In the summer of 1954, I was alone and at loose ends with my family absent, so I drove north of San Francisco to Stinson Beach. I crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge in my Austin A40, parked, and sat down on the sand. A group of colored people, unfamiliar to me, came racing down the shore led by a solitary white woman. They all plunged into the Pacific Ocean. Two colored women, not bathing, came over to where I was sitting. One woman, Watusi in the story, greeted me as Manny. After her greeting, she urged me to stay and wait for her return, before she went with her friend Daisy to the parking lot. With my family in mind, and no courage to engage, I immediately moved on.

This episode has stayed with me and the Opera, Watusi, is based on it. The story, embellished for the Opera, came from one simple experience and my persistent interest in the phenomenon of love. Now, I see the Opera as possibly performed at the Vogue Theatre, next to the Roxy Hotel in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where I lived for a time when the Vogue Theatre was being built. In development of my website, I will append the story in the Opera to the website, reconfiguring it as it evolves from story form to printed music, to the final form for electronic retrieval.

James Foort ‑ 20, 11, 2017.

Conditions of love as delineated in the hierarchy of love ‑ from sight to touch...

Song 1: From Sight to Touch

From sight to touch, to desire and longing,
To love to joy to celebration, unfold yea forces of the genes
To bring us to our ripening of the seed you are in us,
To start again from birth to death each new generation.

Song 2: The Time for Love

Youths and parents sing their speculations on love.
The time for love begins when we are ready.
We are ready now. Make haste to make the love
Exchanged the most. Time for love is short. See
Whales cavorting recklessly on Pacific waves,
Fearful seals in flight. Four seals make up each
Whale's daily bread. The cost of life is death.
It's not nice that there is fear and trembling.
Heed and take advice. The nice we see it is the nice
We dream will be. Let dreams fly high. Now,
The joys of testing possibilities are rising. We're not
Surprised. The moment's close. The dance is on. Pacific
Waves are dancing too. Soon we will know how right or
Wrong, the dance begun will go.

Rap 1: Comparisons are made

Black and White
Dark and Light
Woman and Man
Young and Old
Plump and Skinny
Big and Small
Short and Tall
Strong and Weak
Handsome and Plain
Joyful and Dour
Quick and Slow
Smooth and Rough
Pliant and Tough
Hard and Soft
Daring and Timid
Faithful and Fickle
Depressed or Euphoric
Believing in This
Believing in That
Cause and Effect
Children Coming
Making the Best
Of their Chances
Riding the Stead
Of Time.

The truth in this tale
Of how it now stands
What reality demands
Fulfilling what's defined
In the hierarchy of love
Promoting comfort
From practicing love.

The story expands: seven beautiful black men frolic with a white woman and scramble into the ocean at Stinson Beach, California. They cluster around the woman in a loving, mass embrace. They call her, "Beauty." She sings to the men in the form of questions containing their fates as they hope for her love.

Song 3: White Beauty Rates Beautiful Blacks

  1. You will give me a flower in a porcelain pot?
    A gardenia corsage would be nice. (rejection 1)

  2. You will dance with me naked in the pale moonlight?
    Will it be warm or be cold? (rejection 2)

  3. You will give me a goose laying golden eggs?
    Will you Give me the foot for it too? (rejection 3)

  4. You will open a clothing store just for me?
    Will what I wear be my choice? (rejection 4)

  5. You will take me wherever I want to go and stay at home with me if I prefer? (rejection 5)
    (yawns twice)

  6. You will build me a house on an island for two?
    Will there be a cinema and a dance hall there too? (rejection 6)

Seventh man with blue eyes sings his offer. She wants love. He answers thus:

If I were a humming bird, a red breasted humming bird,
A yellow winged red breasted humming humming bird,
A humming bird topped at the head with golden blue,
A blue blue head, a head of golden blue loving you,
Would you come come come then come away with me?
If you will, I will carry carry carry you carry you away.
I will carry you away away to my soft and secret bed to feed you golden golden honey
To feed you golden honey from my lips red red.
I will find the golden honey, the golden golden honey
I will find the golden honey in the golden golden tips,
In the golden golden tips of the yellow yellow flowers,
Softly yellow yellow, the yellow yellow flowers,
Flowers streaked with red, streaked with golden red
Set deeply in the middle of the blue golden middle.
I will sing sing sing to you my sweet song of love,
My sweet sweet song, my song as sweet as honey,
Sing my sweet sweet song, my song of loving you.

