Weight of Trust

Muscles tighten
Tossing, turning
Desperately
Needing rest
And though
Not out loud-
Crying on
The inside

Like a baby
With heavy eyes
Unable to give
Up the fight
Unable to accept
The balance of
Floating between
Strength and calm

If only the
Little one
Understood-
Giving in for
A few brief
Moments will
Bring perfect,
Peaceful sleep

If only the
Little one
Would trust
And settle into
The strong arms
Simply holding her
Tight enough to
Offer security

If only I
Could remember
And embrace
The heaviness-
Welcome sleep
And rest in
The graceful
Weight of trust

Child Falling Asleep by Robert Schumann~~Kelley Morris, piano

Limited Supply

When young
Time seemed
An endless
Supply with
Little thought
Given to limits

Wished away in
A rush to meet
Each milestone
Without fully
Understanding
Its significance

Until years later
When the reality
Of limits became
Exceedingly clear

Times where
Life and death
Suddenly carried
Similar weight

Each new loss
A connection
To the past

Each new life
A hope for
The future

Quiet lessons
In limited supply

Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce~~Kelley Morris, piano

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with

Rediscovered

I love it when I rediscover something. Especially when it involves music. Such was the case this week.

I happened to notice a friend sharing a new music album on their Instagram. The name of the album was Out of Body, the group Need to Breathe.

“Oh yeah, I used to listen to them. Such a great sound. Maybe I’ll check it out.”

Later that evening, I downloaded the album. It played in the car on my way to school the next day and again on my way home. On the second listen, one song stood out-Banks. The following lyrics stuck with me.

I wanna hold you close but never hold you back

I’ll be the banks for your river

Turned out to be the inspiration for a poem. 🙂

Riverbank

Walking
Alongside
The riverbank
Wondering
What it might
Have to say

Wisdom
Gathered
In tiny bits
Only when
The water is
Still and quiet

Changes
In the current
Noticed by
Trees leaning
In just close
Enough

These wise
Residents
Hold hands-
Keeping
The river
In place

Sometimes
The bank
Allows itself
To be overtaken
When the river
Loses its way

Patiently
It waits for
The waters
To recede
And continue
On their journey

Strength
Evidenced in
Roots and trees
Dirt and rocks
Always faithful to
Its fickle friend

Humility
In willingness
To give up a
Part of itself
Every time
The river strays

Wondering
If the riverbank
Will share some
Of its wisdom
While I quietly
Take a seat

Acceptance

Even though this past week was spent preparing for the first day of school, I was in denial. Yes, it was a good week. I was glad to be back with colleagues, to have focused time for planning. Yet, in the back of my mind, I thought something different would happen.

I believed there would be a change in our plans before the first day. Somehow, there would be an announcement that we were transitioning to distance learning.

But that did not happen, and tomorrow is the day.

So, now it is time for acceptance. I will welcome our students with a smile, doing my best to ease their concerns. Hopefully, music will help us all adjust. It will not be school as usual, but we will find our new normal.

I will do my best to view the day through their eyes. And just maybe, they will help ease my concerns. 🙂 ❤

To laugh and play
On the swings
Pumping feet
Back and forth
Flying so high
Until a brave
Jump launches
Toward the sky

To show love
Skipping across
The playground
Hand in hand
With a friend
Spinning around
Falling down
On the ground

To speak truth
I love you
Immediately
Followed by
Your hair looks funny
Honest words
Unfiltered and
From the heart

To seek security
In the comfort
Of a father’s lap
Curled up in
Perfect rest
Breaths in sync
Every ounce of
Tension fading

To press rewind
Erasing today’s
Apprehensions
Long enough to
See our world
Thru the open
Eyes of wonder-
Like a child

Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles~Kelley Morris, piano

Sacred Space

Sacred space
Sunrise to sunset
Precious hours
Waiting to be filled

Pleading with us-
Accept the love
That wraps us up
In great affection

Powerful love
Eclipsing both
Light of day and
Dark of night

Pleading with us-
Avoid judgmental
Questions leading
To a critical spirit

Avoid bitterness
That bleeds into
Treasured time
Set aside for rest

Sacred space
Sunrise to sunset
Precious hours
To love and be loved

Sunrise, Sunset from Fiddler on the Roof

Sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly fly the years,
One season following another,
Laiden with happiness,
And tears

A Social Distance Duet

I love playing the piano. And playing the piano in collaboration with another musician is even better. It requires a whole new level of concentration. But it also provides a whole new level of enjoyment.

Not only am I reading and listening to my part, but I am also doing the same for the other instrument. One section on its own does not make sense. But when played at the same time, harmony in motion. Almost like two characters telling the same story from their own perspective.

Even though collaborative playing is one of my favorite ways to experience music, it has not been part of my life in more recent times. Right now, my professional life is more focused on teaching. Playing is mostly for my own enjoyment.

That is ok. I am not complaining, just setting the scene.

