“The Song of the Tap Shoes”
I see the blinding bright lights shining at me while I brilliantly tap dance. Hear my tap shoes tapping across the floor. Tipitty-tap, tip-tap.
I feel the sweat pouring off me as I excitedly tap, shuffle-hopstep.
l tap dance to a jazzy song, “Working at the car wash, at the car wash, yeah!”
Fulap-step, fulap-step, shuffle-hop-step, shuffle-hop-step.
See the glittering blue costumes, the silver buckets and shammies.
See the bright faces with shimmering eye shadow and lipstick.
Hear the crowd wildly clap, and someone proudly say,
“It was like a song, tippitty-tap, tip-tap.”
I hear it in a cat’s purring.
A black cat curled up with its eyes closed, falling asleep.
From its chest comes a low rumble, a long, low continuous rumble.
The sound goes on for mere minutes before he falls asleep.
It seems like he is in a joyous mood.
If he wakes up, no purring at first, while he looks around, then slowly he starts to purr again.
A cat’s lullaby to put himself back to sleep.
When I was young, just a baby,
my big black cat would come curl up next to me and sing his own cat lullaby that would set me to sleep.
Even though it was a rumbling, it was a very soothing song.
Whether he was intentionally trying to sing me to sleep, l will never know.
Behind the purring there is a rhythmic beat, like the ocean’s waves coming in and out.
The purr sounds like a soft breeze or a gentle patter of rain.
No matter how long two cats purr next to each other, they won’t get in sync.
Each cat’s purr is his own tune.
To me, a cat’s lullaby is one of the most soothing sounds in the world and it makes me very happy, no matter what mood l am in.
An intricate song,
Fabricated with the many sounds of delight,
Lyrics composed of gold,
Radiating to the waiting ears,
Around the world and across the oceans,
Like the bright sun,
Beaming in the light sky,
Spreading warmth to people everywhere,
Filling them with pleasure.
Songs trickle by,
Over green hills,
Down snow-capped mountainsides,
Weaving between branches,
ln the sea of green leaves.
Rising from clear water,
Flowing over smooth pebbles,
Spilling into the vast blue oceans,
Waves lapping in tempo,
Crashing against the jagged rocks of the bay.
Emerging from brightly colored feathered throats,
Perched upon the trees,
From the song of the breeze.
Jubilant notes riding on the wind,
Reverberating in the steep valleys,
Meandering to golden fields of wheat,
Swaying and dancing in unison,
To the joyful resonances.
Intertwined with the voices,
Of friends, family and neighbors,
To simply appreciate,
The gift of music,
Of the bliss it can bring,
Like opened presents on Christmas morning,
To young and old,
Rich and poor,
People of all ethnicities,
To rejoice together,
With the animals, plants and nature,
The golden melodies of joy.
For the newborn child
With small hands and a trusting grip
For the swells of a symphony
And the lights of a Broadway stage
For the triumphant slam of the door
Leaving the demon on the other side
And having the torture of sadness cease
For night skies filled with eternal light of silver stars
Broken solely by the arc of Apollo’s chariot
As it leads on the venerated sun
For the glory of the game
The soft smack of leather against nylon net
For arms that rise triumphantly
For savage yawps and warrior cries
For all the seasons on the Earth
For crimson poppies and sun colored marigolds
For quenching the thirst for life
For feasting off of mountaintops
Or reaching the depths of the ocean
For knowing who you are
The colors that made you
The scraps of cloth, blood, sound, and feeling that made you
For being conscious of your skin
For seeing light
And light leave
Then realizing your mortality
For being valiant in fighting battles
That have yet to be won
For shepherding the blind
In that kind way of yours
Until equality is doled doubtlessly
For watching cracks in the concrete
As they drain substance from the last storm
Hear the gush of rain in the sewer pipes
And for realizing you are part of something infinitely bigger
That whose titanic magnitude you will never comprehend
For the simple pleasure of knowing
You have made it thus far
And it will go on
And there shall be more.
O, to capture the birdsong of the morning!
