rivers of rhythm

Tonight I am the guest host at the Bar and I have offered up the theme of ‘The River.’

My poem is titled ‘rivers of rhythm’ and ideally should be read whilst listening along with the following recording:

Press play and follow the words. They are linked to the music.

This is your first hand drum lesson, poetically speaking. 😉


pa ta go

pa ta go

slaps and tones

right right left

balance of


pa ta pa go do go

pa ta pa go do go

right left right left right left

balance of body-mind

feeling is moving up

rhythm is flowing now

tok tok tok toktok tok tok

play    the      bell

hit it     now         and

cy     cle      this

round and round a      nd

_ go do _ pa ta

_ go do _ pa ta

_ tone-tone  _ slap-slap

_ right-left  _ right-left

_ riv-er _ run-ning

_ through-the _ rhy-thm

pa/tok _pa/go pa pa/tok/go_




here now is everything

can you hear each part sing

_ riv-er _ run-ning

_ through-the _ rhy-thm

play      the      bell

hit   it     now      and

rivers of rhythm now

rivers of rhythm now

patapa_ta_pa_ta___go_do___go_____pa (now that we are finished)

this is



image courtesy ~  https://fineartamerica.com/featured/to-the-beat-of-the-drum-larry-poncho-brown.html

67 thoughts on “rivers of rhythm

    • paul scribbles says:

      They are designed to be done together. The rhythm is 6/8 and the meter of the rhyme is set to fit each drum sound. They are effectively the same thing. The poem takes you through 4 rhythms and then combines them into a poly-rhythm, finishing with a signal to close.

  1. kim881 says:

    That is such fun, Paul! I’ve been waiting to hear you drumming. Your rivers of rhythm sound very much like the rhythm of the boats in the moorings at the bottom of our garden.

  2. Glenn Buttkus says:

    I love your creativity here & reference to the “first drummers”–drumming & chanting were the fathers of art for sure; but to draw all this into a river expression is ear genius; so cool–though I would have liked you to narrate your words as well.

    • paul scribbles says:

      Thanks. I will look see if I can do that Glenn. I don’t have a studio or software of my own so would need to figure out a way to ‘voice over’ the recording of the rhythm.

  3. Beverly Crawford says:

    An interesting experiment in rhythm reading, Paul. For me it was sort of like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time. I think it will take practice! Thank you for this!

    • paul scribbles says:

      I realised just now that the recording starts instantly ( I should have added a count -in)and so you have to be ready to go with the poem. It’s tricky. Always learning.
      Glenn suggested a reading with the rhythm but I have to figure out how to do that.
      Thanks for visiting and having a go.

  4. welshstream says:

    Can imagine gently gliding down the Amazon River reading/listening to this – not that I’ve ever done that! Great lateral thinking on the take and unique piece of work. Well done!

  5. whimsygizmo says:

    I am enchanted by this! I have always loved the drums; something so tribal and raw about them.
    I absolutely love this:
    “(now that we are finished)

    this is



    Isn’t this just so true, in life?

    Loved the prompt. Love this piece. Thank you, Paul.

  6. Rosemary Nissen-Wade says:

    Clever. And I NEARLY got it, but couldn’t quite keep up. (This is also why I am a rotten dancer!) It was good to then read the words without the drumming, but remembering the drumming.

  7. ladynyo says:

    LOVE this, Paul! The rhythms of the river indeed. I played dumbek when I was a belly dancer, and the rhythms course though your veins. Love that illustration on top. I guess you are familiar with the ayyoub rhythm? This all is poetry in motion!

  8. Just Barry says:

    I absolutely love it as written. I can’t wait to get home so I can hear it (my job is pretty strict about headphones and whatnot and what-have-you).

    But I will listen to this!

  9. katiemiafrederick says:

    River no time
    BaLanCinG rush
    BeaTinG alWays
    Slow drums
    Shores more
    time no River
    rush BaLanCinG
    alWays BeaTinG
    drums Slow
    more Shores
    River no time..:)

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