Friday, 27 November 2020

Luke Rhinehart - d. November 6th 2020

One says ticket to oblivion
Two says dark ignominy
Three's merely a someone
Four is the fate of memory
Five's a critic's absolution
Six says you live in eternity

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Diego Maradona - d. November 25th 2020

This is to mark 
the empty space
you swaggered through,
grass rippling in your wake, 
a squat, lengthening shadow,
half angel, half devil,
hands and feet of a God

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Des O'Connor - d. November 14th 2020

To entertain is to pretend,
not once, but every night,
to be at one with the air,
to hold the note to the end,
leaving a smile like moonlight
shining on an empty chair. 

Read about Des O'Connor here

Friday, 6 November 2020

Geoffrey Palmer - d. November 6th 2020

Bit of a cock-up
on the being alive front.
I blame the Trotskyists,
Maoists, Guardian readers.
Bleeding hearts. The NHS.  
Bloody foreign surgeons.
Bloodsuckers all.
Bloody disgrace.

Read about Geoffrey Palmer here

Tuesday, 3 November 2020

John Sessions - d. November 2nd 2020

We leave little behind
as singular as the heavy
tread of our voice. Find
another voice, find many: 
a chorus of ghosts, sign 
of a craft extraordinary.

Saturday, 31 October 2020

Sean Connery - d. October 31st 2020

Kiss. Shrug off the danger.
Kiss. PPK under the pillow.
Bang. A spectre does not knock.
Bang. Licence revoked.

Friday, 30 October 2020

Nobby Stiles - d. October 30th 2020

Spit out that song
for the spoilers, short 
on skill, wit, physique,
whose call is to compete, 

to urge, when all is lost. 
Swing that rattle

for the tiny, toothless,
dancing destroyers.

Read about Nobby Stiles here

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Bobby Ball - d. October 28th 2020

I seen yer through fug
o Workingmens' smoke,
ole in tha kecks, Medlock 
in tha veins, muck or nettles,
proper monkified, an ah sez
eeyafflaff, dunt yer?

Sunday, 25 October 2020

Frank Bough - d. October 21st 2020

Quiet on the studio floor, 
to you in five, Frank - ready? 
Up to Eddie Waring in Oldham, 
in the cold of the Watersheddings
where both hookers are called Bert
and the lines are just fresh paint.

Thursday, 22 October 2020

James Randi - d. October 20th 2020

I won’t believe he’s really dead. Take
his pulse. Is he holding his breath? Fake.
A trick. Misdirection or suggestion. Wake
him up because I have questions. I’ll make
him talk. Look, he’s laughing, for God’s sake.

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Herbert Kretzmer - d. October 14th 2020

Despite the chill
that autumn brings
and those bitter tears,
heavy on my tongue,
I smile for you, when
I hear the people sing
your songs of yesterday,
when you were young.

Read about Herbert Kretzmer here

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Bunny 'Striker' Lee - d. October 7th 2020

Drum roll for the keeper
of the keys to the kingdom
of bass, that treasured isle.
Flying the flag of low-freq,
deep symbol of eternal echo,
striker of the sharpest snare,
now and forever be.

In Dub
Drum roll
          cymbal                echo
                    rever b

Read about Bunny Lee here

Johnny Nash - d. October 6th 2020

How does your voice
stir up the sunshine?
Why does your song
pour sugar on me?
The more I find out
the less I know.

Read about Johnny Nash here

Eddie Van Halen - d. October 6th 2020

The earth shakes,
an eruption of magma,
power chords.
A figure stands alone
on molten rock,
fretboard aflame:
Frankenstrat's Monster.

Read about Eddie Van Halen here

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Helen Reddy - d. September 29th 2020

The DJ spins a manifesto,

too impassioned to ignore,

how strong begets strong,

invincible, and more.

Tell the radio goodnight,

but not before you roar.

Read about Helen Reddy here

Mac Davis - September 29th 2020

A crowd gathers round

a smart young man,

a singular pen among

the drunks and cheaters,

an unlikely conscience.

