Monthly Archives: November 2015

Jools Holland’s “Later”


Jools Holland’s “Later”; Friday night TV.
Kick-back, chill-out, knock back the booze;
sit back, see who’s on, who’s playing,
anything for me?

The same old, hackneyed crowd.
The overrated, the has-beens,
the callow wannabees. The rowdies
for rowdiness’ sake; nothing for me.
I cannot connect; am unable to emote.
I sigh; extend my arm for the remote. . .

But wait . . . the girl singer:
soft, honeyed vocals;
soaring, swooping,
effortless range.
Singing with passion;
commanding the stage.
She’s here, from nowhere;
a sudden, new star.
Behind her, a guy
on acoustic guitar,
softly strumming
shimmering chords.
She closes her eyes,
sings herself
into the dream.
Sings me, too,
into the dream.
The dream I remember,
the dream of sheer bliss;
watching singers,
artists like this.
The dream I would have,
watching them sing;
expressing their essence,
their inner being.
The dream I now try
to enact every day;
making words dance,
making them play.

The British singer Adele is in the news today, announcing the dates of her next tour in 2016.  A couple of weeks ago I – along with millions of others – watched, enthralled, as she was interviewed on TV by Graham Norton, and sang songs from her new album.  The show was on BBC, and I was reminded of the fact that Adele got her first breakthrough by appearing on the BBC programme “Later, with Jools Holland”.  I must have watched most of the editions of “Later”, over the years; it’s become part of the fabric of late-night viewing on a Friday.  I was watching one of the programmes a few weeks ago, when I was suddenly transfixed by a relatively unknown female vocalist – not Adele, in this case, needless to say, but a girl performing under the name “Jones”.  I hope she becomes successful, although I doubt whether she’ll be able to emulate Adele and become a global superstar.  Anyway, it was watching her performance on “Later” that inspired the above poem.


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Local Knowledge


They veer towards me,
drawn, irresistibly,
by something they see,
something imaginary;
something they think
they see, within me.
It does not exist,
it is not there;
why they see it,
I neither know nor care.

A source of local knowledge
is what they see,
to tell them how far,
from where they are;
where they need to go,
to where they want to be.

Anyone else could tell them,
in a heartbeat,
how to reach their
chosen place, or street.
The one person they
should never ask is me;
I lack the knowledge
they fancy they see.

If only they could
sense the truth;
if only they knew.
Don’t ask me
for local knowledge;
I haven’t a clue.
I am bound
to mislead them;
what else can I do?

We all have our individual foibles and weaknesses, and one of mine is a complete lack of attention to the names of streets, roads and places in my locality.  For some reason, I’ve never been able to remember this kind of (highly useful) information.  I don’t seem to have any problem finding my way around, so it doesn’t constitute much of a problem, as far as I’m concerned.  It does become a problem, however – for other people – whenever I’m stopped in the street by somebody wanting to know the way to somewhere or other.  You might not think this anything to worry about, but you’d be amazed by the number of times it happens to me; I go through periods when it seems to be happening – on a daily basis – two or three times a day.  I get so perplexed by the frequency of these occurrences that, at times, I become convinced that there’s some conspiracy behind it.  A more reasonable conclusion, of course, is that, as I’m not a driver, I’m always walking around everywhere, and so am easily available to anyone who wants to stop me and ask me for directions.

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