Friday, August 22, 2014

Old Young Man and Willy Nilly

"Cat Dance" -- copyright 2014 by Bea Garth
This evening I'd like to take a break from preparing for the semester ahead by posting two new(er) poems that Bea Garth has sent me.  These are "Old Young Man" and "Willy Nilly."   These are perfect poems for a Friday night that is part summer and part fall.  I am also posting three of her pen and ink drawings to complement "Cat Dance."

"Dance in Leotards" -- copyright 2014 by Bea Garth


I am with a young man,
I am with an old man
--what are the mistakes 
I wish to avoid,
what are the mistakes
I will make again?

I am with a man
amongst this tangled wood
we gesticulate and sing
our love rising
like these trees surrounding us.
Is this the young woman I was,
is this the old woman I am becoming?
What wisdom will I share
with this young/old man?
What passions will flame
in this deep rooted fire?

What are the mistakes
we want to avoid,
what are the mistakes
we will make again?
Old new love
-- we want so
to avoid the pain
but neither of us wants
to miss one kiss
or this chance 
to remake our lives again:
old young man 
with young old woman
in this dance of sweet bliss 
and agony.

-- Bea Garth, copyright 2007

"Grief" -- copyright 2014 by Bea Garth


You change your mind, willy nilly,
how can I believe what you say?
You love me, you hate me,
which is it? Willy Nillyl?
What wrong have I done, what right?
We dance this dance,
I am too tired to fight -- and I won't.
I'll leave sooner than swing
to that peppery sonata,
that blue step step.
Love me or leave me, let me be
I tell you, but then you draw me back,
your tongue as sweet and fickle
as a peach tree on a late July night.

-----Bea Garth, copyright 2007
this last poem Willy Nilly was previously published in Fresh Hot Bread.

"That Moment Before" -- copyright 2014 by Bea Garth

I think that some of Dee Dee Bridgewater's songs will go well with Bea's poems.  

Here is a fairly early song by Miss Dee Dee:

Her version of "Nica's Dream" from 1995 is more traditional jazz.  Moreover, it will motivate you for the fall contest honoring Thelonious Monk as the Nica in the song title is his great and good friend, Pannonica de Koenigswarter, the Jazz Baroness:

More recently, Dee Dee Bridgewater has portrayed Billie Holiday in the musical Lady Day:

I'll finish up with her "Afro Blue"

This version of "Afro Blue" is live, so you get to see Miss Dee Dee perform:


  1. I feel honored to have my poems appear with Dee Dee Bridgewater's deeply felt jazz pieces. And yes this evening I sent you three pen and ink jpegs.

  2. Thank you, Bea. :) I'm glad that you've been able to contribute to The Song Is... Your art is so striking and adds so much to the e-zine!

  3. Nica's Dream - Dee Dee Bridgewater