To hold with infinite satisfaction the darting piping thrill of hummingbirds
They – who nestle in the earthy sweetness of neroli on citrus trees rich with fruit,
Who praise the silhouette of branches against a dusk sky
And, ever faithfully, still to perfect the tableau.
O, but to dwell eternally in the bright lights and bright laughter of an early evening!
The sun courts the sea at seven o’clock, but the teachers, the researchers and writers trail home earlier, showering in the sparks of achievement and scattering scintillas as they go.
The completion of day awakens relief, the progenitor of breathless joy.
O, the dreamer’s joys!
Night, velvet and gentle, the fabric upon which dreams are embroidered-
I remember your peace. Beautiful as the deliberate pause of an orchestra-
the third beat before the solo of Vivaldi’s Concerto in A minor-
enriching all that was before, and all that to be after.
O, to count the charms of the hours before dawn!
The city does not rest – the moon is mirrored behind kitchen windows,
planes cross stars overhead – yet primeval, pure solitude,
unilluminated with the light of day, glows in the darkness with the promise of silent miracles to come.
I run my tense fingers over the shining strings
Only I can hear the shy notes C G D A ringing quieter than a whisper
My right arm lifts the bow before I even think of it
I am prepared for what comes next
My hands move at the speed of this sound
This spirited song can almost play itself
The sweet music pours out from the cello- the extension of myself
l feel the deep vibrations within me- they travel from my head to my feet in an instant
l am only a witness to the sounds and feelings and emotions
Suddenly I feel free
What was once anxiety is now peace
There are numerous imperfections but the music created gives me joy, freedom, wisdom, a mythical emotion
I feel a strong sense of power, when in reality, l have none
As the music rolls along, my senses are focused solely on the little black notes
As though my life depended on it
The rest of the world is far from my mind when a song so intense touches the earth
The notes decelerate and my mind resurfaces as the overwhelming song draws to a close
The world is revived to its former state,
its bizarre condition before the provoking music happened
The song is complete but every beautiful note still floats through the quiet air
And echoes through my head.
From A Song of Joy: An Anthology
A grand scheme of spotlights lit against the wooden stage blaring onto the entranced audience under the dimmed lights
Sound of the roaring waves under the moonlight, sound of birds flying to the third world Trumpets blaring, strings of french horns against flutes, tiny pixies of piccolos surrounding the stage
Tiny silver and bronze angels floating, rising, reaching through the theater, across the air into the hearts of those fortunate for the taste of rhythm
Rhythm to the loud, domineering sounds of the thundering skies to the tranquility of obscurity of forests worldwide in the palm of my hands
The loud bass, the lonely oboes, the flighty flutes , the piccolos, the saxophone and alto saxophone, the clarinets, e-flat, b-flat and e-flat alto-symphony of the heavens grounded by desire to spread its golden wings
Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone playing all round, summer, spring, winter and fall
The tuba, percussion, bells, drums, the lifting French horn – oh glorious, glorious indefinable beauty
An ethereal, heavenly ensemble transcendental forevermore
Rhapsody of heartbeats pumping simultaneously, rattling fingers, squeezed mouths, stomping feet,
Roving eyes from side to side to the nodding of heads in rhythm of the pounding, elevating, heightening-golden symphony
Lifting, soaring, ascending, controlling the innate conscious mind
Conscious of being induced to nothing, nothing but a puppet, a foolish entertained pet of music – yet alas, moving oneself is near, for time has played a petty trick on all those who were near
Time- a song that seeps through bones, bodies, hearts, swinging like a pendulum consistently
Diabolical, demonic, destructive to think otherwise
Sound of wings snapping in one fluid step, freeing and enveloping, embracing all within, devouring light and enticing life
Ba-bump Ba-Bump, Ba-bump, Ba-bump, Ba-Bump, Ba-bump, the echoing of thunder controlled and tamed under winter-skinned hands
Vivaciously, intrepid, unfettered-beating against the chains invisible to eyes
The unseen is proven to be seen, the skies cleared, sun showers, the moon hides, the clouds brighten, purple, apple scarlet, blues, yellows, orange and pinks
Next year’s theme is announced January 1, 2015! We look forward to your entries!