Michael Shepherd

Rookie (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

0057 Strict Tempo - A Poem To Dance To

Poem by Michael Shepherd

One Two Three Four
One Two Three Four
Forwards. Sideways.
Sideways. Back...

Victor Sylvester, Victor Sylvester,
I thought of you yester-
day, white tie and tails,
trousers as tight
as a ball without a ballroom,
Cuban Romeo moustache and
patent leather hair...
drumming out strict tempo
the tempo of our lives
learning to dance girlfriends
into bed or into wives...

do they still teach ballroom
to your hissing records,
down in Cheam or Purley,
head up, shiny shoes,
pressed tight, breast to breast,
adolescents wondering
if a jockstrap would be best?

now it's coming back, I see,
One Two One Two
swing her round and pronto,
but watch, don't dropp her onto
that shiny shellacked floor...

Ou sont les disques d'antan, je me demande?

....gone and played, the yesteryears..
our sweaty-sweet Sylvester years..

one two, one two,
our memory's locked embrace...

Comments about 0057 Strict Tempo - A Poem To Dance To by Michael Shepherd

  • Castellenas JohnCastellenas John (4/10/2019 5:33:00 PM)

    Amazing use of words. Outstanding poetry for the dance.(Report)Reply

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  • Michael Shepherd (7/4/2005 5:10:00 PM)

    Nifty footnote for the younger set: Victor Sylvester's Ballroom Orchestra specialised in music for dancing; tapes still used, I'm told, by ballroom dancing teachers, and now revived thanks to hugely popular 'Strictly Come Dancing' and 'Dance Fever' on TV.. Get with it, Twinkletoes...(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
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  • Andrew Konisberg (7/4/2005 11:58:00 AM)

    ...you told me you 'felt a poem coming on' on Sylvester. I have only heard of the man through some quip of Beatles-era Lennon. I've been to Cheam but never to the Purley-white-gates (ahem) , mercifully...I left a comment on your WS poem...I am still too young to be nostalgic, but I liked the jockstrap concern...adolescents haven't changed aside from the glue, the drugs, the mobile phone, the alcholism, the 'happy-slapping', the gang warfare seige mentality...actually, I think I prefer the adolescents depicted your poem....heh heh...I bet this was a treat for you to write, Michael. As Dan Maskerville (sic?) used to say: ' good shot, Martina! '(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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Poem Submitted: Monday, July 4, 2005

Poem Edited: Thursday, July 13, 2006