The dance, the drum

Sometimes when no one is watching
I will dance around my name
with a loud drum always banging
which never sound the same
Yes, it’s always rhythmic
but the pattern’s one of change
Its signature and syntax
quite often rearranged

Synonymous with freedom
My name just like my drum
is one that’s good to dance to
for me and everyone
So as life brings me the rhythm
likewise I sam set free
and the dancing it continues
unequivocally

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics (the drum in the rear of the picture – the one with a pink boa – is mine with me playing it. A bottom surdo as a part of a mass ‘Encontro’ in Brighton back in 2001).

Drum

The wooden floors vibrated
from the sound of many drums
Rhythm everywhere around
enjoyed by everyone
And I danced to special timbre
pulsated by the beat
from heart and soul and head and hands
right down to my feet

©Jemverse

Photo – from Jemverse on Instagram, April 2018 – Jempics

The walking to work song

With reflections in puddles
as I’m walking along
the timbre of my thoughts
falling naturally to song
the rhythm of the world
helps me hum a little ditty
as it’s mirrored down there at my feet
looking really pretty

It’s a walking to work song
with contented frame of mind
looking forward to the pleasures
that I know the day will find.
The rain acts as percussion
drumming at my feet
with the song just like the puddles
mirroring the beat

©Jemverse

Rhythmic (chained haiku)

Rhythmic, the sea moves
Back and forth across the beach
Waves upon the shore

Rhythmic, the waves move
Back and forth across the sea
Breaking on the beach

Rhythmic, the beach beats
As a drum upon the shore
Music from the sea

©Jemverse

Leaves falling

Today there are leaves falling
It is time for fleeces
and hot cocoa and open fires
Long walks in crisp air with
a quickening stride
and fleeting looks
Soon there’ll be clouds
as breath escapes in silent
sharp whispers and
mittened hands clap out
the beat and rhythm
of a creeping cold
But not today
Today there are leaves falling

©Jemverse

Carnival time

It’s a wild time animal, loud and fierce

The scariest thing we’ve seen for years

It’s a bad hair day all scraggy and long

With the drums and the tams and the animal song

It’s a Chinese dragon crossing the bridge

It’s a paper elephant, big as a fridge

It’s a surdo line where the wild things are

Bright, long and loud and heard from afar

It’s the loudest thing in sound and colour

It’s carnival time in the midst of summer

©Jemverse

 

Lifting

Like a strong hand to lift my soul

Music comes again

And as my rock begins to roll

Sunshine comes to play

Like a fishing net to catch my blues

Music drains away

All the cobwebs which have gathered

In the corridors of grey

Like a drum which beats a rhythmic sound

drowning my dismay

Music cleanses, music cleans

more than I can say

Like a sunbeam piercing stormy clouds

Cutting through the rain

Music is my heart and soul

My perfect summer’s day

©Jemverse

Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 11.22.54

Playing

I played on a cold November morning
Banging my drum to the crowd
As the Lord Mayor laughed and applauded
And the band played on long and loud
I played at a warm Spring gathering
Regalia turquoise and white
The people smiled, warm with the sunshine
And the band made a colourful sight
I played at a late summer festival
The dancers danced on the quay
The village couldn’t quite fit another soul in
As the band performed by the sea
I played both winter and summer
My smile as big as my drum
In Shoreham’s Beach Bateria
Parading out in the sun

©Jemverse (June 2004)

Between late 1999 and early 2010 I played a bass surdo (a 24 inch drum) in a samba band based in my home town of Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, UK. In its heyday the band numbered over 40 sambistas (players) and 20 dancers. We played at numerous summer and winter festivals, parades and carnival events in Southern England including the London Lord Mayor’s show, Brighton Pride and the world famous Emsworth food festival. Although I’m no longer a sambista, this poem captures something of the  smiles the band gave both me and the many thousands who heard and watched us play.

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