Jonzo Bandwagoner

Rookie - 0 Points (Aug.26,1989 / Huntington, NY)

How Can Your Heart Not Dance? - Poem by Jonzo Bandwagoner

softly—
not much unlike the soaring-sound sight
that arises each morning, beckoning, calling—
the man joyed. It was like a word not sung before.
And from atop that peak there arose a call—
wait, can you hear it now?
Yes, yes! From somewhere (here it is! Aiai!) its joyful tones do fly—
from the sun, cutting through the dimly mapped mist of smog.
And there, a song reigns free.

Once upon a time there lived a small boy,
who each day paced at the foot of a tall mountain,
staring upwards towards the sky.
Wishing in his heart that he was brave enough to climb to the top
and smell the sweet cloud air, the boy wrote songs of courage
and mountain climbing and the sweet cloud air that
he never before had smelled.
This happened day after day, until one day,
and then things were different.

On this day the boy was awakened by a call.
It was piercing, like a dreamlike shrill,
and the boy threw down his poems and lofty-lapped songs,
and thrust himself up and up the mountainside.
For he had suddenly realized in his heart:
He was through with flatlands.

Yet as he climbed and forged a path,
he soon drew tired, angering him;
each new step became more burdensome
than the one before;
he was tired with climbing. Perplexed,
he knew that he could not descend,
but to transcend was harder still.
Then he screamed out,
“I am seeking health!
Those flatlands there I’ve sat amongst have drawn me
down to death! ”
Deep, deep, deep were his thoughts;
but lo, the mountain never stirred.
It sat silent, its gnarly brows wrinkled like snow.

There was silence—pure, unreal, unearthly silence—
and the boy began to hate the mountain,
and that he ever wanted to climb it at all.
He hated himself for climbing, for longing.
And night prevailed upon the mount;
he could not tell it for up or down.

Night drew on and on and on.
But something occurred-he thought, 'how could this be a dream? '-
that the boy did not expect see-
lo, I say, the dawn arose,
though he lacked the words or poeméd prose
to spell just what his heart did hear—

It happened softly—not much unlike the sounds that soar
when burly boughs of sycamore
slowly begin to bend.
There emerged a single note from the mountaintop high—
(Wait, can you hear it now?
No, not now—but, I say, soon?)
It lifted slowly, softly, scarcely; then it broke free in song!
The boy out cried and leapt in feet and proudly smiled.
In his eyes there stirred the words
that starréd skies had once composed:

And the boy continued climbing
and now again he started rhyming
and always forging upwards, upwards,
towards that translucent mountain’s top
from whence there came that soft-song shining!
It was as if his thoughts had met in words and the Divine:
The boy sang out, “Aiai! Joy-jumbled-jump-joy, joy-jubulous-jee! Aiai! ”

Once upon a time there lived a man,
who each day dwelled at the top of a tall mountain-
Where the God dwelled. He sang jubilance and


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Maya Angelou

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Poem Edited: Wednesday, March 5, 2008


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