Poem: The Music of You

Updated on November 1, 2018
Mark Tulin profile image

A former family therapist, Mark is an author, poet, and short-story writer with a sense of humor.

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

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    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      8 weeks ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Sure, will do.

    • Theblogchick profile image

      Theblogchick 

      8 weeks ago from United States

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      13 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      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.

    • profile image

      mistermuse 

      13 months ago

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      16 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

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

    • Diane Denison profile image

      Diane Denison 

      16 months ago from Cincinnati Ohio

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      18 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Thanks Audrey.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      18 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      "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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      20 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      Thank you, tabouche, for your kind words.

    • aminz4 profile image

      tabouche amin 

      20 months ago from alger

      Wonderful poem is beautiful as usual

    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      20 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

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

    • manunulat profile image

      Jason Behm 

      20 months ago from Cebu, Philippines

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      21 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

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

    • Sean Dragon profile image

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      21 months ago from Greece, Almyros

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

      Music is Love in action!

      Sean

    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      21 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

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

    • profile image

      Walt Page 

      21 months ago

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

    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      21 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

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

    • profile image

      Judy Dykstra-Brown 

      21 months ago

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

    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      21 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      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 profile image

      manatita44 

      21 months ago from london

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      21 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      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.

    • romanticlovepoems profile image

      William Coeur 

      21 months ago

      Very nice.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      21 months ago from Queensland Australia

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      21 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

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

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      21 months ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

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

    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      21 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      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.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      21 months ago from USA

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      21 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      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.

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      21 months ago

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      21 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      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.

    • shimmering Dawn profile image

      Dawn 

      21 months ago

      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.

    • profile image

      Irene 

      21 months ago

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      21 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      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 profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      21 months ago

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      21 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      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 info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      21 months ago from U.S.A.

      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,

      Tim

    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      21 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

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

    • mayaellenson profile image

      Maya Ellenson 

      21 months ago from Hobe Sound, Florida

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

    • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

      Mark Tulin 

      21 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

      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 profile image

      mactavers 

      21 months ago

      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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