Dancing In The Bed

Dancing In The Bed


It’s 8:15 a.m. I’m still

Asleep when you come in the room.

The radio’s been on since five.

You modestly and unassumingly

Creep in. I slowly come alive.

My neck is slightly sore, the symptom

Of a migraine. You massage it.

Then because the body needs it

And you’re sensitive, your fragrant hand,

Like a corsage, begins to find,

Explore my spine.

There’s music in the background and,

Before we know it, there we are

Moving, dancing in the bed.

Lovely and exciting rhythms

Form our future memoir.

Up and down, the rose bedspread

Awry, we minuet and smile,

Closely dancing all the while.

And, oh, how we enjoy the time

Willingly exploited, using

Hands and even feet to prime

The other’s total health, the boozing,

Bruising done by others non-existent.

How we’ve laughed! Now I’m awake.

I feel like a griddlecake.

Or eggs and steak?

The dance in bed not inconsistent

With the need to eat,

The music’s beat

Now slow, now fast, the background broadcast

Perfect prologue to a breakfast.


Dancing In The Bed 5.5.1996

Love Relationships; Circling Round Eros;

Arlene Corwin



Nothing Is Sacred Anymore 1996

Nothing Is Sacred Anymore


What’s sacred?

Internet is not, although it’s taking over.

Governments are not.

They’re only lots:

Persons without names;

Offices in frames.

What’s sacred?

Art’s unstable. So’s the food

And dreams meant to enhance the good;

Buildings meant to further faith –closed six days in a week.

You can’t get in

And so you sin.

If you’re the type who needs to speak

To God in such a place, you’re lost,

Tossed out into the street ‘til Sunday.

What is sacred?

Maybe nature’s underlying laws and change.

Maybe fire. (Not guns on the firing range)

But all the universes’ suns; first cause;

Laws of truth; you, me.

I’d hope that something’s sacred

Even though I cannot see it.

Something’s there that’s worth the prayer:

Something holy in the air.

Perhaps the problem’s in the word –

The nothing/something word absurd.

A thing with no- some- can’t possess

The ring of sacredness.

So why should I be disappointed,

Cynical or sad

When this world is an un-anointed

World, and going slowly, wholly mad.

Is sacred scared (of being sacred nowadays?)


Nothing Is Sacred Anymore 4.8.1996

Our Times, Our Culture; God Book;

Arlene Corwin

A City Girl In The Country 1996

A City Girl In The Country


During winter I become an excellent cook.

I sit a lot and stand and look

At lake and forest that surround

The house on sides and front, the sound

Of birds calmed down somewhat,

As if they shared a counterplot

And changed their visit-timbre because

Ducks and geese have flown away.

The wagtail’s winter pause

Has taken him to Egypt.  Now it’s peace

That takes the air.  I walk

Much more without the need

To look in shops.  I wear my tweed,

My well-worn tweed, as if it were

High fashion.  In the winter

It is I who see an elk or deer

Before the hunters of next year;

I who get the benefit, burning up the calories

By walking through the snow to fetch

The post in minus two degrees;

I who never ‘kvetch’*

About the cold, dark living deep inside a forest

More than compensated by

A rose that never saw a florist,

Plums that I saw multiply,

Light that’s guaranteed to start

Increasing just when winter’s heart is coldest.

Here I learn to be alone – to face ennui,

The power cuts, the threat that lightening

Brings direct to my existence –

Without asking for assistance,

Keeping in a large-ish stock

Of matches, paper, wood and candles;

Knowing that to blow the rock can make a well;

Leaving on the radio to keep out vandals

When I go, will work quite well.

Everything in miniature:

Death, when summer-folk kill flies and gnats;

Love, each time I watch the cat’s

Abilities: clearing heights, breadths where I gasp;

Survival, when I’ve rescued creature from his grasp;

Cities blurred, just name and word,

Their essence shallows by the nearness

To an earth my ear has heard.


*kvetch Yiddish for ‘complain’.


A City Girl In The Country 10.19 .1996

Circling Round Nature; Swedish Book;

Arlene Corwin






Here’s another Christmas poem from Sweden. That day was so magical I just had to record it. The mentioned “Kent” is my dear heroic husband who’s bee out with the tractor shoveling snow, widening the road, chopping more wood, feeding the fire, keeping it going… in this record cold 2010 winter.

Here’s another Christmas poem from Sweden.  That day was so magical I just had to record it. The mentioned “Kent” is my dear heroic husband who’s bee out with the tractor shoveling snow, widening the road, chopping more wood, feeding the fire, keeping it going… in this record cold 2010 winter.

          Christmas Day On And Around The Lake  

  Stora Härsjön.

For future generations

Of the English-speaking world, pronounce it

‘Hairshern’. One of God’s creations

Which they named Big Lake.

