Category: Blog

Drum Circle – A Quadrille

Drum Circle

Sunday evenings
without fail
the drum circle
on the beach
and to the 
setting sun
its worshippers
do hail
On the sand
they dance
in a circle
of frenzy 
on their drums
to the music
and welcoming
anyone who comes
Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing ©

Mish is hosting Monday Quadrille at D'Verse Poets
and has prompted us with the word Drum

A Quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words 
excluding the title

The Drum Circle is a weekly event year-round
on Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota, FL
Drum Circle Siesta Key Beach, Sarasota, FL

Song Lyric Sunday – Abraham, Martin and John

When I read this week’s prompt for Song Lyric Sunday, hosted by Jim Adams, this song came to mind. In recent week’s these great men, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy, have been part of my conversations with family and friends. It is times such as these where we long for strong leadership to unite us, not divide us, and help with our pain, anger and frustration. I love this version of the song by Marvin Gate and hope you do too.

I found a wonderful article from the New York Times from 2018, titled “How Robert Kennedy inspired Abraham, Martin and John. By David Margolick. Mr. Margolick is the author of “The Promise and the Dream: The Untold Story of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.”

In the time-honored tradition of songwriters everywhere, Dick Holler was peddling his wares that day in September 1968, carrying a stack of 45’s of his latest composition, so new that he had only just listened to it himself, on WABB, the principal Top-40 station in Mobile, Ala.

The performer on the record was Dion, better known for pop standards like “The Wanderer” and ”Runaround Sue” than for anything political. The song was called “Abraham, Martin and John.” A grieving Mr. Holler had dashed it off three months earlier, in the hours between the time Senator Robert F. Kennedy was shot early on the morning of June 5 and the time he died a day later.

But playing it for the station’s program director, he was horrified by what he heard. Influenced by Bob Dylan, he thought, Dion had mumbled the lyrics, unthinkable for a “message” song linking the murders of Abraham Lincoln, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the two Kennedys. “This is a great track, man, but you can’t understand the lyrics!” he told Phil Gernhard, who had produced the record. Too late for a retake, Mr. Gernhard replied: The record was already being played and seemed poised to make the charts.

In fact, its lyrics were almost secondary. So deep was the pain from three devastating assassinations in five years that America craved some music to mourn by. “Abraham, Martin and John” was less song than balm. (Though Robert Kennedy isn’t mentioned in the title, he gets equal billing in the song: Mr. Holler devoted the final stanza to him, ending the song by describing him ‘walking over the hill’ with the other three men.)

Boosted by Dion’s appearance a month later on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” sales of the record really took off. Sometimes there are “perfect records in this world,” Dion (full name: Dion DiMucci) told me, and this one was “miraculous,” propping him up and keeping him on his feet after a long bout with drug addiction as well as giving him another hit. “What a song — come out of heaven or something,” he said.

In the years since, an astonishing array of artists — including Ray Charles, Andy Williams, Marvin Gaye, Kenny Rogers, Whitney Houston, Eartha Kitt, Jerry Vale, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Brothers Four, Mahalia Jackson and Moms Mabley — have either performed or recorded “Abraham, Martin and John.”

One was Bob Dylan. When in a duet with the gospel singer Clydie King he sang, “Has anybody here seen my old friend Bobby? Can you tell me where he’s gone?” during his “born again” phase of the late 1970s and early 1980s, critics groused that he could have been referring to himself. In London a month later, fans assumed the “old friend John” for whom he also looked wasn’t Kennedy but Lennon, gunned down only eight months earlier. For Harry Belafonte, who also performed the song on occasion, singing the song was unusually personal: He knew three of the four men. You can read the entire article here


Has anyone here seen my old friend Abraham?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
Oh, he freed a lot of people
But it seems the good die young, yeah
I just looked around and he was gone

Has anyone here seen my old friend John?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
You know, he freed a lot of people
But it seems the good die young, yeah
I just looked around and he was gone

Has anybody here seen my old friend Martin?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed a lot of people
But it seems the good die young, yeah
I just looked around and he was gone

Has anybody here seen my friend Bobby?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
You know, he freed a lot of people
But the good, they die young, yeah
I just looked around and he was gone



and challenging 
this love we share
Testing patience
Pushing limits

Tender and sweet
With soft touch
and thoughtful gesture
Kind words
in tandem with 
welcome strength
A shoulder to lean on
Arms to wrap and protect
Comfort and soothe
of each other’s needs

But storms brew
Rumbling thunder,
electric lightning
and so the bear roars

Tempers flare and nails claw
Words of anger fly
from bruised throats
Wounded hearts cry
in the wilderness
Tears fill the chasm
with a river, unnavigable
Somewhere lies the key
that can unlock
a hardened heart
and begin to release the love

Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing © 

In response to Sue Vincent’s Weekly Write/Photo

Word Prompts

Begin  - Word of the Day
Wilderness - RDP
Cognizant - FOWC
Nail - Stream of Consciousness



That moment
when the smile
seems to never stop
and the heart is full
of complete joy
As you lay
and spent
It is then you know
it was worth the risk
The feelings will not last
but caution is already
thrown to the wind
You will ride
the high of euphoria
grasping at the gossamer
wings of dragonflies
Wishing that maybe
this time the ecstasy
will continue
You know the gamble
will not pay off
and you will crash
and burn
all the way
back to earth
But it will be
worth the price

Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing ©

Grace is hosting Open Link Night at D’Verse Poets

Word Prompts
Risk – FOWC
Joy – Word of the Day

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