Friday, January 3, 2014

Song of My Soul

from google images

I shake the dust of oppression and poverty
from my feet 
and reach for

Within these notes,
lies my liberation.
In my music,
hear the song of my soul.

Witness the human journey,
each plucked note
a footstep
on my path.

We transcribe
the simple joy
of living.
Down all the generations
has come music,
singing, dancing,
the celebration
that is life.

Our notes dance together,
born for each other.
They live separately from our fingers.
We do not play these notes;
these notes play us,
and we are lifted.

I take the pain of living
and, in picking up my instrument,.
translate it
into joy.

Written for Marian's prompt at Real Toads: write something to the music of Ali and Toumani, a duo from Africa, who recorded their second album in London. A year later, Ali succumbed to a long illness and died

There is a fantastic short documentary about their collaboration here. I am in love, and am ordering their albums right this minute. I adore global music, especially African, for some part of my soul belongs in Africa............thank you, Marian, for introducing me to this music. It brings me Joy, and the accompanying sadness of being a human on this earth. Such a journey these men made with their music.


  1. These notes play us ... yes. Beautiful.

  2. I really like that third stanza. Beautifully done, Sherry.

  3. This is lovely ... and oh so appropriate for our new year!

  4. take that pain, wrap it up, put a bow on that thing and turn it into joy. all right!

  5. I so appreciate your ability to speak in the voice of others, to articulate so well.

  6. nailed it Sherry - I know this is close to your heart and it shows.

  7. music has def told the story of our lives....and much of our history is passed down through it as well....even our pain can become something beautiful in it...

  8. I enjoyed the positive feelings in your poem, how depression and poverty into happiness and pain into joy. Great attitude, Sherry!

  9. great poem to begin the New Year Sherry...

  10. Beautiful write and great tribute to a talented duo! Pity Ali passed on early to deprive us of more goodness! Nicely Sherry!


  11. Your love if the music spreads with this exuberant loving poem. Thanks, Sherry . K. Manicddaily on an iphone that likes my blogger id

  12. So beautiful Sherry..this resonates with me...especially the ending. There is a long road my daughter, and her family will walk this year and we will translate the pain into joy.

  13. "We transcribe… " That is a beautiful way of putting it. Happy New Year, Sherry!

  14. I think we discussed this before, mi amiga.
    my mamasita would sing in the kitchen while making tortillas, with a batch of frijoles and a big jug of watered down 'Kool-Aid' with lots of sugar. this was our (seven little children) dinner for the week. Always wondered when I would watch her roll the tortillas why her tears would flow, so.

    Great write, mi amiga...these notes play us...

  15. What wonderful about the duet that inspires this prompt is that it is both the result of a personal artistry and at the same time remains a tribe's happy song--exactly the way you composed it here, in your own voice. The language is simple and clean and pure.

  16. You've conveyed a great truth with beautiful simplicity. Music erases all our sorrows and makes us light and simple. Your poem reminded me of a video i saw of a 109 year old Auschwitz survivor who was sustained by music in that terrible inhuman place. Here's the link of the video, if you wish to watch it-

  17. Lovely lines Sherry~ I specially Iike the notes dancing together and how you are lifted by the music ~ Happy weekend ~

  18. I love the idea of translating the pain of living into joy!! Hope you had a joyful day, Sherry.

  19. I could not hope to find a better summation of the spirit of this song.


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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!