She says not a word.

Song 5: Beauty's Proposition

Sing Together

Since all of you are smitten, know, I am a home loving
Girl, all of us together would be best.
Will each of you stay attentive, accepting I do no
Chores and if some babies come of it, you will pick them up
At night and, as they grow bigger, train them for what's right?
If my hopes in this seem heavy, seven attending would be best.
I promise you, I will do the rest.

Rap 2: Stepping Up The Pace

The scene beginning
Is shifting into place
Seven lovely Black Men
Are setting up the pace
In their sympathetic rumble
With a female White,
They rush to tumbling waters,
Leave Stinson Beach behind
To reach a bold containment
Of the fancied woman leading
To fashion from their chase
An enclosing close embrace.
All is in celebration
Of a favored flavor
With lively merriment
Settling on the pack.
Best setting for the scene,
As seen to be unfolding
Is the drama of the chase,
New ways pertaining,
Past ways displaced.

The man sitting on the sand at Stinson Beach is a stranger. The woman known as Watusi reaches him and greets him as Manny, describing herself to him.

Song 6: How I Am

Watusi Sings

I am a slim and youthful woman as you can see. I see you as
One in friendship with me. I come and go confident and very
Sure. I can swim like a fish but am staying here on shore for
Female reasons if you get my meaning; my granny told me,
Although I am not quite sure. It's not from inability or fear of
Whales out there. What can you tell me of yourself beyond
What I can see and gather from your looks when not shown

Pardon me. My dear friend Daisy is calling. She drives the car I
Came in. She would feel offended if I were to set aside my
Attention to her call. I'll be back. Don't go away.
Stay. Don't go away now. Stay. I'll just be moments away.
Don't go away.

Watusi follows Daisy to the parking lot. There, Daisy sulks because Clarence, her boyfriend, is in the ocean with Martin, Watusi's boyfriend. The men are not interested in either woman. Daisy sings a children's hymn with variations shared by the children, an echo to Daisy's song.

Song 7: Jesus Loves Me

Jesus loves me this I know.

Daisy Complaining

(Clarence makes a fool of me with that girl. I wish a whale would eat her).

The Bible tells me how a whale ate Johnah.

(That is a bad thing to wish).

Little ones to him belong. We are weak but
He Is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, loves me.

(Maybe if she just gets a fright) (I want Clarence back with me where he belongs).

Watusi thinks she will make a change.

Song 8: Choice

Watusi Sings

I'll call this nice man, "Manny." I hope he's there when I return.

A lovely man is Manny, so thin, so tall. I hope he stays; I hope

He waits. I hope he doesn't go away. I'd love to swim with Martin.

I wish Martin were fond of me. Maybe I'm too tall and

Skinny. Me too serious and Martin funny. I cannot change the

Way I am. Silly Daisy sings hymns to him. She'd fair better if

She were slim. Singing hymns may suit her fine. Clarence is of

A different mind. Martin too likes the slick chick kind. Skinny

Me won't make the grade even if I change my state. No

Winning way is there for me. A lovely man is Manny; so thin,

So tall. I hope he waits. I hope he doesn't go away. Manny

May suit me better. Ways with Martin seem extinct. I could try

For Manny now. I'll edge up on it until it's clear. Nothing's

There for me to fear. Martin's too poorly linked, I could try
For Manny now.
 I hope he's there when I get back. I hope he

Waits. I want his care.

Manny sitting on the beach sings his thoughts.

Song 9: Temptation

Manny Sings

I'm tempted to experiment, chance a go with her.

I wish the one I want were here. It's impossible no chance

For that. Best clear my mind, get free of that. I can't compare

This with that, or anything else between.

My sadness is not relieved by hope. Shall I make my

Temptation a topic of conversation? Make a retreat or wait?

