Tuesday, August 1, 2017




This concert is not worth the ticket,
I can assure you all.
I can't even play my instrument,
and my songs are poor beyond recall.
My music is not classed country western,
folk rock, blues, jazz or pop,
and if you want to hear my best song,
you might as well tell me now to stop.
I have no musical education,
certainly no music degree.
My songs have no real foundation,
and I rarely sing in key.
I'm really more like an avant-garde busker,
singing my spontaneous rap,
and as you walk by for the sake of high art and pity
please put at least one penny in my cap.
I'm not interested in social comment
or proclaiming myself as the new poet prophet of the pen.
If you like the music you are hearing,
you can always walk by me again.
This song for me is quite revolutionary,
unaccompanied by my acoustic Yamaha guitar.
I'm playing on my tone bank computer organ,
worked by a battery to make me a star.
For my muse, I compose my rumpled rondelay,
I would like to sculpt her, spirit, skin and bone.
Her grace would occupy sacred space,
if I had the skills, the tools, the stone.
Donovan sang of Atlantis,
and the hurdy gurdy man.
Some of us were moved by the message,
but few knew how to follow the plan.
Call me an avant-garde busker,
trying to be free of the trap,
and as you walk by for the sake of high art and pity
please put at least one penny in my cap.
At least one penny, at least one penny,
at least one penny in my cap.


Narrow my eyes,
look out over the harbour,
strain till I know
my concentration is certain,
my vision clear,
free of mist and miasma,
distinguish boats in a line,
moored to the foot of a far wall.
At rest from a voyage,
blue sails sag in a low wind.
With them I would go,
feel and hear the flap
of blue sails on the blue sea of summer,
follow paths whale and dolphin may furrow.


I woke in the dark,
back of my skull pressed in my pillow,
watched darkness thin, day begin,
black sky turn pale grey, faint blue.
In our apartment bedroom,
shapes and shadows grew.
Became aware of the deep of dawn.
From it came the caw of crows.
Territories they claimed, I knew,
patch of rock and tree to perch and hunt.
Reminded me that Yerevan
stands in the vale of mount Ararat,
is a city built on the floor of bare mountain land.
Before humans came, crows cawed in the dawn,
lowered their heads, took flight,
swooped on their prey.
The Ereboni fortress, they watched humans build,
a defence against foes.
Later, circle by circle, the stone city of Yerevan.
Now in parks and urban trees, I hear crows caw.
Crows have no brain for memory,
do not know their history,
but more than to humans,
who can only ever be intruders, migrants,
invaders, settlers, this valley belongs to them.
Dawn is deep, brief, like midnight or noon,
has its own magic.
I can remember, but cannot go back to when,
not long woken from sleep,
aware of the deep of dawn,
I heard crows caw,
a sound more ancient than hieroglyph or rune.


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