02 Jun

You’ll find this lively musical mural in downtown Langley, B.C. (Photo © 2013 by V. Nesdoly)


“Music to me is like breathing—
I don’t get tired of breathing,
I don’t get tired of music” – Ray Charles

music is the moon-pull of the blood
it snares the heartbeat
in hypnotic rhythms
of smoky blue jazz

it snares the heartbeat
with swaying taproots
of smokin’ hot jazz
while husky voices croon

swaying taproots
of sashaying saxophones
those husky voices croon
a pan flute of echoes

and sashaying saxophones
fingers snap, feet tap
a spoon band of echoes
and triple-tonguing trumpets

hands clap, toes tap
voice hums, whistle parrots
those triple-tonguing trumpets
circulating in the bell tower of my head

voice hums, whistle parrots
the hypnotic rhythms
circulating in the bell tower of my head
for music is the moon-pull of the blood

© 2012 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)


June is African-American Music Appreciation Month in the U.S. I discovered that fact on the Brownilocks website (my go-to place when I want to find out what’s being celebrated when).

When I read that, I thought immediately of the poem, above, that I wrote in 2012. I was part of Tabatha Yeatts’ poem swap that summer and she gave the quote above the poem as a prompt for us.

I sent the poem to my swap partner, and later entered it in a contest, where it garnered an “Editor’s Pick”  and was published in the Summer 2014 issue of Time of Singing.

Music of all kinds has opened up for me in the last few weeks. That’s because the car we recently bought has no CD player. In my search for what to do for music especially on long trips (can’t travel without lots of music!), my son suggested we subscribe to Spotify. I did and find I can download tunes to play offline and the Bluetooth receiver in the car cordlessly picks up what’s on my iPad. Woot! We’re groovin again.

Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by MsMac at Check It Out.


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15 responses to “pulse

  1. books4learning

    June 3, 2016 at 11:40 am

    You do an excellent job capturing the essence of the music and the mural. Great poem!


    • Violet Nesdoly

      June 3, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      Thank you, books4learning! I tried, but am still not completely happy with how this poem tries to say what I actually feel inside about music.


  2. katswhiskers

    June 4, 2016 at 3:07 am

    What a fantastic poem. I’m not at all surprised it was rewarded with an editor’s pick! Thanks for jazzing up my Saturday evening. 🙂


    • Violet Nesdoly

      June 4, 2016 at 9:47 am

      Thanks, so much, Katswhiskers. Jazz is always a good thing 🙂


  3. mbhmaine

    June 4, 2016 at 3:21 am

    Your poem shimmers with life and music. I love the word choice and it’s such fun to read! Thanks so much for sharing!


    • Violet Nesdoly

      June 4, 2016 at 9:48 am

      Thank you so much, mbhmaine! I’m glad you found it fun to read. That’s one of the things I was hoping for.


  4. maryleehahn

    June 4, 2016 at 4:09 am

    This poem is indeed an award-winner!! Your choice of form and your choice of words are all kinds of perfect!!


    • Violet Nesdoly

      June 4, 2016 at 9:50 am

      Thank you, Mary Lee! Glad you think the form is right. Pantoums don’t fit every subject, do they?


  5. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

    June 4, 2016 at 4:59 am

    This is awesome, Violet! You had me at “moon-pull of the blood.” I love your choice of the pantoum form- it carries that insistent, breathing heartbeat of jazz right through to the end.


    • Violet Nesdoly

      June 4, 2016 at 9:51 am

      Thanks so much, Michelle! Love that you got that “that insistent, breathing heartbeat of jazz.”


  6. Wilcox Carol

    June 4, 2016 at 5:58 am

    Pantoum fascinates me– I have never been brave enough to try writing it. Like others, I can see why it won an award. I’m going to print it and mail it to one of our eighth grade girls, who told me last week, “Miss, music is life.”


    • Violet Nesdoly

      June 4, 2016 at 9:52 am

      Thank you, Carol! I’m totally honored that you’d want to forward this to your eighth grader! Sounds like we would be kindred spirits.


  7. cvarsalona

    June 4, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Violet, I can see why your poem was awarded the Editor’s Pick. I love the repetition, the rhythym, and this phrase “ffor music is the moon-pull of the blood.”


  8. margaretsmn

    June 6, 2016 at 5:05 am

    The repetition is the thing that makes this poem glide and sing. Great word choice, too…snares the heartbeat and triple-tonguing trumpets. Congrats on the Editor’s pick. It’s time to start composing for this summer’s swap.



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