On the Corner of Rhythm and Rhyme

by on March 31, 2020 · 2 comments

in From the Soul

 by Ernie McCray

To ease my mind in my isolation from humankind, I’ve been basking in memories of better times in my life and I don’t recall ever having more fun than I had at the San Diego Fringe Festival in 2014 – narrating “On the Corner of Rhythm and Rhyme” as a brilliant company of tap dancers, the California Rhythm Project, brought my words to life as they danced to my vocalizing and, in-between some lines, tapped to music, then back to my poetry, in an urban streetscape setting, kicking it off with:

There’s a corner
unlike any other corner
you could ever
conceive in your mind.
The Corner of Rhythm and Rhyme.
And it’s just that, rhythm and rhyme,
big time,
cuz, when your feet
step on the concrete
on the Corner of Rhythm and Rhyme,

in no time

you find

yourself dissolving into a

bright sunny mellow groove

of an attitude

that makes you want to bust

a jazzy move,

like a man

who ain’t got nothing to lose

and you high step on down the line,

like a drum major of the Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band

taking the field on the 50 yard line

at half time,

not the least bit uneasy

with respect to getting where you’re going

anywhere near on time,

as, on this piece of real estate,

there is No such actuality or notion

known as time

other than right here right now time.

And there are other “No’s.”

No cares.

No woes.

No stepping on toes.

No not stopping to smell every single rose.

Oh, now,

the real world neither

evaporates dissipates migrates

hibernates vacates or terminates

where these two streets meet.

To imply such

would be a natural downright deceit.

It’s just that when you’re

tipping and tapping and patting

and feeling mighty

silky slidy and glidy

and all hi-de-ho-hi-de-hi-spry-ty,

in a “top-hat-dancing-shoes”

frame of mind,

the world’s stories

unfold and unwind

in your imagination

like a clip in the twilight zone,

touching your soul

and oiling your bones –

when you look up and see the street sign

on the Corner of Rhythm and Rhyme.


You as much as stop in for a latte

at the Rhythm and Rhyme Bistro & Cafe

and life on the corner comes into play:

Faceless, slump shouldered folks

drop in from here and there

with their hands in the air

like they just don’t care

because      they     just     don’t    care,

and you flash them a smile

across the room

as a barrier against their gloom;

and soon

a woman with a broken heart

appears in tears

and a man walks in looking

as hopeless and hapless

as looking forlorn can be

and you find two more smiles

to send

because you’re still in

your dancer’s stance

like lovers, holding hands,

their hearts bubbling with romance,

set on tripping the light fantastic

on the little ballroom floor

as kids pass by peeking in

and skipping

and hopping

and doing elaborate Pat-a-cakes

with their hands a jiving and a popping

to beat the band

and now you’re remembering

and considering,

ever disarmed,

a world worthy of their beauty,

their charm

and you dance on

to the beat

of the song,

a love song,

that’s played in your heart

since the children came along

and whatever apathy there was

that makes us prone

to not make our world

the world of love and harmony

it was born to be –

is gone.



So just sit back in your seat

and feel the beat

as you look at

and listen to all the tap dancing feet

and visualize yourself

and everybody else

around you

ball changing

and hop brushing

and stepping,

and the like,

in kind.

In time.

That’s all good,

fully understood

as part of cutting the rug

and getting down

and funky

in the neighborhood.

That’s the kind of spirit that’s welcomed any old time

on the Corner of Rhythm and Rhyme.


Now, was that not fun,

a gas,

wherein and whereas

you had to resist the urge

to jump out of your seat

and Ball Tap

and Buck and Wing

up on your happy feet

with a little step/slide

and a smooth sexy hippy grind?

Well, that’s just the way it goes

when you’re caught up in Rhythm and Rhyme.

And, goodness knows,

you had:

No cares.

No woes.

You didn’t step on anybody’s toes.

You smelled every rose.

But remember, though:

the real world did not go away

while we were at play

and that’s to say

that it’s as insane

and inane and profane

and un-tamed and unrestrained

and ungainly and zany

as it was yesterday

and up until now today –


we’re most magnificent

when we’ve had a good time,

when our lives are like a nursery rhyme,

aren’t we?

Do we agree?

Okay. So, what you’re to do

when you leave this place

is take that better self

out into the world

and make it a better place

for the whole human race.

Make it refined




where the people

cooperate and reconciliate

and appreciate

and never deviate

from the love that resides in their hearts

for their fellow man, woman,

boy and girl

and all the creatures

and nature’s rich and bountiful gifts throughout their world.


With the children in mind,

knowing that they’re watching us all the time,

wouldn’t it be fine

to model this new world after

the Corner of Rhythm and Rhyme?

Every time.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Appu Series April 1, 2020 at 4:52 am

Nice rhythm and rhyme….! Good One!


david russell beekman April 5, 2020 at 7:09 pm

…… wouldn’t it be fine

to model this new world after

the Corner of Rhythm and Rhyme?

Every time… Yes it would… Yeah, Dave B


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