They’re skating up and down, zigzag, across.

From far three specks come into focus:

Man with dogs, parading toward a thin-iced dam.

Fear subsides – he’s local clan.

His kind knows every deep edged plane.

Kent is sweeping snow that dusts

The ice – in preparation for a skate.

I wait,

          Brooklyn girl at window, while Viking

Feigns a shoe-drawn figure eight,

The outdoor rink scant meters from the house.

Enchanting bay-cum-pond embosomed in a wood.

We have a life uniquely good:

Biscuits in the oven; sitting, watching

While they brown, snatching, catching

Surfaces that rest on life this day,

A perfect way to view it.

The atmosphere is peerless

And I want it down for always.

Neighbor Hammer’s built a fire on the ice

Where Kent and Hammer’s sons

Build branch by branch, a flame, the highs

So bright, so red it could be called flamboyant (get it?)

As a day-short sky grows dusky and I watch,

A scone already spread with butter sampled

In my mouth.

©Christmas Day On And Around The Lake 96.1.31

Circling Round Nature; Swedish Book;

Arlene Corwin

2X ABCDEFG And An H 1996

              2X ABCDEFG And An H2X ABCDEFG And An H 4.19.1996

I’ve been saying this

For thirty six-


And lest one day someone says.

“In nineteen sixty-something

She anticipated things she was

To celebrate three decades later’,

Let me jump the gun:

One works out fears,

Gets rid of tears,

Learns not to look but jump right in

And romp with honesty and depth the pater.

Learning joy is what one does;

Sweat to fuzz upon the brow – funny that!

That underneath the look of gloom

Is room for ha! ho! hee!

That chance is chaos with a bloom –

An all is synchronicity.

©Nature Of & In Reality; A Mystic Visits Thousand Oaks; Pure Nakedness;

Arlene Corwin

Open-Ended Autobiography


Arlene Corwin’s Poetry

Just another WordPress.com weblog


Arlene Corwin’s Open-Ended Biography

(10.3.2007 updated 10.24.2007 updated 1.3.2008; updated December 15, 2009, October 2010 )

Arlene Corwin (born Arlene Faith Nover) is an American jazz singer and pianist, poet, teacher and practitioner of Yoga. Born November 8, 1934 in the Williamsburg Maternity Hospital, Brooklyn, New York. She has two children. Jonathan Eric Corwin (born July 24. 1956 and) Jennifer Nover Council (born February 2, 1964). Mother Margy Lillian (born Brown). Father Albert S. Nover. Both were hairdressers, owning a beauty salon together. Everyone was musical on both sides of the family.Mother sang, could play some piano. Father was a gifted sculptor and wood carver, played a little harmonica and mandolin. The family is Jewish.

Early Life
Started studying piano age 8. Studied voice at the famous 1650 Broadway with ‘coach’ Matty Levine. Did a little recording at aged 10 in Nola Studios. (The record has since disappeared) At 12 she started studying harp with Meyer Rosen (Julliard and NBC Orchestra) and the occasional piano lesson with an NBC pianist who taught her how to read chord changes, seeing at once that she was not interested in learning classical piano.

As a child she had already sung at weddings, bar mitzvahs and for the USO, raising bonds for the war effort. At 13, having a boyfriend who played the saxophone and who listened to Symphony Sid, jazz disc jockey whose late night show originated from Birdland, she awakened to jazz, listening to the late night show “under my blanket”. “A turning point”, she says. (Well before “Lullaby of Birdland” was put to words Arlene had written a lyric of her own – a lyric she still sings today) At 14,she was playing for a dancing school once a week. Then she got an accidental job (“slipping in on a banana peel when the singer got sick”) in a Brooklyn nightclub singing with a group. “Mom and dad chaperoned, of course”.1950s 

She began to sing regularly when again, out of the blue, an agent rang offering a job for a hundred dollars a week to play at the Mayflower Hotel in Manhattan. It was a restaurant owned by Bob Olin, a former light heavyweight world champion. “I was so naïve I played the whole evening without ever taking a break. Who knew about breaks? Why they kept me I’ve no idea.” But they did and the steady salary of $100.00 a week (which she gave directly to her mother, any other choice never occurring to her) and the experience of having to make a varied program led to her singing to the piano, and eventually to playing to the singing. At this time she was still in high school as attending the prestigious High School of Music & Art as a harpist.She graduated from Music & Art getting a scholarship to Hofstra College as a music major.

