Archive for December, 2013

The Bandstand


for a-ha, the soundtrack of my life

The old bandstand, empty now,
Holes in the roof and cracked walls,
It won’t be long
Before it’s fenced off or knocked down
For safety reasons,
Broken ground and willow herbs
Where once there was music.
I remember the old photos,
Corseted ladies twirling parasols,
Suited gents, heads braced in high collars
Taking a Sabbath turn in the park
Wheeling children in car sized prams
Or paying court to a chaperoned girl
From down the street,
While the band, all brushed serge
And polished brass, play.
The conductor accepts applause with a bow,
Then turns and starts a waltz.
What would they play
Were they here now?
Or would they be too sad
To play in such a ruin?
Perhaps some tunes are trapped,
Caught in a crack
In concrete or roof beam,
So when the wrecker’s claw
Is finally released to its meal
Music will once again
Fill the park.
I hope I’m there to hear it,
I doubt if anyone else will notice.

This is a repost of this poem, to mark the 3rd anniversary of a-ha’s last gig. The poem was inspired by their song of the same name.


Love is… (a work in progress)


Love is a wonderful colour, The Icicle Works

Don’t ask me to define it,
That’s beyond
My meagre abilities with words, but
I can remember when
It set a match to my dry wood,
Surrounded me with light and heat,
Replaced my silence with a talkie,
My monochrome print
With glorious technicolor.
Remember when I’d willingly
Thrust my hand into naked flame,
Walk five hundred miles
In the rain, bear any discomfort,
If only my love would notice,
When just a glimpse
Would fuel me for the day.
I remember it well,
Those days I’d willingly drown
In its sea, distant now,
Rustier than unlifted rails on a closed line,
Cold ashes waiting for brush or tide
To sweep them away,
I remember it, miss it,
Miss the heat,
Miss the light,
Miss the colours…
Just don’t ask me to define it.

Nick Cohen: Writing from London

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