Tenn Street Jazz


She danced
with light igniting
her soft wild tresses,
sun’s echo in the room.

She moved
to the beat of
jazz silhouettes
framed by storefront window,
drummers and base,
guitars and mandolin,
clarinet and tapping
feet under tables.

Her fingers snapped
as her palm kept time
on her bluejeaned leg,
eyes closed in rapture,
chin raised in tribute.

Her essence braided
into notes rolling and swirling,
coffee and patchouli,
heads nodding in union.

Her spell cast.
Music and spirit seeped
through cracks and door jamb
into an unsuspecting

And the world paused

and smiled

and the two-year-old,
old soul kept beat.


Author’s Note:

Hopeless. Fear. Anger. This pretty much sums up my last two weeks. Maybe you feel the same.

Today I broke with routine and gathered myself up to head out to North Denver on an invitation from a friend. It is a place I don’t visit often anymore. At one time in my life, I was there everyday. I went to Holy Family High School in the neighborhood. Like everything else, the place has changed.

Today, I went to a coffee shop, Tenn Street Coffee, across the street from where my high school once resided. The barista, Tad,  and I spoke of theatre, our connection in this big world. With coffee and breakfast burrito, I made my way to my friend who invited me.

This morning’s group plays the fourth Saturday of the month from 10:00 am till 12:00 pm. The Hoagies were a delight. I love this music. My friend knows me well.

Midway through the morning, it happened. We were chatting and clapping and snapping and enjoying the tunes when she began. It started with a whisper of people peering around a corner. Soon, by a hand, she appeared in front of the combo.

Her hair was a muss of light golden sweetness. She looked around but was drawn quickly back into the music. I’m not good with ages this young, but she certainly wasn’t much more than two, if that.

An old soul stood in front of us moving to the music. It was as if we were transported back in time to a jazz room filled with smoke and a dancer who commanded the attention away from the band without even realizing anyone was watching.

Music filled this little one to the brim and she moved.

Hopelessness transformed into hope.

Fear melted away.

Anger didn’t stand a chance.

The children will lead. Those who are so young are still close to Source from where they came. They know. They understand. They allow themselves to feel and be carried away in trust. They know no other way. We need to learn from them.

They are our hope.

Thank you, little one, who ever you are. You brought joy into our lives today. Something I will remember.




For those of you who were there…


Louis Jordan, Chartreuse

And thank you Tad Baierlein, Tenn Street Coffee, David Estes and The Hoagies, Tennyson Street Cultural Art District, and Lisa for a great way to spend my Saturday morning. I’ll be back!