Pierné et Greig

Sadder than a one-hit wonder is a no hit wonder:-) Such is the case of Gabriel Pierné (1863 –1937). I have an over 7 hour mp3 collection that includes the ballet – Cydalise et le Chevre-Pied; Impression de Music Hall; Chamber Music; Harp Music. I knew of him from an  MHS completion of 20th century composers which included a movement from Cydalise.

Being a slightly obsessive about obscure (to me) composers I did an iTunes search & downloaded more of his music. Apparently one of choral works in his biggest hit. Cydalise is sweet & pastoral with the usual ballet moments of duets etc. Enjoyable, as are the rest of the works I added to my collection. The chamber music includes works for violin, piano quintet etc. Plus a set of his delightful harp music.

Also in this mp3 collection by Edvard Grieg (1843 –1907) are his Music For Strings, Old Norwegian Romance. Grieg has a higher profile than Pierné. Pierné’s music is more in the modern classical style more playful than lush, harmonic but not overly romantic. Grieg is romantic, lush & often overly emotional (check his piano concert). Romance is built on the heroic ballad melody, ‘Sjugur and the Troll-Bride’ (thanks google). Stirring & at limes brooding I love it.

To round this collection I added two lps to cd transfers of Leonard Bernstein: Favorite Overtures (Hérold, von Suppé, etc); For Young People (Dukas, Strauss, etc).

A Man & His Bed

he’d slept on that bed for years. same mattress. new sheets when needed. always freshly washed. changed once a week. that’s the night he slept the best. the night of the fresh sheets. he loved the bed. the welcome it offered at all times. unquestioning. mattress given a longer life by spinning it in spring. flipping it in the fall. 

the bed was the refuge and support the cradle of dreams. he laughed to himself the cradle of dreams. he was turning into a bad bed poet. he’d move it every now and then from a corner to more central in the room under the window. then opposite from the window. all moves of maybe three feet in any one direction at any time. not enough space in the room for a dance with the frame.

sometimes he shared the bd with others. no more than a night but not often. it was sturdy enough for a sexual romps. play with with willing bodies. but he felt that sleeping in it was something for him and him alone. he didn’t want to share this refuge retreat with anyone for long. he never learned how to sleep with others. didn’t want to. that would certainly be the deciding factor in any long term relationship. live in or other wise. the bed was his domain to be shared briefly but not over night.

sleep was a bargain between him and the bed. unequivocal.


every Tuesday 2019


Thursday 7 – Hot Damn It’s Queer Slam! – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – 7 pm – featuring Wes Ryan.

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA


23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Japan India Dominica Germany

This next mp3 collection is a trip around the world starting in Japan with Kuni Kawachi: Love Suki Daikirai. Someone in my tumblr feed posted ‘Graveyard of Love’ a track by Kuni & I loved the title & the song itself. This is moody, sweet early 70’s folksy psychedelic music. Kuni has an appealing voice & I was delighted by the songs. Do I understand Japanese? No, but that isn’t the point.

Next stop is Germany with Gunnar Winckler: A few hits. Once again thanks to tumblr. I follow an lp cover list – usually cheese album covers from around the world. The cover for Gin und Rum was sweet so I  checked out Gunnar. There were only a few of his tracks on iTunes. A late 1950’s hit maker in Germany. The music is rock-a-billy fun.We jump from there to India with Ganesha – My Lord. A collection by various performers of chants, rajas & spoken word in tribute to Ganesha. This a great exploration of this genre of ‘sacred’ meditation music. Some tracks over 20 minutes that are journeys worth taking.

Next we visit Guinea with music by Djelimoussa Cissoko – Kora. A kora is a 21 stringed lute-like instrument. Cissoko is considered a master of the instrument. On this lp he plays a variety of classic styles. The sound is melodious, at times meditative, sprightly & enticing. There are some jazz groups that are based around this instrument. I love this particular set though & it makes for an excellent introduction to West African music. 

Finally we come to a more modern sound with Adventura – The Last – this is a Bronx-based Dominican boy band. Latino boy bands still exist! But the competition of J or K Pop is giving them a run for the money. Fine harmonies, funky songs, nice production & in the videos they look more like men than boys.

Another Sunday Drive

“Look you little shit I’m only taking you along because Dad is here. Remember that. Get out of line and you’ll be sorry. Got it.”

“Yes, I got it.’ Dave glowered at me from the front seat of the car. He was still pissed at me for the other day, I guess.

Dad came out of the cabin and got into the front seat passenger seat.

“Okay Dave, let’s see what you’ve learned.” 

“Sure enough, Dad. I’ve been practicing all week. You know …. just driving Mike here down to the beach.”

“Sticking to the private lane I hope.”

“Of course. Dad. Didn’t I Mike.” He slowly backed out of the drive. 

Slower than I had even seen him back out. I sat quietly with my eyes peering out the window. Dave had driven me to the beach exactly once. He had been out in the car every day. Going on the highway to the store in town a couple of times. I wanted to tell but had promised not to say a thing. 

When we got the beach Dave puleld into the parking area and backed the car into a spot. This time he didn’t back right into bushes that separated the lot from the beach.

