I am intrigued by the possibilities inherent in poetry for inspiring musical improvisation. These are poems I wrote specifically for vocal and instrumental improvisation in a jazz context. Mystic Dreams appears on my first CD, We Belong Together, 1996 Southport; and We Speak Duke appears on my third CD,We Speak Duke, 2003 Southport.


Mystic Dreams

The ageless, mystic dreams
bring ancient music near
expanding the heart
to find heaven here

Inside the gentle wind
across the open mind
as fire warms the soul
our spirits unwind

Into inner canyons
we dive and are free
in the clear and eternal
magical sea

Creation is the source
of all the mysteries
imminent life
upon the silent breeze

Discovering who we are
floating upon the air
suspended and dancing
boundless and rare

Jewels are we
radiant, gleaming light
seeking mystic dreams
in the visions of night

Copyright 1995 Linda Tate. All Rights Reserved.


We Speak Duke

We speak Duke
We speak in a cascade of sound
Words and music talking
through the ears and the eyes and the breath
Hearing Seeing Breathing
Voices singing
Bass bow low
Horns blow high
Drums dance down
Piano play out
the joyful soulful language
We speak Duke

We speak Duke
and the sentences follow one another
and the phrases join together
All hot cool salty bitter
sweet spicy long slow
staccato quick
extreme and somewhere in between
Screaming Crying Dancing
Dying to go there
Soothing Quiet Sensual Coy
Snapping Toe Tapping
Laughing the lyrical melodic chant
We speak Duke

We speak Duke
We speak in a torrent of music
Magical linguistics moving
through the heart and the mind and the spirit
Feeling Knowing Praying
Voices singing
Bass bow low
Horns blow high
Drums dance down
Piano play out
the joyful soulful language
We speak Duke

Copyright 2002 Linda Tate.  All Rights Reserved.

I never wrote a jazz poem for my second CD, Time, Seasons and the Moon, but I created this one for a recent performance in California.

Time, Seasons and the Moon

We are born
We scream our greeting to life
and time unfolds
Captives inside a living clock
as the seasons blossom and fade
The moon watches us in this circular, whirling journey
across the changing landscapes of life.

Nourished by rivers of love
we are shaped by all we feel
anger, forgiveness, pain, delight, fear, curiosity, and surprise.

Be peaceful and surrender to this moment.

Sing to the sunrise, let it bring you to your feet
Breathe in the sunset as it paints itself on the evening sky
Dance barefoot in the moonlit night
while star laughter echoes in your heart
Dive into the push and pull, ebb and flow
Tango and two-step to the rhythm and songs
It all happens now
Life and Love
Time, Seasons and the Moon.

Copyright 2005 Linda Tate.  All Rights Reserved.

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