Things to forget and not.



Fading in his ear, the beep of a cardiac monitor,

the last machine that would amplify him.

Racing then slowing,

locked in a rhythm he couldn’t control

while millions of hearts still pumped to the beats he had set.

There’s alot he would want the world to forget


but the music survives,

this soundtrack to our lives.

From Detroit to Durban,

Dhakar to Durham,

from a musician of fusion

and confusion


Disco, rock, soul,pop,

making the tribal division of dances stop

himself the incomplete reflection

of his reach for musical perfection

 a blending,

an extending.

Flowing across boundaries,

is dangerous,


new ways of hearing,

new ways of seeing.


He’s in the photo albums of our lives too,

this  boy who didn’t predict the man.

slowly chiselling himself away,

disappearing in a light display,

revealed in a mask,

and the questions the world had to ask.

We saw him in the black glasses,

the ambulance and the white shroud.


Is the picture as clear

as the music is loud?


Should we separate music from the maker,

make it our own,

translate the universal language

of the tambourine or the trombone

into rhythms that move us

in blood and in bone?


Kate Fox.


(I thought I’d compromised quite alot there when I agreed to rewrite “more about the music”…but having read Maya Angelou’s words I feel much better…)


July 7, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

A Long View

Bad Fairy Blair’s first incantation.
Spinning lies to sway a nation.
Promised the lusty treats of education, education, education
To the children of the X-Generation

Now Class ‘09 has graduated
The prom is over and they’re all wasted
Destined for the bitter fruits their parents tasted
Come back Prozac – Gotta keep ‘em medicated

Keep the little fuckers high so they can’t see
Their future consumed carefully by degrees
They were never really going to study – silly.
Take the only thing they will give you for free
They come guaranteed
To take the edge off your lack of liberties

Heat wave warnings won’t affect the frozen grants
Which means less than no chance
At all for those with brains but no healthy balance
They will be the first to fall but not to chance

So much for all that shit about Education,
Aspiration, and some other sion, you nearly led us all on
Class of 09, what’s left for you when the summer’s gone?
Sing it with me – Sign-on Sign-on Sign-on

Carmen Thompson

July 6, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

From a newspaper journalist at the end of their shift

5.30; the familiar digits appear on the screen
signalling it’s time to go home.
But no-there’s breaking news.
A burst water main.
In an instant I see my plans for the evening-
catching up with friends, a meal, a long bath-
dissolve into the flood water.
This is what we do.
I watch the editors circle the newsdesk
secretly hoping for misfortune
in the lives of nameless, faceless “victims”.
They look for a palimpsest of the flooding
two years to the day.
But it isn’t there.
Just a burst pipe and a couple of closed roads.
When all avenues, and I, are exhausted
I retreat.
I drive towards the sun
making new plans.

July 3, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.