More hope in this than that. Decided; mark the time. Stay or

Go or leave on that. Time unspent, a sign for change. Time

Used up, deciding's done; overbalancing time. Stay or go on

That. Time says go. Don't stay. I have to go. So, I don't stay. I

Go away.

Returning, Watusi sings her disappointment.

Song 10: Dissappointment

He's gone, He's gone. He didn't stay. Too much

Disappointment for a single day. Maybe he thought me too

Bold. Maybe he thought me too thin. Maybe he thought me

Too tall. Maybe he didn't like my clothes. Maybe he didn't

Like me. Maybe he has other plans. Maybe I should forget

Him. Maybe I'll try. He went away. He didn't stay. I want

To cry. Maybe that's a sign for me not to dwell on men and

Concentrate on what I know or need to know of me. I'm

Sad in different ways

The way I want with Martin; the way I hoped with

Manny; the way I think of men; the way I

Think of me. I cry for a loss I haven't had. I'll think of Manny

And leave my dreams to stray.

Watusi meets Manny by chance on a street in Oakland, California. They have not seen each other since Stinson Beach, a year ago. She has been dreaming of him. She is colorfully dressed, as though in a dream. She is excited, nervous, and hesitant.

Song 11: You Didn't Stay

Watusi Sings

Manny, I've been thinking of you. Surprised to see a fantasy
Realized. This is such an amazing thing for me ‑ a surprise
That churns up feelings. I didn't know I'd feel this way,
Feathers on a windy day. You have been on my mind.
A year's gone by. I thought I wasn't one you'd fancy; felt
Unsure. You wouldn't take a chance because I am so tall and skinny.
You might not fancy me at all. But most because I
Feel this way; I asked you stay; you went away.

Song 12: You Didn't Come Back

Manny Sings

How it might have been has been with me in my thoughts.

I'm not one to take advantage, push prospects,

Extend the range and make a showy display of what I do and want

And say. I was afraid, wanted more. Such was the case, my

Wanting you. You didn't come back. I fancied you. Here I

Am; could be a time to start. What will we do with that?

Stop for tea? Will you take tea with me?

Song 13: Why Didn't You Stay?

Watusi Sings

I'm worried; not sure. You didn't stay. You went away. You

Went away. Makes me shake. I feel I'll fall apart. I'm in a

Quandary. Should I go or stay? Try for more? Stop for tea? I

Want to know what's best for you and me. You didn't

Stay. You went away. You went away.

Song 14: You Didn't Come Back

Manny Sings

I left you dangling and unsure. Left your wonderings in a
Blur. I could have done better. And I can tell you why I
Didn't stay, but went away. Don't cry, don't cry. You didn't
Come back, that's why. I timed the time. The chance was
Lost. The time was spent. You didn't come back. When you
Didn't come back, I went away. You didn't come back. That's why I didn't stay.

Song 15: You Could Have Stayed

Watusi Pushing It

You are a lovely man Manny. My fantasies declare it every

Day. Why then did you go away?

Song 16: Permission for Loving

Manny Sings

Surely it's not outrageous to say I see you. May I touch you

Then? Will it be allowed, or permitted to love you and

Expand it. Setting things in motion, not promising devotion,

But testing love's potential, being above cheating, defeating

False intentions, connections with bold purposes. Can we

Go on from that? I ask your permission to be bold and

Daring to touch you with a hope for shared feelings in

Fantasies of closeness in a hold, daring from such fantasies

As yourself disclose. May I stay?

They reach out to each other, holding hands.

Song 17: Stay!

Watusi Sings

How would I say no now given promising intentions. What I

Want is wanting you free from false conventions or

Ridiculous connections. You may stay and so will I until

We test our prospects for solidified connections. Yes;

Please stay.

They enter the café still holding hands.

Song 18: How I See Me

Watusi Sings Softly

I know you're nice and all the rest; but this is what I want
To test. Will you answer me outright what I must and
What I might. I am a person boldly aiming to be the equal in
Social worth with anyone, big or small, fat or skinny, short
Or tall , black or white, rich or poor and anything more
You can add. Nor would I fail to say, the way I am I want
To stay. I intimate to be a need for others as well as me,
Securely linked to autonomy, a solitary needed need to
Need for my life to be in harmony. Other qualities on which
I'm keen find me rising with the dawn ‑ yes, sometimes it's
Tea in bed. Beyond that, even instead, I like to do my
Exercises, jump about and take a run unless serious action
Has begun, taking my time, bending my wishes to do the
Laundry or do the dishes. Practicalities can be quite nice to
Do or not to do them twice. I heard it said when I was
Little that wisdom takes time to think on what is best to
Do with others, and so with you. Now's the time to get things straight
Before we're hooked and it's too late.