Then in 1952, while still at Hofstra College (now university), she was playing on the weekends in a Hempstead, Long Island nightclub-restaurant when Slim Gaillard, who’d come to see Jack Teagarden (also working there) began to take notice of her. He started showing up regularly. There he met Arlene’s mother Margy, and the two eventually opened a jazz nightclub, the first to cater to blacks and whites. It was called The Turf and it, like Birdland had its own radio show, for which Arlene wrote the theme song “The Slim Gaillard Show”. Now she was standing as well as sitting, getting a chance to sit in and sing as often as she chose. The die was cast. It was jazz, cool jazz.

Early Influences
In 1954, on the day she ought to have been attending her college graduation, she married Bob Corwin, a 21-year-old jazz pianist with the Don Elliot Quartet. Because Bob toured, Arlene began her new stage of education: listening to Don’s group while they played on the same bill as the jazz greats of the 50’s. There was Helen Merrill at George Wein’s Storyville in Boston, Terry Gibbs and Illinois Jacquet in Detroit, Bill Evans, Cy Coleman, Bernard Peiffer, Tal Farlowe,Johnny Smith John Mehagan and Billy Taylor (who had also performed at the Turf) at the sophisticated Composer owned by jazz lover and connoiseur Willie Short in Manhattan. ” It was also a chance to see and listen to other singers of the day. New York was marvelous in those days. I saw Peggy Lee at Basin Street, became friends with Blossom Dearie at Trudy’s in the village, Oscar Peterson, Marian McPartland at the Hickory House, Sheila Jordan, Morgana King. It was THE university for me. I was introduced to and mentored by Tony Fruscella, the tragic, unsung genius of the trumpet, ‘who I took on my gigs, but to whom I was actually the apprentice’ – and through Tony to Morgana King and Beverly Getz, the talented [and equally tragic] wife of Stan Getz. I feel blessed to have experienced jazz at that time. The guys would gossip about who played ‘behind’ or ‘ahead’ of the beat, bass lines, good changes, bad changes. No Music & Art or Hofstra did that. I learned almost the whole of what is now called The American Songbook. And I, I was sounding like Sarah Vaughn with a little voice.”


Hanging Around Manhattan; Not This, Not That…
Living in New York, and looking for a niche she spent time, as other musicians did, at the Musicians Union Local 802 or Charlie’s Tavern where jobs could show up. In this way, there were weeks and weekends away with big bands: Tommy Dorsey’s Orchestra under the leadership of Warren Covington, Claude Thornhill and Larry Sonn.

“When you hang around New York all kinds of opportunities show up”. And so, she got a leading role in a B film called “Jukebox Racket’, wrote the score for another B film called, at the time “She Should Have Stayed In Bed”, later to be called ‘1,000 Shapes Of A Female: see IDMB (the company, called Exploit Films was owned by Errol Flynn “tall, big in every way, veins on his face, but exuding old world charm” He was quite, quite overwhelming.”

Then there was a bit part in John Cassavetes “Shadows”, followed by the lead in what has become a cult ‘beat’ musical called “The Nervous Set” by Fran and Jay Landesman where she introduced the now-standards “Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most and “Ballad Of The Sad Young Men”, both subsequently recorded by Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Bassey and numberless major artists. She studied acting with Joshua Shelley. “It was a time to find out who and what I was. “I was definitely not an actress. I was too introverted and none of those clothes fit” she says.

More Influences and more Not This, Not That…
In 1959 she met Johnny Burke (Burke & Van Heusen) who took her under his wing, taking her to Hollywood to demonstrate his show “Donnybrook” for Rosalind Russell and husband, producer Frederick Brisson “It was a glitzy time. I stayed at Bob Hope’s house in Palm Springs, met Frank Sinatra and his then fiancee Juliet Prowse, Jerry Lewis, Marlene Deitrich, had my own suite in Las Vegas , traveled first class, but was so introverted I always kept to myself, never saying much, definitely not participating in any of these scenes. Those clothes didn’t fit either.”

All the while she returned to the intimacy of New York supper clubs. They were the bottom line, singing and playing.

It was during the supper club period, she met Al Weissman who became her manager. She was signed to the Joe Glazer Agency and began to tour with her own trio. “Wherever I went they’d say, “You know, there’s just been a girl here who sounds like you. Her name was Barbra something. I suppose we had Brooklyn Jewishness in common. ” (She too was signed with Glazer.)

Although published by Frank Publishing (owned by composer Frank Loesser) years later she asked for the songs back because “nothing happened.” “It was a period of promise, a period I was not equipped to fulfill”.

In 1962 it was back to Hollywood with Al Weissman and high hopes. “I had some jobs, but never in my genre.” Back to New York. A little jaunt of songwriting with singer Dick Haymes. A short marriage of four months to Richard Robin Palmer.