And his mama cries.

Read about Mac Davis here

Friday, 25 September 2020

Juliette Grèco - d. September 23rd 2020

Ta voix est une boucle de fumée,
une page avec un million de poèmes,
toute délicatesse, souplesse, doigteé,
la chanson qui brûle,
et le fera toujours.

Your voice is a wisp of smoke,
a page with a million poems, 
all delicacy, suppleness, skill,
the song that burns, 
and always will.

Read about Juliette Gréco here

Monday, 21 September 2020

Michael Lonsdale - d. September 21st 2020

Death is the unloved season:
it is the draught that blows 
through the unholy labyrinth, 
the tyranny of empty space,
the harm that comes to all.


Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Shere Hite - d. September 9th 2020

Light flares, skin hums,
and the universe centres
on this place, this now.
You wrote freedom anew,
independence, adventure,
opened up the life to come

Read about Shere Hite here

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert - d.11th September 2020

When I do the reggay
I do the right thing -
righteous rocksteady,
gospel style, pyramid
label, forty-five. That's
always been my number.

Read about Toots Hibbert here

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Diana Rigg - d. September 10th 2020

How I craved a Queen of Sin,
catsuited and a snug gun 
down the boot. A hidden
tiger, an impossible girl
to find, even if you had all
the time in the world.

Read about Diana Rigg here

Ronald Bell - d. September 9th 2020

When I awoke
you had received your calling,
a column of dry ice,
mirrorball still spinning.
Good times, always,
a life to celebrate. Come on!

Read about Ronald Bell here

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

David Bryant - d. August 27th 2020

This is the final end:
feel the perfect line 
from hand to jack, weigh 
the bias of the world
in your soft palm,
draw to a hair's breadth,
then ascend in a haze
of grit and tobacco.

Read about David Bryant here

Monday, 31 August 2020

Chadwick Boseman - d. August 28th 2020

Run forever, hero,
hand in hand with Bast
and Sekhmet, across
the endless veld,
where beautiful men
drop to one knee, bow,
and are held up to the sky.

Read about Chadwick Boseman here

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Julian Bream - d. August 14th 2020

Come heavy sleep
and still the strings,
the squeak of frets,
the brush of fingertips,
the memory of timbre:
all else is resonance.

Read about Julian Bream here

Ben Cross - d. August 18th 2020

The screen life affords
just ten lonely seconds
to justify your existence,
to take arrows of desire,
speed, passion, elegance,
and secure them in time. 

Read about Ben Cross here

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Wayne Fontana - d. August 6th 2020

After the game concludes
come the impossible years,
the impossible decades,
6-minute slots to deaf ears,
where groovy turns to gravy,
and yet, and yet, you were here.

Sunday, 2 August 2020

C P Lee - d. July 25th 2020

I learned to write this gibberish
in your mindless classroom - 
you, fluent in every language 
(except the serious ones), all
in sub-dialects of Mancunian,
words and music made bonkers,
blown like snuff into the world.

Friday, 31 July 2020

Alan Parker - d. July 31st 2020

Before the main feature
we sit in our own darkness,
waiting for someone to take us
where the dreamers go: versions
of hell, of history, of childhood,
the places, true and untrue,
beyond the cinema doors.

'Rollerball' Mark Rocco - d. July 30th 2020

There is a chapter
in the Grapple Manual
dedicated to brawlers
and pocket battleships.
Its pages are red and blue, 
studded with white stars,
explosions of energy,
character, showmanship.

Sydney Lotterby - d. July 30th 2020

A ragged queue is forming
at your door; three old men,
grocer and boy, a brace of 
supercilious civil servants,
an old lag. They say they're
waiting for you to come home. 
I told them to naff orf.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Denise Johnson - d. July 27th 2020

Welcome to Downsville,
where streets are so wide
there are sister brothers
standing on every side,
every soul is 27 forever, and 
even funeral parties are wild.

