Tag Archives: poem about music

I Keep Your Promise

I Keep Your Promise

Rain beats a riff on the back window
as I drive away from your familiar
promises, like lyrics of a worn-out song.
“Never again,” is made true this time,
my choice instead of your vow.

It’s only truth I take away with me:
torn buttons, bruises, broken dreams.
The empty baby carriage
you’ll find in the spare room,
one more unused space
in a house too rarely
a home.

I was the house
you entered
but never
spread out in—
the rumpus room
battered with misuse—
a refrigerator
filled with carry-out and cartons
with their “use by” dates all lapsed.

I was the melody
to that false chord
you loved to strike,
proud in your outlaw status—
that anchor that held your music to the page.

I see its strains floating after me,
as though that part of you
knows what it will miss
and even now
is trying to be found.

 

The prompt word today is riff.

Morning Symphony


Sounds of Morning

The music I awaken to when I’m at the beach
is a symphony of sounds nearby and out of reach.
The gentle whirring of the fans beside me and above,
and sounds outside my kitchen door that I have grown to love:
the spread out carpet of the surf, the stirring of the dog—
as I lie here on the couch, sorting out my blog.

The day can’t really start for me until I’ve shed my words.
We cannot walk upon the beach to watch the soaring birds
and throw or chase the tennis ball as we do every day
until I shake the words out and put them all away.

The subtle tapping of the keys, the gas truck passing by
outside the bedroom window with its annoying cry
of “Ze-ta, Ze-ta, Ze-ta gassssss.”
(I cannot wait for it to pass!)
Then other traffic sounds fill in
to fill the space where it has been.

One room leaks in beach sounds to tell tale after tale
of needle fish and rooster fish and tuna, snapper, sail—
my porch like a receiver that gathers all these sounds
of nature and of passers-by with which this beach abounds.

Yet the bedroom window opens to a busy street.
I hear the passing traffic, the sound of passing feet.
Neighbor greeting neighbor and the gas truck’s bray—
all the usual street sounds of a noisy Mexican day.

The dog protests more earnestly. He’s ready for our walk.
He has no patience for this blog—its ponderings and talk.
So I save what I have written, content with what’s at hand
to wander off to other worlds of wind and surf and sand.

 

 

 

The prompt today was symphony. This is a rewrite of a poem published earlier.

I Hear the Distant Music

 

I Hear the Distant Music

The midnight bells toll languidly—their sequence slightly varied
to tell the stories of the hours—or those soon to be buried.
Behind them swells the music of a local band.
On the platform in the plaza, for hours more they’ll stand
pumping out their music to the crowds who gather there.
After their days of heavy labor, these hours are without care.

The oom pah pah of distant music stirs my curtains like the wind—
the notes, first stiffly marching, change their minds to dip and bend.
The banda tunes a bit off-key, loud in their origin,
by the time they lift to me are strained out soft and thin.
Living miles above the town, I’m spared soreness of ears
as from assonant cacophony, the music shifts its gears.

What I hear is joyfulness far into the night.
The music meant to call to action releases its bite
and becomes a happy background as I slip into dreams.
Others have not given up on the day it seems.
Behind my lids I see them–lovers in their clenches,
grandmothers slowly nodding as they watch them from the benches.

It may be that daylight hours are for labor and for strife,
but far into the the morning hours, the village lives its life
in the night-shadowed plaza, far below where I
shift upon my pillow, content to simply lie
listening to the village—all the stories that it tells.
The laughter and the music and the tolling of the bells.

(In Mexico, church bells are a sort of village clock.  They toll the hour, half-hour and quarter-hour, but also announce church services and deaths.)

Today’s word was “distant.”

dVerse Writers: The Ballad of Henry and Ruth

The prompt was to write a poem in a certain musical style.  This tale is heart-rending in a typical late-50’s, early-60’s style. If you were alive and paying attention during that era, you should be able to put a tune to it:

The Ballad of Henry and Ruth

Before she met him at the candy store,
her days were empty and her life was a bore;
but when he offered her his Jujyfruits,
in just a moment they were in cahoots.
He was the drummer in a R&R band.
Down all 5th Avenue, he held her hand.
She felt his pulse beat pump a sweet love tune
and knew he’d be her Sugar Daddy soon.

Chorus:
Yes she met him at the candy store,
between the sucker rack and front screen door.
He nearly tripped over her Mary Janes
and crashed into a rack of Candy Canes.
The Double Bubble and the Tootsie Roll Pops
collided with the mints and lemon drops.
Their love was written in the moon and stars,
but realized beneath the Hershey Bars!

Oh Henry, she was crooning, and much more.
He loved this Bit O’ Honey down to the core.
Shifted his Firestick and they went for a ride
his Baby Ruth snuggled right up to his side.
She cried, “Oh, Henry!” as they hit the Mounds,
poppin’ wheelies as they did the rounds.
He was no Slo-Poke, tell you here and now,
so as he swerved to miss a big Black Cow,

The car rolled over on its Rollo Bars
crashing into six  more hot rod cars.
Atomic Fireball” said the words on his car.
Now how appropriate those two words are.
100 Grand it costs him on Payday
so he’ll be working every night and day—
his Red Hot mama working by his side,
for now his Sweet Tart is his blushing bride.

Repeat Chorus:

Just in case you weren’t around way back then, I’ve italicized the names of the candy bars and hard candies of the era. Sorry for ruining the fun of those of you familiar with the times. I know.  It’s pretty bad, but that, too, was typical of the songs of the era.

This poem is written to a prompt at dVerse Writers.

Singlish

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Singlish

When Papa grabbed his squeezebox and baby hit the gong,
all the other children ran up to play along.
Henry played the drums and Molly the kazoo.
Oscar blew the tuba ’til he started to turn blue.

Sally on the saxophone and Henry on the flute,
Wanda on the trumpet went rootie tootie toot.
Mama led the singing and Grandma hummed along
as one-by-one the children joined them in their song.

All the kids went swaying, rocking on their toes
as they sang a song embellished by cardinals and crows.
The cattle in the pasture joined in with soothing moos—
the cockerels crooning descants with their cockadoodledoos.

The mourning doves sang background, telling of their woes,
while all the little sparrows cheeped neatly from their rows.
The horses voiced their  whinnies and sheep all baaaahed along
until the  world surrounding us had joined in on the song.

Woodpeckers beat percussion until our song was done,
joining us in music that proved that we were one.
Goldfinches and burros were next to join the throng,
all speaking the same language in this singalong.

I heard it from the mockingbird who heard it from the jay.
It was a pretty chorus that rose up from that day.
Now most days thereafter, we’ve sung in harmony.
If everyone would join us, how grand the world could be.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/sing/

Blowing Her Own Horn

The promptt: Critical Eye–Write about your blog as though you were a music critic.

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Blowing Her Own Horn

This blogger writes of this and that––
sometimes sharp and sometimes flat.
And though her phrasing is not stiff,
it’s usually devoid of riff.

Her instrument of choice? Her blog.
Her subjects? Modern life, her dog,
photography or 3-D art,
affairs of politics or heart.

World Music would be how I’d class it,
so when you find it, don’t just pass it.
Her themes are most original,
from Pop to Aboriginal.

Lyrics are her major thing––
meant to read instead of sing.
The critic’s lines that she most hates?
“This lady sure ain’t no Tom Waits!”

 

The Post: Critical Eye–Write about the subject you usually blog about as though you were a music critic.