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Poem: The Music of You


A former family therapist, Mark is an author, poet, and short-story writer who enjoys writing narrative poetry.


Her Love of Fifties Music

In addition to growing up in Santa Paula, California with Mexican and Spanish melodies, my mother-in-law loved much of the popular fifties music. It was an era defined by beautiful harmonies, strong voices, and catchy tunes. Unlike, some of the songs in the sixties and seventies, you could clearly hear the words being sung. There are very few people who love music as much as she does and I felt it to be apropos to express her musical life through a poem.

Poem: The Music of You

If your music could talk,

it would tell me

about your spirit.

It would speak to me

about your dreams,

the childhood songs

of pink lemonade and

yellow and orange daffodils,

the moment your starry eyes

saw that curly-haired kid in overalls.

Your songs would tell me

about the laughter

in your house,

the stories

your uncles shared,

the fresh empanadas

from the oven,

Granny doing cartwheels

and splits on the dance floor.

All those 45s and LPs

spinning on your Magnavox,

heartthrobs strumming

Spanish guitars,

Elvis and Jerry Lee

at the sock hops

rocking in the school cafeteria.

I hear your music

sweet and clear,

coming through

your bedroom window

from the squeezebox man

to the doves serenading you.

I hear the songs of love and adventure

sailing down the coastal highway

in your boyfriend’s white chariot

with the top down.

Music playing all day

in and around your head,

the rhythm of the rustling palm trees,

the melody of the whispering Santa Paula winds,

static at times on the AM radio,

but your vinyl never skipped

a beat.

YouTube Poem: The Music of You


Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on June 16, 2020:

Sure, will do.

Theblogchick from United States on June 16, 2020:

Nice poem Mark. Can you take a look at some of my poetry when you get a chance. Thanks for the interesting hub.

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on July 10, 2019:

I took the photo from a museum in Atlanta and it was a 78. I used the picture because that record player was so fantastic looking. My mother in law has a player with 45s that I didn’t end up using. I guess it’s poetic license. Thanks for the background on the picture, Mistermuse.

mistermuse on July 10, 2019:

Just 'for the record,' the photo shows, not a vinyl 45 or LP, but a shellac 78 rpm record. I can't make out the name of the song or artist on the label, but I collected old records for many years, so I can date blue label Deccas like the one shown to the late 1930s.

But the poem is 'in the groove' even though it's a bit of a mismatch with the photo (which most readers probably wouldn't notice anyway).

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on April 03, 2019:

Thanks, Diane. That’s pretty much how I saw it. A family of love, faith, and innocence.

Diane Denison from Cincinnati Ohio on April 03, 2019:

This poetry had some what deep meaning. Mark it was like breathing in fresh pure air. In those days people were filled with love, joy , love for God and family. It reminded me of the show "Happy Days"

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on January 31, 2019:

Thanks Audrey.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on January 30, 2019:

"But your vinyl never skipped a beat"...so lovely! Your video is an added treasure. I enjoyed it so much. Thank you, Mark.

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on December 20, 2018:

Thank you, tabouche, for your kind words.

tabouche amin from alger on December 20, 2018:

Wonderful poem is beautiful as usual

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on December 11, 2018:

Very well put, Jason. Music definitely defines her soul.

Jason Behm from Cebu, Philippines on December 11, 2018:

I like the video with you reciting the poem. The poem is filled with life and wonderful thoughts. Music must have been a big part of your mother-in-law's life: how it brings much joy and color to her soul as what they say music is the language of the soul. :)

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on November 17, 2018:

Yes, Ioannis, that’s a good way to put it. Mark

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on November 17, 2018:

Thank you my dear friend Mark, for this wonderful "window" through your Heart!

Music is Love in action!


Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on November 08, 2018:

Walt, so honored that you enjoyed my poem. As I do your wonderful blog. Peace

Walt Page on November 07, 2018:

I am in the presence of greatness. So well thought out and written. I love your imagery Mark.

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on November 05, 2018:

Judy, you gals had it going on the dance floor.

Judy Dykstra-Brown on November 05, 2018:

Your grandma's nostalgia sounds like mine! Trip down memory lane.

