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
Prayers originally appeared in The Poetry Review (Volume 93, No 4, Winter 2003/4)