“Very good. I’m proud of you son.”

Dave beamed. “Thanks Dad. Maybe I could take us to town. We need … milk.”

“Maybe when you get your beginners. This is enough. Might as well enjoy the sand while we’re here.” Our Dad got out of the car.

We got out too. By the hotdog stand where two of the girls Dave had his eye on.

“Hi Dave,” the shorter of the girls waved and walked over. “Can you drive us into town again this afternoon?”

He scowled at her and glanced back at my Dad. “Hi Sally, this is my Dad.”

‘Oh! You taught Dave to drive great. He’s like a race car driver. He never misses a curve.” She ran her hand along her hip.

“I see.” My Dad’s eyes narrowed, as a thin smile played across his face. “You don’t say. Well, Dave why don’t you show me how you take those curves.” He pushed Dave gently back toward the car.

“Mike, you stay here till we get back.”


every Tuesday 2019


15 – Stratford Festival – The Crucible


7 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre


The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA


23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre


March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre


April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies andBbad Times Theatre

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Chet Baker

Chet Baker – Jazz Around Midnight; in my jazz collection a set of his Big Band sides; on mp3 collection Plays & Sings the Great Ballads; plus a set with Miles Davis. Plays & Sings was my introduction to Baker, a cheap import with a dozen or so tracks, vocal & instrumental. His voice is vulnerable, a bit fragile in timbre but sweet. A song stylist as opposed to a ‘belter.’

His trumpet playing is fine. His sound is more emotional than, say, Davis. The Big Band sides are on Pacific Jazz – a major label in ‘cool’ in its day. His life is tragic – junkie, bad relationships. As a result of a drug deal gone bad he was beaten & had his teeth kicked out. I can’t imagine how a horn player would deal with that but he survived.. He sang more for one thing, but keep recording right up to his death. He died a junkie.

CBSky01 cloudy sky over Cape Breton

Also on the mp3 collection: George Shearing & Mel Torme – an Evening with; A Vintage Year; Mel alone: Swingin’ On The Moon. Mel is the opposite of Chet – not ‘cool’ by any means yet that guy could swing. On The Moon is a lp with every song being about the moon. His work with Shearing is the epitome of smooth.

CBSky02less cloudy sky over Cape Breton

To round out the mp3 collection is Cleo Laine, Ray Charles – Porgy & Bess: There was a trend at one time to do these complete recordings of Porgy & Bess. I have Miles doing it, even Fitzgerald & Armstrong tackled it. This version is a bit more soul than jazz and great work out of both of Cleo & Ray.

CBSky03 in the clouds in the sky over Cape Breton

Capping the mp3 collection is one of  that  spate of Bobby’s in the late 50’s/early 60’s: Curtola, Rydell and this one is Bobby Darin. Beyond the Sea is an extensive best of collection – rock, pop & swing – he had image problems but lots of talent. He recorded some great stuff but never got free of the Hollywood image machine to develop an identity. Fine stuff though & a pleasant voice that deserved better material than it often got saddled with.

The song Beyond The Sea is one of my favorites but the Americanized version of the French hit, La Mer, always leaves me a bit disappointed. More about it when I get to ‘t’ & La Mer’s composer Charles Trenent.


Seeds of Paradise

The sparrow flew from the eaves of one house to the next. Several others followed it in quick succession. They skittered along the edge, eyes on the bird-feeder in the back yard. Eyes on the seeds. Eyes on the squirrels that were after the bigger seeds, the sunflower seeds. Once the squirrels were done the sparrows descended.

Two alit first and pushed the seed casings around, another two joined them, one of the first two flew off and a new fourth joined them. The other sparrows lined up along the fence waiting their turn.

The squirrels had leaped off the feeder and to a near by tree. Two of them that would grunt and chase each other through to the next yards and to the next feeder. Or cross the damp grass to stop abruptly and start to dig for something. It appeared they didn’t know what or where they had hidden that something. Holes would appear scattered over the yard, in flower beds, even flower pots, as they searched for that something.

The cycle would repeat and repeat endless. Every two or three hours it would start. Birds, squirrels, digging, fluttering. The only breaks would be a crouching cat in search of mice – mice that were also attracted by the seeds. The birds would flutter away but the squirrels would go on, one eye on the cat and the other on their search.

Occasionally the cat would leap on the fence and across to the garage roof and gradually make its way to the bird feeder. Though after sitting patiently in wait there after an hour or so with no action it would stretch and work its way back to the ground.

The cat, the birds, the squirrels would all dart away when human foot was set in their paradise. Though if one sat silently long enough the birds would gather again, the cat may come forward for patting while the squirrels would sit high in the fir tree grunting and squawking with frustration.

To sit for a time would be rewarded with the approach of blue birds. Birds unafraid of the squirrels for that matter. They have been seen shooing the squirrels away with repeated darting and pecking. No dogs disturb the kingdom. Only the intrusive comings and goings of the humans who would fill the bird feeder, scatter pop corn or spend far too long doing their own digging in the soil for plants.

stream rainy day in Cape Breton