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on November 03, 2018:

I feel honored that you like my video poems enough to want me to do one for you. Frankly, I don’t think I could do your poem justice. Your poems are your children and I would feel like I was intruding in their lives. So continue to create your beautiful heartfelt poems, And I’ll read them. Peace and Love.

manatita44 from london on November 03, 2018:

Just beautiful, made even more powerful by your reading and video. Do you have time to do this with one of my poems? I don't have this skill.

A most fitting poem for your mother-in-law. Perhaps she had a 'feeling' Heart, like me. Much Love, my Brother.

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on November 03, 2018:

Thank you, John. An innocent age in many ways. Music very nostalgic and personal.

I appreciate the visit, William. I enjoy your poetry as well.

William Coeur on November 02, 2018:

Very nice.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on November 02, 2018:

A wonderful fun poem, Mark. Nice tribute to your mother-in-law. I grew up on 50s and 60s music too.....played by my parents, uncles, etc....Elvis, Bing Crosby, Burl Ives, Jim Reeves etc

This was an enjoyable read.

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on November 02, 2018:

Thank you, Gypsy Rose. Happy to do it. :)

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on November 02, 2018:

This was awesome and brought big smiles. Thank you for all the wonderful memories of yesteryear.

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on November 02, 2018:

You, too, Marlene. And perhaps think about what the music means to you and why you’re going back to it. It might be an important message of some kind.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on November 02, 2018:

I recently moved and unpacked a box of LP's that I have been carting around with me since I was a teenager. This poem spoke to me because I have music playing in the background all day long. I enjoyed reading your poem, but your narration brought it to life. Have a beautiful day, Mark.

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on November 02, 2018:

Rinita, lately I’ve been more in tune with music’s power in my life and hence noticing it in my mother-in-law as well. I’ve been reading the poetic lyrics of the Grateful Dead’s songs and understanding why their music resonates with me and why it has stuck with me for so long. Part of my journey, I guess.

Rinita Sen on November 02, 2018:

I remember your 'Vinyl at sunset', and this reads almost like a part 2, which is wonderful! The music seems to be in her soul, and I love how your structure frequents the glory of yesteryear by mixing everyday activities with nature based imagery.

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on November 01, 2018:

Thanks, Irene. Granny must have been a real boogie-woogie girl when she was young.

Yes, Shimmering Dawn. She has an iPad now and all her music is on that.

Dawn on November 01, 2018:

Her love for music shines through your poetry. Sounds like her heart and soul was in the music she listened to and spread around freely to others.

Irene on November 01, 2018:

Oh! How beautiful! Yes! If you gave Mom a chance she dance didn’t need a partner either! What can I say except beautifully written

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on November 01, 2018:

Indeed, Lora, she is a special person. She makes sure I have a healthy supply of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, and we share a similar interest in baseball. Plus, I love her daughter. Can’t ask for anything more.

Lora Hollings on November 01, 2018:

Your mother-in-law must be a very special person to inspire such an enchanting poem! Indeed, I can hear the music in your poem and you've done such a good job in taking us back to the era of the fifties with your descriptive words. What a wonderful tribute which shows your skill as a writer.

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on November 01, 2018:

Tim, I thank you and my mother-in-law thanks you as well. I thought it only be appropriate to immortalize a mother-in-law. They generally get such a bad rap.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on November 01, 2018:

Hello, Mark,

You captured the innocence of those 1950's in verse. Beautifully done.

I loved the line about your Grandmother turning cartwheels and having a great time dancing. I could see the excitement and feel the music through your poem.

Insightful, touching on multiple levels, and vivid.

Thank you Mark for taking us with you as you immortalized your mother-in-law through the music of your poetry.

Much respect and admiration,


Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on November 01, 2018:

Thank you, Maya. It’s amazing how powerful music is in our lives.

Maya Ellenson from Hobe Sound, Florida on November 01, 2018:

Music as a metaphor for your mother-in-law's inner world! Beautifully done, Mark!

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on November 01, 2018:

You are so right, mactavers. As we speak, I’m watching TCM. It was the quality of the music and TV shows. They were all so well written.

mactavers on November 01, 2018:

I loved your poem. It's funny to us baby boomers that so many "oldies" stations and the old TV shows have remained so popular.

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