“To the Ready, Forward March!”


 “Grab your trombone and have some fun!

We can circle the square and stay in the sun,”

I feel like marching when my trombone plays,

Sometimes even on windy or rainy days,

Seventy-six trombones” is my favorite song,

Because it’s happy and boisterous as I march along,                                  

What better way to make everybody’s day,

Than to let them hear the trombones play,

The music and rhythm tickles me inside,

Especially when I’m marching with you in stride,

We’ll play “Stars and Stripes” as we begin,

And when we get to the park, where we end,

You can play “Fantasy” to show your skills,

While I get ready to give the audience thrills,

In case you’re wondering what I’m talking about,

I’ll explain it to you and erase all doubt,

I’m more than a musician, I’m also a clown,

I enjoy hearing laughter all around,

Music and laughter are both good for the soul,

If your foot starts tapping, I’ve met my goal,

And if you laugh with me, you’ve made my day,

That’s all I need, that will be my pay,

If I distract someone and see a happy face,

The whole world will seem like a better place,

Grab your trombones, cornets, or your reeds,

We’ll march across the highway into the weeds,

“To the ready, Mark Time, and Forward March”

A lively cadence but without all the starch,

If laughter and music is quicker in pace,

The world will seem like a better place,

So let’s go marching with our trombones,

We’ll be royalty without our thrones,

We’ll go to the park where we’ll slide but not swing,

We’ll laugh at ourselves, and enjoy everything.

Music of the Ages


An Altay shaman beating a gong. Music was one ...
Image via Wikipedia

Music Has Always Existed

The shaman shared his secrets in a cave,

Where no one dared enter, even the brave,

It was time for his wisdom to be passed down,

His chosen one had to have an ear for sound,

For rhythms were the lifeblood of his clan,

Without his approval rhythms were banned,

She waited patiently as herbs were mixed,

He stirred the drinks with seasoned sticks,

“Drink,” he ordered and gave her a cup,

“This will excite the spirits that I call up,”

She sipped it slowly , then drank it all down,

Her world began spinning round and round,

Yet she listened and never resisted,

He chanted, “Music has always existed,”

“In the beginning it was cool,

When humans started using tools,

Rock against rock and maybe by chance,

The rhythmic pounding induced a trance,”

And he added, “Strong emotions were stirred,

When good vibrations occurred,”

He held up the wand that stirred the drink,

 He chanted the spell that made the link,

Between the other world and the wand,

Invoking spirits from far beyond,

The shaman paused, “ With this magic stick,

 I can contact spirits, heal the sick,

And on a tree trunk I can beat,

And the music will enter my feet,

Now I’ll take two wands and start,

Tapping to the rhythm of your heart,

You’ll feel the beat stir deep inside,

Release the energy you can’t hide,

You will sway your hips and dance,

You’ll help two people find real romance,

Create with magic the will,

For us to care for each other still,

The bonds that unite will not come apart,

When joy brings love into your heart,

To all kinds of rhythms, open your mind,

Show respect and love and you will find,

You will be held in high esteem,

I’ll dance to your music and listen to your dreams,

But for now you’ll warm me with your fire,

I’ll invoke the spirits to stir your desire,

And the rhythms of love will fill the night,

Creating special magic until dawn’s first light,”

As the Shaman’s apprentice she blossomed and grew,

Learning all he taught her until she was confident and knew,

The rhythms of music that would keep peace in their clan,

She taught women to dance so each could please her own man,

Magic was in the drums, in the beat that was played,

The magic wands set the cadence with skills displayed,

And the tribe danced with happy feet,

Dancing to nature, enjoying the beat,

And the rhythms of love would fill the night,

Creating special magic until dawn’s first light.

“Just a Little”


Lake Powell from above Wahweap Marina.
Image via Wikipedia

Waiting for the plane to taxi down,

          I remember the first time, the beating of her heart ,

Increase of the engine’s sound,

          In rhythm with mine, part by part,

Speeding on the runway of my trip,

          Her eyes searching mine,

Feeling the ground slip,

          Even more so this time,

Soaring into the clouds,

          “I’ve missed you,” I thought,

Above the Sierras, tall and proud,

          “All along it’s you I sought,”

Above patch-work farms of green and brown,

          Somehow I could see her brown hair,

Lakes of silent blue and beds of salt,

           As the wind found her standing there,

Red cliffs and canyons, a seismic fault,

          Her blue blouse, her lean frame,

The swaying of the plane does not bother,

          The way she whispered my name,

Any readers, sleepers, or noisy others,

          The wisps of hair about her face,

Trim stewardesses hovering nearby,

          With kisses I’ll put the wisps in their place,

Still calming those who were afraid to fly,

          Right in the middle of a crowd,

The pilot explaining the next sight,

          I’ll crush her against me, so proud,

After Lake Powell, Grand Canyon to the right,

          Feeling her against me so completely melt,

People straining eagerly to see,

          Her warmth, her softness, dizzyingly felt,

The vast dry land, rocks but no trees,

          “I want you.  It’s you I need,”