Here we are, many months of living during a worldwide pandemic. The school year ended strangely. So many plans put on hold. And just when it seemed things were improving, our numbers are on the rise again.

There are so many questions about the future. How long will this last? What will school look like? It is easy to feel anxious.

What better way to calm anxious thoughts than some musical collaboration?

My friend, Lisa, came over and brought her oboe. Lisa and I teach music in the same district. She is also a professional musician. We have talked many times about getting together and playing music.

What better time than during the middle of a pandemic?

My music room has glass doors that open up to the main entrance. So, we opened the doors and sat a chair and music stand in the entryway. That way, we could still maintain a social distance but also have a sightline.

We played music for almost two hours! The time flew by. My fingers got a workout, but my brain was at peace. The music was beautiful! And we had the perfect audience, my miniature dachshund, Poppy.

Poppy’s bed was placed between the piano and the oboe. She was perfectly still, relaxed in her bed the entire time. I think she approved.

Playing music did not erase our questions or concerns. But it did provide some moments of contentment. Music is powerful, therapeutic. And the therapy is even sweeter when it’s a social distance duet with a friend.


The Winter’s Passed by Wayne Barlow
Lisa Wagner, Oboe
Kelley Morris, Piano

Freedom in Forgiveness

Forgiveness may seem a surprising subject for the Fourth of July. But somehow, this year, it seems more appropriate than ever before.

Yesterday, I watched the film version of the musical Hamilton. My daughter and I saw the traveling production last year in Tulsa. I was overwhelmed by its brilliance. Not only in the music creativity but also the messages it so powerfully portrayed.

It tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s founding fathers. A life filled with tragedy I cannot begin to imagine. A past he worked to overcome. A desire to leave behind a world better than the one in which he lived.

The film version was no less powerful. I was barely able to contain my emotions through the entire production. And just as with the live show, my thoughts quickly turned to another musical, Les Miserables.

Though many similarities may be drawn between Hamilton and Les Miserables, one speaks above the rest-forgiveness. These moments in each story provide a beautiful reminder of how great the need for each of us.

There is much more to be discovered in this story-in both of these stories. But on this July 4, 2020, forgiveness seems to be the place to start. For both receiving it and giving it bring freedom.

If you have not yet seen Hamilton, it would be a perfect way to celebrate!

It's Quiet Uptown

Written by
Lin-Manuel Miranda

Alexander by Eliza’s side
She takes his hand
It’s quiet uptown
Forgiveness.
Can you imagine?

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6:12

Wasted Time

Shh-be quiet
Listen closely to
The falling rain
Some might say
It’s wasted time
But that rain has
A story to tell
A fantastic tale
Of drops filling
Fluffy white clouds
Until no matter how
Hard it tries,
That fluff can no
Longer hold the weight
The clouds give up
And the raindrops
Begin their free-fall
At first, racing
To the ground
But then landing
In perfect rhythm
Life-giving music
Serenading as it
Waters the earth
Providing a drink
For the flower
Sending relief
For the dry ground
Shh-be quiet
Listen closely to
The falling rain
It’s not wasted time
By the time
It can be heard
Its story is just beginning

Rhythm of the Falling RainThe Cascades

Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain
Telling me just what a fool I’ve been
I wish that it would go and let me cry in vain
And let me be alone again
Oh, listen to the falling rain
Pitter patter, pitter patter
Oh, oh, oh, listen to the falling rain
Pitter patter, pitter patter

One Hundred

I love seeing birthday celebrations for those who’ve made it to one-hundred. A century is a log time-so many things to witness and experience. These individuals always seem to have a funny, yet wise piece of advice. Two I recently read were-just keep going and take naps. ❤

Birthday Wish

I always say
I’d like to live
At least a
Hundred years
Since I’m over
Half-way there
The thought doesn’t
Seem so strange
My family would plan
A great big party
Biggest cake
You’ve ever seen
With one hundred
Sparkling candles
Lighting up
The entire room
Sitting at the piano
I’d play a familiar tune
As party guests loudly sang
Happy birthday to me!
I’d blow out all the candles
And make my birthday wish
A hundred-year-old hope
For lasting peace and rest

100 Years-Five for Fighting
I’m ninety nine for a moment
Dying for just another moment
And I’m just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
Fifteen there’s still time for you
Twenty two I feel her too
Thirty three you’re on your way
Every day’s a new day
Fifteen there’s still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey fifteen, there’s never a wish better than this
When you only got hundred years to live

Hearts Breaking

Sometimes
Silence
Is not an
Option
Yet, this day
Words
Fall
Flat
And though
Emotions
Run
High
Attempts at
Expression
Feel
Numb
On this day
Notes
Speak
Loudly
Only as
Music
Plays
Softly
In this moment
It is my
Obligation
To hear
The cries
Of tired
Hearts
Breaking

First Loss
Album for the Young
Robert Schumann