Alive

Sole of
My foot
Pressing
Against
Warm concrete
Rocking chair
Gently
Moving me
Back and forth
As I watch
Pines dance
Across the way
Strong-yet,
Graceful
One leaning
Into the next
And the next
Then back again
Their inspiration
Originating from
The same
Cool breeze
That graces
My face
I am alive
And although
There are no
Instruments
No melody
There is music
All the same

Dust in the Wind by Kansas Kelley Morris, piano

This song may not match the sentiments of this poem exactly. However, there is one line that stood out to me today. A line I had not given much thought to when I was younger. It really is the simple things.

“…and all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Peaceful Resolution

My mind
Can hardly
Separate
The words
From melody
Notes rising
And falling…one
After the other
In seasons of distress and grief
Can you hear it?
I silently sing
The phrase
As I write-
Many times
It has entered
My thoughts
Unannounced…
Waiting for
A phone call
Sitting in a
Hospital room
Driving to
A funeral…
The music repeats
Easing tension
On the last note
The last word
Of the new phrase
My soul has often found relief
Listen closely
A peaceful
Resolution
Sweet hour of prayer

Sweet Hour of Prayer Kelley Morris, piano

Lost in Thought

I was a little grumpy when I got home yesterday. The reasons don’t matter. But any little thing seemed to grate on my nerves. As my frustration rose, I suddenly had a thought. Why don’t you go to the other room and play your piano?

I don’t know why this solution doesn’t appear faster in my brain.

Sitting down at the piano, I opened one of my favorites, Schumann’s Scenes from Childhood, a beautiful set of short pieces. The first few I played didn’t fit my mood. Then I landed on Reverie. Just what I needed.

After playing it several times, I became curious about the original German title-Träumerei. Reverie is the translation in my edition, and I wanted to make sure my ideas matched the original intent. One definition said, “pleasant reveries, daydreams.”

I got lost in my thoughts, listened to myself play, then wrote this poem. I felt much better. 🙂

Reverie

Staring out
The window
Dreaming of
Sunny days
Even though
Today is gray
Running free
Through a
Golden field
Of sunflowers
Rolling
Without
Reserve
Down a
Grassy hill
Walking
Innocently
Hand in hand
Along a dirt road
Daydreaming-
Time well spent
Lost in thoughts
Energy renewed
Before heading
Back to the now

Reverie from Scenes from Childhood by Schumann Kelley Morris, piano

Simply Sunday

Memories

Memories amaze me. They can be stored in our brains for years and suddenly find their way to the surface. Like when a song instantly transports me to another time or place. One I haven’t thought about in years! Then just as quickly, that memory fades, and a new one has filed right along beside it.

One would expect to hear the phrase, “Oh, that brings back memories,” from a grandparent. Or at least from someone who has lived long enough to experience certain milestones. But this week, I gained a new perspective on the subject.

During my First-Grade music class Friday, we sang Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. It was one of those sweet moments where students gathered around the piano, singing as I played. Of course, they immediately asked if they could sing for their teacher when she returned. So, we practiced and got everyone lined up and ready.

And then I heard it. A sweet little voice in the group said, “Wow! That song really brings back a lot of memories!” “Why, yes, it does!” I smiled. This friend has lived on this earth for only six years. But you know, a lot can happen in six years. And just because it occurs in the first six years of life does not mean the memories are any less powerful.

Cheers to making memories and remembering them! ❤ 😉

Simply Sunday

I decided to try something different this weekend-Simply Sunday. The idea is to show one subject using few words and a variety of forms. Keeping it short and sweet! Enjoy! 💛

Daffodils

Lovely yellow blooms
Watercolor memories
Brighter in person

Wye Mountain Daffodil Festival~Bigelow, Arkansas
Kelley Morris, Piano

Time for Music

Precious, fleeting, brief
There is never enough-
We want it to slow down,
Then speed right back up.
I’m speaking about time, of course-
Such a fascinating concept
We break it down into
Hours, minutes, seconds
Weeks, months, years
To what end?
Today, I played
A piece of music
On the piano
Baroque music written
Four-hundred years ago
Can that be correct?
History says it’s so
As amazing as the
Four-hundred years
May sound, the wonder
Occurred in one brief moment-
The eyes of a child
Listening and watching
Questioning how those
Notes on the page
Made their way
To my hands

I love playing the piano for my students. The only downside is not being able to teach all of them to play. Someone always asks, and I smile, wishing that was possible. In my dream teaching world, I would have a room full of keyboards. And each student would have the opportunity to experience that note-to-eyes-to-hands connection.