Very little turbulence above the rain,

           She could feel my hunger, knew my greed,

A white blanket of clouds beneath the plane,

          She pushes away, “We need to talk,”

Nothing to see so passengers try to sleep,

          I’m stunned by her words. She begins to walk,

With memories of lovers and places to keep,

          “While you were gone I’ve thought this out,”

Ears popping as pressures equalize,

          “I want you to love me, without any doubt,”

We’re on a downward slope before I realize,

          “I don’t want this to be a case of lust,”

“Please fasten your belts. We’re ready to descend,”

          “I want you forever, your love and your trust,”

The wings shimmy and shake again,

          “I want me in your heart, the way I hold you,”

The thump of wheels touching is all it takes,

          “Even when I’m unloveable, I want you to be true,”

Slowing down quickly, the grinding of brakes,

          Her words exploding in my heart and mind,

Finally I’m to the ramp where I disembark,

          There could never be anyone else that I could find,

And stumble off smiling into the dark,

          “She loves me,” I know, “she reminds me each day,”

I find my car and homeward race,

          Without reservation her love is on display,

          She’s waiting for me, dressed in black lace,

          “Shhhhh,” she whispers, “the kids are asleep,”

          “I want them to sleep, long and deep,”

For eight years it’s been like this,

Romance is part of our marital bliss,

And though my work takes me far and wide,

She’s always with me deep inside,

She’s a wonderful mystery, a constant riddle,

Do I love her? My manly pride answers, “Just a little.”

“Just a Little”


Lake Powell from above Wahweap Marina.
Image via Wikipedia

Waiting for the plane to taxi down,

          I remember the first time, the beating of her heart ,

Increase of the engine’s sound,

          In rhythm with mine, part by part,

Speeding on the runway of my trip,

          Her eyes searching mine,

Feeling the ground slip,

          Even more so this time,

Soaring into the clouds,

          “I’ve missed you,” I thought,

Above the Sierras, tall and proud,

          “All along it’s you I sought,”

Above patch-work farms of green and brown,

          Somehow I could see her brown hair,

Lakes of silent blue and beds of salt,

          As the wind found her standing there,

Red cliffs and canyons, a seismic fault,

          Her blue blouse, her lean frame,

The swaying of the plane does not bother,

          The way she whispered my name,

Any readers, sleepers, or noisy others,

          The wisps of hair about her face,

Trim stewardesses hovering nearby,

          With kisses I’ll put the wisps in their place,

Still calming those who were afraid to fly,

          Right in the middle of a crowd,

The pilot explaining the next sight,

          I’ll crush her against me, so proud,

After Lake Powell, Grand Canyon to the right,

          Feeling her against me so completely melt,

People straining eagerly to see,

          Her warmth, her softness, dizzyingly felt,

The vast dry land, rocks but no trees,

          “I want you.  It’s you I need,”

Very little turbulence above the rain,

          She could feel my hunger, knew my greed,

A white blanket of clouds beneath the plane,

          She pushes away, “We need to talk,”

Nothing to see so passengers try to sleep,

          I’m stunned by her words. She begins to walk,

With memories of lovers and places to keep,

          “While you were gone I’ve thought this out,”

Ears popping as pressures equalize,

          “I want you to love me, without any doubt,”

We’re on a downward slope before I realize,

          “I don’t want this to be a case of lust,”

“Please fasten your belts. We’re ready to descend,”

          “I want you forever, your love and your trust,”

The wings shimmy and shake again,

          “I want me in your heart, the way I hold you,”

The thump of wheels touching is all it takes,

          “Even when I’m unloveable, I want you to be true,”

Slowing down quickly, the grinding of brakes,

          Her words exploding in my heart and mind,

Finally I’m to the ramp where I disembark,

          There could never be anyone else that I could find,

And stumble off smiling into the dark,

          “She loves me,” I know, “she reminds me each day,”

I find my car and homeward race,

          Without reservation her love is on display,

          She’s waiting for me, dressed in black lace,

          “Shhhhh,” she whispers, “the kids are asleep,”

          “I want them to sleep, long and deep,”

          For eight years it’s been like this,

          Romance is part of our marital bliss,

          And though my work takes me far and wide,

          She’s always with me deep inside,

          She’s a wonderful mystery, a constant riddle,

          Should I tell her how much I love her?

          My manly pride answers, “Just a little.”

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