Schubert’s Cello Quintet

Man with viola drags bow across viola. Viola’s throat fills with sparrows.

Man in chair weeps because viola’s throat fills with sparrows.

When grandfather’s face slips behind hands long as harps,

man in chair weeps, and child on floor fears it gone. When grandfather’s

face slips beyond train’s window, sea is a roil of motes, and child in train

fears it gone. Boy across shores will not understand when grandfather’s

face slips behind flame

                                        until, in splinter between earth, mind;

cello, viola, made of hours, sing it must be it must

be it must be; oh it must be it must be oh must it be…

Man with viola delves wood. Draws psalms from it.

Man in chair wades sea sore with sparrows.

And tongue of the earth

drags across the mouth of ash

between earth, ash with long harp


Varun Ravindran was born in India and presently lives in Pittsburgh. He can be found online at