Song 19: How I Am

Manny Sings

I'm not perturbed by what you say. I rise quite late and

Linger on, mostly past the break of dawn. It's the truth for

What you ask to tell you truly how I am. Before engaging

On a plan when working late at night, you can be sure I'll

Do it right, not disturb you in your sleep, but keep it quiet

Until you rise. In that I promise no surprises. As I prefer to

Sleep in late, we would overlap in this, keeping things

Harmonious. As to your particular questions, what you must

And what you might, you are the author of your fate. Any

Thing will be all right. There is no right or wrong wit
Me. I see actions as what's preferred addressed by

Consequences, me taking mine, you take yours
Reciprocity is a word I like. Its my favorite way, the way I like the best.

Given that, we can negotiate the rest.

Song 20: Negotiating

Watusi Sings

What you say for my relief won't cost us much in grief.

Manny, you are just the one for this new adventure we've

Begun. I will love you, I can tell, and you love me just as

Well. Bumps and hollows in our plan, can't be worse than

I'd expect to find with any man. I vibrate from promises in

This. We will live in happiness from our attention to our


Song 21: The Vote

Manny Sings

Understanding your vote to be yes, bound here to act in a

Whisper yet when I'm longing to hold you and toss you

About as befits the case so that we can begin the raise in

Private space discretely placed, circumstances permitting a

Kiss, setting suiting caresses and cuddle, me now unhooked

From a muddle, me now free from thinking on endings,

Thinking on a new beginning, ready for our great

Adventure. My answer likewise is yes.

Song 22: Forgiven

Watusi Sings

Your past performance I'm accepting. I am quite sure

Of what will come. I love you already, what's allowed. I

Want to announce it to the crowd and bring it into common

View, you loving me, me loving you. How wonderful and

Cheering. What you profess is most endearing. We'll make

It happen. Yes, yes, yes. I squirm with

Pleasure from this. Anytime I have to leave, I'll come back

To you for sure,

Knowing you are that sure too.

Song 23: Preferences

Manny Sings

Now that we confess our sureness, what steps lie within our

Plans? I must confess, my preference is, to take you home

With me. Just as fitting for me would be that I go home with

You. We will take our tea, make a meal, do our chores

And take a rest. Our rest will be a fitting test of what is

Good for you and me.

Song 24: Home

Watusi Sings

Ah, Manny. I feel squeezed up in precious postures so

Tightly bound in loving you that there isn't any bother.

Things to do are simple one way or another.

Either way's OK with me, but if you go with me, where I live is

Extremely cozy, intimate and fine, set up from fantasies in

Loving thoughts of mine. If that suits you, I'd find that suits

Me too. Neighbors are sympathetic in anything they find.

Our proposal now advancing to conclude as we desire, will

Find no favor or disfavor or lead them to enquire.

Nosiness and judgments are remote in their intensions.

Their responses would be to have joyful celebrations; one

For you, one for me, one for the whole community.

Song 25: Possibilities

Manny Sings

Sweet Watusi, you offer a chance to explore possibilities

Looming. My space may be tasteful too, though yours be

Best, I surmise. From what you say and I surmise, I'll pack

My bag and take my quilt in case the choice is clear. This

Tea is cold. Let's let it pass and make a pot at your place.

Then you can see what's at mine. We'll have soup and

Bread for supper, crisp biscuits with cheese and wine. Next,

Retire to where you are to make the circle tight for what

We would or wouldn't, and what might be just right.

Song 26: Agreed

Watusi Sings

Not only are you lovely, but you are wise besides.

We will do as you suggest. Have tea where I reside, take supper

Where you are, then, my place for rest. Of course, I watch

The TV, not now my only pleasure with time for us

Together. We'll chat about this and that and things we

Really treasure, delving into possibilities we favor.

