Tag Archives: music

Old Joe


he fills

the underpass with music

gnarled hands coaxing notes

from a battered guitar



he plays to please the crowd

Free Bird or Smoke on the Water

but mostly he just jams


letting his fingers

dance across the frets

letting the music flow

into him and through him


every evening

as he walks back to the bridge

he passes the guitar shop

with the Gibson Firebird in the window


spotlights pick out

liquid swirls in black and red

frozen beneath a layer of lacquer

as thick as a ten pence piece


Joe presses

his palm against the window

and whistles softly


the Firebird sits mute

tethered by a security leash

caged behind a window grille


while Joe’s old strings

are free to sing


(C) Helen Lewis 2011

A misunderstanding at Club Eclectic

‘What’s this?’ asked Jane. ‘Take Five,’ said Dave.

He squeezed her knee but kept his gaze

stage right, on the saxophonist

whose solo was just taking flight.


The music here is avant-garde,

thought Dave, a mix of jazz, punk rock,

brass bands and barbershop quartets,

so Jane is sure to be impressed.


The kitchen fuses Japanese

and Mexican cuisines; instead

of salted nuts, the finger food’s

wasabi balls and chilli sticks.


What’s not to like? Our date tonight

will be the greatest Valentine’s

I’ve ever planned. I’ll melt Jane’s heart

and then she’ll melt into my arms.


But later, as he waited at

the hospital, Dave realised

the inadvertent part he’d played

in ruining their perfect date.


He hadn’t seen her pointing to

the bowl of bright green balls and fire

red sticks until it was too late.


‘Take five,’ he’d said.

And so she had.


© Helen Lewis 2011

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