Jazz in Words


That dance of disparate instruments,

Finding their way into rhythm

And sense

And music.

How unapologetic they are, their loudness

Their peacock beauty.

How they strut forward and say

“Here I am”

And the play begins,

Sometimes raucous, sometimes smooth

As the surface of an old late,

What it means to let yourself show up

Exactly as you are,

Hold you big hands out to the world,

And sing.

-Maya Stein



There is music in your fingers

And I know this because I played the piano for a while

When I was in fourth grand

And when I quit it was because my teacher

Didn’t seem to understand that I could feel it.

I could feel it in my chest like the wings of a hummingbird,

Like the throaty sound of the mocking bird who sat on our roof the other night

Under a storm cloud,

Singing as if his very life depended on it,

Singing every song he’d ever heard.

  • Amy Tingle Williamson

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