I can’t help but think like a singer
I absorb all the advice and all the know how
of how to sing and now
this is coming through in how I live.
Is it weird that when talking house decorating
with my friend I think of discords and crunchy notes?
Notes running side by side and not blending.
She was discussing wallpaper and curtains clashing.
I was thinking of notes coming together and crashing.
At work when I was creating a pictorial diagram
of our Past Student’s pavers in the yard.
Bricks, blank, unpurchased, unnamed
it was not so very hard
to think of the importance of space between notes.
Notes spread out and distanced from each other
by rests, time to catch a breath, unnoted notes.
And bowling always makes me think of singing.
Aim for the note, then sing,
Aim for the goal, then let the ball knock down all the pins.
Sing straight on the note, don’t smear.
Keep your arm straight or the ball will disappear
down the gutter.
I wonder if it matters.
I wonder if it is ok,
if I can get through life
thinking like a singer.
Can’t really be helped.
I am one.
And I love it.
Note to self – don’t look at peas on a plate or birds on the wire too long.
At the bus stop while
waiting for the bus
a lady smiled at me and asked
aren’t you a musician?
I think I met you once before.
Haven’t you sung at Carnegie Hall?
Haven’t you been to London and Rome
singing at amazing places and then returning home?
I answered ‘I am only me’.
I have just been very lucky.
I was at the right place at the right time.
Someone else deserves all the credit.
He put all the work and the effort into it.
He helped write the music with two other people.
and went across to Europe to make
sure we could do it.
The lady said ‘I remember you.
I was so impressed with how you spoke.
We were waiting for a bus in Berwick,
you, myself and two other ladies.
You were full of enthusiasm for your music.
But I did not get your name and then you were gone.
I answered ‘if you love singing, ‘
come and join us.
Come sing with me and my friends.
The sun rises in the east
like a ball being served
at a giant’s tennis match.
The shadow of the sun spins
and rotates into the distance.
over the next hill where
I cannot see it anymore.
What do these shadows
have for my today?
Will there be happiness?
It is all out of my hands.
I am not playing in the
giant’s tennis match.
The ball has been served
A place which gives me
hope and strength
I have a vain ambition to
hunt my poems down.
I have put them all on Facebook
so I am sure they will be around.
I started out slowly but really wrote a lot.
Some were good.
And some were not.
They are all out hiding on Facebook now
so with my cutting and pasting tool
I will hunt them down.
They have been kind to me
and have let me pour my heart out
into the words as my brain
worked out what to say.
Like butterflies they are fluttering and
flying away from me.
I want to catch them
but I am sure they just want to be free.
This year we are going to New York and Boston to sing a beautiful Street Requiem is a new choral work that aims to bring a sense of peace, remembrance and hope to many communities that struggle to come to terms with street violence.
Twilight falls upon
an empty city street.
Food van arrives.
Lots of food to eat.
Homeless well dressed families.
Empty stomachs growl.
Bread and soup handed out
with a paper towel.
Eager singers wait
hungry for new songs.
Few people sneak in late.
Street Requiem written
by our conductors and a poet.
Songs are so beautiful
it doesn’t take long before we know it .
Twilight falls upon a
Singers stand on stage
ready to do their conductors proud.
Conductor raises hand
ready to guide singers along.
Audience clap loudly at the
end of each and every song.
Twilight falls upon
a happy family.
Bouqets handed out.
Audience clap ecstatically.
We smile and bow to the audience as one.
We are tired but happy.
I can’t speak for anybody but me but
I had so much fun.
I am learning about Voice but I have another instrument I can play, the piano. I have played the piano since I was 7 years old. I wrote a poem for my piano so it wouldn’t feel neglected.
I just wanted to let you know that
you still mean a lot to me.
As I grew up you were always
there when I needed you.
I learnt so much from you.
Not just scales and exercises and Fletcher papers.
Nor beautiful music that I played long after
my teacher told me I had mastered the piece.
I learnt to read music on you
when I learnt to read words in books.
I learnt the phrase ‘Practice makes perfect’
as I sat at your keys while my father walked past
telling me those words.
Working out where the notes were in a tune
and playing the tune smoothly with the aid of
a metronome was frustrating and a challenge
but I worked out what I had to do in the end.
Playing you and putting myself in the mind frame
I needed was like putting on a pair of musical gloves.
I placed my fingers on your keys, I looked at the music
and I knew what to do.
I have found another instrument.
I used it when I joined the church choir but I did not
know how to use it. I was totally ignorant of its beauty and
its ability to make me feel like I am removing those gloves and
losing myself in the music.
The instrument is voice.
Instead of keys, I use strings or cords, vocal chords.
So All Cows can still Eat Grass (ACEG)
Great Bears can still Do Funny Antics (GBDFA)
Every Good Boy still Deserves Fruit (EGBDF)
and Frogs And Crocodiles can still Entertain (FACE)
because I haven’t wasted my time.
You taught me to read music.
You are still my friend. I will always play you.
I love to play you. But I used to play with you alone.
Now I explore the beauty of music with my friends.
So stay quiet in the corner. You will not always remain so. I will come and be with you sometimes. You will always have a place in my heart and in my living room.
Thank you for everything.
A mirror reflects the life we know.
Lately I have the feeling I want to go
through a door into that world
I see in the mirror.
That doorway could take me
six months forward in time
where life has returned to normal.
But who would do what I need to do
as time goes on?
I would not be here now
where I need to be
so I can see my girl
and my girl can see me.
So for right now I will stay
in the world reflected in the mirror
and take each day at a time.
As time goes on.
When you wake up and
remember she is in
hospital because she is
sick put on some
music. Nothing will
change but it
feels like a much needed