Monday, 27 July 2020

John Saxon - d. July 25th 2020

I saw you in the fusion
of strength and appetite,
shoulder to broad shoulder
with a long-dead dragon, 
finally arriving at the point
that you will not go beyond.

Peter Green - d. July 25th 2020

Shall I tell them about your life?
The peerless broken blues,
the anxious nights so black,
the days that strummed you,
whispered through every bad trip
there must be more than this.


Sunday, 26 July 2020

Olivia de Haviland - d. July 25th 2020

Dim the lights of this town,
a snake pit draped in tinsel,
reinvent those old stories,
dress the set anew, check
the lens, stay on the face,
the heavy eyes now draining
into lonely black and white.

Friday, 17 July 2020

Zizi Jeanmaire - d. July 17th 2020

Les étapes sont définies 
et ne peuvent pas changer,
mais là où il y a mouvement, 
il y a danger,
car qu'est-ce que la vie 
si nous ne pouvons pas danser?

The steps are set and cannot change,
but where there is movement there is danger,
for what is life if we cannot dance?

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Maurice Röeves - d. July 15th 2020

We know you: in the cast,
heavy, or sergeant-major,
neither first name nor last.
Your act was to decöeve,
wear someone else’s story,
trust the watcher to belöeve.

Saturday, 11 July 2020

Jack Charlton - d. July 10th 2020

I found you at the riverbank
to tell you of your own death.
The tranny hissed a commentary:
Italy vs Ireland. You shrugged,
blunt as a thigh-high tackle,
You disturbed me to tell me that?

Monday, 6 July 2020

Ennio Morricone - d. July 6th 2020

Listen! Those soaring buttes
of string, mariachi trumpet, 
the sound of a desert on fire,
of gunshot, gulch and canyon, 
the kind of music that people
make movies to accompany.

Earl Cameron - d. July 3rd 2020

Many read for your part,
a realist plot simmering
with a deeper history,
but someone had to be
the first to be cast,
the first in the credits.


Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Carl Reiner - d. June 29th 2020

They called you
about a new show of shows,
that you would enter, laughing. 
They asked you 
when will the scripts be ready?
I heard you say
In about two thousand years.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Margarita Pracatan - d. June 23rd 2020

No sombre ceremony
could fete you: that would be wrong,
wrong as the memory
of melody you learned for too long,
rendered unsingable. We
mourn your approximation of song.

Friday, 19 June 2020

Ian Holm - d. June 19th 2020

I admired your purity,  
from outside the stadium,
to the middle of another Earth, 
to the coldness of space
- a survivor, always believable
in your unbelievable art.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Vera Lynn - d. June 18th 2020

A table is reserved
at the Ritz of any age.
A menu of optimism
falls open at a page
adorned with bluebirds.
Angels sit expectantly
as you rise to the stage.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Keith Tippett - d. June 14th 2020

There are no blueprints
for spontaneity: breathe
in a note, chord, cadence,
breathe out brilliance
through fingertips that,
even now, don't know
what's coming next.

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Ricky Valance - d. June 12th 2020

Tell Ricky, who loved him,
that in the chapel steeped in song,
we are singing his hymn
to doomed adolescence, the wrong
words but the right tune, grim
as the fate we expected all along.

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Rupert Hine - d. June 4th 2020



Read about Rupert Hine here

Friday, 5 June 2020

Steve Priest - d. June 4th 2020

Are you ready, Steve,
to raise some hell, push 
the button marked blitz,
square off with the bass, 
find the action, grab a piece?
All right, fella, let’s go...

Monday, 1 June 2020

Michael Angelis - d. May 30th 2020

There's a promised land,
thick with accents, jokes,
where there are jobs 
for all the boys, signals 
are all set at clear
and there are rabbits, 
rabbits, everywhere.

Friday, 29 May 2020

Larry Kramer - d. May 27th 2020

Amid those years of chaos,
waist-deep in prejudice,
you cut through the BS,
wrote uncomfortable justice,
of the first lesions, the KS,
the plague before the abyss, 
scripted a warning, a witness.