Monday, April 4, 2011

Poem A Day Challenge For April 4

April 4—pick a type of person and write a poem about him or her. To help set the scene, you may want to title your poem as who the type of person is. For instance, you could write a poem titled "Firefighter," "Cynic," "Optimist," "Teacher," "2-year-old," etc. The list is endless.

The Drummer
By Bill Kirk

The drummer stands alone, waiting.
Poised and ready, his sticks hover above skins
Stretched taught over their frames—
Simple implements await his bidding.
Then, as if some solitary nuclear clock
Finally emits its primordial pulse,
The first strike of stick against skin
Signals life through action.

Tak! Tak! Tak! Tak!
Vibrations scream a one-note staccato—
R-r-r-racketa! T-t-t-tacketa! Pop! Pop! Pop!
Ripples push the sound barrier,
Seemingly broken in an instant
On the surface of the drum’s head—
Its micrometric amplitude
Hardly perceptible to the human eye.

The drummer calls his cadence without speaking
Save for the insistent sound spreading in ripples
From his drum’s core—through the rest of the
Drum corps on the floor around him.
His fellow drummers respond in kind with their first step,
And another and another still—
They answer the incessant urge to move.
Then in quick succession, they pick up the beat—
Accepting it as their own, completely owning the next strike,
And the next,
And the next,
And the next.
Crisp. Clear. United.

The very essence of integrity—One cadence. One team. One line.

The drummer carries the corporal beat—the rhythm of life.
Yet where does it come from and what does it mean?
Certainly the merging of rhythm, sound and intensity
Is more than mere technique.
Might there not be a subtle nuance
That defines the drummer’s very nature?
Could it be the soul’s search for perfect resonance?
And how does one discern such things?
Indeed, might drumming not be considered a metaphor for life?
The call of the distant drummer
Tapping out his cadence
And hoping it will be heard, headed and followed.

Tap. Tap. Tap. Boom. Boom. Boom.

The pulse of life beckons loudly—
Not wanting to end but having to.
In one beat, the performance is over.
Rejoice and be glad in it.

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