When I Used to Play.

Nights stretched to morning.
Muscles ached from hauling gear,
and set-ups:
Conga’s, bongo’s, granite blocks, chimes.
Hung and racked.
A full traps case: Guero, rattles, rain-stick,
Noises hidden till hands’ contact.
Mics rigged—one for skins, another ambient,
that took each whistle, whisper,
snick, thrum and clack.
Then the ubiquitous wait.
To absorb the room. Slide into the zone,
head-prep, sound-check.
Each instrument tested,
as tech-man spidered over his desk,
tweaked risers, treble, bass, EQ.
Mixed like a chef.
My sounds glided round, through.
Seasoned judiciously as salt.
The warm wash of it rolled back.
Skins sang, belled and bellowed.
hands and wrists tingled.
Excitement hummed, visceral, deep.
Then the eye-catch, knowing grab
of notes as we painted the tune,
onto the air. Tight, perfect, seamless.
Individual skill
honed to a collective golden whole.
Watching faces smiled.
Applause washed the finale.
Drew us toward the take-down.
A gritty-eyed struggle to stay awake,
in a van in early dawn.

© 2017, Miki Byrne


The focus of "The BeZine," a publication of The Bardo Group Beguines, is on sacred space (common ground) as it is expressed through the arts. Our work covers a range of topics: spirituality, life, death, personal experience, culture, current events, history, art, and photography and film. We share work here that is representative of universal human values however differently they might be expressed in our varied religions and cultures. We feel that our art and our Internet-facilitated social connection offer a means to see one another in our simple humanity, as brothers and sisters, and not as “other.” This is a space where we hope you’ll delight in learning how much you have in common with “other” peoples. We hope that your visits here will help you to love (respect) not fear. For more see our Info/Mission Statement Page.

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