dVerse, Paul's Rhythm Journey, Poetry

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

dVerse, Poetry


Frank is our host tonight at dVerse and his ‘Meet The Bar’ prompt is below.

In summary, here’s the challenge again: Write a prose poem on any topic of at most three paragraphs. Or, write a poem showing why prose poetry doesn’t exist.

When you have written and posted your poem or prose poem, link it up on Mr Linky. Visit other poets to see how they handled the challenge and comment. Also leave a comment below. Maybe you know other good examples of prose poems to bring to our attention in the comments below.

i am here* as Amiri Baraka is to read his own work. physically frail man on stage, lifts his notes from an old leather satchel, places them with trembling hands upon the lectern. accompanist  Henry Grimes readies himself too. i wonder what is about to occur. henry begins to play. then HE speaks.  here is a voice of pure power. a voice that speaks of a life lived. a voice that carries with it authenticity . it moves me to my very core. i had not read any of his work prior to this night. i knew nothing of the man. whatever I am to discover it will not alter the memory of the power i witness.

as i listen to him speak i hear only truth. his truth, and regardless of my own political leanings, or my racial persuasion, i am, i feel in the presence of a kind of natural greatness. a man who has walked his talk all of his life in the face of difficulty. in the face of prejudice. in the face of brutality. here is a torch bearer for a generation or more of black americans. of black men and women the world over. words have power. spoken word conveys so much more in this context than those that are written. the writer revealed. it punches me in the gut. it is visceral, humorous, dark, bleak and angry at times, but at it’s core is a deep and abiding sense of humanity. a sense of belonging. a sense of identity. i know at this moment that i am not a writer. not in this sense. not yet. maybe not ever.

*I first wrote about this evening HERE and thought I might use the old Scribbles as a source for this Prose prompt.


dVerse, Paul's Rhythm Journey, Poetry


Lillian here, your host today for dVerse Tuesday Poetics.

I’m wondering how many bridges you’ve crossed in your lifetime? Come bridge with me. Create a poem that uses the word bridge in anyway you choose.

~~~~~~~~~         ~~~~~~~~~         ~~~~~~~~~

Funny you should ask. I’m a bridge builder you know? Seriously. But no wood, nor steel, nor brick, nor stone do I use in their construction. No rivers of water or roads of tarmac do they cross, no jungle ravine, no city skyline. These bridges are built from deep listening, from connection, from the sound of skin on skin. One beat at a time. Yours. Mine. All of us. Together. Sound that has traveled since time began reverberates in our space as we pound out the rhythms. We meet eye to eye and heart to heart and we sing a song of our ancient souls as we bridge the gaps. The ones that matter. The ones that keep us on the other side from each other. This is a kind of bridge I have built all of my life. It was aptly named.

Planting a deep seed

many many moons ago

rhythmbridge was birthed

~~~~~~~~~         ~~~~~~~~~         ~~~~~~~~~

*Rhythmbridge is the name of my company since 1999 and the primary work that I do here on Planet Earth. Here’s a little groove I wrote and recorded for your listening pleasure.



The challenge set by Kim is to write a poem about a garden. It can be a real garden (yours or someone else’s), a fantasy garden, a fictional garden, such as The Secret Garden, the garden of live flowers in Through the Looking Glass or the garden in Lady Chatterley’s Lover, a biblical or historical garden, for example the Garden of Eden or the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.  All you have to do is take us there – and you don’t have to buy it!

I’m going with a Haibun because it suits my material.

***   ***   ***

Eight days we walked and talked across this Celtic land. We three. We three and a dog. Eight days we strolled for the Bees. Eight days in a Beeline. Eight days a week! A human beeline making an observation. Gardens did we  see a plenty. Herbs and botanical wonders, arboretum and wild flowers creating their own wilderness displays. Mosses and ferns and lichens in the gardens of life, wild and uninhibited you would think. But there is potential danger everywhere to the gardens and to the bees. To nature itself. Neonicotinoids and glyphosates. High yields. Pursuit of profits. Aggro-chemical company concerns. But are they concerned with what is true?

I want to stay here

with natures organic way

in johnny’s garden

***   ***   ***

Let’s Make Beeline was a charitable event involving a walk via a number of Bee friendly Gardens by a small group of folk ( Your Author included) and a Collie dog in the not too distant past.

You can read all about our adventures and see some lovely garden photos too at the  blog linked.


Feature Photo by Henry Diltz

Left to right: Peter Sellers, Johnny and Stephen Stills at Elstead in Surrey.





Paul's Rhythm Journey

Finding my voice

Life has been busy of late. Running another Expressive Rhythm Stories training in Malaysia, going to see Crosby, Stills and Nash Live in Singapore, running a Rhythms of the World workshop in Newcastle, watching Thomas Truax perform, Mentoring Drum Circle work in Hull and The Wee Drum Gathering here at Wiston…next stop Dublin for more drum circling.

Seeing Crosby,Stills and Nash inspired me totally….to maybe pick up my guitar more and sing…fortunately whilst visiting Hull to mentor my good friend an upcoming Arthurian DCF Donna Smith, I was presented with a wonderful opportunity.

Donna can play and sing beautifully and suggested prior to the trip we might spend a day playing together. She is an avid recorder of music and so set up a couple of mics so we could jam and see what we got. She played back the first recording to me and it surprised me….I’d never listened to myself sing before and the good quality mics had picked up all the tonal range….it moved me…she encouraged me to open up my lungs and sing…to find my voice…and so I did…there is work to do…both on the playing side and with the vocal but I feel encouraged by what we created in our first jam.

Here are the recordings. I hope you enjoy.

image credit

Paul's Rhythm Journey

Paul’s Rhythm Journey: Mende

Today I have been creating Rhythms in a Sequencer called Percussion Studio,, in order to assist a group I taught at the weekend with their ongoing learning.

This is a rhythm called Mende, and is a composition of mine that was inspired by a series of workshops with a drummer from the Caribbean, who went by the name of Roger,some 15 years ago at a Festival called The Tribe of Doris

The rhythm is in a simple 4/4 structure and combines a number of instruments.

The piece is counted in by a Shaker, before the Djembe drum calls the group to a response.

In this version the group is only using one drum, a Tumba, in order to aid with the learning by keeping things simple.

You will then hear a sequence of the Tumba rhythm layered on top of the Shaker.

A second hand drum is then introduced, in this case the Djembe, and the two rhythms weave about each other in a motif that is supported by the steady shaker part.

The third drum sound to arrive is a Bass set called Dun Dun. Traditionally a set of three, we are using only two of them in this piece, the Dun Dun (Bass Tone) and the Sangban (Mid Tone), leaving the higher pitched Kenkeni to one side, although it is worth noting that I have written a variation of the rhythm which has added a Kenkeni part.

Now the whole ensemble is present and we move towards a Break in the rhythm which is essentially a call and response motif. The higher pitched Djembe calls and the Tumba/Djembe combo answer before the ensemble returns to the main groove for a while. The final part is another Djembe call to end.

For those of you that are perhaps not musical or rhythmic I hope the explanation provides some deeper insight into what is essentially a form of language.

Here is the sound file hosted by Soundcloud. I hope you enjoy.
Click the Orange button to play.

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This is a blog about my life. It's about much more than living with cancer. It's about reading books, cold water swimming, mothering, eating. All that stuff that people who don't have cancer do. If you're looking for my poems you need to go to fmmewritespoems.wordpress.com

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