Issue #141 / April 2021
You mentioned in Issue #140 that you have been writing poems. Can you send us one?
SARAH, TIPPERARY, IRELAND
I am twenty-five and feel ancient. I can’t imagine what it’s like for you. What is it like?
CHAZ, SURFERS PARADISE, AUSTRALIA
Dear Sarah and Chaz,
Some things I have written during lockdown refused to shape themselves into song lyrics and so have remained resolutely on the page. These I call poems, but this may be a category error and they are, in fact, just failed songs. Not all of them are quite as self-absorbed as this ‘poem’ but, Chaz, The Spanish Lady does seem to answer your question.
The line ‘a Spanish lady washing her feet by candlelight’ comes from an Irish-American folk song called The Spanish Lady, and ‘I walk with sweet Sally hand upon hand’ comes from my own song, Loom of the Land.
THE SPANISH LADY
All my songs are waving goodbye
They are trailing behind them a smear of rage
I am thinking with the mind of someone twice my age
I’m an all-singing, all-dancing thing that died
And nothing but nothing is going as planned
As I walked with sweet Sally, hand upon hand
I wanted to write up but could only write down
With my hunter dogs I walk round town
I’m swallowed by the city and lose my way
And pass by a window and suddenly see
A Spanish lady washing her feet by candlelight
And this was absolutely not part of the plan
But I’m suddenly alive and half my age
An all-singing, all-dancing horror on stage
Who never wanted for nothing, just a little bit more
As my dogs devour me to a hashtag of gore
I wanted to write less but could only write more
This song is waving to you with its busted crutch
I am lost and tired and completely out of touch
But I am something, I guess, that just keeps going on
As I walk with sweet Sally, song upon song