The song

When I was young I sat upon the hill watching with
my heart
my curiosity aroused
at the dance grounds
far below
filled with dancers
and with drummers all alike –

Yes –
I sat upon the ground –
in the tall and slender grass my back arresting
on the mighty Mercury

With friends at side
we watched the sky turn blue and black and then the stars
gave rise to night
as great as anything the earth
had ever seen

The drumming down below –
oh yes –
the drumming down below

That pounding like a heart beat in an infant
so it
moved the people to its haunting rhythm
and then the song took life

It was a song like none I’d heard before

The song –
so soft at first
but even in its infancy –
its power could not be denied –
it grew and grew
until soon it breathed –
and life yet small
took flight
upon the waning summer breeze at night

Slowly did I stand
lit only by the moon
surrounded by the tall and yellow stalks of fragrant prairie grass
that danced
in rhythm with
the summer air

And as I watched
the dancers move
and heard the song
the people gathered round the drummers and
the eagle bones they shrilled
a pitch that spurred the drummers onward
or did the song take hold of dancers and the crowd

The song, oh yes, the song
like none I’d ever heard or pray to hear again so powerful the song
that dancers and the drummers too
could not contain the people now
for crowds did swell so much
to cause the song to feed upon earth

Down the hill I ran
and to the drum I faced
with people old and young
with people tall and small
the crowd did turn to frantic awe and yet the song
it would not stop
It could not stop at all

the voice of rule did try to calm the dancers down
and leave the singers be
but none was heard
except the song
it grew and grew in front of me

And on that night beneath a starlit sky
I stood
and danced
before a sacred song

Copyright 2013, Mitch Battese


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