In the bar diagonal from us
some white men play some inoffensive jazz
for punters to mull over with a glass

of inoffensive wine, dressed up smart-cazh.
Parker’s skag fueled duende has grown cosy,
a well loved set of timeless standards. Trad.

Not that we hear it as the sax man blows it,
what with the sirens flitting between hells
that bookmark these red brick, Georgian houses—

it must be kicking off in Camberwell,
boisterous in Brixton, war in West Norwood
and tazer time in Streatham and Tulse Hill.

My daughter takes to staring at the clouds,
the definition of pre-lingual thought,
the way she stared at me when seconds old.

I don’t believe in old souls but I’ve bought
the idea that some of us come pre-packed
with some old wisdom that cannot be taught.

She’s wise although she’s yet to build a stack
of playblocks on our living room carpet.
The sirens fade, the cosy band change tac

to Miles’s Kind of Blue minus the trumpet.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. peter litton
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 23:38:35

    When I read this series it’s always the first impressions that stick.

    I guess places, like old jazz musicians and anarchic young poets, mellow with age.
    Change is inevitable.


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