Night of his grandmother’s death, he called Charlie Watts in a dream. Drummer’s long arm resting by the telephone, he told Charlie a joke and Charlie laughed, yeah, yeah, man, yeah, so he told another and Charlie laughed again. So relaxed as Charlie laughed again and again, made it matter, made it back to making it matter, again. The more people die, the smaller your world, the more you need Charlie to light the world. Charlie Watts. Charlie light-my-world Watts. Charlie’s long arm resting by a telephone, so relaxed and lit dim. Charlie’s slippered feet resting on brown burber in a London living room at 3 am, newspapers spread on a coffee table, open. Always open. Charlie Watts, always awake, awake at 3 am. Cup of tea on a coffee table in a London living room at 3 am, long arm, slippered feet, brown burber, long arm beside the telephone, sitting by a gold lampshade, flood lit in a dark London living room, 3 am. Charlie Watts. Always London, always Charlie, always Charlie Watts. When someone dies, telephone rings, Charlie Watts long arm resting on a table by a telephone. Tell Charlie a joke, and Charlie listens, always laughs. And if you do tell Charlie tell Charlie someone died. Someone died, 3 am. Charlie Watts, always open, waiting for you to call him.
– Veronica Gaylie
Prayersoriginally appeared in The Poetry Review (Volume 93, No 4, Winter 2003/4)
“We have to preach equality on the continent and all over the world. There’s as much talent in girls as there is in boys. They have to be given the opportunity too. At the end of the day, you see them walking taller.” Masai Ujuri, Founder Giants of Africa/President, Toronto Raptors
I do not know what gorgeous thing the bluebird keeps saying, his voice easing out of his throat, beak, body into the pink air of the early morning. I like it whatever it is. Sometimes it seems the only thing in the world that is without dark thoughts. Sometimes it seems the only thing in the world that is without questions that can’t and probably never will be answered, the only thing that is entirely content with the pink, then clear white morning and, gratefully, says so.
At start of spring I open a trench
in the ground. I put into it
the winter’s accumulation of paper,
pages I do not want to read
again, useless words, fragments,
errors. And I put into it
the contents of the outhouse:
light of the sun, growth of the ground,
finished with one of their journeys.
To the sky, to the wind, then,
and to the faithful trees, I confess
my sins: that I have not been happy
enough, considering my good luck;
have listened to too much noise;
have been inattentive to wonders;
have lusted after praise.
And then upon the gathered refuse
of mind and body, I close the trench,
folding shut again the dark,
the deathless earth. Beneath that seal
the old escapes into the new.