This week while playing, I heard one of them whisper, “That must be a recording.” Then they snuck over and peeked around the side of the piano. Another class was lining up to leave. One little boy said, “One of my favorite things today was hearing you play the piano.”

And one of my favorite things was being able to play the piano for you… ❤

Shifting

Didn’t take long
A few minutes
Maybe five
My face turned
Toward the sun
Soaking up its
Light and warmth
Shifting my
Response
To this day
Cold air was
Not a deterrent
Favorite blue sweater
And soft grey slippers
Made certain of that
Back inside
Warm and cozy
Still wearing my
Favorite blue sweater
I continue to feel
The sun on my face
Though no longer
Standing in the
Path of its rays-
Didn’t take long
A few minutes
Maybe five

My friend, Marina, keeps telling me to get outside and soak up some Vitamin D. Today, I finally decided to listen! 😉
Sunshine On My Shoulders~~Kelley Morris, piano

Measuring Life

We try and try to
Measure our lives
Days, weeks, months, years
The number of seasons
We travel can never
Accurately measure
Our existence
What matters most
Is often invisible
Harder to quantify-
The full impact realized,
After physical days
Have long passed
If only our hearts
Could be weighed
An appraisal revealing
The constant flow
Of life-giving air
Transformed into
Actions of love-
Actions of love
Breathing
Life-giving air-
Leaving the heart full
But never heavy
Always overflowing
Impossible to measure

I suppose there is something about being in quarantine that makes me think more about time. Particularly being quarantined as a new year begins. But it is ok. As my Mom recently said, “Looking forward to better days!” 🙂 ❤

Time in a Bottle ~ Kelley Morris, piano

Part of the Harmony

I have not spent enough time at my piano in recent weeks. So this week, I decided to remedy that. With it being Christmas time, what to play was an easy choice.

As I played through several old Christmas hymns, the word balance kept coming to mind. No matter the context, there are always notes, voices, instruments, rhythms that need to be heard above the rest. And quite often, that spotlight is shared, giving others a chance to be heard.

Even though one voice might not be the momentary focus, it remains essential to the music. Where would that melody be without harmony? Or that jazz riff without the brushes of the drum floating behind it?

When I sat down to play this morning, I began by playing the hymns as written. Though tempting, I did not add any embellishments. My goal was to play so that the melody rang out clearly, while the harmony provided support.

After reading the music as written, I went back and added new rhythms, patterns, harmonies while keeping the melody clear. Both versions required the same thing-balance.

I have said this before, but the only time my brain is calm is while I am playing the piano. Somehow, it provides an inner balance. There is that word again. Outside voices are quieted. Worries of the day temporarily disappear.

Music reminds me that I do not need to raise my voice above the crowds. Although I may have something important to say, unless it is balanced with love for those in hearing range, I should probably remain part of the harmony.

Harmony-that is my prayer for this Christmas. For there to be less shouting and more listening. That we may experience joy amid our sadness. And hope that outweighs our fears. Merry Christmas!

Please enjoy a few Christmas carols! ❤ Kelley Morris, piano

What Child is This?
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Dat
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Uncommon

Snow is not a common occurrence in Oklahoma. The expectation brings a collective holding of breath. Adults become like little children, waking up all hours of the night to see if the snow is falling.

Today is one of those uncommon days. I was awake several times during the night. At first, all was still and quiet. Doubts began to creep in…the forecast was probably wrong anyway. And then I heard something hitting the roof.

A quick look outside brought disappointment…only rain. According to the forecast, it should be changing to snow in another hour or so. I would hold my breath a little longer.

Finally, the transformation from rain to heavy snow began! It didn’t take long for the grass to turn completely white. Snow-tipped evergreens now graced the backyard. And the snowfall looked like it would last forever.

What is it about snow? It has the power to transform the faded colors of winter into a magical wonderland. Snow makes me feel like a child again-at least in my heart. But most of all, it is a reminder that when all feels bleak, the uncommon gives hope.

In the Bleak Midwinter Kelley Morris, piano

Transformation

Moonlight shines on
Snow-covered grass
Afternoon clouds
Long dissolved
Giving stars their
Chance to shine
Pulsing through
The darkness
Feathered birds-
Cheerful melodies
Now quieted-
Nestle peacefully
Inside their nests
While the fox
Ventures out to
Gather food for pups
Sleeping in the den
I am tired, but
The moon shines
Snow is calling-
Do I snuggle in
Like the birds
Or venture out
Like the fox?
Wisdom says
Sleep can wait
Give witness to
The transformation