Poet’s Corner


Johnny Hoy and the Blue Fish
By Stephen Power

I drive Beach Road to Temahigan Road
past the Police Station where, two years ago,
two deer, on separate occasions,
jumped in front of me. One hit my car but pranced

I am going to the Ritz to dance, fantasizing that a
beautiful person might kiss me, which happens
as often as deer crossing my path on Temahigan Road.
But I go to dance to Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish.
I join other old folk and we
dance to songs popular when
we were teens.

Johnny mouths his harmonica, Delanie trills
her guitar, Kevin bangs his drums, and Jeremy fingers
his keys. They switch to Muddy Waters and my feet
cannot not dance.

I learned to dance in Fayetteville, North Carolina
where a billboard on I-95 welcomed travelers to
“Klan Country,” where a former slave market
is a symbol of the town,
where the Fayetteville Observer reported, periodically,
that a black youth had been shot in the back.
I went to the Soul Shack with Ed and John and Kitty and Susan.
We watched brown college students take all the bondage
that surrounded them and shove it
into their feet
as the voices of Aretha and Marvin filled the room.

So I take all the sorrow that a long life gathers,
shove It into my feet
and all I know
is music.

Stephen Power is a retired schoolteacher and community organizer who lives in Tisbury. He teaches Kundalini yoga, loves dancing, and is a member of the Poets’ Collective.
Poets with a connection to Martha’s Vineyard are encouraged to submit poems to curator Laura Roosevelt at ldroosevelt@gmail.com.