Monday, 12 April 2021

Shirley Williams - d. April 12th 2021

Whatever stripe you wear
in the chambers of possibility, 
you cannot simply be,
you must do; change course
when the path blurs, veers;
find new ways for your cause.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

George Segal - d. March 23rd 2021

On the great stage of days
you are what you were. Fun,
even through the fallow years,
the typical American, always.
And classy? More than a touch.

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Frank Worthington - d. March 22nd 2021

Look! The Georgie Best
of the basement classes,
a ponytailed Maradona, 
iconoclast in cowboy boots,
Elvis with rolled-down socks.
Too late! He's left us for dead.

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Yaphet Kotto - d. March 15th 2021

Anybody ever tell you 
you look dead, man, like 
the shadow of a coffin?
Sure, you can graft 
a living in deep space,
or hustle with Mr Big, but
everyone knows names 
is for tombstones, baby.

Saturday, 13 March 2021

Murray Walker - d. March 13th 2021

I stood at Stowe, 
for you to call the blurs through 
one by one, voice over-revving
like a bad gear change, but 
the track had fallen silent, 
and I have to stop now, because
I have a lump in my throat.

Thursday, 11 March 2021

Lou Ottens - d. March 6th 2021

Side 1 Track 1:
this boy by the radio
taping the Top Forty
on your box of secrets,
spooling his life across
capstan heads, capturing
himself on ferrous oxide.

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Chris Barber - d. March 2nd 2021

I left a little flower for you,
New Orleans blue. Next day 
I found petals trampled 
into the rug, a red-hot 
combo stomping as they 
soloed in your name, 
not in grief but in joy.

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Bunny Wailer - d. March 2nd 2021

Pass it on! The herb is dead
that grew out of a golden age.
Who feels it knows it in their soul,
that sweet voice born of ghetto rage.

Sunday, 28 February 2021

Johnny Briggs - d. February 28th 2021

Here’s to the chancer’s chancer,
to the barrow born but on the up,
at the bar, grinning, pocket full 
of knickers, waving a tenner
- I’ll get these large Scotch,
and one for yourself, darlin’.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Lawrence Ferlinghetti - d. February 22nd 2021

The word on your streets
is of the streets. Your night
is made of words. Your beat
is made of night. Your art
is made of beats. The lights
of your city dim, then bright.

Thursday, 18 February 2021

U-Roy - d. February 17th 2021

You woke my town,
to tell your version 
of the version,
tell the dread people
that even in death
you were 
the rightful ruler,
the toast of heaven.

Sunday, 14 February 2021

Sydney Divine - d. February 13th 2021

I pulled on my tasselled jaiket,
half-Lanarkshire, half-Hawaiian,
saw it was a rhinestone short.
But what's this in the pocket?
a bag of tiny bubbles, and a chord
playing this is no time for crying.

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Mary Wilson - d. February 8th 2021

I dream of you, girl, free now, 
walking barefoot on gravel, 
automatically bringing the
sunshine, and ooh, the thrill, 
the joy this boy got from you.

Saturday, 6 February 2021

Christopher Plummer - d. February 5th 2021

I was afraid the world
was disappearing fast,
yet here you are again
to greet me, bless 
my land, bring music 
back into this house.

Tuesday, 2 February 2021

‘Captain Tom’ Moore - d. February 2nd 2021

I met an old soldier going down, 
talisman for a wounded country,
walking from memory, medals
pricking his flesh like shrapnel,
his worth the sum of all his duty,
striding a final battlefield at dawn.

Hal Holbrook - d. January 23rd 2021

I met you in the dark
of an underground lot,
a product of the night,
acting more with shadow
than most could with light.

Friday, 29 January 2021

Cicely Tyson - d. January 28th 2021

Aunt Jemima is dead,
helped off the screen
and into history, read
wrong but remade right
and acted as truth, seen
and heard, like new light.

Sunday, 17 January 2021

Phil Spector - d. January 16th 2021

I tried to keep it going -
that loving feeling - through
the screaming madnesses,
breached wall of your sound.
You deserve less than these
words, and yet much more.

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Barbara Shelley - d. January 4th 2021

How do you destroy a legend?
Not by the driven stake,
sword-lop or bloodsuck.
O Mistress of the macabre, 
what’s a nice girl like you
doing in a film like this?

Friday, 15 January 2021

Sylvain Sylvain - d. January 13th 2021

That's my kind of trash;
riffing tough, cheap
and only a little nasty,
one foot in platforms,
the other in stilettos,
veins full of raw junk.