Song 27: Exercise

Manny Sings

I know you're fond of exercise. I'm not averse myself. To

Take a cab is best for reducing personal stress as we make

A start together against the test we'd face apart.

Song 28: My Future

Watusi to herself

Where am I going in this wonderful adventure?

I won't even ask, knowing Manny's a treasure. Take it on. Play the

Game out with abandon. The time comes to accept what's

Happening. My life as I hope has a chance for a test. I am

Sure I am able and sure this is best. For Manny and me

There's no cost to courage. The dance I'm expecting to

Dance with him will be as good as we manage

Connections. The aim to derive is to keep love alive

Without expectations or aims for perfection.

Song 29: Now I Can Stay

Manny Sings

Comes a time just right, a time that finds one ready. I can

Say with conviction I feel no constriction on what is

Possible, even desirable to abandon the past, making room

For what's new. When you and I met I was stuck in

Confusion, drawn away by a tension beyond wise

Perceptions. So I was lonely, not feeling free. That made it

Hard to take new steps for me, to stay when we met, not

Go away. I measured the time to make the decision. When

Time was up, I went away. Now, I can say I can stay.

Song 30: You Touch My Heart

Watusi Sings

Sweet Manny, my love, you deserve no stress in matters

Of love. You do what is best. I know you are loyal, not

Fickle or flighty, nor careless or thoughtless, nor reckless;

Rumpling love's waters. That's why you went away, didn't

Stay when I said stay. The sympathy needed to soften

Your feelings was there had you stayed. I am one for such

Ways. That's why what you say touches my heart. For us,

The matter is closed; closed too for Martin with me.

Rap 3: Memories

We come to where we are
Riding the steed of time.
When the ride is ending,
Memories of our findings
Give time for making choices,
From what it is we choose
Consider a reality hidden in
The findings seen as found.
They are choices choosing us.
Deeds seem so determined.
Dreams seem more refined.
They come from thoughts and
Thinking or from what others
Do or say. Take cautions.
Nothing sets the way in
Doings seen as right though
In ways seen unclearly,
Showing ways confused
By losses or gains from
Kinking of a chosen path.
When a way is taken,
Other ways are left behind.
By simple trial and error
We find best ways to go
From tracks left exposed and
Judged from considering
Assessments we have made.
Like tracks of ships left on a
Restless, trackless sea,
Speeding along on intentions,
Hopes, predictions and fate.
Balance measuring failure or
Success of the choices made.
From tracing of the tracks of
The scans that we can take,
The stories of our lives made
From what we recalled
Recollected and collected and compared
To set new ways to follow
Because the steed of time
Defines how far we ride.

Song 31: Confirmation

Manny Sings

Let us catch each other arms around in a wild embrace,

Hands folding in fast connection locking in behind, we face

To face, sealing our intentions, hugging and a kiss,

Nor looking back from this, except for checking lessons in the

Lives of others, when we trace the tracings of the tracks

They leave behind. Now's the time to sweeten possibilities

In knowing what is so, knowing what such actors played

In playing out their roles. Let us start with Daisy. What

Was it she chose? Daisy's fate in loving Clarence, 
Did she win or loose?

Song 32: Flavors of Love

Watusi Sings

Ah Manny; there is no win or lose in love. Love is fresh in

Flavors of attention. Daisy's wounds soon closed accepting

Clarence's love denied. She sulked in a wallowing way for

Days. There were other fish swimming in her sea, as it was for me.

I was alive to possibilities in you. When her

Wound was healed, she could say, as could be said of you

And so be said of me, she got the need she needed to be free.

Now she is the proud mother of three.

Song 33: Puzzlement

Manny Sings

Three? Surely you miscount, Watusi. It's only been a year

Since Stinson Beach. Had Daisy children with another?

What does the other think of that; no Daisy in his life?

Clarence gone? Now, she is mother of three?

Please make this matter clear to me.

Song 34: Explanation

Watusi Sings

Here is the case for three; triplet number one, a robust

Little fellow, eyes marble brown. Triplet number two, so

Sweet in pink, eyes hazel green. Triplet number three, eyes

Blue, like you. All are Daisy's children. I wouldn't mind

Blue eyes as mine. What do you think of that Manny?

