“The beating of a drum signifies a march within a street,
a march into a field of battle,
a march of death which bears a coffin high,
a march of movement with stragglers aplenty,
a march embracing a call to arms,
a march all out of step with a procession of a wedding,
a march within the call of God where the young at heart do skip and dance.
The beating of a drum denotes the thump of feet,
denotes the clap of hands,
denotes the sounds of accompaniment,
denotes the setting of the drum in measuring the human voice released.
The beating of a drum denotes a warning of assault from a watch tower wide awake.
The beating of a drum warns of an approach while out of sight.
The beating of a drum salutes the objective of the marching,
salutes the preparation,
salutes the equipping,
salutes the uniforms and dress codes,
salutes the abilities and training.
The beating of a drum passes a message across a distance without undue delay,
from a locality difficult to assess,
to the target of the drummer where access is impeded.
The beating of a drum shrinks and expands an audience,
magnifies the sound of repetition,
emphasizes what is about to be,
praises the works of God,
is fun to beat and sound.
The beating of a drum sharpens senses,
can seek an investigation.
The beating of a drum imparts a threat to silence,
imparts a threat to peace,
imparts a threat from a reason still unknown.
The beating of a drum is an intrusion to the soundscape,
is an intrusion to activities,
is an intrusion where the source remains a query.
The beating of a drum carries the rhythm of the drummer,
feeds the sound waves with intent,
cycles until the circle is complete,
rouses as the tempo changes,
as the tempo increases,
as the tempo reaches a crescendo which climaxes on the ears.
The beating of a drum assails the environment of man,
speaks of many things,
suggests many things,
calls to many for whom it is intended,
hinders conversations with intensifying loudness,
is accompanied by relief as it is heard to fade away—
into distance owning its possession.
The beating of a drum signals and withdraws,
marshals and attends,
times both the step and style of pace.
The beating of a drum can have many different sounds,
many differing temperaments,
many different sources at home within the family of drums.
The beating of a drum takes ownership of the pitch at which it’s tuned,
at the ‘voice’ constructed for its footprint,
at its placement in a band where drumming is extensive.
The beating of a drum can dominate,
can shrink into a background,
can re-emerge into the sound sphere—
when it’s input is essential and the timing is bespoke.
The beating of a drum can imitate the human voice:
can serve up the commas and fullstops;
the drum rolls of announcement as the marks of exclamation;
the drumbeats crowded in where percussion wins the solo of the day.
The beating of a drum has time accompanied by intervals,
intermixed with the velocity of the beat,
verseen by pauses for an instructed rest.
The beating of a drum has long been an accompaniment of man,
has long been an instructor of man,
has long been at the demand of man,
has long been in the service of man,
has long been the supporter of the battles,
the initiator of the fights,
the signal to withdraw.
The beating of a drum extends the voice of man,
replaces the voice of man,
superimposes on the voice of man,
accompanies the voice of man,
leads in timing the voice of man,
shepherds the voice of man.
The beating of a drum by a child can be boring and trying of one’s patience,
is of much interest and achievement to the child,
is a measure of discovery and with an imprint on attention.
The beating of a drum comes in many different guises,
in many different tunings,
in many different sizes,
in many different sounds,
in many different cultures,
in many different uses of accessories to life.
The beating of a drum once was as a heartbeat on a tree,
the heartbeat of a life,
the heartbeat that was stilled,
the heartbeat that had to rest;
the heartbeat that started up again,
the heartbeat that lives for evermore—
the heartbeat that arose as proxy for all the rest—
committed to selection,
as those who would have it so.”