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Here’s a couple of poems from my latest show: In The Shadows Cast By Trees.

Hänsel and Gretel

Follow the trail, sister and

We

Will find our way. These monsters

Are

Only the evening shadows of trees.

Home-

Is just across the old clearing –

Less

Than half an hour

And

We’re back, all these crumbs and pebbles

Abandoned

 

That’s it, Gretel, turn

Left

And keep going. The lamp will be shining in the window

For

Us to find the way, before the witching hour, in the

Dead

Of night. Just hold my hand, sister.

Herbstzeitlose

There you are, my little ones,

I knew you would appear

Where the last of the summer was waiting

And I’d wished for sharp colour

To paint this muddy ground

 

You were still sleeping when

I passed this way before

With a spring in my step and impatience

For all that lay before me

And a full smile for all my lovers

 

Was it real or was it a story

Told to give light to darkness?

For winter was a distant horizon

Easy, back then, to ignore

Eyes fixed on my own hands in front of me

 

In all those wide days of plenty

Small beauties were overshadowed

But the autumn knows: it is fleeting,

And your own precious petals with it

Shall wither and stoop and fall

 

 

This poem is a stroll down memory lane and a love poem, too.

Jacques Loussier Plays Bach

It’s a Sunday evening jazz session

Down at the Effra, back in Brixton

More than a decade past now

And the stage is set for all comers,

A clarinet player, a keyboard wiz,

Maybe that old slap bass and a

Melancholy singer

 

Trying not to think about another

Monday morning, sitting on the Victoria Line

That blue vein North and out of these smoky rooms

When there was still smoke in those

Old rooms

With the old guys drinking Guinness in the snug

And the younger ones trying to find a place

To listen

To that Sunday night jazz at the Effra

 

One night they had leant me an old bike

With slightly wobbly brakes and a slightly wobblier rider

I had almost hoped it would be stolen

As it stood outside – but no –

I had to make that journey home upon its cracked saddle,

Knocking into walls, while the others waited for me

At the top of the road in a darkness I was glad of then

 

The walls were not enough to stop me

And I had drunk enough not to notice

The bruises till the morning

And how we laughed about it then

And I decided it far better to walk home next time

After that Sunday night jazz at the Effra

 

And now, I have this music playing in a living room

With a garden outside

And the evening bringing in the autumn too

There’s no smoke, no Guinness, no wobbly bicycles

Locked to Brixton lampposts outside

And the shadows are filled with someone’s wishes

Someone who doesn’t want me to hit those walls

In the darkness

 

And my wishes too

Because I got here in the end

Riding one wobbly bicycle after another

I made my way to you

And here, and now

At Sunday night jazz sessions

At home, in the light