero hours are filled
whilst waiting for the phone to ring.