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.

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Michael Apted - d. January 7th 2021

Give me the child until they 
are seven; I will show the way

of things - the people you can

and cannot become, the man 

in the boy, the woman in the girl,

enough for this or any world.

Read about Michael Apted here

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Colin Bell - d. January 5th 2021

From the Ballet on Ice
and quagmires of 1972
exits Nijinsky of the North,
blond sovereign of time,
King of the bluest memory.

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Gerry Marsden - d. January 3rd 2021

This is the last record,
so sing to us of rivers,
torn hearts and storms.
Another dance is over
- safe home, everyone -
but still the night rings
to a sweet silver song.

Sunday, 13 December 2020

John Le Carré - d. December 13th 2020

Reading you was my Fall:
before, glam spies in cars; 
after, a drab inner world,
lamplit by career shadows,
pieces on a board, trading
stock and scalps, made real
by the pen of true Control.

Charley Pride - d. December 12th 2020

After you they undrew 
the lines, wedged open
the Opry doors, spun 
both sides of the disc.
This morning an angel
told me you cannot keep 
a song from being sung.

Friday, 11 December 2020

Barbara Windsor - d. December 10th 2020

Spying, Doctor, 
Camping, Again Doctor, 
Henry, Matron, Abroad, 
Girls, Dick, Giggling,
Flirting, Disrobing, 
Pouting, Bitching, 
Barring, Shaaaahting, 
Struggling, Smiling, 
Carrying On.