This week's theme is "ardor."
Today's poem was inspired by listening to the Ash Creek String Band: Myra Healy, Colin Healy and Jeff McHugh. I sat in on their rehearsal this week.
Today I wanted to do something a little different: write a love poem inspired by my friends who have been artists-musicians for a long time. They take the commitment to what they love -- music -- to a place of deep understanding.
Even on the drive over to the rehearsal, I got caught up thinking how brave being a musician is: if you play music on stage, you have to believe your music is worth hearing. That's something.
I've known Myra and Colin for about four years, though I reckon there's a few of you around Stratford who've have known them lots longer than that. They've lived in their homey bungalow in Stratford for 36 years, and played countless gigs in Connecticut.
Ash Creek String Band has been together -- with members ebbing and flowing -- since 1974. (Their CD "Ash Creek String Band" also includes bass player Geoff Kooris). They got together over breakfasts and a common love for roots music when they lived and hung out in that particular Black Rock area of Fairfield around Ash Creek.
The Healys have played a couple of fundraiser concerts in our backyard, and I've heard them play together at our congregation often as part of annual Stratford's l and our Music Sunday.
There's no doubt in my mind, hearing their particular blend of harmonies and old-time string twang -- from the couple, and as a trio with their long-time friend, singer and banjo player -- that they have an abiding ardor for this "old-time" Southern country music.
And, also, for each other.
Myra Healy, who sings and plays acoustic guitar, recently has been treated for a pretty exhausting stint of cancer, so in the last year they haven't been gigging as hard as usual.
This week though you'll be glad to know the Ash Creek String Band has been rehearsing for their annual concert at the , which'll be Sunday, March 4, from 1 to 3 p.m.
It was a pleasure, Monday night, for me to sit in on their rehearsal. I had to resist joining in on their harmonies. And it always boggles me to watch storied musicians travel so mindlessly over their instrument. For Colin Healy, it was more than just the fiddle, but also the mandolin, guitar and harmonica, and singing too.
Thanks for inviting me. Here's the poem I wrote which is fictional and inspired by the Ash Creek String Band.
Sometime around 4 a.m., well after you
Kissed me on the stoop and I'd eaten a pan of
Scrambled eggs and turned on the TV
And turned it off again and finally got up
The courage to try pulling off my
Boots. Right about 4 a.m.
(I'd looked up at the mantle at the
Old clock my Nan gave me that
Was always good for noise and
Loneliness beckoned), when
The second heel thud
Died in the hardwood--
That's when I rolled the gig night down.
The tick-tock lulled me home.
I slumped back against the
Ottoman, tuning the sustained
Ringing in my ears.
And just before I slept, I let the
Strings' steely vibrations
Fill the chambers of my chest.
This post is part of a the poetry series, "" -- daily poetry and photos, inspired by where we live.
Have you heard Ash Creek String Band play? Tell us in the comments.