Manny says, "Another time, Watusi!"

Song 35: Seven Loving One

Manny Sings

SSeven boisterous fellows, a woman leading in a chase

Sharing their exuberance in their shared embrace.

What came of their love in time from then to now?

Do you know? Is the truth a respectful illusion, disillusion, or expansion?

What was their conclusion?


Song 36: Loving Beauty

Watusi Sings

TThe girl Beauty is treated like a queen,

Queen of the village over which she reigns,

A village made of what transpired, the village they call

Plenty, a village fated more than any would expect.

Watusi spoken

Is that enough? I could go on.

Manny spoken

Yes. Please go on.

Watusi spoken

You remember there were seven lovely fellows in a chase, beautifully black like me as you will know from memory, who made offers better than anyone would expect.

Beauty Sings

  1. You will give me a flower in a porcelain pot?
    A gardenia corsage would be nice (rejection 1)

  2. You will dance with me naked in the pale moonlight?
    Will it be warm or be cold? (rejection 2)

  3. You will give me a goose laying golden eggs?
    Will you give me the foot for it too? (rejection 3)

  4. You will open a clothing store just for me?
    Will what I wear be my choice? (rejection 4)

  5. You will take me wherever I want to go and stay at home with me if I prefer?(rejection 5)

  6. You will build me a house on an island for two?
    Will there be a cinema and a dance hall there too? (rejection 6)

  7. Would feed her golden honey from his red red lips and hold her entranced with his pale blue eyes.

Watusi and Manny Dialogue


You are drawing it out Watusi! Please.


The results were remarkable.


It's only been a year since Stinson Beach. How remarkable? Tell me.


Beauty bore remarkable children.


Tell me!!

Song 38: The Truth

Watusi Sings

Know this, I would tell you only what is true to preserve

Your trust ‑ what you need to know. This is what I say:

Septuplets. First there was one, then two and another until

It had expanded into a litter of seven little persons each placed in a cot.

By anyone's count seven is a lot.

Manny Spoken

Seven is a lot!!

Watusi Spoken

The revenue supports the Village plenty. And that's not all.

Manny Spoken

That's not all? Tell me!

Watusi Spoken

All seven babies burnished black. And ‑‑‑

Manny Sings


Watusi Sings

Have red red lips.

Manny Spoken

Why not? Is that all?

Watusi Sings

Every child has pale blue eyes.

Manny Spoken

That is remarkable! What can be made of that?

Song 39: Duet by Watusi and Manny

Singing Together and Apart

Love is a lottery
As consequences show
Chances set in form
Not details as we know.

Song 39: Love Is A Lottery

Chorus Backup

Love is a lottery
As consequences show
Chances set in form
Not details as we know.

Song 40

Duet by Watusi and Manny alternately and together

There'll be no likely ruffles in magic times for us
For the love that we require to make the magic last.
Blue eyes meeting brown, brown eyes meeting blue
Unstressed by haunting doubts from what we should or shouldn't do, perfection not expected as our lot.

Song 41: Each to Each Other

Watusi, Manny: Each to Each Other

Manny Sings

Watusi, Watusi,
Wonder is in the event as well as in the fleeting moment.

Watusi Sings

Darling Manny, the softness in your eyes
And your gentle touch tell me it is so.

Watusi and Manny singing together

What arises from our hopes,
Which come to us from loving,
Is the courage we will show
In attentive times of trying,
Touched by open wonderment
In what we draw from others
As prospects for our selves
From what's in us to follow.
Internal to love's lottery,
Consequences make the call
And what is borne by us, is
such as borne by all.

Rap 5: Conclusions

There you have it
Tidy and neat
You know the tale
Neat and complete.
From Manny
To Daisy
To Beauty
And seven
Most of all
To Watusi
Who knew
In the end
Of the need
For self love
Before love
Is possible
At all.

Now you are free to
Remark with applause
Stand up if you must
Discuss with neighbors
Assessing the pause
When drinks and nibbles
Were eagerly served
And now, you can turn on cell phones.

The End

Works and writing by James Foort