Poem: The Music of You

Updated on November 1, 2018
Mark Tulin profile image

Mark lives in California. He's a former therapist who treated several clients with hoarding behaviors. He reflects their lives in a poem.

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

Questions & Answers

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      • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

        Mark Tulin 

        6 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 

        6 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 

        9 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 

        9 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 

        11 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Thanks Audrey.

      • vocalcoach profile image

        Audrey Hunt 

        11 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 

        13 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Thank you, tabouche, for your kind words.

      • aminz4 profile image

        tabouche amin 

        13 months ago from alger

        Wonderful poem is beautiful as usual

      • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

        Mark Tulin 

        13 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

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

      • manunulat profile image

        Jason Behm 

        13 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 

        14 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

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

      • Sean Dragon profile image

        Ioannis Arvanitis 

        14 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 

        14 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 

        14 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 

        14 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

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

      • profile image

        Judy Dykstra-Brown 

        14 months ago

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

      • Mark Tulin profile imageAUTHOR

        Mark Tulin 

        14 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 

        14 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 

        14 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 

        14 months ago

        Very nice.

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        14 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 

        14 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

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

      • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

        Gypsy Rose Lee 

        14 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 

        14 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 

        14 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 

        14 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 

        14 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 

        14 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 

        14 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 

        14 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 

        14 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 

        14 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 

        14 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 

        14 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 

        14 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

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

      • mayaellenson profile image

        Maya Ellenson 

        14 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 

        14 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 

        14 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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