Greece, Lebanon, Greece, Oxford – Yoga & Jazz

In 1966, by way of Paris, Greece (where she and husband Jim Council were neighbors with Leonard Cohen and Marianne) and Lebanon, “where I actually managed to do some television, singing jazz”, she settled in Oxford, England for the next 18 years, teaching yoga,(“lectured and demonstrated in what must have been a hundred Women’s Insitutes, posed for one of the very first health magazines called Health & Fitness, wrote articles on nutrition, had a weekly radio spot on a little radio show for BBB Oxford actually doing Yoga on radio while describing each pose with a microphone up my nose, did a tape on meditation – it was a lot of Yoga”) and singing and playing, being voted Best Jazz Singer in the Midlands 1972, appearing at Ronnie Scott’s three times. She did 3 television shows; a late night BBC jazz show called “In The Cool Of The Evening”, radio for BBC overseas, was invited over to Amsterdam to do Dutch radio, sang at universities around England, (“one night opposite Pink Floyd, “who were just starting out, I suppose”), the American air bases.

She appeared several times at The Stables in Wavendon (run by John Dankworth – now Sir John Dankworth – and Cleo Laine -now Dame Cleo Laine – while at the same time giving weekly yoga lessons to a group there, (which included Dame Cleo – “a wonderful yogin”). The Wavendon All-Music Plan, later known simply as WAP “was the most stimulating and original enterprise I’ve ever encountered, pairing all kinds of musical genre. I even played on the same bill as Vladimir Ashkenazy.”

Starting in 1969 and all during the 70’s fate gave a push to the yoga side of things and Arlene was teaching yoga classes in doctor’s offices for hyper-tense, cardiac and overweight men. teaching regularly at conferences for IBM. She gave demonstrations, lectured all over for the Women’s Institute, posed and wrote for Health and Fitness Magazine (summer issue 1982) a book called The New Manual Of Yoga by Karen Ross (1973) wrote articles on nutrition, made a cassette called This Is Meditation. It was a full double life with Yoga taking half the time and singing the other half.

1980s to now.
In 1983 she once again ran into Slim Gaillard – this time in London. He asked her to appear on a television show he was producing that was to star himself, Kai Winding and Wayne Shorter. It was the last appearance she ever made in England.In 1984, finding Sweden fertile ground for singer/pianists, and meeting and falling in love with Kent Anderson, she moved to Sweden where she lives until today, performing, and writing regularly for “Live With Good Intentions” an online magazine.
Still growing, still changing
The latest news – 2009 and 25 years later, aged 75: a cd of her own songs for Imogen Records produced by George Reece, a concert of Johnny Mercer to commemorate his 100th birthday, poetry grown to 2000 poems (see Arlene Corwin Poetry).

2009 finds her favorite project on Google called Arlene Corwin’s Poetry, a project that started in 1949 or about 2,000 poems ago.

2010 landmark:  First published book of poetry, “Circling Round Time” comes out in September “To The Child Mystic” the second due to come out in December.

2010-11  Circling Round Time and To The Child Mystic.  The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative . Regular contributor  to online magazines ElderwomanSpace; Jerry Jazz Musician; Elderwomanstorytellingplace; 

2012 More books!  Circling Round Woman; Circling Round Our Times, Our Culture; Circling Round Vanity: Vaguely About Music and Circling Round Eros + 2.  Publised by Xlibris.

2013-2014 More & more! Circling Round Yoga, Science, War & Cats; Circling Round Nature; God Book; in the works A Sense Of The Ridiculous.

Music career took an upswing with performances and concerts – an intimate series of composer-of-the-month programs based on the best of American popular composers.

And, of all things, at age 77, the start of yoga teaching in Härryda, Sweden.  

Arlene Corwin is, as at this writing, 80 years of age. Over 3,000 poems.

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The Miracle Of Turning Fifty 1996 2007

           The Miracle Of Turning Fifty

There’s a miracle in turning fifty:

Half your life is over,

You’ve got fifty years to go.

Maybe forty, maybe thirty;

Wisdom’s exponential.

And while youth goes backwards into time,

You’re reaching your potential.

It’s a fair exchange – no, more than fair.

Fifty’s on the way to there.No more periods that bother,

No more load on you as mother

When you had to drive the kids to school.

Loads you handle with more ease.

Not so many folk to please.

You’ve more capacity,

And all the things that stamp us old

Turn into gold:

Days of humming –

Days to come;

Not right this minute or this hour;

Bit by bit the power waxes.

Isn’t that the large-life goal ?

Fifty starts it all.

It must be said:

You’re the one who makes this bed,

Gardens gladness, fences sadness out or in.

Keeps on looking

So that mind and intellect keep cooking.

You’re the one to feed these drives.

That’s when life can turn on fives.

©The Miracle Of Turning Fifty 96.12.4 revised 07.3.15

A Mystic Visits Thousand Oaks; I Is Always You Is We;

Special People Special Occasions; Birthday Book;

Arlene Corwin



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