Begin the Beguine
(For Cole Porter and Artie Shaw)
by Luis Lazaro Tijerina
Under the stars, we danced to your song.
She held me tight, while you, Artie,
With your clarinet, brought the music alive.
What rapture, that night! All the time,
she was whispering to me about
this and that…
There were no clouds that night,
no curse of life’s dark embers, not a one.
The tenderness in her eyes, in her voice,
on her lips as we kissed beneath those
sad stars as we promised never to part,
all our joys rushing away
with the sounds of another war…
O if we could again dance to “Begin the Beguine”!
I know too well what this really all meant…
Desire that begins and ends with the swaying of the
the heart clutching at what it cannot understand —
what we once tasted on that special night…
“Begin the Beguine” is published in 23 Jazz Poems And Other Works by Luis Lazaro Tijerina (RA Press)
Luis Lazaro Tijerina, born in Salina, Kansas in 1945, received his formal education at Kansas State University and Vermont College of Norwich University. He has a Masters of Arts in history. After serving in the U.S. Army, he began his writing career as a poet. Mr. Tijerina is also an essayist in military history. Mr. Tijerina has made his living as a futbol (soccer) coach throughout his adult life.
From a 1938 short, Artie Shaw plays “Begin the Beguine”