Transcendence  by Nancy Schatz Alton

I want to go out drumming

to be a drummer & hold the beat

for the band.

I want to be the one

smiling, counting, holding the pulse

deep in my body.

I watch the drummers:

they hold the fun, the glee,

their bodies sway.

The trumpeters, the trombonists,

the clarinetists, the flutists,

they hold the beat in their feet.

I watch their feet,

remember trying to catch the beat

in my clarinet feet

but the beat got away from me.

I gave it to drummers

who hold the glee.

I watch the drummers.

They take me for a ride.

I want to go out drumming.

I want to hold the rhythm in my body,

sway & count without thought.

Focus all my thought

on the count: 1-2-3-4.

To hold the count.

To be the pulse.

To be the big sound:

the joy that vibrates the wooden pews

that lifts everyone up out of their seats

dancing even as we appear to be sitting

we are dancing.

We watch the drummers:

their smiles, their sway, their beat

transfers to us.

Their glee is our glee.

I want to go out dancing.

Their rhythm: my joy.

No thought: all sound

from the ground

to the sky.

Rip the roof off

from in to out

until the beat

carries us


one pulse

one count

connects us

in glorious sound.

I want to be the drummer drumming.



2 thoughts on “Transcendence

  1. I really enjoyed being able to see the percussionists last night. It was certainly fun, and the Bartok piece was particularly fun to watch and listen to. I regret not being a band geek in high school.

    1. watching the drummers is my fav part of those concerts. Although the last two songs that the choirs sang were also my favorite. I was a band geek, but I stopped practicing in high school, really in band to be with my friends. Chris talked about his regret about not being in band or choir for the entire ride home. That’s the weird thing about raising kids. You see what you missed, and then have to forcibly remember all that you did receive. And all the joy that comes from watching the band now. That band director: amazing. I will miss it. One more year of watching the drummers drumming.

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