Monday 19 September 2011


This is a special post and relates, once again, to Purbeck. Over the weekend I kept bumping into a group of men on a stag weekend. It’s easy to meet people at small festivals as the atmosphere is so different to the large ones where the audience’s role is reduce to that of consumer, at small festivals there is much more interaction between the artists and the audience and between the people who make up the audience. Purbeck is just the right size for this. As I say we kept meeting and at one point Dave showed me a henna tattoo he had done of his father, save the tattooist had not managed to capture his father’s features as he had no photograph of him. This was not the funny part- the tattoo had “Mother” under it. It made me laugh.

After the first poetry workshop that I ran I was sitting by our van while the paella was cooking on the fire pit and the bones of the poem came to me. On the Sunday evening the stag boys filmed me reading Elvis and a rough draft of the tattoo blues. Here then for your delectation is the revised poem:
Dave’s Henna Tattoo Blues
I asked the lady, the lady tattooist,
To please draw my father, my sainted old father,
Outline him in henna, right here on my arm.
I said to the lady, the lady tattooist,
You don’t need no picture, just let your mind wander,
Then sketch in his features, imbue them with charm.
I cried to the lady, the lady tattooist,
This ain’t my father, you just drew me older,
Added more creases and the odd line.
I cried to the lady, the lady tattooist,
This ain’t my father, it’s me looking older
And the way you’ve done it I look slightly malign.
I did a deal with the lady, the lady tattooist,
She painted this portrait of my imaginary father,
Slapped it here on my arm, but entitled it
“Mother” to cause maximum mind alarm!
Now that the words are complete I have to work on turning it into a blues to sing with Alex on the Open Mic stage next year.
Also if you want to see The Stray Birds I’ve posted two videos on Youtube, here are the urls:
Off to Barcelona tomorrow until the 30th to soak up some sun.

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