Friday, 11 March 2016


I have been engaged in a project with a local art class. They have drawn/painted pictures based on my poetry and along with the wondrous poets of Juncture 25 I have been responding by writing poems based on their art work. It has the potential to be a long project.
This post's poem is a [very] rough draft from this project. 
There are a number of themes running through the poem. It is loosely based on a memory from my student days. 
Also I was rereading an old 1960's science fiction book recently, All The Colours of Darkness by Lloyd Biggle Jr. which was set in the then future, the 1908's, which, of course, is our past. The world was more like the 1950's than the 80's. It was fun to revisit the book though. It set me thinking about all those past tomorrows that never came about. 
This in turn led me to remember Karl's old  Zephyr Zodiac, not quite as cool as the big American cars with fins, but as near as the Britain got in the pre-Beatles early sober sixties.
I was also reminded of our shared passion for John Coltrane. The titles of two of his most famous lps are woven into the poem.

All Yesterday's Tomorrows

Karl drove drove a sky blue zephyr zodiac,
built before seat belt laws,
so big and bold with wings like rocket fins.

The urgency of Giant Steps spurs us up to Dartmoor,
driving toward A Love Supreme,
on the hunt for flying saucers,
with dreams of Adamski scout ships,
as cool as Coltrane is on this cassette.

We are on the moor, riffing off our dreams,
to see the earth from space,
chat with an alien, out there on a tor.
Or a cigar shaped mothership above us,
that would dampen all electric fields,
cause this battleship to halt.

Which of us though really believes?

Night descends. A clear, starry sky,
no strange lights,
we see no saucers.
Inside the car, mid note the music stops.
Tape ribbons in my hands,
then it's the death of jazz.

All the silent way home
we try to avoid blaming Trane
for its murder.
There is a perspective that the move towards free jazz killed it as a contemporary art form. I am not sure but thought it was an interesting way to end the poem.
I must leave you with the man himself from 1966.
Until the next time.

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