Dancer 2

The timelessness of mutual expressions

meet on a city street.

Music inspired the dance inspired the music…

turning in a soulful waltz,

ever intertwined.

Across generations,

across genres,

across skin,

into the soul

they fuse,

and mate,

and make children called

Beautifully,

Artistic,  Virtuosity.

She dances across the notes,

He floats when she leaps,

and the electric connection

has its way with them both,

until it is sated,

and they part,

forever together

as the echoes of melody

of improvised, wind -borne brass,

and the whispering tap-click- scrape

of slippered steps

fade in echoes,

walking together

across the waking avenues

they both call

home.

 

The Child and The Drum

From behind the curtain

her voice

holds tremolo and vibrato,

high and clear,

sweet and lilting,

with a hint of poignant sadness.

The drum pushes, pulses

her ululations from underneath,

building the bridge

that connects

the world to the origin

of its song,

evolved,

forgotten, debated,

documented, erased,

burned, rescued,

savaged and salvaged,

but ever

created.

The child and the drum.

Two become one,

and the heartbeat

keeps the time of memory,

even now.

Kairi’s Serenade

Kairi comes down

by the

moonlit water

to play for

me

on random  summer evenings

 

Not of this world any longer,

I cannot hear her,

but I can see.

 

Ah, there she is.

Fair and dark are her features,

Dark and fair is her song.

 

Spinning, playing a bright flourish,

she smiles at a memory,

and I feel the press of its

warmth against my molding bones

as if she hugged my spirit.

 

I wonder if she feels

my presence?

 

At times, when she plays,

there are tears.

 

I long to take them away, to

wipe them tenderly

and tell her all is well,

before we kiss,

before we part.

 

I hold onto that moment

that never was,

never will be,

and it will ever have to be

enough.

 

As Kairi turns to go,

the melody is severed,

and the notes are interwoven

with the stars.

I feel what I can only call

a smile pervade my being.

No, there will be no tears tonight,

just the song, dark and fair, it’s plaintive echo

traveling through the lichen covered

headstones of the forgotten, as Kairi, fair and dark,

vanishes into the mist, and over the hill.

A Story Told in Song

From the savannah

the deserts

the grasslands

the veldt

and the jungle

 

The music played

 

On the ship

In the cabins

In the master’s house

and the whipping sheds

and the cotton and tobacco fields

 

The music played

 

 

And at sunset

Heads lowered over

Unmarked graves of

Old men and

Innocent children

 

The music played

 

From the Underground Railroad

through the rise of Pullman Porters

 

The music played

 

Through Jim Crow

and chain gangs

 

The music played

 

Through hard times

and celebrations

 

Through vibrant

ululations

 

and rising expectations

 

The music played

 

In the Deep South

through the screams

and cries wrought

by night riders

and cross burnings

 

The music played

 

Over the sound

of barking dogs

and high pressure hoses

 

The music played

 

Through Malcolm, through Newton,

and Martin and Jesse

 

The music played

 

Through the first black…

 

The music…

 

We must teach the songs

that kept the voices lifted

though hearts were heavy

 

Kept the flames lit though

our dreams of freedom were

constantly extinguished

 

 

Kept hope alive through our best

writers, artists, and orators.

 

The music played, and plays still

 

And it will play on

as long as we remember,

 

And if

we

teach it well,

long after

we’re

gone.

Jazz Dancer

Jazz Dancer

balancing

brassy bronze

jazz sax solos

with your

ballet shoes

 

Notes in the air

scoop up

your feet

and you dance

on

beams of wood

and

bars of music

 

Ah, there you are,

Spinning en pointe…

En garde, my heart!

(but I’ve already lost this fight;

in fact, I’ve taken a dive for love)

 

In your movements

I hear Beale Street

 

In your eyes I see

Storyville

and

Birdland

and

Paris

 

Your feet write rhythms

 

Your hands transpose keys

 

Your elegant fingers twirl them

together into something

Transcendent and Divine

 

You are a

Jazz Dancer

and I

a mere mortal

crying with gratitude

at the

Miracle

you’ve given

me.

 

 

Black History Month

A proud people,
A nation of farmers
warriors
families
royalty
nomads
scholars
keepers of tradition
stewards of the world’s
most varied wildlife
sitting on a wealth
of gems and minerals

Captured, netted, chained
transported, thrown overboard,
sold,
whipped, stripped, beaten,
broken, lynched
castrated
burned
raped
thrown in jail
segregated
attacked
stereotyped
blackface

caretakers
workers
artists
singers
musicians
athletes
speakers
teachers
actors
dancers
astronauts
scientists
inventors
architects
soldiers

writers
poets
rappers of
Black
consciousness

feared
copied
lied about
blocked
redlined
discriminated against
hated

stay silent
keep humble
pray and wait
don’t protest
get out
go away
go back

rise
strive
break free
survive
think
live
be

We
Still
Here

Black
Right
Here.